by Annette Edwards.
JECONIAH ODGERS 1849 – 1915
EMMA ODGERS 1847 -1928
Jeconiah was born in July 1849 at Gwennap, Cornwall, he was the son of Jonah Odgers and Elizabeth Murton. In 1861 he is at home in Gwennap, where his father and 2 elder brothers Isaac and Jonah are all copper miners. He also has another brother Jacob and sisters Elizabeth and Mary. By 1871 Jonah has left the mines and is a farmer, Jeconiah is a farm labourer.
Early in 1872 Jeconiah married Emma Phillips at The United Methodist Free Church, Redruth. Emma was born about 1847 in Wendron.
By 1881 they have moved to Illogen, Cornwall, he is now an agent for the sale of safety fuses. They have children, Mary 7, William 6, James 4, Annie 1 and baby Emma who is 1 month old. He was working for Messrs Brunton & Co. Safety fuse manufacturers.
The fuses were used in detonating and blasting at the stone quarries.
In 1878 a “Big Blast” at Minera was reported when Mr Lester blew up a large part of the mountain. The blast was arranged so as to have three lines of fractures. The quantity of stone measured from the first line of fracture was over 20,000 tons. The second line was estimated at 30,000 tons, and the third at 50,000 tons. The fuse (especially made by Messrs Brunton and Co., Brymbo) was fired in due course, and in about fifteen minutes the immense rock was seen to rise up, and with a sound like the rumbling of thunder the great mass rolled over from the first, and immediately followed by the second and third lines of fracture, and with a cheer the numerous spectators hurried to the quarry, and there found what had just been a solid face of rock now piled up in one great heap of blocks and broken stones, not one of which had left the quarry or otherwise done the least damage, and Mr Lester was heartily congratulated upon the splendid result of another most successful blast. Several hundreds of people had assembled on the surrounding hills to witness the blast.
Many officials partook of the coffee and lunch provided and presided over by Mrs Lester.
W. Brunton and Co. Safety-fuse makers, of Penhellick Safety-Fuse Works, near Camborne
and of Cambrian Fuse Works, Lodge, Wrexham.
William Brunton (1817-1881) invented a fuse-making machine to improve the quality of manufacture. He did not patent the machine but kept it secret. This development proved to be of great service to the mining world, for, while producing an improved article, its introduction at once reduced the selling price of fuse by 75 per cent.
By 1884 Jeconiah and his family moved to Wrexham and in 1888 it was reported in “The Cornishman” newspaper that his son Willie had won the Duke of Westminster’s scholarship for North Wales.
In 1891 were living in Fairfield Villas on Erddig Road, they had more children who had been born in Wrexham, Albert 7, Caroline 6 and Wilfred aged 1. Jeconiah was still working for the same company. In 1901 the family are in 71 Regent Street and were still there in 1911, the census shows they had 10 children but 4 had died.
Jeconiah died at 55 Gerald Street on 15 November 1915 aged 66. His probate states he was a safety fuse manufacturer. Emma remained there and died on 8 February 1928, she was buried with her husband.
Annette Edwards. Photos of Jeconiah and Emma thanks to Angela Ellis. Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery D-03986