Emilio and Francesca Donati and Their First Two Children, Louis and Anita

Emilio first arrived in the United States from Fiumalbo, Italy on November 22, 1900, and worked in coal mines near Higbee, Missouri. He returned to Fiumalbo where he married Francesca Amedei, then returned to Higbee with her in September, 1906. They soon moved to nearby Bevier, Missouri. In 1917, some of the coal miners visited the Italian Consulate in St. Louis for advice on relocating to an Italian community, away from the dangerous mines. They were directed to Knobview, and were met by the Castelli family who told them of several available farms. Emilio purchased a farm and returned to his job in Bevier, making trips to Knobview over the next two years to build a house and purchase farm equipment. He moved his family there in 1919 and returned to the mines one last time in 1921 to earn extra money for farming expenses. He was tragically killed in a mining accident in October, 1922, just months before he had planned on moving back to his farm, permanently. Francesca was left to raise eight young children on her own.