After being brought to the surface Elinger said
in his broken way: "I was working at laying brick in one of the entries and
the first thing I knew a terrible explosion took place, which threw me some
distance. My two buddies were also tossed some distance away. I heard them
for a while and then all was quiet. I was overcome by the afterdamp and fell
asleep. I do not know how long I slept, but when I awoke I started at once
for my dinner pail. It could not be found and then I started to hunt for
the air shaft as I knew I had been working near it. I moped about in the
mines for some time and heard the rescuers at work nearby, I thought they
were going back without finding me and I at once yelled as best I could and
then they came."
Thomas Carney exploring the mine heard the cries
for aid and taking one of the helmets containing oxygen he made his way through
the debris and over the bodies of the dead miners and found Elinger, who
had his clothes entirely blown off, and his hair singed off close to the
scalp. His body was completely filled with small pieces of coal. His eyes
were also badly burned and contained small particles of coal. It was at first
thought he was entirely blind.
It was just at 8:55 p.m. that Carney brought Elinger
to the surface.
Washington Observer, Monday Morning November 30,
THE STORY OF THE AWFUL CATASTROPHE
Marianna, Nov. 29.--Shortly before 11 o'clock Saturday
morning a terrific explosion took place in the Marianna mines of the Pittsburg-Buffalo
company in which 130 men were working and all but one of this entire number
were killed outright. The shafts at No. 1 and No. 2 Rachel and Agnes, were
badly wrecked by the force of the explosion, one man was killed and others
seriously injured who were just starting down the shaft in the cage at No.
2. the explosion came without a moment's warning and with such force that
it could be heard for miles around. The steel derrick over the No. 2 shaft
was wrecked and the cage torn to pieces. The temporary derrick in construction
at the Rachel shaft was literally blown to atoms and scattered in a thousand
different pieces about the opening of the shaft.
Inspector Henry Louttit had just stepped from the
cage of shaft No. 2, when the explosion took place. He had been at Marianna
for two days and had inspected the mines every half hour on Friday and during
the same intervals Saturday morning up until the time of the explosion.
The mine is gaseous. All the mines in this end
of Washington county are in this condition. But Mr. Louttit said that there
were no accumulations of gas anywhere in the mine so far as he had been able
to observe. Engineer and General Superintendent A.C. Beeson had come to the
surface just a few minutes before Louttit. He had found the mine in perfect
A Model Mine.
The Marianna collieries were supposed to be the model mines of this
country and the world. I fact they are. No mine was ever planned with greater
care and equipped with better facilities and improvements to avoid accidents
and those one in a thousand calamities which experience has taught the practical
experienced miner are liable to happen at any time. Underneath the surface
amid the workings and entries of this mine every convenience had been arranged
for the miners, every precaution taken and the experts of the world had visited
it and come away declaring that the mining problem had been solved for the
safety of the men.
Yet, Saturday morning some unseen force was at
work which wrecked a mine to the extent of hundreds of thousands of dollars,
entombed 125 or more men in its chambers of death and left science and invention
to wonder at the cause of it all.
The explosion came so suddenly that the superintendent
and inspector could scarcely realize what had happened. Men were set to work,
however, at once to get the fan in operation, again. It was necessary to
give them air at once if they were to be saved. The Agnes shaft which is
the middle one was being used as the main entry to the mine and the coal
from the operations as well as the men and supplies were all taken up and
down this shaft. The Rachel or No. 1 shaft is the larger and it is the purpose
of the company to make it the principal one for their operations and the
No. 2 to be used as the air shaft and the one for emergency purposes, for
the entrance and exit of the miners and for supplies.
But No. 2 was the main shaft when the explosion
took place. It was put out of commission at once and it was impossible for
the men to get into it from the surface. The work therefore was directed
from shaft No. 1, which after the explosion occurred was nothing more that
a big hole in the ground. The temporary derrick had been blown to pieces.
Shaft Out of Commission.
Men were put at work immediately to get this shaft
in condition and the task of removing the debris and of constructing sufficient
framework to operate the big bucket was soon on. Hundreds of men were called
into service and under the direction of the superintendent and the foremen
about the mine it was not long until the fan was in operation and the mine
again supplied with air and the shaft in condition for the men to begin operating
the bucket from the bottom of the shaft.
Superintendent Beeson with several of his men descended
the steps almost at once to see what condition the shaft. Fifty feet from
the bottom it was found to be caved in--but room enough was found for the
operation of the bucket but for nothing larger. This shaft is one of the
largest in the world. It was constructed at a cost of $64,000 and it will
require many thousands of dollars to place it in condition again.
When the superintendent and his men reached the
bottom of the shaft it was found that the mine was not on fire and that it
would be possible to reach the men as soon as the mine was made safe enough
for exploration. Soon after this John H. Jones, president of the Pittsburg-Buffalo
company, D.G. Jones, secretary, expert miners and other officials arrived
on a special train from Pittsburg via Monongahela. The president of the company
went at once to the mouth of shaft No. 1 and awaited the return of Superintendent
Beeson and his men from the foot of the shaft. Discarding his coat and his
other business attire, President Jones, with his overcoat, gum boots, miner's
cap and gloves soon descended the shaft accompanied by the superintendent,
Fire Boss Joseph Kennedy and others.
This man who knows mining as no other man in the
Pittsburg district, who knows his mines and who has faith in this great masterpiece
appeared strong and brave. He was. There was no faint heart in his bosom,
no unsteady nerves, no shaking footsteps. But he must have known ere he started
down this dark shaft to the great tunnel below that his men were not alive.
When he came back he looked sorrowful--for the situation was clear to him
then. The men were dead--they could not have possibly lived. His work was
to begin the rescue of their bodies just as quickly as it was possible to
secure the relief.
May Flock to Scene.
Physicians and undertakers from all the nearby towns and the country-side
had been called to the mine. For hundreds of feet around the Rachel shaft
ropes were stretched for a radius of from 50 to 100 feet. Outside of these
ropes large crowds of people gathered--they were there as spectators to the
tragedy. They were there, some of them, because their friends and neighbors
were lost--they were there because they were interested or morbidly curious.
The news of the disaster spread rapidly and all
afternoon and evening the trains, specials and regulars, scores of automobiles
and other conveyances brought thousands of people to the scene of the disaster.
Several members of the state constabulary were pressed into service and besides
the company had a large force of police to keep the crowds back from the
ropes. But with the best efforts it was impossible to keep the way cleared.
Inside the ropes squads of men were working--working hard and fast. Boilers
of sandwiches and small tanks of coffee supplied the men with nourishment
as they worked to clear the entrances to the shaft and prepare the scaffolding
for the bodies to be laid on, when they were brought to the surface.
It was at first decided to let a large platform
down by means of a pulley and tackle into the shaft to bring up the bodies
but later it was found more expedient to bring each one up separately. Stretchers
and blankets were piled about the shaft entrance and it was not until late
in the afternoon that the rescuing parties were sent down into the mine.
Inspector Henry Louttit, President John N. Jones
and General Superintendent A.C. Beeson were constantly in consultation. It
was decided to have a complete inspection of the mine made before any efforts
were taken toward bringing out the bodies. All the workings were to be explored
and this was an easy matter as the mines are new and the diggings simply
represent the cutting of entries, the headings and the preparations that
are being made for the opening of the rooms for the excavation of coal.
When darkness began to gather the safety lamps
and lanterns were brought into use about the shaft--work was delayed and
it was impossible to make haste. The company linesmen threw lines from poles
around the areaway to the shaft opening and upon these miners; lamps were
strung to throw light about the place where the men were preparing for the
rescuing of bodies.
Overcome By Fire Damp
Shortly after 7 o'clock, Joseph Kennedy was brought to the surface overcome
by the fire damp in the mine. He was one of the members of the rescue party.
He was found by Samuel Cox, another member of the party and dragged 25 feet
to the bottom of the shaft where he was hoisted to the surface and soon resuscitated.
This added to the excitement about the mine.
Government experts from Pittsburg were among the
earliest to explore the mines. They were fully equipped for this special
work, and they with the expert miners were the only ones permitted to go
down, the mine. It was an anxious throng which stood about the shaft and
outside the ropes in the dim moonlight all the evening waiting for some word
from the mine.
Coroner Sipe arrived early in the evening and he
at once selected a jury and made arrangements to have an inquest over the
bodies, when they should be brought to the surface.
"No inquest will be held, however." said the coroner,
"until we can get at the cause of this disaster. It will be probed from the
bottom. The cause must be found out. There is something wrong. I will remain
on the ground until the last body is taken out and make investigations as
to the condition of things prior to the time the explosion took place."
As the rescue party went down their names were
taken by a clerk, who stood at the head of the shaft. Instructions were given
that everybody be marked and its location in the mine, where found, so as
to make identification as complete as possible and also to make it possible
to work on some theory later on by knowing the exact places in the mine where
the men met death.
THE WASHINGTON OBSERVER
It was reported about the mine today, that James Josinki, Vorinki Salinki, and Antonio Orhasillna three men charged with the stabbing of a foreigner at West Zollarsville on the night of Nov. 3 had met their doom in the mine explosion yesterday. This report could not be confirmed however, as the men's check numbers were not known. The three men were released from the charge by the coroner's jury some time ago.
MINE INSPECTOR IS COMPLETELY
(Nov. 30, 1908, page 1)
"I will not theorize on the cause of this explosion,"
said Henry Louttit, mine inspector of this district, late Saturday evening,
after he had some few moments to think about the matter. "Perhaps after it
is all over and I can sit down and think--think clearly--I may be able to
give some theory to work on. I am absolutely dumbfounded. I had been inspection
the mine all day Friday, at intervals of every half hour. I started in to
do the same thing Saturday and had made several inspections of the mine.
I found some gas there--it is found in all these mines, but there were no
accumulations of gas. I had been all through the mine in the morning and
had not left the workings and came to the surface until the explosion took
"The mine was considered by experts to be the best
in the world, it was the best in the sense that it was supposed to be safe.
That is the fundamental thing about a mine--it's safety for the miners and
the Pittsburg-Buffalo company had this thing in view when its men constructed
this mine. I know that there is an abandoned gas well in the field of this
coal development. But the engineers know these gas fields and the limits
of the gas pools. No part of the mine was within 50 feet radius of the outside
limits of any gas pool.
"In fact I do not know what caused the explosion.
But it was a terrific one. It came with great force. I had just stepped off
the cage and started to make an inspection of the engines. I had intended
to go up to the top of the steel derrick and inspect it. Why I did not go
there first instead of the engines I do not know. Ten minutes later I would
have been there and you know what would have happened to me then. I certainly
was fortunate both coming and going. Had I even thought there was any danger
in that mine do you suppose I would have permitted Thompson and the other
men to go on the cage which brought me up to the surface and as it turned
out, to safety."
November 30, 1908, pg. 1
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Marianna, Nov. 29.--For sticking to his post of
duty without any sleep while his brother lay a corpse in the bottom of the
ill-fated shaft Edward Thomas received the commendation of every miner about
the works today. Young Thomas is employed at the hoisting machine which has
been in use in lowering and raising the men to and from the depths of this
pit. All day Saturday he was found at his post and all that night and all
day today Thomas was still found with his hand on the wheel which lowered
the cage and on whose steadiness largely depended the lives of those in the
William Thomas, the brother now dead who was aged
19 years, had been employed at the hoisting engine some weeks ago but owing
to a slight accident had given up the work. He had been without work and
on Saturday morning Mrs. Thomas persuaded her son to seek work at the mines
again. He did and secured work in the pit as motorman. He had been at his
new work less than a half day when his life was crushed out. Knowing that
his brother's life was snuffed out and expecting to see his dead body brought
up the cage every time it came to the surface young Thomas refused to give
his position to any person else.
Mrs. Thomas, who persuaded her son to go to the
mines, was almost distracted upon hearing the sad news and all of last night
was kept under the influence of ether.
Washington Observer (Nov. 30, 1908, p. 1)
The coal works of the Pittsburg-Buffalo Company
where occurred the frightful gas explosion Saturday are recognized as being
the most extensive in the world. The plant is located at the new town of
Marianna, about midway between Zollarsville and Martin's Mills on Upper Ten
Mile creek in West Bethlehem township.
In August, 1906, the work of putting down the shaft
of the Rachel mine was commenced and the following winter similar work was
begun at the Agnes mine, a short distance south-west of the former.
The Pittsburg vein of coal was reached at a depth
of 460 feet, both shafts being completed at nearly the same time. In July
last a force of men was put to work sinking a shaft at what is known as the
Blanche mine, about three-fourths of a mile south-west of the Agnes mine
on the Shidler farm and in a line with both the others.
The air and supply shaft, by means of which the
Rachel and Agnes mines are run, which was badly damaged in the explosion
Saturday morning, was put down soon after the one at the Rachel mine was
finished, and recently underground, connection was made between the two shafts.
the firm of Patterson and O'Neil, was the contractor on the two shafts, both
of which were damaged by the explosion.
Shafts to be Restored.
The company will begin in a short time to make repairs and it will
probably be but a short time until the mines are again in operation. Connection
will be made eventually with the Blanch mine.
An emergency shaft will be placed between the Rachel
and Agnes mines, work on it having been commenced last week.
By agreements made with the road supervisors of
West Bethlehem township, the road leading from a point on the former creek
road a short distance below the new coal works, was changed to the south
side of Ten Mile creek, the thoroughfare being cut in the steep hillside
opposite the coal works a considerable distance up the creek, the old road
leading past the works being vacated, although the company is keeping the
thoroughfare open for its own use. This road was built at a considerable
expense, being constructed on the Flinn style of road, making. It is recognized
as a perfect road, and is about 15 feet wide. The Pittsburg-Buffalo company,
it is stated, did the greater part of the work of grading and macadamizing
At the present time the large power house on the
hillside north of the Agnes mine is nearing completion. The company has a
force of laborers at work on the building and in a few days the structure
will be under roof. Three large engines of 45 horse power each were installed
in the plant at the time the work was first commenced.
The building is about 120 feet long and 80 feet
in width. It is being built of brick, and when completed will be second to
none in the country. The company will utilize the power generated at this
place for various purposes, both at the works and the residences, which have
been completed and will be erected by the company for the use of the miners.
The greater number of the houses erected for the employes are of brick of
a good quality. The company made calculations on the total expense in advance
both by building of brick and of wood and found the former in the long run
should be less expensive.
Coal of Good Quality
The coal, which is said to be of the best quality, is from six to
seven feet in thickness.
Last December coal was first mined at the works,
when on the first, day a large quality of the black, diamonds was shipped
away, and since that time the average daily output has been 300 tons.
This coal, which is at present worth several thousand
dollars per acre, was sold by the farmers owning the surface, at the insignificant
price of $20 an acre. One of the farmers stated yesterday that he thought
it would be impossible to ever mine the coal, hence, any price at all was
better than nothing. He also stated that he would be slower in disposing
of the Freeport vein of coal, which is from 10 to 12 feet in thickness. The
Pittsburg-Buffalo company purchased the surface of both the Fulton and Shidler
farms at about $150 an acre, after securing the coal from J.A. Ray, who purchased
at the start from the owners of the surface.
The dimensions of the Shafts of the Rachel and
Agnes mines is each 36 x 24 feet and that of the Blanche mine a trifle smaller.
Washington Observer (Nov. 30, 1908, p. 1)
CORONER SIPE NAMES JURY AND WILL MAKE THOROUGHT INVESTIGATION
Marianna, Nov. 30, --2:30 a.m. Sixty-one bodies have been recovered From the ill-fated collieries and the work of rescue is going steadily on. The men are working in alternating shifts and rapid progress is being made.
Shortly after midnight Coroner Sipe stated that
in his opinion the majority of the dead would be recovered by Monday evening
or Tuesday morning. The burial of the identified dead will be started today.
the crowd of curious sightseers has dwindled. Gathered
around the big fires burning near, the shaft mouth are possibly 100 friends
and relatives of victims whose remains have not yet been brought to the surface,
sad hearted, heavy eyed watchers wearily waiting the time when their loved
ones shall be carried to the improvised morgue.
Mrs. W.J. Holsing, wife of the assistant general
manager; Mrs. D.G. Jones, wife of the general manager, and Mrs. Charles DeWald,
sister of Francis Forham, are on the ground tonight assisting the works and
furnishing food for the parties of rescuers as they come to the surface.
Marianna, Nov. 29--This was the most fearful Sunday
the little mining town of Marianna has ever seen in its brief existence.
It was a day of gruesome wearying work about the fatal hole when death had
lifted its head in its most horrid form the day before, the day which will
always be known as Black Saturday in the history of Marianna.
The finding of one man alive when it was thought
that every man in the mines was dead caused much excitement about the pit
mouth and a renewed effort was made to explore every part of the workings
After some of the officials and miners had explored
the workings of the shaft within 40 feet of the bottom William Adams, Samuel
Cox, J.E. Kennedy, Richard Maize, E.F. Tolsed, Terry Risher, and William
Underwood were among the first to offer their services and go to the bottom
of the shaft. Among the others who followed into the bowels of the earth
in a bucket lowered by means of a hoisting engine later in the night were
Robert Cole, Robert Howard, Thomas Carney, George Jones, James Carroll, W.H.
Kennedy, G.W. Wilkinson, John Lowry, Walter Cullinford, A.M. Johnston, Harry
S. McKalup, C.F. McKay, J.M. Hopwood, John Riley, Patrick Dougan, Thomas
Ferrell, Thomas Snowball, James Minn.
Later during the night and morning volunteers were
secured immediately upon the call of John H. Jones or D.G. Jones, who were
at the scene of the disaster all the time directing the work of rescue. They
often descended into the mine with the workmen. Shortly after midnight William
Lockhart, superintendent of the Midland Mines of the Pittsburg coal company.
Charles, Dewalt, master mechanic of the Hazel mine near Canonsburg, and Francis
Fechan, president of the United Mine Workers of District No. 5, descended
and assisted in the work of rescue.
New recruits were sent into the mine as the first
rescuers would come to the surface. the mine was explored very carefully
for fear of fire. Knowing that every man who entered the mine took his life
in his hand the Messrs. Jones warned every recruit before he was called on
to enter the mine.
The reports from the men as they came to the surface
throughout the night and early morning were of the most gruesome character,
although the rescuers attempted to keep the awfulness of the catastrophe
from the general public and those who were waiting on the outside for some
ray of hope from the interior of the mine. Some of these anxious ones had
sons, others husbands, and some sweethearts in the workings. The work of
the rescuers seemed slow to those waiting on the outside, especially after
one man had been recovered alive after all hopes had been given up by the
officials of the mines.
Every precaution was taken to prevent another explosion
and brattice work was erected along the entries as they were explored. The
work wearied on throughout the night. The spectacle of the persons who had
friends in the mines was a sad one. These anxious ones gathered about the
huge wood fires which had been built in all sections of the coal company's
properties. Scarcely a group was seen which did not contain some one who
was watching for the body of a friend to be brought from the pit in the large
The work kept steadily on until the break of day,
when the first body was brought to the surface. This was done at 6:15. Dr.
T.R. Thomas, of Johnetta works near Waychoff, and Dr. Floyd Cobb, company
physician at the Marianna works, had charge of the bodies as they were brought
from the mine. Nothing further was done toward bringing the bodies to the
surface until 11:12.
Among the mine superintendents who were assisting
Lee Jones in District No. 16; David Young of District No. 17; Mr. Maixe,
of VanVoorhis; Mr. McIntyre, of the Pittsburg and Westmoreland coal company;
Mr. Holladay, of Ellsworth; and various superintendents from the River combine
The first body recovered was that of Henry Thompson,
a machinist, who stepped upon the cage just as the explosion occurred and
whose body was hurled high into the air. Thompson was killed at the top of
Shaft No. 2. About 700 yards from where Thompson met his death was found
a human head, which one of the miners said was that of Charles McElrath.
Nearby lay a gloved hand.
When the explosion occurred three men working on
the temporary tipples and scaffolding were injured. Their hurts while painful
were not considered serious. They were Russell Michener, S.W. Vance and Joseph
Coroner Sipe had charge of the bodies after they
were taken to the boiler house. After they were washed the bodies were removed
to an improvised morgue, where the friends were admitted in order to identify
as many as possible. Yesterday evening Coroner Sipe named the following men
for the jury which will hear the evidence and fix the blame. If there be
any, as to the cause of this terrible disaster: John McCuen, John Gayman,
Charles Theakston, Jesse Bigler, Henry Hathaway, and Joseph Morton, all of
West Bethlehem township.
All these men were present today ready to do their
duty. It is likely that all the bodies will not be taken from the mine for
at least two days and that the coroner's inquest will not be held until some
date later set by the coroner. Debris covers a large number of the bodies
and this has hindered in the speedy removal of them.
It was reported today that the extreme inner workings
of the mine were on fire, but none of the officials would confirm the report.
One of the mine inspectors was the authority for the statement that some
fire did exist in the mine, but it was not of an alarming nature. He also
said that the rescuers did not care to take a chance of going beyond this
Monday, November 30, 1908
Marianna, Nov. 29, --The Marianna disaster was
most remarkable not only because the experts are unable to determine its
cause, but because of the fact that within a very few minutes after the catastrophe
the situation was known and the suspense was over. Within a few hours at
the very least the officials were certain that while one did seemingly miraculously
escape death in the mine, the end must have come to the men within a very
few minutes after the explosion, if not instantly.
Another remarkable feature in connection with the
situation after the explosion was the absence of those harrowing and pathetic
scenes which are usually enacted by the loved ones of those who are buried
in t the mines. The crowd about the shaft was extremely quiet. When The Observer
force of correspondents arrived on the ground a few hours after the explosion
the men about the shaft were quietly at work doing everything that could
be done. The crowd about was orderly and quiet.
There were no weeping women, no frantic wives and
children crowding the ropes to see or to interfere with the work. The fact
of the matter is that most, if not all, of the wives and families of those
working in the Marianna mines do not reside here. One woman did make a scene,
but only one--she acted as if she was crazy. She said she had a husband and
two sons down there. No wonder she was crazy. She was a foreigner, but she
had a heart--and she loved her family--and it is the experience of those
who have been at mine disasters that the families of the foreigners feel
even more keenly and poignantly the loss which comes to them in a calamity
of this kind. Away from their native land, unable to speak the language of
the country of their adoption their families are often dearer and nearer
to them than those of our Americans.
In these Marianna mines were some of the best miners
that the Pittsburg-Buffalo company had. They were brought there from Canonsburg,
Monongahela, Catsburg and other points. Half of them at least were Americans.
they left their wives and families behind--those of them who were married.
Into these mines had gone the pick and flower of
the Pittsburg-Buffalo company miners. here was the model mine. here it was
that the best work was to be executed in the preparation for the mining of
millions of tons of coal in the years of the future. The work which is being
done there is preparatory work. There are no chambers where the coal has
been taken out, no intricate rooms--the work done show simply the great paths
which work the course of the mine for its future operations--and in this
work the best were chosen to perform it.
Thus the company not only loses the services of
its fine body of miners, chosen from the most expert and experienced, but
the world at large--civilization--loses citizens who knew their duty and
were performing it not only for the money they received, but because they
were interested in a duty which they also believed was to the interests of
the miners of the future.
LIST OF THE DEAD
(Pg. 1, Nov. 30, 1908 The Observer)
The list of the dead up-to-date as gathered from the partial identification of the bodies brought to the surface is as follows:
(1) John Ivill, Married Nov. 4, 1908, aged 23 years; resided in Monongahela, employed as assistant machine boss. Death resulted from suffocation. Cousin of John H. Jones.
(2) Mike Slovinsho, Italian body badly mutilated. Identified by check number on company books. Lived at Marianna.
(3) Unidentified foreigner, leg torn off, head blown to atoms, body burned, and clothes torn off.
(4) Owen Borns, American, burned about head and face, left arm broken. Identified by check No. 896.
(5) Unidentified foreigner, head crushed.
(6) Unidentified body, literally torn to pieces, nothing but portion of trunk left.
(8) Unidentified foreigner, no check number. Hands burned. Death resulted from suffocation.
(9) Milt Eckenrode, foreigner, aged about 35 years. Identified by tattoo name on arm and also by check number.
(10) Foreigner, known as "Donegal," resided at Galiagher boarding house. Death resulted from fractured skull.
(11) Doninick Qualiero, Italian, identified by tattooed name under arm, and also check No. 215.
(12) Unidentified foreigner, portion of trunk left, one leg, and a portion of head. All clothing torn from body.
(13) Charles Tahaney, foreigner, skull crushed, leg broken. Identified by receipt in purse.
(14) Mike Lapine, face burned, death due to suffocation. Identified from check.
(15) Frank Tebery, foreigner, leg broken, head crushed, upper portion of body burned. Identified by check number.
(16) Unidentified body, with both legs broken, and badly burned.
(17) Unidentified body, disemboweled, left leg torn off, arm broken, top of head blown off.
(18) Unidentified, both legs broken. Death due to suffocation.
(19) Unidentified, disemboweled, head blown off, one foot gone.
(20) John Tedroff, miner identified with check number.
(21) Unidentified body, badly burned.
(22) Unidentified American, crushed about the head; check number 19.
(23) James Henderson, mine foreman, survived by wife and several children, resided at Ellsworth; head blown off.
(24) Frank Egon, aged 30, suffocated.
(25) George Ackers, negro, aged 30 years; leaves wife, formerly Miss Bennett of Centerville, death due to suffocation.
(26) Unidentified foreigner, disemboweled, leg broken, check number 179.
(27) John Joedsky, skull crushed; identified by check number.
(28) John Donesty, leg broken, death due to suffocation; identified by check.
(34) Alec Toorse, identified by check.
(36) Richard Ciatt, identified by check number. Wore diamond ring and gold ring.
(39) Sam Samtum.
(42) George Lannoss, head blown off. Identified by paper in pocket.
(44) Pat Donlin, identified to friends.
(45) Bunerain Asrey, identified by check.
(46) Henry Thompson, aged 48, married; leaves wife and 8 children; lived in Marianna.
(49) Alex Bosewitch, foreigner, identified by friend.
In addition to these there have been brought up 12 unidentified bodies.
Nov 30, 1908 The Washington Observer, Washington,
Washington County, Pa.
Yesterday in the local churches many of the pastors
referred to the disaster in their sermons and all of them offered most fervent
prayers for the breaved relatives of those who lost their lives. Many of
the prayers were touching in the extreme.
Monongahela to Raise Fund for Mine Sufferers
Monongahela, Nov. 29.--Monongahela will do its full share toward swelling the Marianna relief fund to be given for the families of the mine victims of Saturday.
A committee composed of Frank Colvin, Frank Wickerham
and Fred F. Cooper, has been appointed to receive and solicit funds and subscriptions
for the stricken residents of Marianna.
It is expected that funds raised in Monongahela
will do justice to a mining community where the full horror of a situation
such as that which faces Marianna's population is realized.
November 30, 1908
"It was just 10:15 when I stopped to inquire from
one of the bosses of the mine what time of day it was. I had been making
an inspection of the mine and had intended going further. It struck me that
it was pay day and that it would be a busy afternoon for the office force
and as I had some correspondence to do, I decided to go up and attend to
it before the afternoon. I took the cage which preceded the one taken by
Inspector Henry Loutitt. I had not been up more than five or ten minutes
when I heard the explosion and I knew that something terrible had happened
down that mine."
Superintendent Beeson was everywhere during the
afternoon and night. He was the first to descend the shaft. On one of his
trips he took a chill but kept on the job and directed the work of the rescue
during the night and the succeeding day.
Beeson has been the engineer for the Pittsburg-Buffalo
company for several years. He is a graduate of W. & J. college, class
of '97. His wife was Miss Harriett Reed, daughter of C.M. Reed, and she stood
during most of the afternoon with the throng of people outside the ropes
anxiously waiting for the news from the mine.
****** MONONGAHELA'S DEAD ARE HOME
Preparations Made for Burial of Marianna Mine Victims Who Resided in Monongahela--Were Well Known Men.
Monongahela, Nov. 29--When Monongahela's dead from the Marianna mine disaster Saturday, were brought home for burial the town was given an even fuller realization of the disaster. Preparations are being made for the funeral services over the remains of Henry Thompson who was blown into eternity as he descended into the Rachel shaft in the cage. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 o'clock from the home of his daughter, Mrs. Andrew Ross, of Carson street.
When news of the horror reached Monongahela it
was at first supposed that Ray and Emmett Forsythe, brothers and son-in-law
of Henry Thompson, were among its victims. Both had gone into the fated mine
that morning but just before the explosion shook the earth, they had returned
to the surface to secure tools and had not again entered the workings.
Henry Thompson was a well known and respected resident
of Monongahela and had the friendship resident of Monongahela and had the
friendship of hundreds in this town. he was aged 51 years and had since his
early youth followed mining as an occupation. Few mines are along this section
of the Monongahela valley that he had not entered while following his occupation.
He was a member of the city council from the First ward during 1903-09.
His wife and seven children survive as follows:
Mrs. Ray Forsythe, Mrs. Emmett Fosythe, Mrs. Frank Pettitt, Mrs. Andrew Ross,
Mary, Ruth and Harry, all of Monongahela. He was an attendant at the Methodist
Episcopal church. The widow and children are grief stricken.
The body of John Ivil, a nephew of President John
H. Jones, of the Pittsburg-Buffalo company, was brought to the home of the
young man's parents on Park avenue. The funeral will take place Tuesday and
the interment will be made in the Greenmount cemetery. John Ivil was aged
Word has been received that Clarence Williams,
aged 30 years, of Monongahela, is among the dead. He was an engineer in the
mine and was on the shift that entered the mine to meet death Saturday forenoon.
He had joined the engineer corps at the Marianna mine but six weeks ago.
Williams was aged 30 years. He was a very popular young man and a sincere
and energetic church worker, being a member of the Christian church of Monongahela.
He is survived by his parents and two brothers all of whom reside in Monongahela.
Although identification is practically impossible it is stated his body is
among those brought to the surface.
The foreigner who was brought to the Memorial hospital
suffering with injuries sustained while at work near the entrance to the
mine when the explosion occurred, died today and his body was claimed by
his brother who took the remains to his own home for burial.
Two brothers who were injured while on the surface
and are at the hospital here are believed to have a chance to recover. One
has a fractured thigh and the other is severely injured.
December 1, 1908
Every such disaster has its cause, and only too
often in the hurry and flurry to get coal out of the mine is the cause left
to ripen into greater danger by the willful negligence or greed on the part
of the management of those industries.
I have noticed those same dangerous causes left
to accumulate their awful power for weeks at a time, before being attended
to, or having anything done to minimize their indescribable danger.
Remember! They were ultimately attended to--which
proves that the danger we speak of was there. I have also seen this same
dangerous cause when aggravated by a lesser cause proclaim its ghastly and
hellborne power by blowing to eternity the lives of 114 miners--not leaving
a living soul in its death dealing madness.
Again on another of those fearful occurrences I
have seen those removable causes left untouched by those responsible for
their removal until the who country was again shocked by the frightful bulletins
that "Seventy miners had lost their lives in a fearful mine explosion."
Listen! You go and get a job at the mines in this
county--you are not asked the question, "Are you an experienced miner?" You
get a safety lamp! That suggests to the thoughtful, experienced miner, that
there is danger in these mines! You go down in the same cage with other miners
with open lights, and then you see when you get down there the electric motors
knocking blue flames from the wires. You are treading along in thoughtful
mood to your working place! There is something soft under your feet. It is
not mud, because if you happen to give it the slightest kick with your foot
it rises in a whirl like a speechless spectre, and wonders at your carelessness.
The swift current of air carries it off and it disappears like a spirit demon!
Before branching off to one of the more secluded entries where one works
with safety lamp you stop to investigate this soft feeling danger. It does
not take you long. the mule drivers come dashing past you with great torchlike
lights on their caps and whipping their mules into a trot in order to hurry
to the working places to get the loaded cars of coal. There is a cloud as
they pass, and you feel it in your throat, and you are then thoroughly convinced
that there is a dangerous accumulation of dust.
The two explosions referred to in this article
happened in Alabama and the writer helped to get the bodies from both mines.
The cause attributed to these disasters was (in the care of the Virginia
mines disaster in which 114 miners lost their lives,) a heavy windy shot
igniting the dust that was left to accumulate in the mine. When this mine
resumed operations after the explosion the company put on shot firers and
kept the dust down by sprinkling all entries and rooms where it was necessary.
The mine is now considered safe. The explosion which occurred at Yolande,
in Alabama, last December, was due to an excessive accumulation of dust with
a slight body of gas as the initial cause.
The chain machines used in the mines in this county,
and which have taken the place of the "puncher," are great dust makers. The
coal itself makes lots of dust; a fact which is easily discovered by looking
on the ground around where the tipples are built, and where coal is dumped
into the railroad cars.
The fact that in the Marianna disaster, the mine
inspector found no reason for a great explosion from gas and the gas well
in question surrounded by a 50-foot strata of coal--naturally leads one on
the dust theory--if we may call it a theory. Correspondents write that the
dust was blown for a great distance from the scene of the disaster and lay
there an "inch" deep. The dust in the mines in this county will have to be
watched and the mines kept clear of it before it can be considered safe for
miners to work in mines generating explosive gas.
A great number of English speaking miners deplore
the lamentable fact that the indiscriminate hiring of foreigners in the mines
of this state where explosive gases generate has a tendency (owing to their
carelessness and lack of knowledge of the dangers with which they are surrounded),
to jeopardize the lives of all the rest of the miners in the mine. I have
noticed that they deliberately violate rules asked to be observed by the
Small quantities of gas reported as generating
in the mines at Marianna could never have caused that terrific explosion
which robbed the poor wives and children of their lived ones and carried
so much gloom into the hearts of thousands of sympathizers, and wrecked the
great efforts of toil and study spent to make the Marianna mines the best
equipped in the world.
It is to be hoped that in the prosecution of coal
mining in this county, stricter vigilance will be the watchword and that
every thoughtful experienced miner will make himself an inspector and report
to the officials when he sees danger ahead.
December 1, 1908, pg. 1
David Thompson was suffocated in the Guffey mine
along with another miner about 15 years ago near West Newton. He and a companion
were found lying dead in an entry, having been suffocated. Alexander Thompson
was killed about 10 years ago in a mine at Monongahela, Pa.
Guy Thompson was employed at a sawmill attached
to the Klondike mine near Uniontown. He was caught in machinery while at
work about three years ago. One arm was torn from his body and, after walking
a short distance carrying the severed member, he fell dead.
The last brother to succumb was Henry D. Thompson,
who was blown out of the cage on Saturday morning, when the terrible explosion
took place at the Marianna mine. Four sisters survive the brothers.
He went to the mine as soon as the explosion was
made known but was compelled to return to Monongahela over Sunday to conduct
the services of his church.
**** December 1, 1908, pg. 1.
Canonsburg Man Gives Life For Love of Maiden
Marianna, Nov. 30.--Charles Mucklerat, of Canonsburg, sacrificed his life for the love of a Marianna maiden. Four weeks ago Mucklerat, who is 20 years old, visited his home. His parents tried to persuade him to remain. However, the girl he loved resides here, and he came back to the mines. He is numbered among the dead in Saturday's explosion.
John and Harry Bennington, 40 and 17 years old,
respectively, had returned to the mines only last week, after being idle
for six months. Both were killed.
*** Where Explosion Was Most Violent
Condition of Bodies Shows That Force Was Greatest at Entry between Two Shafts--Identification of the Dead.
Marianna, Nov. 30,--Among the bodies identified today were Senior Lee, Andy Ponn, John Gezzuni, Joe Matteson, Tim Rule, John Matoski, Phil Drenier, Mike Vale, Andy O'Ravich, Joe Holmes, August Silvestur, Thomas McDine. The latter was identified by a signet ring which he wore on his little finger. All of the other men were unidentified when taken to the morgue. Some of them had check number and will be identified by this means. Others were identified by friends at the morgue.
The condition of the bodies removed from the mines
this evening that the force of the explosion was felt more in the entry between
the two shafts that at any other part of the mine. Most of the dead brought
to the surface this evening were taken from the summit of the mine located
west of the two openings. Not a single man was brought from the depths who
was not badly burned.
Most of the men removed from this section of the
mine this evening had all of their clothes intact and were not mutilated
beyond the burning about the head and shoulders. One body was found in the
mine on Sunday morning which had been burning. The flesh was slowly cooking.
**** Fifteen-Year-Old Girl Loses Both Husband and
Marianna, Nov. 30,--A widow and an orphan at the age of 15 years, Pearl Austin, formerly Miss Pearl Beadling, of near Rices Landing has been one of the anxious waiters at the pit's mouth since the accident on Saturday.
Her husband and father are both in the mine and
as yet have not been identified. Miss Beadling and Mr. Austin were married
last October. She is almost distracted as the result of her grief.
***** BURIAL OF MINE VICTIMS.
President Jones Says Company Will Provide Ground.
Marianna, Nov. 30,--"We haven't considered the burial features," said President John H. Jones, of the Pittsburg-Buffalo company today. "We will do anything the relatives or friends of the victims designate. There are, I understand, one or two Catholic cemeteries near here large enough to hold the men of that creed. Possibly half of the dead men were foreigners and supposedly of the Catholic faith.
"However, if any wish we will gladly furnish land
for a cemetery. We will do anything in our power for any and all."
December 1, 1908, pg. 1
121 BODIES HAVE BEE BROUGHT UP FROM MARIANNA WORKINGS;
INQUEST TO BE HELD DECEMBER 10 At Least Six More Victims in Mine's Depths, But It Is Thought the Rescue Work Will Be Completed Today.
SOLE SURVIVOR HAS CHANCE FOR RECOVERY
Wife and Family Now on Ocean Coming to America--Chief Mine Inspector Will Make Thorough Investigation Today.
Marianna, Dec 1--12:05 a.m.--At this hour this morning 121 bodies have been removed from the ill fated shafts of the Pittsburg-Buffalo company.
At midnight the works were shut down and no more
bodies will be removed until daylight when the shifts will enter the mine
to complete their work in removing the bodies.
It is believed by the officials that the mines
will give up at least six more victims. When the mines were closed this morning
all of the available bodies had been brought out and those left are the stragglers, probably covered by debris, John H. Jones stated at midnight that he was positive that the rescue work would be completed today, including what bodies are covered by the falling timbers and debris. The rescue work was stopped in order that the men who had been working faithfully for upwards of 48 hours might get some rest.
Marianna, Nov. 30.--The inquest into the cause
of the terrible disaster which snuffed out the lives of the 121 men now removed
from the bowels of the earth will be held at Monongahela on Thursday, December
10, at 1 o'clock p.m. Coroner Sipe stated this evening that every detail
would be gone over and nothing would be left undone to locate if possible
the cause of the explosion.
Late this afternoon J. E. Roderick, chief state
mine inspector of Harrisburg, arrived on the scene in a special train. He
called together the mine inspectors of the various districts of this county
who were on the ground and after a short conversation left the works. He
will return tomorrow and with the mine inspectors, Young, Black and Louttit
will go into the mine and make a thorough inspection.
The directions in which the timbers were blown
will be taken into consideration in order that they might find out just where
the explosion occurred. The locations of the bodies were marked in hopes
that this might aid in locating the place of the explosion. The inspectors
have issued orders for nothing to be touched in the mines until after their
inspection. It is believed by the inspectors that the seat of the explosion
was near the main shaft or that of the Rachel mine. It is said that the smoke
issued from this opening first.
In speaking of the manner in which the rescue work
was carried on with the Jones men in charge State Inspector Roderick stated
that it was the best system he had seen anywhere in the state on similar
occasions. All of the Jones men have stayed with the work since the accident
with the exception of a few hours early this morning when they took a short
Not a trace of the effects of liquor has been seen
at the mines since the accident on Saturday. Hot coffee has been kept on
hand at all times and the men have been given plenty of this but no strong
drink. All persons visibly affected were sent from the grounds, but only
two of these were seen. One man was arrested at the morgue this evening for
being drunk. Perfect order has been kept about the mines at all times.
The morgue was the principal point of attraction
today as many of the wives, sweethearts and those who had brothers, fathers,
and friends in the mines flocked there to identify the dead. The morgue was
closed last night at 9 o'clock and opened at 9 o'clock this morning. The
harrowing scenes which are usually enacted at the shaft on similar occasions
were not in evidence at this catastrophe owing to the fact that the mining
town is new and many of the men who were employed in the shafts resided at
other places and had not brought their families here yet. Many of these people
arrived this morning.
When the morgue closed this evening about 25 bodies
had been removed. A large number of the others who were unknown when they
were brought from the mines were identified today, but were not removed owing
to the requirements of the coroner. A large corps of undertakers were present
and the bodies were present and the bodies were given excellent attention.
Many of the undertakers were Coroner Sipe's deputies from various sections
of the county. Two of his deputies were present today and assisted with the
work when the bodies were brought from the mines. Mr Sipe remained at his
post for a period of 58 hours without any sleep.
Fred Ellinger, the only man who escaped from the
mine alive and who was in a serious condition at the Monongahela hospital
last evening, is much better today. Dr. F. Floyd Cobb, the attending physician
stated this evening that the man would recover entirely unless some unknown
complications set in. Elinger's wife and four children were sent for some
time ago and only the day before the accident set sail for America. They
are now on the ocean and will not learn of the good fortune of the husband
and father until they reach the shores of the United States.
The opinion seems to be growing that the disaster
in the Marianna mine Saturday morning was caused by the explosion of a vein
of natural gas in the Pittsburg vein of coal. Superintendent A.D. Kightlinger,
of the Beallsville field of the Manufacturers Light and Heat company, who
is on the ground, informed your correspondent this afternoon that about one
year ago his company drilled a well on the Johns farm near Shaft No. 3, (Blanche).
In the Pittsburg vein of coal they encountered natural gas with such pressure
that a stream of water was thrown out of the hole for a week. Superintendent
Kightlinger remarked a few days ago to Pittsburg-Buffalo officials that is
such a gas pocket were encountered in the coal in the mine workings that
all the miners would be blown into eternity. Gas men here express the opinion
that such a pocket was uncovered on Saturday and that an explosion resulted.
The theory that gas from the Fulton well seeped through the coal and was
ignited has been abandoned. This well is cased with 10-inch casing for 20
feet below the coal vein. A casing 6 5/8 inches in diameter extends then
to 1,100 feet below the coal, while a 1 inch casing extends to the bottom
of the well. The top of the well is un-injured indicating that no explosion
from this source occurred.
A coal test hole was drilled some time ago on the
Mose Smith farm near here and since Mr. Smith has been supplying his home
with fuel from the well. The same conditions existed on the J.H. Shidler
farm some time ago.
The ninety-first body today had a horse tattooed
under one arm. The neck was broken. The corpse has not been identified but
the tattoo mark is expected to enable identification to be made. No. 92 was
Timothy Rule, an American, whose head, both arms and both legs were blown
Coroner W.H. Sipe met with a painful shock while
superintending the reception of the bodies from the mine. Late last night
when a mutilated corpse was laid on the boiler house floor the coroner was
surprised to find that it was the remains of Milt Eckenroad, an old schoolmate
and a lifelong friend.
The coroner also had another experience which he
does not relish. When he came to Marianna he had with him $102, of which
amount $100 was in two $50 bills. When he took charge of the morgue he placed
the money in an inside overcoat pocket and hung the garment in the boiler
house not 10 feet from where he was at work. This morning he found the inside
pocket of the overcoat turned inside out and the money missing. He had inadvertently
pulled the money out in the presence of several persons on Saturday evening
and one of these is supposed to have been the thief.
The Washington Observer Monday, November 30, 1908.
Today it tells of the greatest disaster in the
history of the county and one of the most remarkable in the history of coal
Remarkable because it occurred in a new mine planned
by the best engineering skill on scientific principles and equipped with
the most modern appliances to avoid just such a calamity as occurred.
A two day inspection by a trained official of 20
years experience had discovered nothing to cause apprehension and mining
experts are puzzled to account for the terrific explosion which blotted out
not less than 125 lives.
It is for these reasons that we speak of this disaster
as remarkable. Its occurrence but emphasizes the danger of the business of
mining soft gas coal, particularly where it is necessary to shaft for it
and that must be done in the greater part of Washington and Greene counties.
Two thoughts come to us as we consider this awful
calamity: how can similar disasters be guarded against in the future and
what is the duty of the community to those who are dependent on the men who
lost their lives?
First we must have laws providing for the most
complete and scientific study and investigation of the causes of these explosions,
we must have the most rigid inspection and thorough enforcement of every
statute designed to protect life and lastly we must punish with certainty
and severity every one, employer or employee, who violates the mining laws.
Familiarity breeds contempt and some men who are
in the constant presence of death are sometimes willing to take chances.
Sooner or later the man who takes chances meets
with trouble. And about providing for those who depended on the men whos
lives were snuffed out.
We read in the accounts of this dreadful disaster
of one woman, a widow, who hurried to the mine from Monongahela because three
of her sons were employed there: of another poor woman who on reaching the
mine and finding that her husband and two sons were entombed became violently
insane and had to be held to prevent her doing hurt to her own body; and
further that the foreman who was hurled from the shaft to instant death left
a wife and eight children.
These men gave their lives for humanity while doing
a part of the world's necessary work. Those dependent upon them should be
taken care of just as the widows and children of the old soldiers are provided
for by a grateful nation. This can be done without imposing a burden on the
community. A tax of one cent per ton on the coal produced in Pennsylvania
will raise $1,000,000 annually. That would be less than four cents upon each
hundred bushels which is as much as an average family will use in a year.
The tax will fall uniformly upon the consumers widely scattered through-out
the country. It would not be a burden to anyone. But the objection is made
that it would be socialistic in its tendency. If that be true then we believe
that more people have sympathy with some of the socialistic doctrines that
is commonly thought. Washington county has more coal of the Pittsburg vein
under its soil that any other county in the union possesses. Ninety-seven
per cent of its area is underlain by this best of all bituminous fuel. It
is to be the scene and the centre of the most extensive coal operations the
world has ever seen. The development is really only beginning. This is the
time to study the matter and decide what the duty of the community is toward
the unfortunate men injured in the mines and the dependent ones left by those
who lose their lives in such appalling disasters as that which occurred at
Marianna on Saturday.
*** November 30, 1908 The Washington Observer
Mine Disasters In Bituminous Field
Mine disasters in the great bituminous coal section of Western Pennsylvania have been of alarming frequency and this immediate district has been particularly afflicted in this respect. Following is a record of the most notable disasters of recent years: Johnston, July 11, 1902................112 killed
Braznell mine, near Brownsville, December 24, 1899 ... 20 killed.
Port Royal, Pa. 1900 .............. 21 killed.
Hill Farm Mine, Dunbar, Pa. November 21, 1903..12 killed.
Harwick, Pa., January 28, 1904....189 killed.
Naomi Mine, Bellevernon, Pa. December 1, 1907 ...34 killed.
Mongah Mine, Fairmont, W.Va. December 7, 1907...350 killed.
Darr Mine, Darr, Pa., December 19, 1907 ...200 killed.
Marianna Mine, Marianna, Pa. November 28, 1908...125 killed.
December 2, 1908
It was thought last night that the list would not
be increased when 124 had been removed but this morning 11 more bodies were
discovered. The number is now 10 above the estimate made by the company officials.
The search has not been discontinued. Some of the falls were explored today
and some few bodies found. The mine is in much better condition that the
officials expected to find it and it is not likely that many bodies will
be found under the falls. However, it is expected that bodies will be removed
from this charnel house occasionally for the next week.
J.E. Roderick, the chief state mine inspector,
of Harrisburg, was on the ground again today and directed that nothing in
the mine be disturbed until after the inspection is made. This inspection
will not be made, however, until next week.
The body of William Hopkins, who was employed as
fire boss at Marianna, was shipped last night to Houtzdale, where the interment
will be made. The body of John Ivill, Jr., was shipped this morning to Greenoak,
Where the funeral took place today.
The funeral of Mike Wickovick, who died at the
hospital Saturday afternoon, from injuries received at Marianna, took place
this afternoon. the interment was made at St. Mary's cemetery. ***
Marianna, Dec. 1.--At a late hour this evening
56 bodies which were identified had been removed from the morgue by friends
and relatives of the dead men. Several more bodies have been identified but
have not been claimed by relatives while several others have been identified
by relatives who will have the bodies removed tomorrow.
All of the bodies have been embalmed and are in
good condition with few exceptions. It was at first thought that a burying
ground would be opened on the property of the Pittsburg-Buffalo company and
those bodies which were not identified interred there. This was later given
up and the relatives are now taking the bodies to whatever cemetery they
wish and the Pittsburg-Buffalo company is paying all expenses. The men will
all be given a decent burial, much beyond the burial usually given the unidentified
miners on such an occasion.
The Pittsburg-Buffalo company purchased caskets
at wholesale for $65 each. If the friends are not satisfied with this casket
they are given the opportunity to have it changed for a better one and the
company will pay the difference in price. The company also directed the friends
and relatives to purchase lots in any cemetery and have the bill sent to
the company. So far all the relatives and friends have been satisfied with
the caskets and none has asked for more expensive ones.
Tomorrow a car load of bodies which have been identified
will be taken to Cokeburg, where the interment will be made. At that place
there is an Italian cemetery and today many graves were dug there. Other
bodies have been taken to Washington, Canonsburg, Monongahela, or to the
former homes of the miners.
Following is the official list of the bodies which
have been identified and removed from the morgue as given out late this evening
by the officials in charge:
John J. Ivill, aged 23; Owen Burns, aged 23; William
Hopkins, aged 38; Charles Tehaney, aged 40; John Beadling, aged 52; Alex.
Smith, aged 35; Robert Spence, aged 25; William Spence, aged 29; Jake Sizmiki;
Walter Eckenroad, aged 33; Samuel Sifton, aged 53; Joshua Madison, aged 38;
John Federal; George Tamalin; Charles France, aged 60; George Reno; Ira Lanndean;
Richard Piatt, aged 53; William Platt, aged 26; Francis Ferguson, aged 40;
John Zoskelicki, aged 27; Morris Rodier, aged 36; Joe Holmes, aged 26; Mike
Novenski, aged 42; Peter Arnold, aged 27; Mike Vale, aged 22; John Melozoski,
aged 44; Martin Stowaiga, aged 36; George Aikens, aged 39; Senior Lee, aged
45; Joe Folia, aged 33; Augustus Silvestus, aged 20; Thomas McDine, aged
24; Albert Smarta; john Zallnickik, aged 30; Steven Bernardney, aged 31;
John Evans, aged 45; Robert Crawford, aged 40; Charles Austin, Jr., aged
21; Allen Burlock, aged 27; Mike Evanns, aged 23; Alex. Behanna, aged 30;
William Thomas, aged 23; Mike Morris, aged 28; Mike Stevens, aged 22; John
Epinnichec, aged 21; Mike Stantobick, aged 25; Joe Sarkichika, aged 25; Phil
Trsaska, aged 24; Valentine Plasteuak, aged 27; Harry Miller, aged 16; Alfred
Mackin, aged 18; Arthur Beeves, aged 33; John Jacogika, aged 33.
Among the other bodies identifed and which were
not removed from the morgue this evening are:
Peter Hagas, Alex Borish, Charles Durblin, John Grina, Philip Bruno, William Drenier, John Matoske, Tim Rule, James Henderson, Domenick Quagliero, Frank Teberry, Frank Egon, Mike Lapine, Patrick Donlin, Buezanna Afrey, Alex. Bosiwich, Eigant Uszana, George Keeker, Peter Reinoelty, Joe Greisinger, Frank Ledoff, Steven Selakovic.
The bodies of the two men who were killed on the
outside of the works, Henry Thompson and James Joaaf, were taken to monongahela
the day of the esplosion and have been interred. Up to the present time upwards
os 100 bodies have been identified. ***
December 7, 1908
ILL-FATED MARIANNA MINE GIVES UP FIVE MORE BODIES
The Remains of Seven Other Victims of Awful Disaster Found Under Heap of Debris in Depths of Workings.
DEATH LIST IS NOW OVER 150
Work of Cleaning Out Shafts Pushed With All Possible haste Probable that Mine Will Resume First of Year.
Marianna, Dec. 6,--The ill-fated Marianna mine
continues to give up Its dead. Since Saturday morning five bodies have been
taken from the mine and it is stated on the authority of the engineer in
charge of the work, that there are still seven bodies in the workings.
The first of the five bodies brought to the surface
Saturday was that of an Italian. It has not yet been identified. This body
was brought to the surface Saturday morning. The bodies of the other four
victims were brought out during last night. They were taken to the morgue
this morning. The finding of these five bodies raises the total number of
fatalities to 144 and if there are seven more bodies in the mine the total
list of dead will be 151.
The first of the four bodies brought to the surface
last night was identified as that of James J. Roule. He was a resident of
Monongahela, was single and about 18 years of age. Through an oversight this
body was taken to Monongahela before being viewed by the coroner's jury.
It is probable that it will be brought back before burial.
The second body was that of Andy Kubacki. He was
married and lived at East Marianna. He leaves a wife and five children.
The fourth body taken out last night has not yet
The five bodies last taken out were found near the foot of Agnes shaft No. 2. They were so completely covered with debris that they could not be seen. They were found while the work of clearing out the passageway was in progress. It is stated that the seven bodies will be brought up to the surface tomorrow morning.
The bodies of 12 of the unidentified victims were
interred in the Scenery Hill cemetery, yesterday. Arrangements have been
made for the interment of 21 more of the bodies tomorrow.
The work of clearing out the shafts and getting
the mine in readiness for the resumption of work, goes on as rapidly as possible
under the circumstances. It is not thought likely that the mine will be ready
for operation before the first of the coming year.
A Curtain of Mystery Is Drawn Over Affairs at the
Stricken Marianna Mine.
The Coroner and the Company Officials Decline to Give Out Any Statements.
But It is Generally Thought That There Are From 15 to 18 Bodies Still in the Depths of Shafts.
RUMORED THAT REMAINS OF FIVE WERE QUIETLY REMOVED BEFORE DAYLIGHT
Marianna, Dec. 7, While no additional bodies were
brought to the morgue here today, the general belief prevails here that the
remains of at least 15 to 18 victims are still in the workings.
It is rumored, however, that five bodies were brought
out of the mine before daylight this morning, though no trace of the mean
can be found around the workings.
An air of mystery seems to pervade the region round
about the ill-fated Rachel and Agnes shafts. No longer is information volunteered
as to conditions in the mine on the part of the workmen in charge. Coroner
W.H. Sipe is no longer communicative and it is really difficult to learn
anything about what is being done.
Some days ago officials of the company gave out
the death list as 138. It has gradually grown since that time until now it
is practically certain that the list will overreach 150 and perhaps greatly
exceed that number.
Undertaker Barr, who has been on the scene since
the day of the explosion stated today that he had not the least doubt that
there were 15 to 18 bodies still in the shaft.
Since the body of James Roule was taken out and
was permitted to be removed before it was viewed by the coroner's jury the
suspicion has arisen that possibly other bodies have been thus quietly taken
Canonsburg, Dec. 7,--The bodies of two more of
the Marianna mine explosion victims were brought to Canonsburg at noon today
for interment. These were the bodies of Albert Vuek, white aged 35, and Andy
Kubacki, also white, aged 40. Both were Slava, and their remains were discovered
in the ill-fated mine Saturday night. they were identified without difficulty.
The remains upon their arrival here were taken
to the undertaking rooms of W.H. McNary, and later where removed to the Polish-Catholic
church in East College street, where funeral services were conducted by Paul
Urban, pastor of the church. The interment was made in the Polish-Slavish
cemetery in Alexander place. Both men had worked at Meadowlands before going
to Marianna a few weeks ago.
Eva Wnek Steffanik
Mrs Eva Wnek Stefanik, 84, of Marianna, died Thursday, January 24, 1963, in Washington Hospital.
She was born in Poland Dec. 24, 1878 and came to
the United States in 1902. Since 1907, she lived in Marianna, except for
the past year, when she lived with a daughter at Cokeburg. She was a member
of the National Slovak Society No. 631.
She was twice married. Her first husband, Albert
Wnek, was killed in The Marianna mine explosion in 1908, and her second husband,
Joseph Stefanik, died in 1949.
Surviving are one son, John A. Wnek, Benwood, W.Va.;
three daughters, Mrs. Marie Ellis, California State; Mrs. Pauline Semenic,
Cleveland, Ohio, and Mrs Stella Sabolsky, Marianna; 19 grandchildren, 43
great-grandchildren, three step sons and four step-daughters. A daughter,
Thelma Silvers, died in 1962.
STEFANIK--Friends of Mrs. Eva Wnek Stefanik, Marianna,
who died Thursday, Jan. 24, 1963, will be received at the John H. Shrontz
Funeral Home, Marianna. A prayer service will be held there Monday, Jan.
28, at 8:30 a.m. followed by requiem mass at 9 a.m. at St. Mary and Ann R.C.
Church, in charge of Rev. A.J. Milcic. Burial in Horn Cemetery.