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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
History & Genealogy

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Coal Mining Disasters in Illinois
1900 to 1910
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List of Illinois Coal Mine Disasters Reference Sources

Windy Shot Explosion
      October 13, 1902, an explosion caused by a "windy shot" occurred in Victor Coal Company's mine, Pawnee, Sangamon County, in which three lives were lost. Two shots had been fired at the same time, about 4 o'clock p. m., which evidently produced the explosion, as the shots striking each other at right angles caused the gas to ignite from the flames. Five stoppings between the entries were blown out, permitting the expansion of the blast at the face of the entries, which was a very fortunate thing, as most of the miners had congregated at the bottom of the hoisting shaft, waiting to be taken out. This blowing out of the stoppings, giving vent to the flames and force of the explosion, no doubt saved the lives of the men congregated at the shaft bottom.
 
1903 Annual Coal Report 3
Explosions in Mines During the Year.
      The explosion occurred at the mine of the Victor Coal company, Pawnee, Sangamon county, Oct. 13, 1902, at firing time, about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, whereby two men and a boy lost their lives.
      The explosion was in room 17 of the first east entry on the south side of the shaft; the room, at the face, was 27 feet wide extending 97 feet back from the entry. The entrance to room 17, was 1,336 feet from the hoisting shaft, 160 feet from the face of the entry, and 750 feet from the air shaft.
      The fan was blowing air down the air shaft at the time of the explosion at the rate of about 28,400 cubic feet per minute, and this quantity of air was passing the mouth of room 17.
      A large shot had been fired on the right hand side of this room, the shot was 7 feet wide at the heel and 9 feet wide at the toe; the drill hole was 8 feet deep. This was an unusually large shot, consequently there must have been a very large quantity of powder used in preparing the blast. On examination after the explosion the coal was found to be cracked on the rib also at the drill hole, and slightly cracked at the back of the shot, but the coal was not dislodged.
      About 33 feet back from the face of room 17 a cross-cut was being driven to the right to connect with room 18, however, this room had fallen in; the cross-cut was being driven to strike the face of room 18.
      A second shot had been fired about the same time on the right hand side of this cross cut, this shot had blown its tamping; it had been drilled into the solid and there was no chance for it to dislodge the coal. About 14 inches was blown off the face at the hole; the shot also blew through into room 18, a distance of 16 feet.
      These two heavy shots going off at about the same time evidently produced the explosion, and both shots striking each other at right angles, caused the carbonic oxide gases from the shots to ignite from the flames. The burning vapor issued out of the room, and along the first and second entries. Two cross cuts were open at the face of these entries; five stoppings between the entries were blown down, which was a very fortunate occurrence, as it permitted the expanding of the blast at the face of the entries.
      The concussion was felt very heavily at the bottom of the hoisting shaft; most of the miners were congregated there waiting to be hoisted to the surface, and unmistakably the blowing out of the stoppings gave vent to the flames, and force of the explosion, otherwise the blast would certainly have killed most of the men congregated at the bottom of the hoisting shaft.
      W. D. Overcash, who fired the shot in room 17 was found dead about 300 feet back from the entrance to this room; his body was severely burned and bruised.
      Michael Yoji was found dead in the second east entry, presumably had been suffocated by the after damp.
      The boy, Frank Isaacs, was found at his trap door, 950 feet from the entrance into room 17; this door was on the first east entry on the north side of the shaft; it seems that the boy had been in the act of opening the door to let a trip pass through, and that the force of the explosion caught the door and crushed his body between the door and the post of the door frame; his body was so bruised that he died shortly afterwards.

Explosion
1903 Annual Coal Report 3
Explosions in Mines During the Year.
      The explosion was in the Auburn and Alton Coal company's mine, at Auburn, Saugamon county. This explosion occurred Feb. 25, 1903, at 15 minutes to 7:00 o'clock, p. m., and resulted in the killing of two shot firers Matt Donelly, and Thomas McLaughlin, and one driver Walter Davis, six mules were also killed. The explosion took place in the second working room, on the second south entry. This room was very dry and dusty; two large blasts had been fired in this room; one on the right hand side in the lower part of the coal seam , and the other in the top coal , that had been left up and back from the working face. Both of these shots had been largely overcharged with powder, and must have been fired almost simultaneously, as the blown coal was nearly all reduced to slack or flue coal.
      The carbonic oxide gases given off by these shots, took fire from the flame of the shots; the force of the blast raising the fine dry coal dust in the room, and with the dust from the shots, which also ignited, greatly intensifying the explosion.
      The flame from these blasts passed through a cross cut into the room adjoining where other shots had been previously fired; the gases from these shots also took fire, which, with the force of the explosions and flame?, passed out into the entry. Near the mouth of the room, in which the explosion took place, and on the entry, a box containing powder, was blown to pieces, the powder exploding greatly increased the force of the blast. Two mine ears standing on the entry were blown to pieces. The fan was blowing a direct current of air down the air shaft; about 16,000 cubic feet per minute was passing in the flrst and second south entries; the force of the blast went against this current of air, and forced the doors off of the top of the air shaft; fortunately however, the fan was located back from the air shaft and was not damaged. The flames following the explosion passed out on the return entry for a distance of 600 feet, the bodies of the two shot firers, Mathew Donelly and Thomas McLaughlin, and the driver, Walter Davis, were found at this point.

Powder Explosion
1903 Annual Coal Report 3
Powder Explosion at Athens.
      In company with Richard Newsam, president of the State Mining Board, G. R. Charlton, Menard county mine inspector, Thomas Hannah, former county mine inspector, with John Garrity, mine manager and Moses Cooper, mine examiner of the Athens Coal company's mine, I made an inspection of the mine, operated by the Athens Coal Mining company, in which six miners lost their lives on the morning of March 23, 1903, by an explosion of powder. Mr. Newsam and myself were the first to arrive at the face of the workings, where the men were killed.
      Our investigation there showed that six shots had been fired in the tenth south entry, also in a crosscut, which was being made between the ninth and tenth south entries; the latter from the tenth south entry side. Three shots had been fired in the tenth south entry and three in the cross-cut. One shot in the cross-cut had blown through into the ninth south entry.
      From the testimony given by Mr. Westton it was learned that this particular shot in the cross cut had been prepared on Friday, March 20, three days previous to the explosion; that he, Westton, had assisted Fred Impkey, one of the killed, to charge and tamp this shot, Friday night, and had left Impkey to fire it, and he supposed Impkey did fire it at that time. This shot in the cross cut had been drilled to within a few inches of being through into the ninth south entry; the length of the drill hole was 7½, feet; the shot did not blow the tamping, and enabled us to measure the length of the hole, which had contained powder, also to measure the length of the tamping, and make an estimate of the amount of powder which had been used in preparing this shot.
      As stated the drill hole was 7½ feet long; there was 16 inches of tamping left in the holes, this we drilled out, leaving 6 feet of the drill hole, which had been filled with blasting powder. Allowing that 1 cubic foot of powder will weigh 62.5 pounds, we would have contained in this drill hole, which was 6 feet in length and 2¾ inches in diameter, 14.2 pounds of blasting powder. Assuming the foregoing as a basis in estimating the amount of powder used in the five shots that were fired the morning of the explosion, we would have in "dead drill holes" alone 12½ feet. The cubical contents of these drill holes would be 825 cubic inches, and would contain 29 pounds of blasting powder.
      However, taking into consideration the length of the drill holes as measured, it was found that the drill holes on the left hand rib of the tenth south entry was 6½ feet long, and that the one on the right hand rib of the same entry was 7 feet long, while the one in the center of the rib showed 3½ feet of dead hole. The drill hole on the left hand rib of the cross-cut was 6½, feet long, and the one in the center 2½ feet dead. Therefore the conclusion is reached, after very careful measurements and calculations, that there must have been fully one and one-half kegs or 37 pounds of powder used and exploded in firing these five shots.
      In addition to the powder exploded in these shots, as described, a portion of a keg of powder had been left on the tenth south entry, about 70 feet from the face of the entry; this would increase the quantity to fully 50 pounds of powder exploded in the tenth south entry. This entry was only 7½ feet wide and 6 feet high; the cross cut was 6½ feet wide and 6 feet high. There was of course a lack of room for the rapid expansion and dissipation of the heat produced by the firing of these tight shots. The force of the powder was expended in creating velocity and the velocity thus created put in motion the smoke or carbonic oxide gas produced by the incomplete combustion of the powder, consequently carrying the flame a long distance, which, in this instance was from 500 to 600 feet. It was found that gas had settled in the ninth south entry, beyond the last cross cut, but none was found at any other place. In the last named entry there was very little indications of an explosion. In the tenth south entry was found every indication to justify the forming of an opinion that the explosion was caused by the shot fired in this entry.
      Six miners were killed by the explosion:
Fred Impkey, Ed Corndorf , David Myers, August Neal, John Radquneski and James Patrick.

Blast Explosion
1903 Annual Coal Report 3
Blast Explosion - March 31, 1903
      This explosion occurred in the mine of the Sandoval Coal Co., at Sandoval, Marion county, March 31, 1903, killing eight men. The explosion originated in the 5th west entry; the hole had been drilled, charged and fired by the night shift. When the shot was fired the tamping was blown out without bringing down any coal. John Gichino, one of the victims of this explosion, was on the day shift and was told by his partner about the shot; Gichino then drilled the hole deeper, making it six feet and seven inches in depth. The hole was charged almost full of powder, as a cartridge 12 inches in length was found in the cross-cut. It was estimated that nearly 12 pounds of powder was used in this shot, and it was charged in the solid coal. When the shot was fired it blew out the tamping and caused the explosion. The force of this shot did not make a crack in the coal. When it is considered that the potential energy of one pound of powder is equal to 480-foot tons, it can readily be understood the force and destruction that would follow the exploding of ten or 12 pounds of powder when fired out of a hole facing a roadway. All the men killed and injured by this shot were on the entry, in direct line of the force from the shot, which accounts for the large number killed; most of the men killed were on their way to the bottom of the shaft. Three of the men killed were sitting at the entrance of the entry where the explosion occurred, the stoppings on each side of the trap door were blown on to them, killing one instantly, one lived two hours, the other eight days; five were brought out dead. Three drivers were severely injured by this explosion, losing three months' time. Suits were entered against the company for damages, aggregating $69,000, but agreements having been made all suits were withdrawn.
Plat of Sandoval Mine
      The eight men losing their lives were:
John Bartels, Joe Bianco, Frank Dairo, John Gichino, L. F. Lemay, Charles Lewis, Albert Newhouse, Henry Newhouse

Powder Explosion
      On May 11, 1904, occurred a terrific explosion of powder in the mine of the Big Muddy Coal and Iron Company, Herrin, Williamson County, which resulted in the death of ten men and the serious injury of twelve others. The cause of this explosion is not fully known, but it would seem that proper precaution had not been taken in sending powder into the mine, and the driver of the car containing six kegs ran into a live wire which was down, and the powder became ignited.
1904 Annual Coal Report 4
Fatal Accidents
      May 11, 1904. This date records the terrible explosion of powder in the mine of the Big Muddy Coal & Iron company, Herrin, Williamson county. Four men were instantly killed as follows: Richard Raines, driver, aged 34 years, married, leaves a widow and two children; John Miller, driver, aged 22 years, single; Fred Selberg, pumpman, aged 24 years, married, leaves a widow and one child; Evan Williams, driver, aged 21 years, single. Eighteen other employes were more or less severely injured by this explosion. six of whom died as follows: May 16, Sherid Busch, miner, aged 29 years, married, leaves a widow and four children; John Swafford, miner, aged 40 years, married, leaves a widow and four children; Carlo Lualdi, miner, aged 29 years, single; May 25, Thomas Green, driver, aged 36 years, married, leaves a widow and three children; Louis Branco, miner, aged 29 years, married, leaves a widow and two children, and May 26, William Stagner, miner, aged 24 years, married, leaves a widow. In addition to the ten men here enumerated as meeting death by this explosion, 12 others were so severely injured that they were not able to return to work July 1. 1904.
      In explanation of the causes leading up to this explosion, it would seem that there was a lack of proper precaution in sending powder into the mine. It was the custom at this mine, up to the time of the explosion, for a driver to take the powder that was to be used by the men in the mine, into the mine in the mine cars and deliver it to the miners, a limited time being given the driver to reach the inside workings before turning on the electric current. On this fatal morning a driver started with six kegs of powder in his car; with him were one or two other drivers. It is supposed that the car ran into the wire, which was down: the cause of the explosion, however, can only be conjectured . as the drivers who were in the car were instantly killed. It is understood that the company at once took up the matter of damages with the widows and other representatives of the men who were killed or injured and have made liberal settlements with all with one exception.

Blownout Shot
      On December 9, 1904, four men were killed as a result of a blownout shot in the mine of the Eldorado Coal Company, Eldorado, Saline County.
Owing to the fact that the inspector of this district, William Atkinson, lost his life the following April in the explosion at Zeigler, a detailed report of this accident was not made to this office - hence only a mention of the fact can be recorded here.
1904 Annual Coal Report 4 - Fatal Accidents -     The four men are:
Chas. Carpenter, Weed Wilson, Si. Bourland, John Hine

Fire
      January 16, 1905, shortly after noon, a fire broke out in No. 1 mine of the Decatur Coal Company, Decatur, Macon County, which resulted in the death of six men. The fire was discovered in the mule stable and undoubtedly was caused by sparks from a pipe or a partially consumed cigarette. At the time the fire was discovered, about 60 men were in the mine, but by the prompt action of the mine manager in sending runners to give warning, all escaped but the six unfortunates referred to above. The alarm was immediately sent to the city fire department, which responded promptly, but, owing to the location of the fire so far underground, considerable time was consumed in preparing to reach it. By hard work, the fire was brought under control, several men were rescued and all the bodies recovered.
1905 Annual Coal Report 5
Mine Fire.
      January 16, 1905, shortly after noon, a fire broke out in mine No. 1 of the Decatur Coal Co.. Decatur, Macon county, which resulted in the death of six men as follows: August Yagusch, miner aged 51 years; Charles Lachinski, driver, aged 35 years; Emil Knorr, miner aged 17 years; William Fagan, driver, aged 20 years; William Gollan, miner, aged 50 years; Paul Gollan, miner, aged 17 years; and endangering the lives of seven others, namely, John Dunn, Martin Cullen, Fred Knorr, William Kastner, Thomas Fagan, John Pride and August Rex, all of whom were cut off from escape by the fire: all of the other men working in the mine at the time, about sixty, escaped safely out of the workings.
      The fire was discovered in the first north entry in the stable used to feed the mules, the stable being located about 2,100 feet from the bottom of the hoisting shaft. The mule feeder. Mr. Williams, went into that part of the mine about 1:50 o'clock P. M.. and finding the fire attempted to extinguish it, but failing to do so, gave the alarm; Thomas Clark, mine manager, came to Williams' assistance and realizing the danger he at once sent runners around the mine to warn the men, and notify them to get out as soon as possible: all of the men escaped excepting those already named. On the first discovery of the fire, mine manager Clark also sent an alarm to the city fire department, which responded promptly, but, owing to the location of the fire so far underground, considerable time was consumed in preparing to get to the fire. A line of hose was connected to the nearest hydrant and carried to the shaft, a distance of seven hundred feet, and six hundred feet down the shaft, then inside twenty-one hundred feet to the fire, a total distance of thirty-four hundred feet. After several breaks in the hose, from the pressure due to the depth of the shaft in addition to the pressure from the pumps, the water was thrown on to the fire, and bringing the flames practically under control about six o'oclock P. M. At this time John Dunn, Martin Cullen, Fred Knorr. William Castner and Thomas Fagen, who were among the missing, came out of the first east entry and reported that the body of Lachinski was lying a few feet back in the entry, or about 50 feet from the fire; the body was at once secured and removed to the surface. About three o'clock the next morning John Pride another of the missing men came out at the main east entry and reported that August Rex was in room No. 43 on the first south entry, off of the first east and that he was still alive; a rescuing party went to the place indicated and brought Rex out, who was in a very bad condition, but was finally resuscitated and taken to the hospital. It is supposed that he will fully recover.
      The bodies of William Gollan and Emil Knorr were found at the same place where Rex was found. This point is about twenty-seven hundred feet from the fire; search was then made for the other missing men. and the body of August Yagusch was found on the first east entry, about nineteen hundred feet from the fire: the bodies of William Fagan and Paul Gollan were not discovered until about 10:00 o'clock a. m. January 17, for the reason that both men had gotten off of the open road and into the third east entry which had been abandoned: when these bodies were found, they were only about two hundred and fifty feet from where the fire was first located. William Crank shaw was in the mine at this time and assisted in the recovery of these two bodies.
      William Fagan and Charles Lachiniski were drivers and had been sent to warn the men, as they were both familiar with the mine, they would no doubt have gotten out safely if they had followed the face of the workings, but from the location of their bodies when found, they evidently had tried to get out on the roads on which they hauled coal, the one on the first north entry and the other on the first east were both cut off by the fire, as it was located at the intersection of these two entries.
      The fire was undoubtedly caused by sparks from a pipe or a partially consumed cigarette. probably the latter, as the drivers were said to be addicted to the use of cigarettes. The damage to the mine is only trifling, consisting of the burning of the timbers in the stables and six mules which were suffocated by the smoke.
Since this report was submitted the following account, taken from the "Labor World," published at Decatur, in its issue of Oct. 27, 1905, gives in detail the settlements made by the company in consequence of the foregoing deaths.
      "All of the cases against the Decatur Coal Company, which resulted from the disaster in the mine last winter, Jan. 16, 1905, have been settled. Five cases were settled for $13,500. The Fagan case was settled through the administrator appointed by the county court a few days since, $2,500 being paid the family. The father of Fagan was for many years pit boss in the mine and he is now stricken and helpless and more was given the Fagan family than the other families, where an unmarried man was killed.
      Several days ago the case for damages for the death of Emil Knorr was tried. The jury disagreed as to the amount of damages, but it was known that all were in favor of giving damages.
      Wednesday the cases of Bertha Lachiniski. as administratrix of the estate of Charles Lachiniski, came up. The trial was started but before it was finished a compromise was reached in this, and in all other cases. In each judgment was entered formerly in court and the jury was instructed to return a verdict which was done in each case. The amounts paid were as follows: For the death of Charles Lachiniski. $3,000: for the death of William Gollan. $3,000: for the death of Paul Gollan, $3,000; for the death of Emil Knoor, $3,000; for the death of August Yagusch. $3,000. In the cases where the men were married, $3,000, and the families of the unmarried men were given $2,000. The costs were also paid by the coal company and this made a total of $13,500, together with the $2,500 paid the Fagan family, $16,000 all told."

Explosion
      At 7:10 a. m., April 3, 1905, a violent explosion occurred in the Zeigler Coal Company mine, Zeigler, Franklin County. Forty-eight men were reported killed from the explosion and three asphyxiated during attempted rescue work. William Atkinson, the State Mine Inspector of this the seventh district, was called at once from his home in Murphysboro. Upon arriving below on the improvised sinking tub, two men were requested from the group working on the shaft bottom, busy then in the hoisting of bodies, to accompany him in his examination. These are the three, state inspector, mine examiner and miner, that died from afterdamp not far from the shaft bottom.
      The mine was very new. No. 1 room on one of the first panels, when worked to its boundary, was used to store black powder. This, if not the origin of the explosion, added materially to the explosion force. Many fires resulted.
      The fan had stopped and men were called out. However, a few worked at underground repair work, depending upon air from three air compressors. While this may have been adequate for the breathing of the 48 men and five mules in the mine, it is not possible to have been adequate with regard to gas.
      Immediately after being informed of the explosion, Governor Deneen summoned the state inspectors and the members of the Mining Board, and requested them to proceed at once to Zeigler, make a careful and thorough examination of the premises and cause of the explosion, and report their findings to him. After making two visits, this commission submitted its report. In order to fully ascertain all the facts, the Governor, a few days later, delegated James Taylor, of Peoria, and John G. Massie, of Belleville, men of ability and long experience in mining affairs, to supplement the work of the others, each to make a separate investigation and report. The reports made by the different investigators are substantially the same and all agree in attributing the cause of the disaster to an explosion of gas.
1905 Annual Coal Report 5
The Disaster at Zeigler
      William Atkinson, district mine inspector; John Graham, mine examiner; and John Lindsey, miner;died in the mine on the evening of the same day, from the effects of after-damp, while engaged in the work of rescue.
 
Fatal Accidents
      Owing to the death of State Inspector Atkinson the detailed circumstances leading up to the causes of these fatalities are not as complete as is usually reported to the Bureau by the State inspectors. However, the Zeigler Coal Company has reported direct to the Bureau a carefully prepared list of the names of the killed by the explosion April 3, 1905, giving all the information possible to be obtained as to the nativity, residence and conjugal relationship of each man killed. Of the forty-nine men employed at the Zeigler mine losing their lives by this calamity, the bodies of forty-one were recovered and identified, while eight are reported as missing, or their remains, if found. unrecognizable, therefore unidentified. The bodies of thirty of these unfortunates, identified, were buried at Zeigler. while eleven bodies were shipped to other places for burial. The occupation of the forty-nine killed or missing, forty-six have been given in the table following as that of miner, as no report was made as to their occupation, the ages were not ascertained; the place of burial, nativity, and the conjugal and family relationship so far as could be discovered, are given as follows:
 
Aured, C. O., buried at Zeigler, father living, no other near relatives known.
 
Baxter, William, mine manager, was buried at Ladd, Illinois, leaving a widow and one child, a daughter.
 
Baxter, William A., buried at Ladd, Illinois, leaving a widow.
 
Babincak, Mike, buried at Zeigler. leaving a widow and two children in Maltza. Hungary. Austria.
 
Babincak. Paul, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and three children in Maltza, Hungary. Austria.
 
Brunlick, Gustaff, buried at Zeigler. leaving a father and mother, possibly also brothers and sisters.
 
Campbell, Rolla, buried at the Harrison Cemetery, leaving a widow, no children, at Christopher. Illinois.
 
Davis. Robert T., single, buried at Coulterville, leaving parents and one brother.
 
Dombay, Ivan, single, buried at Zeigler, native of Nagy Kanisa, Hungary, leaving a brother in New Washington, Pennsylvania.
 
Dudas, Emerick, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and one child in Maltza, Hungary.
 
Dudas, John, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and three children in Maltza, Hungary.
 
Fedorka, Jonas, buried at Ziegler, leaving a widow and three children, address unknown.
 
Geisler, Joseph, single, buried at Zeigler. leaving mother and brothers and sisters, residence of family unknown.
 
Graham. John, mine examiner, was one of the rescuing party, and was overcome by after-damp. He was buried at Zeigler, relatives, if any, unknown.
 
Hare, Robert, buried at Greensburg, Penn., leaving a widow.
 
Haydukovic, Valent, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and four children in Carola Croatia. Hungary.
 
Jankowich. Peter, buried at Zeigler. leaving a widow, previously deserted, residence unknown, also a cousin in Philadelphia, Penn.
 
Jones, Everett, single, buried at Mulkeytown, Illinois, the home of his parents. Koski, Capi., buried at Zeigler.
 
Koski, John, buried at Zeigler. nothing known of the relatives of these two men.
 
Kostick, Andrew, buried at Zeigler. leaving a widow and one child in Berek, St. Miklos county, Hungary.
 
Kostick, Frank, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and one child at the same address as the one previous.
 
Kowach, B., buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and three children at Mandock. Hungary.
 
Kowachich, Ivan, single, buried at Zeigler, relatives at Nagy, Kanisa, Hungary.
 
Lindsey, John, one of the rescuing party, was overcome by the after-damp, was buried at Mulkeytown. Illinois. Nothing given as to family.
 
Lovrek, Mike, single, Austrian, buried at Zeigler; relatives unknown.
 
McKenzie, Andrew, buried at Zeigler, leaving brothers and a sister.
 
McKenzie, William, biured at Zeigler, leaving a widow and four children; location not given.
 
Macky, Oscar, buried at Zeigler, single, relatives unknown.
 
Moretti, David, buried at Zeigler, single, cousin. 623 N. 6th St., St. Louis, Mo. Parents in Milan. Italy.
 
Perryman, Frank, buried at Zeigler, deserted wife in Jackson, Miss, seven years ago. relative of Dr. Stam, Holly Springs, Miss.
 
Rayburn, James, buried at Carterville, leaving widow and one child at that place.
 
Rabby, A., buried at Zeigler, leaving widow residing at Witnyed, county Sopron, Hungary.
 
Robinson, C. B., buried at Crawfordsville. Indiana, leaves a widow at that place.
 
Sabolich, Steve, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and two children in Godala, Croatia. Hungary.
 
Semivan, Louis, buried at Zeigler, leaving a widow and two children in Nagy, Kanisa, Hungary.
 
Sloh, Joseph, buried at Zeigler, single, an Austrian-Pole, relatives in that country.
 
Tinan, David, buried at Zeigler. single, leaves a brother and sister, residence unknown.
 
Vinar, George, buried at Zeigler. single, relatives living in Pothering county, Porek, Hungary.
 
Withrow, H. M., buried at Newton Upper Falls, Mass., leaving brother and sister at that place.
 
Wood, J. O., was killed while working in the tower for a Construction Company, was buried at Cleveland, Ohio: nothing known of relatives.
 
 
The bodies of the following eight men were not recovered or were not identified:
 
Canfield, Mike, leaves a widow and six children, who will remove to Sheffield, Illinois.
 
Ipsan, Stif., leaves a widow and two children in Velika Croriza. Croatia, Hungary.
 
Maros, John, single, home same as preceding.
 
Mikesie, T., leaves a widow, whereabouts unknown, native .of Croatia, Hungary.
 
Nolan, J. T., leaves a mother.
 
Rashance, Mike, leaves a widow and one child in Torchich, Croatia. Hungary.
 
Roper, John, leaves a widow and four children in Chisholm, Minnesota, where he owned property.
 
Suke, Mike, single, so far as known, a native of Austria.
 
William Atkinson, State Inspector of Mines for the Seventh District, whose home was at Murphysboro, led the first rescuing party to enter the mine, and was soon overcome by gas or after-damp.

Accident
      December 22, 1906, a very deplorable accident occurred at the Breese-Trenton Mining Company's mine, Breese, Clinton County. Six men got on the cage to go to their working places to begin the day's work when, from some cause not given, the cage fell down the shaft 300 feet, killing all the men almost instantly, breaking legs, arms, and crushing their bodies in a horrible manner.
 
1907 Annual Coal Report6
December 22, 1906. Accident
      A very deplorable accident occurred at the Breese Trenton Mining Compnay's mine at Breese, Clinton county, Saturday morning, December 22, 1906, whereby six men lost their lives when descending on the cage to their working places. All of the men were miners. The cage fell down the shaft 300 feet, killing all of the men almost instantly, breaking legs, arms and crushing their bodies horribly. The unfortunate men were: August Foppe, Nay Middeke, Frank Zeherer, New Holtman, Walter Schaffner, Herman Schelper.

Powder Explosion
      On the morning of January 29, 1907, an explosion of thirty kegs of powder in the mine of the Johnston City Big Muddy Coal and Mining Company, Johnston City, Williamson County, resulted in the death of seven men. The cause of the explosion, in the opinion of the State Inspector, was due to the rough handling of the powder by the men while unloading it from the car and placing it at convenient points where the drivers would pick it up and distribute it to different places in the mine. The majority of those killed were leaving the bottom, on foot, to go to their working places.
 
1907 Annual Coal Report6 - Fatal Accidents
      The seven following accidents were caused by the explosion of thirty kegs of powder in the mine of the Johnson City & Big Muddy Coal & Mining Company, located at Johnston City, Williamson county, at about 11:30 a. m., January 29, 1907.
      The practice of handling powder and delivering it at the mine was as follows: The miners order the powder at the office, these orders are given to the teamster, who hauls the powder from the powder house and delivers it at the top of the shaft; the powder is then loaded into a mine car and sent down the shaft; from the bottom of the shaft the powder is taken north 120 feet where the main east and west entries are turned off of the north entry. Three men were employed at the time of the explosion, unloading the powder from the mine car and placing it north of the tracks for distribution; one of these men was in the car handing the powder to another man outside of the car; this man then passed the kegs to the third man to be placed where the different drivers would get the powder, at this ponit. and take it into the miners who had ordered powder for that day. I am of the opinion that the explosion was due to the rough handling of the kegs of powder when taken from the mine car and to where the powder is placed, which is 12 feet from the car and 6 feet 6 inches from the north rail. There was no coal dust nor fire damp near the point of the explosion; Frank Meagher was handing the kegs of powder out of the car to Jess Davis, Davis in turns handing the kegs to Martin Lawry, who was placing them in the place as described.
      Following are the names, ages, occupation, etc., of the seven men:
 
George Patterson, bottom laborer, aged 26 years, single, living at Johnston City, died at 11:00 p. m., January 30, 1907.
 
Martin Lawry, driver, aged 25 years, married, living at Johnston City, died at 10:00 p. m., January 29, 1907 and leaves a widow and one child.
 
Jess Davis, driver, aged 25 years, married, living at Johnston City, died at 3:30 p. m., January 29, 1907 and leaves a widow and one child.
 
Romulus Fenrenboker, driver, aged 20 years, single, living at Johnston City, was instantly killed.
 
Claus Morse, cager, aged 46 years, widower, living at Galatia, died January 31, 1907, leaving one child.
 
Phelix Toner, bottom laborer, aged 27 years, married, living at Murphysboro, died at 9:00 p. m., January 29, 1907 and leaves a widow and one child.
 
Frank Meager, flagman, aged 17 years, single, living at Johnston City, died at 4:00 p. m., January 29, 1907.

Gas Explosion
      September 7, 1907, an explosion of gas occurred in No. 11 mine of the Dering Coal Company, West Frankfort, Franklin County. The night shift was putting in a stopping to close a body of gas; the stopping was nearly completed, causing the gas to back up against the decreasing current of air, when it was ignited by the lamp of one of the workmen. Twenty-two men were burned, of whom four died almost instantly.
 
1908 Annual Coal Report7 - Fatal Accidents
      September 7, 1907, four men were killed this date. There was a gas explosion in the Dering Coal Company's No. 11 mine. West Frankfort. The night shift was putting in a stopping to close off a body of gas and was working under the directions of a certified mine manager; the stopping was nearly completed, causing the gas to back up against the decreasing current of air; the gas was ignited by the lamp of one of the party, burning 22 man of whom the following four men died from the effect of the burns, all being Italians: .
 
Joe Caruso, miner, aged 21, single;
 
Peter Gigole, miner, aged 18, single;
 
Joe Perconi, miner, aged 36 years, married. He leaves a widow and four children;
 
B. Trimcoeli, miner, aged 22 years, single.
 
Eighteen others were burned more or less severely; all of whom except five left West Frankfort; I was therefore unable to secure their names and the time lost resulting from the burns endured.

Powder Explosion
      October 6, 1908, a powder explosion in the Harrisburg and Southern Coal Company's mine, Grayson, Saline County, burned three men so badly that they died the following day. The explosion was caused by igniting a piece of fuse and inserting it into a keg of powder, which was thought to be empty, exploding it and two other kegs partly filled.
 
1909 Annual Coal Report8 - Fatal Accidents
      October 6, 1908, a powder explosion occurred at the Harrisburg and Southern Coal Company's mine, Grayson, Saline county at about 3 o'clock p. m. on first north entry of east, about 200 feet from face of entry. It burned three miners so severely they died the following day from their burns. The explosion was caused by igniting a piece of fuse and inserting it in what was supposed to be an empty powder keg, causing an explosion of one full keg and two pieces of kegs. The following are the names of the three miners that lost their lives:
 
Martin Uselton, miner, aged 26 years, single.
 
Ed. Uselton, miner, aged 35 years, married. He leaves a wife and five children.
 
Theodore Campbell, miner, aged 30 years, married. He leaves a wife and one child.
 

Explosion
1909 Annual Coal Report8
Mine Fires and Explosions.
January 10, 1909
      On the evening of November 5, 1908, at the W. P. Rend Colliery Company's mine at Rend City, Franklin county, there occurred an explosion while four shot firers were in the mine. The explosion was so terrific that it put the two cages at the main shaft out of commission; shot the explosion cover off of air shaft, igniting several fires in the mine; the shaft being over 600 feet deep it required the installing of a hoist at the air shaft before the lowering of supplies could start. I called for assistance and State Inspectors Thos. Moses of Westville, and Thomas Little of Murphysboro, came and assisted in the rescue work until the bodies were found. After the shaft had been repaired, the Governor, Hon. Charles S. Deneen, sent the ten State inspectors and the mining board to make an inspection of the mine. The following is their report:
Hon. Charles S. Deneen,
      Governor of Illinois,
            Springfield. Illinois.
     Dear Sir -- In accordance with your directions, the undersigned inspectors of coal mines and members of the State Mining Board made a thorough examination of the coal mine owned and operated by the W. P. Rend Colliery Company at Rend City, Franklin county, Illinois. The purpose of said special examination was to ascertain the cause of the explosion which occurred in said mine at or about five o'clock, p. m., on the 5th day of November, 1908, in consequence of which George Reed, John Holmes, Patrick Dailey, and Perry Stevens, employed as shot firers, lost their lives. The exploring party was led by Richard Newsam, President of the State Mining Board and a record of observations made ,by Inspector Thomas Moses; several tests with safety lamps were made on the roadways, at the face of the working places and particularly at the high points where falls of slate had occurred, but no evidence of gas was discovered. After reaching the face of the first northeast entry beginning with room No. 20, we proceeded down until room No. 8 was reached. As we approached that point, indications of serious disturbances increased -- falls of slate and coal crushed from pillars -- broken timbers -- mining machines and pit cars, completely destroyed. From the mouth of room No. 8 and continuing up to the face thereof, evidences of intense heat and fire on the roof and props was observable. At the face of that room we found several shots had been fired on the night of the explosion: in fact, they were the only shots fired in any of the rooms in that entry that evening. It furthermore appeared that the shots had been placed near to the top of coal, and as the seam of coal is much softer near the roof much of it that was blown down was in a badly shattered condition. There is no question but that the direct cause of the explosion originated from these shots in the face of room No. 9, first northeast entry; that the placing of the shots so near the roof and the broken condition of the coal indicated an overcharge of powder resulting in the generation and ignition of excessive quantities of carbon monoxide gas, aggravated by the presence of coal dust. In order to avoid a repetition of such disasters, we recommend that in all cases where coal is undercut with chain machines, the coal be snubbed or blocked down at not more than three, or less than two feet from the bottom of the seam, and that all undercuttings produced by said machines be collected and loaded out before any shots are fired.
                       Respectfully submitted.
            Signed by the State Inspectors of Mines and the Mining Board.

Fatal Accidents
      November 5, 1908. The following are the names of the men that were killed in the explosion of the W. P. Rend Colliery Company's mine, Rend City, Franklin county, the details of which appear under mine fires and explosions:
 
George Reed, shotfirer, aged 31 years, married.
 
John Holmes, shotfirer, aged 38 years, married. He leaves a widow and five children.
 
Pat Daley, shotfirer, aged 26 years, single.
 
Perry H. Stevens, shotfirer, aged 28 years, married. Stevens leaves a widow.

Explosion
      November 19, 1908, there was an explosion in the Benton Coal Company's mine at Benton, Franklin County. Six shot firers were in the mine at the time of the accident. Three of them escaped injury, but the other three were overcome by afterdamp from shooting "dead holes".
 
1909 Annual Coal Report8
- Fatal Accidents
      November 19, 1908, there was an explosion in the Benton Coal Company's mine at Benton, Franklin county; there were six shotfirers in the mine at the time of the accident, three of whom met their death:
 
Alex Brown, aged 52 years, married, leaves a wife and five children.
 
Joe Mitchell, aged 35 years, married, died November 21, 1908. He leaves a wife and one child.
 
Tom Crone, aged 40 years, married, died four days after the explosion. He leaves a wife and two children.
 
      These men met their death from shooting dead holes in room 21, off first east north and being overcome by afterdamp. Two of the holes in room 21 were on the right side; they were seven feet on point, and two feet dead; the hole on the left side was five feet 10 inches on point and two feet six inches dead.

Explosion
      December 12, 1908, another explosion occurred in the W. P. Rend Colliery Company's mine from the same cause as that reported for the explosion of November 5. Three shot firers were killed.
 
1909 Annual Coal Report8
- Fatal Accidents
      December 12, 1908, there was another explosion in the W. P. Rend Colliery Company's mine at Rend City, Franklin county, where three shotfirers were killed:
 
Wm. Murphy, aged 36 years, single.
 
Charles Donahue, aged 36 years, single.
 
John McMananon, aged 24 years, single.
 
These men met their death from an explosion of carbon monoxide gas. The explosion was from the same cause as reported for the explosion of November 5, 1908.

Fire
1909 Annual Coal Report8
Mine Destroyed by Fire.
      The most disastrous fire that ever occurred at any mine in the second district so far as property loss is concerned took place at the Spring Valley Coal Company's shaft No. 2 located at Spring Valley, Bureau county, between 12 and 1 o'clock on the morning of December 31, 1908. Just how this fire originated can only be surmised, as the exact facts have never been obtained. The most reasonable solution however, is that a driver working on the night shift took his mule to the stable shortly after midnight, and it is quite probable that he dropped a spark from his lamp unnoticed among the loose hay that is generally to be found scattered around in those stables.
      There were two men only, in the mine after midnight; the mine examiner, and the mule feeder. The mule feeder had completed his work in the north side stables before the driver above mentioned brought in his mule and had gone over to the south side. About 5 o'clock a. m., the mine examiner came to the shaft bottom and found smoke coming from the north side; he called the mule feeder, they investigated, and found the stables on fire, but it had gotten such headway that they could do nothing to check it.
      The fire spread to the bottom of the main shaft which was the upcast and on its way probably destroyed the separation doors and the air went direct from downcast to upcast, driven by the powerful Capell fan, which was kept running, thereby increasing the intensity of the heat and velocity of the flames, which shot up the shaft and practically melted the steel uprights of the tower, it yielded to the intense heat, swung and fell over the mouth or collar of the shaft, a shapeless mass of twisted steel beams and girders. Nineteen mules were burned up in the stables, and 54 were taken through the underground passageway to No. 1 mine. The property loss may be estimated at anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000. The mine is now permanently abandoned. Since the fire at No. 2 mine, the management has employed a watchman at each of their other mines, whose duty it is to patrol the bottom of the shafts and mule stables to prevent if possible a recurrence of this extremely expensive fire.

Explosion
The Zeigler Disaster - January 10, 1909
      On the night of November 4, 1908, at the Zeigler Coal Company's mine, Franklin County, a trap door caught fire about 1,200 feet from the bottom of the shaft. The management fought this fire until 7:00 a. m. the next day, when the fire had traveled about 900 feet towards the bottom of the shaft, burning out one of the main overcasts, causing them to either seal up both shafts or have one of them consumed by fire. In a conference with Mr. Gordon, General Manager, and Mr. Blanks, Mine Superintendent, we agreed that the mine should be sealed for not less than ninety days, believing that with the air closed off it would extinguish the fire.
      I was not called to Zeigler again until January 10, 1909. On that day an explosion occurred killing twenty-six men. On investigation I found that between my visit of November 4, 1908, and January 10, 1909, the management had failed to keep the mine sealed.
      Two drill holes five inches in diameter had been put down and water had been pumped into the holes; also, live steam forced down the holes at different times.
      The steam entering the mine through these drill holes caused the roof to cut and fall for about 30 feet above the top of the coal. The burning of sulphur was then tried and the fumes forced into the mine with a small high speed fan. On this date, January 10, 1909, I found the mine was still on fire below, as smoke was coming out of the return airway. The company had, on January 9, twenty-seven men in the mine cleaning up falls, building brattices and driving out gas that had accumulated in the mine. They were ventilating a pair of entries that had an accumulation of gas, and the return air from this pair of entries passed directly over the place where the fire of November 4, 1908, had originated. From the evidence I received, I believe that the air had rekindled the fire and ignited the gas as it passed out over it, causing the explosion whereby 26 men lost their lives, one man escaping. I had sent for assistance, and State Mine Inspectors Thomas Moses, Westville, Thomas Little, Murphysboro, and John Dunlop, Peoria, came to Zeigler January 11, 1909. After going thoroughly over the conditions, knowing there was a fire in the mine and all of the workings containing gas, we concluded the only thing to do was to seal the two shafts permanently until we were sure the fire was extinguished.
      The company left the shafts sealed for a period of twenty-one days, then opened them and proceeded to make an inspection with the Draeger helmets.
On February 9th, they had another explosion caused by a body of gas coming in contact with a fire in the mine. Three men lost their lives in this explosion.
      Sixteen men were in the mine at the time of the explosion. Eight of them were standing on the bottom of the hoisting shaft, five were working on C air course, putting in a permanent stopping by the first crosscut. Mr. Wilson, superintendent Mr. Core, mine manager, Mr. Powell, mine examiner, were on C entry going south. They had found considerable explosive gas and could go only about fifteen feet at one time, their object being to get inside of third west south and place a stopping at that point to seal off south side of mine permanently while exploring the north side. When within about sixty feet of the first west south, thev both heard and saw an explosion which, in their judgment, had occurred beyond a large fall located inside of the third west south entry. They immediately said "Run for your lives!" and they had only gone about forty feet back in C entry when the wind and pressure from the explosion overtook them and they dropped to the bottom clutching the rail. After the explosion had passed back over them, they started to run again, went about sixty or one hundred feet, when a second explosion, more violent than the first, occurred. They lay down again and after this had passed back over them, they groped their way back in the dark towards the main shaft and from that time on it was more of a dream to them as they were almost unconscious. The men stationed on the bottom of shaft saw the flames coming out of B entry south side of shaft. Their statement agreeing with that of the men in C entry is good evidence that the explosion occurred on south side of air shaft and from gas that was driven over top of a fire which had generated after admitting air into the mine. Three men lost their lives in this explosion. All three of them were on the bottom of the main shaft. There had been considerable water pumped into this mine, used in fighting the fires and putting it on falls where they thought fire was located. There was about a foot of water on bottom of main shaft and none of the thirteen men that got safely out were burned. Two men that were brought out had been knocked into water and drowned. The air shaft had been lately equipped with 120 square feet of explosion doors. At the time of the explosion, these doors were released and the black smoke boiled out of the air shaft, this being the upcast, the main shaft being the downcast. The explosion was so terrific that the smoke even came up the downcast against the air current. Immediately after the explosion they speeded the fan up to 70 revolutions per minute, and the smoke hovered over the main shaft for a minute before the power could produce ventilation again. The men, being so close to the bottom of the main shaft and the restoring of ventilation so soon after accident, caused their lives to be saved. If they had been farther back in the workings, probably all lives would have been lost.
 
On January 11, 1909, I posted the following:
"I have this day inspected the Zeigler Coal Company's mine and find the conditions as follows:
"Dangerous to life on account of fire. For the better protection of the lives and health of the employes, would recommend the following: Both shafts be sealed up and no men be allowed therein until further orders from me."
      I left Zeigler and it appears that the notice I had posted did not meet with the approval of the management. The management called me by telephone, and I arranged a meeting with the State Mine Inspectors and the Mining Board for January 19, 1909, at 10:00 a. m. and invited Mr. Leiter and his management and his mining experts to be present. They failed to attend this meeting. The State Inspectors and the Mining Board concurred in the sealing of the shafts. Immediately on returning from our meeting I called the general manager of the Zeigler Coal Company and informed him that we could not prohibit the company from entering the mine to recover the seven dead bodies still remaining in the mine, or keep them from entering to repair the mine for operation, also that it was my opinion that it was dangerous to enter the mine, but if they did enter the mine they would have to assume all risks.
 
1909 Annual Coal Report8 - Fatal Accidents
      January 10, 1909, there was an explosion in the Zeigler Coal Company's mine at Zeigler, Franklin county. This explosion dates back to a fire in the mine that started November 4, 1908, and the report will come under mine fires. There were twenty-seven men in the mine at the time of the explosion and twenty-six of them lost their lives; nineteen bodies were taken out as follows:
 
Robert Kerr, aged 39 years, married. He leaves a widow and six children.
 
James Patterson, aged 40 years, married. He leaves a widow and three children.
 
Wallace Warner, aged 57 years, married. He leaves a widow and three children.
 
Seeber Puckett, aged 20 years, single.
 
Fred Morgan, aged 25 years, single.
 
Chas. H. Smothers, aged 34 years, married. He leaves a widow and seven children.
 
Gilbert Jones, aged 24 years. He leaves a widow.
 
Frank Norweather, aged 25 years, single.
 
J. O. Evans, aged 50 years, married. He leaves a widow and six children.
 
Joe Richardson, aged 38 years, single.
 
James Phillips, aged 39 years, single.
 
Jakin Petkoff, aged 28 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
Arome Ganeoff, aged 27 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
Apostle Andrejoff, aged 24 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
Stefane Ivanoff, aged 33 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
John Dolena, aged 35 years, single.
 
Joe Gat, aged 32 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
John Kassay, aged 27 years, single.
 
Joe Olat, aged 35 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
      Seven bodies are reported in the mine and not recovered July 1, 1909, owing to the dangerous condition of the mine, as it is on fire.
 
Edwin Elkins, aged 34 years, married. He leaves a widow.
 
Tom Hubbard, aged 23 years, single.
 
Finis Woolfolk, aged 24 years, single.
 
Robert Fuller, aged 24 years, married. He leaves a widow and one child.
 
Joe Tote, aged 25 years, married. He leaves a widow and one child.
 
John Phillips, aged 26 years, married. He leaves a widow and one child.
 
Gaul Magoula, aged 22 years, single.
 
 
1910 Annual Coal Report9
      In the report of last year of State Inspector W. S. Burris of this district a detailed account was given of a gas explosion occurring January 10, 1909, in the Zeigler Coal Company's mine at Zeigler, killing twenty-six men. Of this number the bodies of Edwin Elkins, colored; Robert Fuller, colored; Joe Toth or Tate, Hungarian; John Phillips, Hungarian; Gaul Magoula, Hungarian; Tom Hubbard, colored, and Finis Woolfolk, colored, were not recovered July 1, 1909, and were so reported by Mr. Burris. Neither was the body of Lawson Farmer recovered, who lost his life in another explosion in the same mine February 9, 1909, when three men were killed. A full account of these explosions was given by Mr. Burris in the twenty-eighth annual Coal Report. This mine was sealed February 10, 1909, and remained sealed until May, 1910, when it was leased by the Bell and Zoller Mining Company, who at once began the recovery of the mine. On July 20, 1910, the bodies of all of the above named, excepting Hubbard and Woolfolk, were taken from the mine. These two bodies were recovered October 2, 1910, bringing to a close a series of accidents unprecedented in the history of Illinois mining.

Explosion
1909 Annual Coal Report8 - Mine Fires and Explosions.
      On the night of February 16, 1909, there was an explosion in the Dering Coal Company's No. 18 mine, West Frankfort, Franklin county. This explosion occurred about 5 p. m. while four shot firers were in the mine, immediately after they had begun to fire shots. They had fired eight or ten shots when the explosion occurred. From the appearance of the explosion, as observed from the top of the shaft, and from information received from parties that were at the mine, it appeared to be an explosion from windy shot igniting carbon monoxide gas. The explosion ignited fires in the mine and the burning of fires formed an explosive mixture, causing this mixture, at intervals of about every two hours, to explode, making rescue work impossible. Also the flames in the first two hours had reached the main shaft and were coming up it. The main shaft being the upcast, by 9 p. m. the fire had gained such headway that the flames were shooting 150 feet in the air from the ground landing, melting glass windows in the top of the steel tipple. The company sealed up the air shaft immediately; after sealing of the air shaft the sealing of the main shaft began by using 35 pound steel rails, boards and sand, afterwards placing a concrete cap over the temporary seal. While sealing the shafts they had several small explosions and not until the shafts were completely sealed did they cease. The shafts were kept sealed for a period of 120 days, when Mr. R. Y. Williams, with the Dreager helmets from the Urbana rescuing station, made a trip down the air shaft in a sinking bucket; he found no evidence of fire and the mine was perfectly cool; but he found the water had accumulated until it was within about two feet of the roof. Then they made an air lock at the main shaft, cut the concrete covering, closed the opening and were preparing to descend. In making these openings it appears that it had admitted enough air to form an explosive mixture and this body of gas coming in contact with a fire that was still burning in the mine, caused an explosion. Not being sure in regard to this, on the following day they allowed air to pass down the escapement and up the main shaft, and in the course of fifteen minutes the volume coming out of main shaft became black and by the odor it was easy to determine that there was a fire in the mine. The shafts then were resealed and the company immediately started to flood the mine until it was filled to a height of 80 feet in shafts. This is the situation on July 1, 1909.
 
1909 Annual Coal Report7 - Fatal Accidents
      February 16, 1909, there was an explosion at the Dering Coal Company'sNo. 18 mine and four shotfirers being in the mine:
 
Geo. Oliver, aged 30 years, married. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
Orvie Jones, aged 25 years, single.
 
Chas. McQuray, aged 45 years, married. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
Caspar Ambrizat, aged 25 years, single.
 
      This mine caught fire and is still closed and the bodies are in the mine.

Explosion
      December 23, 1909, an explosion of gas in Mine "A" of the Chicago and Carterville Coal Company, Herrin, Williamson County, resulted in the death of eight men. Going into the entries (which had been pronounced free from gas) with an open light, the gas was ignited and the explosion resulted.
 
1910 Annual Coal Report 9 - Fatal Accidents -- Wiliamson County
      December 23, 1909, W. D. Pearce, civil and mining engineer, aged 38 years, married, was employed by the Chicago and Carterville Coal Company at mine "A" located at Herrin. Deceased was in the 7th and 8th west entries off the main north entries, taking measurements to make an extension on the map of the mine. He was told not to go into the west entries that there was gas in these entries; when he was ready to go into these entries he was to notify the mine manager who would send a man into the entries with a safety lamp who would make an examination as to the presence of gas. Pearce sent for T. J. Williams, the assistant mine manager, to go into the entries with a safety lamp; when Williams came he told Pearce and his helpers, that there was no gas in the entries and went into the entries with an open light which ignited the gas causing an explosion from which eight men lost their lives. The names of the killed are as follows:
 
W. F. Pearce, civil and mining engineer; age 38 years. Leaves a widow and two children. American.
 
Eugene Barrett, assistant civil engineer; aged 20 years: single. American.
 
T. J. Williams, assistant mine manager; aged 36 years; married. Leaves a widow and three children. American.
 
Peter Barnes, miner; aged 24 years; single. Italian.
 
Thomas Harper, miner; aged 30 years; married. Leaves a widow and four children. English.
 
Salvatore Greco, miner; aged 20 years; single. Italian.
 
Gardner Shaner, miner; aged 25 years; married. Leaves a widow. American.
 
George Snider, miner; aged 19 years; single. Leaves a mother and sister.
 

Gas Explosion
      December 27, 1909, four shot firers were killed in No. 5 mine, Centralia Coal Company, Centralia, Marion County. The cause of this accident was an explosion of gas, generated by the excessive use of blasting powder.
 
1910 Annual Coal Report 9 - Fatal Accidents
December 27, 1909,
 
Charles Carlson, shot firer, aged 39 years, married, employed at the Centralia Coal Company's mine No. 5, Centralia, Marion county, was killed in an explosion of gas, generated by the excessive use of blasting powder. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
Three other men,all shot firers, were killed by the same explosion, namely,
 
John Yonkus, aged 34 years, leaves a widow and five children.
 
Alex Korzenewsky, aged 24 years, single.
 
John Sveder, aged 26 years, single, supporting his mother.
 

Explosion
      November 11, 1910, there was a gas explosion in the Shoal Creek Coal Company's mine, Panama, Montgomery County, resulting in the death of six men, injury by afterdamp to eleven, and imperiling the lives of 386 other employees. Two miners went into the mine to secure the tools of one who had been discharged and, although cautioned not to go into a certain entry because of gas there, they went with open light, and the explosion resulted.
 
1911 Annual Coal Report 10
Explosion at the Shoal Creek Company's Mine, Panama, Montgomery County
November 11, 1910
      Six men killed, eleven injured by afterdamp, and the lives of 386 others imperilled were the results of an explosion of gas in the shaft of the Shoal Creek Coal Company's mine at Panama, Montgomery county. The dead are :
Charles Chornak, Jacob Herman, Reggie Romania, Joe Gauer, George Maneheft, and Jay Wilber.
      On the morning of November 11, 1910, a miner, Reggie Romania, who had been discharged, accompanied by Charles Chornak, went into the mine to get Romania's tools. They were cautioned not to go into the first west entry as there was a squeeze, and gas had been found near the face of the entry.
      However, they went and the explosion followed. The explosion was not severe at the point of the origin, but the deadly afterdamp overcame three of the men, while they were endeavoring to rescue their fellow workmen.
      Your inspector got to the mine and took charge of the work of securing the bodies of the dead miners, which was accomplished at 5:00 o'clock the following morning.
 
Fatal Accidents- November 11, 1910, were killed by an explosion of gas in the Shoal Creek Coal Company's mine No. 1, at Panama, Montgomery county.
 
Charles Charmack, miner, aged 28 years, single.
 
George Maneheft, trackman, aged 28 years, single.
 
R. Romania, miner, aged 42 years, married, leaves a widow.
 
Joe Ganero, miner, aged 33 years, married, leaves a widow and one child.
 
Jacob Herman, trackman, aged 62 years, married, leaves a widow and seven children.
 
James Wilbar, timberman, aged 39 years, married, leaves a widow and four children.
 

Sources :
 
1 A Compilation of the Reports of the Mining Industry of Illinois
                from the Earliest Records to Close of the Year 1930
                Department of Mines and Minerals; Springfield, Illinois

2 A Compilation of the Reports of the Mining Industry of Illinois
                from the Earliest Records to 1954
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois;

3 Twenty-second Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1903,
                also the Fifth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1903, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1904

4 Twenty-third Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1904,
                also the Sixth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1904, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1905

5 Twenty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1905,
                also the Seventh Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1905, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1906

6 Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1907,
                also the Ninth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1907, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, - Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1908

7 Twenty-Seventh Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1908
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1909

8 Twenty-Eighth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1909
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1910

9 Twenty-Ninth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1910
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1911

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois

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