Part III: Recovery of the Miner's Bodies
Below you will find a transcription of a research paper written by James M. Corrigary regarding the Avondale Mine Disaster (Plymouth, Luzerne Co., Pa.) of 6 Sept 1869, an accident that claimed the lives of 110 men and boys, miners and mine laborers. The report is found at the Mine Safety and Health Administration Library in Denver, Colorado, and provides fascinating eyewitness accounts of the accident and its aftermath, along with testimony from the official inquest. At times the eyewitness accounts are heart-wrenching and gruesome, particularly when the corner describes the condition of the bodies as they were recovered from the mine. The testimony at the official inquest into the accident makes for compelling reading as well, as witness made varying statements regarding the safety of the mine, and the precautions taken to prevent just such a disaster. Due to its length, I have broken the paper into five parts contained on five separate pages. There is a sixth page featuring illustrations of the Avondale Disaster and it's aftermath, from the September 24, 1869 issue of Harper's Weekly. I have also used these drawings throughout the other five pages to better illustrate the story of the disaster.
Part I: Physical description of the mine and details of the accident
Part II: Initial recovery efforts Part III: Recovery of the miner's bodies Part IV: The funerals, widows and orphaned children Part V: The official inquest into the accident Part VI: Harper's Weekly illustrations of the Avondale Disaster
In the days when miners had few rights, and mine owners were rarely held accountable for injuries suffered by their workers, it is probable that most contemporary commentators assigned little blame for the disaster to the mining company itself. Nevertheless, the Avondale Disaster caused new mining regulations to be enacted, including the mandating of double-shaft mines, and the prohibition against collieries being built directly over the mine shaft. It is unfortunate, however, that such measures were taken only after a disaster of this magnitude.
Jeffrey L. Thomas
Part III: Recovery of the Miner's Bodies
ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT BODIES RECOVERED
Wednesday, at two o'clock a.m., matters were at a stand still, except as regards to the water going in upon the furnace and the rising of the black damp. No one had been down since the gang last reported, although an effort was made to get another gang to go. Three who had not been down were ready, but those in authority were afraid to have them run the risk, unless someone who had been down would go along. Observations convinced all present that the men in the mine were beyond all hope of recovery alive. The volunteers at this time were about worked out, and the prospect of the air being pure enough to allow any more men entering for a long time was not good. Just before three o'clock, however, a party went down and penetrated as far as the stable of the mine, where two dead bodies were found in a horrible condition (bloated and with blood oozing from their mouths). At first they were not recognized, but being brought up they were found to be those of Palmer Steele, stable boss, and a young man aged about eighteen years, named Deasison Slocum. The latter was a mule driver. Mr. Steele leaves a wife and family of five girls, the oldest not over ten years of age.
At half past six o'clock, R. Williams. D. W. Evans, John Williams, and William Thomas went down and made the most extended exploration hitherto attempted. They were gone half an hour, when they returned and reported that they ascended the self - seting plane leading to the east gangway, and traversed it until they reached a closed brattice which the men had built to shut themselves if possible from the foul air. This they broke through, and their gaze was not by a view which appalled the stoutest heart among them. Grouped together, in every possible position, laid the dead bodies of sixty - seventy men and boys, some appearing as if they had quietly dropped asleep, while others seem to have struggled with their impending fate. Some of them, latter laid with their faces buried in coal dust in the floor, in the vain attempt to find a current of fresh air. Others hands were clasped to their throats, while not a few had their faces wrapped in their shirts. One father, Mr. William P. Evans, was stretched out, with a son closely clasped by each arm, while a third was lying between his legs with his head resting on his father's breast. Another father, Mr. Hutton (Hatton), lovingly embraced a young son, and all appeared as if sweetly sleeping. Mr. Evan Hughes, the Inside Boss, was sitting down with his head bent forward upon his breast, and with his hands clasped in front of him, while another body was reclining a few feet distant with face turned to Mr. Hughes, as though he had been engaged in a conversation with him, but a moment previous drawing his last breath. What had been the conversation of these two men will only be revealed at the last great day. Had they been considering the chances of success, or was each leaving with the other a parting message to dear ones at home, to be delivered in case either survived?
This party secured the watch of Mr. Hughes, and also that of Mr. Evans. That of the former was stopped at fifteen minutes past five o'clock, and that of the latter at eight minutes to six.
Preparations were now made to send down the relief of miners which had been organized to carry to the surface the dead men. These reliefs were than composed:
- 1st, Evan Perry, T. L. Jones, William Neviss, Edward German and William Thomas
- 2nd, William Richards, William H. Morgan, Thomas Benguch and J. L. Harris
- 3rd, Reese W. Rosen and Henry Atherall
- 4th, Timothy Thomas, Lewis Davies, Thomas Williams and Griffith Abraham
- 5th, Ira O. Thomas, Thomas O'Keefe, Mark Evans and Thomas Bones
- 6th, William F. Halliday, John Tisel, Reese T. Evans and Thomas Davies
A JURY IMPANELED AND BODIES VIEWED
In the meantime in the presence of a Coroner, B. O. Wadhams and J. W. ….. of Plymouth, Justice of the Peace, had been summoned to act as ….. They impaneled the following jury to view the remains as they were brought out of the mine, vis: W. J. Harvey, Foreman, Samuel Van Loon, Martha McDonald, James George, Charles Hutchinson, and Thomas Patton.
The first relief corps which went down brought back with it the body of Mr. John Bowen, of Plymouth, formerly of Providence. He was thirty one years of age, and left a wife and one child. One eye was open, but otherwise his countenance seemed at rest and as though he had died without a struggle. They body was brought out of the tunnel on a bier, which was deposited on the ground before the jury, who then and their viewed the remains - those who brought them out being sworn as to the fact of bringing them from the mine, and as to their identity. When the latter was ascertained, his name and residence were announced to the assembled thousands by Mr. James George, of Plymouth, President of the Miner's Union, and the body was conveyed to the dead-house to be cleaned and claimed by the relatives or friends. This name course was pursued with each body recovered. The jury now repaired to the residence of Palmer Steele and Dennison Slocum (who were brought out during the night), and viewed the remains.
The rest of the bodies were brought our in the order and condition printed below:
- William Powell, of Plymouth (Turkey Hill). Eyes both open and head turned to one side, wife and several children in the old country. One daughter lives in Plymouth, and one son is dead in the mine.
- David Jones, who sacrificed his own life in an effort to rescue his fellow miners on Monday night, was buried at this time, ten o'clock a.m. the fact being announced to the crowd. It was at the same date stated that the funeral of the late Thomas Williams, the other martyr to his efforts to ascertain the fate of his friends in the mine, would be buried at three o'clock p.m., from the late residence in Plymouth.
At this time Mr. William Halliday, of Pine Ridge, was brought from the mine greatly overcome by the foul air, and required the attendance of several physicians some time before he was restored.
- The next brought out was George Williams, of Hyde Park, a boy about fourteen years of age who went to work at Avondale for the first time on Monday.
- Willie Phillips, a promising boy of ten summers, and Methusalem Evans (one of three boys found in his father's arms), were brought out on a bier. Both of these boys had their hands tightly clenched, and their faces were much distorted. The former was a son of Mr. William Phillips, who resides near Nottingham Shaft below Plymouth. His brother Thomas also in the mine.
- Operations were now suspended for a time for the purpose of securing better ventilation, and when resumed, the body of Edward Humphrey was brought to view. He left a wife to mourn his loss.
- The next body was not at first recognized, but was subsequently ascertained to be that of Jacob Mosier of Plymouth, who left a wife and four children. He was found side by side with a companion, in a breast in the western portion of the mine, and a long way from his other companions. He was lying on his face, which had apparently been forced into the ground, and was much disfigured.
- Peter Conlan's remains next appeared. They were found lying by those of Mosier. His wife and four children are in England.
- John Clark of Plymouth (Turkey Hill). He had no shirt on. His right arm was raised and bent toward the right breast. He evidently died hard. He was found apart from the rest. Wife and six children.
- William J. Evans of Turkey Hill. Face at rest; he lay among the sixty-seven. Wife and two children.
- George Stackhouse of Avondale, driver, age seventeen. Head on one side; right hand raised though affirming, left arm doubled and fist clenched. Single.
- Edwin D. Jones of Hanover. Head thrown back, and tea-can slung around his neck. Found among the sixty-seven. Wife.
- Morgan Watkins of Plymouth. Unmarried.
- Andrew Frothingham of Avondale. Head was on one side; eyes and mouth staring wife open. Wife.
- William K. Allen of Hanover. Face covered with fresh blood; wife soon expects to be a mother.
- Thomas D. Jones, formerly of Providence, now of Avondale. Left a wife and widowed mother.
- One o'clock Wednesday morning the body of Peter Johnson of Plymouth was viewed. A powerful man; face at rest' left arm and side much swollen. Single.
- The twentieth body brought out was that of Mr. Evan Hughes, Inside Boss, who lived at Plymouth, his mouth and eyes wide open, brother of Benjamin Hughes of Scranton. Wife and three children.
- William Bowen of Avondale. No shirt on; body very red, head on one side. Wife and two children.
- James Feare, no shirt, body and head very red, nose bloody and head on one side. Single.
- Thomas Hughes, Walsh Hill, Plymouth; face very red; arms limp; fists clenched.
- William Reese, Coal street, Plymouth. His stepfather and brother were both in the mine; arms raised as though boxing; hands clenched; evidently died in agony. Wife in old country.
- William Pharfit, Coal street, Plymouth. Body and face purple; head on one side; shirt off. Wife and two children.
- William N. Williams, Plymouth (Turkey Hill). Face bloody. Wife and three children.
- William Lewis, Plymouth (Turkey Hill). Head thrown entirely back and very red; arms crossed above the body, as though fending.
- John Hughes, Plymouth (Turkey Hill). His head was thrown back, and his eyes were staring wide open. Wife and one child.
- Thomas Morris, Plymouth; face at rest. Wife and four children.
- Elijah S. Bryant, Avondale; Inside Carpenter; arms crossed on breast. Wife and two children.
- Thomas Roberts, son of John Roberts, Plymouth (Turkey Hill); face on one side; arms across breast. Single.
At this time, half-past three p.m., it was found necessary to call on Sheriff Rhodes to appoint a posse of Deputy Sheriffs to preserve order, the crown having become so great that it was found very difficult to control them. A force of special policemen was also ordered from Scranton.
- William Sink, Avondale; face on one side and pale; arms crossed on breast; lived in Plymouth. Single.
- Daniel Jones; shirt around his neck; Plymouth (Turkey Hill); face distorted; body very red. His brother had previously been brought out. Family in England.
- David Thomas, cousin to two who have been brought out; Plymouth; parents in old country; boarded with Evan Hughes; fact and body pale. Single
- Daniel Givens, boy. Face pale; foam oozing from mouth; age 17; car runner; parents at Kingston (East Boston); boarded with William Phillips, Plymouth.
- Evan Ross. Body discolored; face turned to one side; blood and foam issuing from mouth; Plymouth (Turkey Hill); boarded with Samuel Morgan. Wife and child in Wales.
- Edward W. Edwards. Plymouth (Coal street); head horribly bloated; discolored and bloody; thirty years old. Wife and one child.
- Henry Morris. Boarded with Samuel Morgan, Plymouth; face bloody and arms limp and stiff.
- William T. Williams, Hyde Park, age 39; boarded with William Evans, Plymouth; son brought out this morning. Wife and one child.
- David S. Reese, Plymouth (Coal street). Wife and three children; one son brought out dead; another in the mine; face discolored and bruised; arms stiff and raised before him.
- Richard Woolley; boards with John E. Jones, Plymouth (Turkey Hill). Face and body very red; shirt off. Single.
- John R. Davis, Plymouth, formerly of Pittston. No shirt; body red; arms stiff and raised; father-in-law of William Williams.
- David James; body and face pale; eyes open; no shirt on; of Kingston; boarded with aunt, Mrs. Phillips, Plymouth, worked four days. Wife and child.
- Lewis Evans, whose two brothers and father, William R. Evans, were in the mine. Mother and sisters all that are left on the family.
- William Williams (known as shoemaker), Plymouth, Main street; age about 40. Face on one side with peaceful appearance. Wife.
- Richard Owen, Avondale, Wife.
- Willie Hatton, about ten years old. His father is down in the mind dead; Plymouth (Turkey Hill); face pale, looks as though sleeping. It is said that this little fellow did not work in the mine, but that his father took him in with him that fatal morning' according to a promise made by him some time previously.
- William Evans, Avondale, uncle of William D. Davies, age fifty-one; Driver boss. Face at rest. Wife.
- James Powell, Plymouth (Turkey Hill); single; father brought out dead previously.
- Thomas Hatton, father of boy Willie, Plymouth (Turkey Hill). Wife and two children. Face red, bloated and turned to one side.
- Edward Owen, Baltimore, MD; boarded with Mrs. William Morgan, Plymouth; face pale and at rest.
- John Burch and his twelve year old son John Jr., were brought out together, and exactly as found in the chamber of death. The father's left arm was clasped around his boy, and both looked as if they had slept their lives away. They lived in Nottingham shaft, near Plymouth, though Formerly from Providence. Mr. Burch left a wife and four children.
- John Jenkins; boarded with Evan Hughes, Inside Boss, at Plymouth.
- William Evans, second son of William R. Evans, another of the Evans family. He was quite young.
- Daniel Woods; wife and two children. Lived at Plymouth.
- William H. Nauss, aged about fourteen. Lived at Plymouth (Coal Street).
- David Reese, Jr., Plymouth (Coal Street). Father and brother brought out dead. Mouth all bloody; tongue between teeth. Single.
- Griffith Roberts, Plymouth (Turkey Hill); boy; lived with parents; brother Thomas also in the mine.
- C. F. Ruth, of Hanover; face pale; head turned back as though gasping for last breath.
- Joseph Morris, Gaylord ….. Plymouth. Face pale; foam issuing from mouth. Wife.
- Patrick McGutck; wife and three children; wife pregnant; face of the corpse pale and peaceful; belonged at Avondale.
- Henry Smith; of Avondale. Wife and four children. Hands clenched as though guarding against a blow; shirt up around his neck; face quiet.
- Chern Howell; name in illegible ink on arm; two fingers off. Lived at Walsh Hill, Plymouth. Wife and four children. Eyes closed, mouth open.
- Thomas Davies, uncle of Thomas Morris, Plymouth. Family in Wales.
- William Dowdle of Avondale; single; boarded with Patrick Knowles, hands tightly clasped; commenced working Monday; formerly of Poke Hollow; brother in New Jersey.
- John Roberts; single; recognized by one stiff finger on the lest hand; body bloated.
- Thomas Ryan, who boarded with Mr. Walton of Avondale; recognized by his two brothers, who were fearfully affected; went to Avondale from Harvey's; right hand above head; left hand raised and clenched.
- Hugh Gilroy, son of Patrick Gilroy, (who recognized him, as also did a brother); wife and one child.
- John Maher, of Avondale; age forty; recognized by his brother; face at rest; eyes closed. Wife and one child.
- Patrick Burke, of Plymouth; single man; had sister living in Scranton; face very red; tongue between teeth; left arm raised; hand clenched; one of six found in chamber together.
- William T. Morgan, of Plymouth; face much distorted; mouth open; right hand raised and clenched; recognized by a nephew.
- James Murray, of Avondale; wife and three children; face pale; both hands raised and clenched; came Tuesday from Harvey's.
- Michael Daly, brother-in-law of James Keating, who recognized him; of Avondale; wife and five children; he was found alone on the mine truck about one hundred feet from the mouth of the shaft.
When coming up the shaft with Mr. Daly's body, Mr. Edward Connell fell back exhausted upon it, and was with difficulty prevented from falling back down the pit. It was five hours before he was fully restored. Another member of the relief was also slightly overcome.
- D.P. Pryor. Marked on arm with cross and D. P. P.; of Avondale; wife and two children; face on one side; foam issuing from mouth; he was brought up at half past nine o'clock and was the last of those discovered up to that time
From ten o'clock until shortly after midnight, no more bodies were recovered. The increasing foulness of the air, and the necessity of which persisted for another exploration of the mine, created the delay which was much increased from the fact that the reliefs refused to explore until a physician could be summoned. That night there was hideously dark-thunder, lightning and rain prevailing, and most of the crowd returned to their homes, though some remained, waiting anxiously for further developments. The burning coal, sending up blue curling flames, the scores of miners with lamps in their hats; as many men with lanterns flying about; the group of men about the tunnel with lights; the reliefs bringing out the biers with their fearful loads of dead humanity; the thick darkness; all combined to make a scene seldom witnessed in the mining community. Add to all this the shrieks of women and the crying of men as victims were brought up (the relief party carrying) the men from the pit of death; the puffing of the donkey engine as it forces air into the shaft, and some idea of the terrible carnage can be gained.
An exploring party shortly before eleven o'clock reported seven found. Shortly afterward another party reported the finding of two men, also two mules on the west side.
- Thursday morning: 11th before one o'clock, James Phillips, of Plymouth (Turkey Hill) was brought up; boarded with Samuel Morgan; face bloody and discolored, came to America two weeks before companion; neck smoked and chin burned, apparently from his lamp, which had evidently fallen from his head. Wife in Wales.
At half-past twelve o'clock thirteen more bodies were reported found in groups, the largest numbering six.
- James Williams, of Plymouth, brought out. Wife and one child. Face bloated and covered with blood; eyes closed; mouth partly open; body very red; boarded with brother-in-law Thomas Morgan; came from Schuylkill.
- John D. Evans, brother-in-law of John E. Williams; lived at foot of Jersey Plane, Plymouth; a morbid spectacle; head thrown back, mouth open, and face covered with white froth; left arm drawn up and hand clenched. Wife and five children.
More men reported to be at the bottom of the plane, on the west side, where (there was) evidence that a brattice was commenced but not finished, the men perishing no doubt before it was done.
- William Harding, Plymouth; uncle of Isaac Williams; came from Hyde Park. Wife.
- Samuel R. Morgan, Plymouth (Turkey Hill); head turned to one side, and arms folded as if resigned to his terrible fate. Left a wife and two children.
- William R. Evans, Avondale, father of the three dead boys; wife and little daughter left.
- William L. Wildrich, of Hanover; left wife and five children; his mouth was partly open.
- Rouse Lunley (Reese Lumley), of Turkey Hill, head thrown back and arms stiff above his head. Wife and three children.
- Thomas Llewellyn, of Plymouth; single; one brother dead in mine.
- Rouse Llewellyn, brother to proceeding. Single.
- William Davies, Plymouth, boarded with Thomas Phillips. Wife and children in old country.
- John Thomas, Plymouth, wife and one child; horrible sight; head thrown back and mouth open; nostrils discolored; identified by scar on body.
- John Davies, Plymouth; formerly of Pittston; son of John R. Davies previously brought out; mouth and face bloody and glossy; began to work at Avondale on Monday.
- William T. Williams, Plymouth; wife and one child; brother-in-law of last man brought up; mouth and face a little bloody; left arm drawn up.
- William D. Jones, Welsh Hill; boarded with Michael Howell; mouth open; hand closed. Wife and four children in Aberdene (probably Aberdare), South Wales.
Another exploring party having been down about forty-five minutes, found nine more bodies in one place not far from the last found.
- Dennis Guyton, of Avondale; horrid object; face bloody and frightful; held tobacco pipe in left hand; both arms stiff above his head and all black with smoke and dirt. He laid in the mine with his face down. Wife and seven children.
- William H. Reys, boarded with Kirk Owens, Avondale, very bloody about the nose; hands clenched. Wife and children in Mouth (Monmouthshire), South Wales.
- William Spright, of Plymouth; arms raised. Wife and five children.
- John Harris of Avondale. Wife and four children.
- Thomas I. Jones, of Plymouth. Bloody about the nose and neck. Wife and two children.
- Thomas Phillips, of Plymouth. Brother of Willie brought out previously, aged nineteen. Head swollen and face flushed, mouth open and blood about it. Single.
- Lewis Davies. Boarded with Evan Hughes. Face bloody and bloated; breast also. Single.
- Charles Fears, head and face flushed, Boarded with William Phillips, of Plymouth.
- John Thomas, Plymouth. Boarded with his brother Isaac. Mouth open. Aged seventeen.
- David Johnson, Plymouth. Wife and one child.
Mr. J. was the last man found at this time, six o'clock a.m., Thursday. Half an hour afterward, a party of six men reported no more men on the east side. Half an hour later eight men were found on the west side of the mine.
- James Mallon, Plymouth, brought up. Boarded with James Derwin, his brother-in-law. Single.
- James Harkins, Avondale. Mouth open and eyes partially closed. Wife and three children.
- William D. Jones. Face bloated and arms extended over his head. Wife in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
- Edward Taylor, Avondale. Face and neck very red in blotches. Wife and one child.
Another crowd of people began to arrive about eight o'clock. At this time a new rope was placed upon the hoisting apparatus, the old one having become worn.
At half past nine o'clock, Benjamin Hughes, Thomas Carpon, Thomas D. Davies, George Morgan, and J(???) Williams went down to the east gangway, to endeavor to discover what caused a defect which had become apparent in circulation. Mr. Davies returned forty minutes afterwards and reported that a canvas brattice was to be placed across the east gangway to make a shorter draft.
At ten minutes to six o'clock, the names of Daniel Edwards, Madison Alabough, John Powell, of Avondale, and Rowland Jones of Plymouth, were reported as those men whose bodies had not been recovered.
At noon a committee headed by Mr. Benjamin Hughes, General Inside Foreman of the D. L. & W. RR. Co's mines, returned from an extensive exploration of the entire western portion of the mine, and reported no more bodies found.
A train of twenty cars loaded with people from Scranton and along the line arrived on the ground at a quarter past twelve o'clock.
- At half past one o'clock, the body of Rowland Jones, of Plymouth (Turkey Hill), was brought up the shaft. It was found in a car. His mouth was wide open and his eyes closed. Wife and two children.
- Madison Alabough, Avondale, came next. Mouth open; blood coming from the nose. Wife and three children - oldest seven years of age. It was said that this man had told his wife that if an accident ever occurred to the mine, he would be found living, as he knew just where to go for safety. His wife clung to the hope which this promise gave her, to the last, insisting all the time that Madison was all right. Poor woman, how sadly she was mistaken.
- Daniel Edwards, of Avondale. Countenance composed. During the war Mr. Edwards was a member of the Seventh Pennsylvania Reserve. Wife and one child.
- Mr. John Powell, of Avondale, was the one hundred and eighth man brought from the mine, and was the last one found therein. He was a son-in-law of Mr. Alabough and left a wife and one child.
The foregoing list of names is complied from a report taken as the bodies were one by one brought from the homes at Avondale, and recognized by relatives or friends. It is probably as accurate as it can be made without much more labor and time than the writer has available. In many names there was great difficulty finding persons who were able to recognize those brought out, and it (is) possible that in (certain situations) one or two may have been given wrong names. A Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Relief Fund report finding one Edward Bowen (whose name also appears among the list of burials in Hyde Park), his name not in the foregoing list, but the names of Edward Owen and Edward Bowen may have been switched by the committee. The committee found a James Jones, which name does not appear. In this case, James Jones and James Jasion may stand for the same individual. In any event, there should be one hundred and eight bodies recorded as brought from the mine, which is the number given in the proceeding pages.
MORE EXPLORATIONS AND THE REPORTS
At twenty minutes past two o'clock, p.m., Mssrs. Thom Carson of the Hampton mine, and George Morgan of Nanticoke, with twenty men, returned from the mine, and reported that they had explored every part of the workings, and were satisfied that all the bodies had been recovered.
At fifteen minutes past three o'clock, p.m., Mr. Lewis S. Jones, foreman of the "reliefs" in the tunnel, made the following statement to the jury:
Have been foreman at the head of the shaft from half past five p.m., Wednesday, until the present time. Have had three gangs of men, each of whom thoroughly explored the mine, the last gang numbered twenty men. I am satisfied that there is not a breast cross-cut airway, or car in the mine that has not been thoroughly examined, and I believe that not a man remains in the mine.
Shortly afterward, Mr. Benjamin Hughes made a report to the jury: "He had returned with four men from an exploration of the entire eastern portion of the mine. His particular errand was to find the coat which his brother, the Inside Foreman, hoping that a diary would be found which would give some information as to the operations of the men after they were shut in the mine. The coat, containing the two time books, a compass, and two pocket rules. Was found some five hundred or six hundred feet distant from the locality to which the body was sitting when discovered in the fatal gangway, showing that he had laid it down while engaged with the men in building the barricades behind which they eventually retreated."
From this fact it is possible that when Mr. Evan Hughes gave up all hope, he had no means of making a record from which the outside world could ascertain the length of time the miners lived, and what were their thoughts and occupations before they succumbed to the enemy which stole away their breath. From the appearance of the mine, it's evident that every minute of time was spent devising methods of shutting themselves out from the heat, smoke, and foul air generated by the mine and fire.
When the various reports were made, there was no longer room for doubt of the fact that every man who went into the mine on the morning of the fatal 6th day of September had been recovered. The jury, as well as the experienced miners predict, were fully satisfied that such was the case, and when the announcement was made to the assembled thousands, they departed to their homes. The jury also adjourned to meet on Saturday morning at Plymouth, there to take evidence in relation to the disaster, and to agree upon their verdict.
Continue with Part IV: The funerals, widows and orphaned children
Return to Part II: Initial recovery efforts
Harper's Weekly illustrations of the Avondale Disaster
Learn more about the Avondale Disaster victims buried in the Washburn Street cemetery.
View a survey of the Washburn Street cemetery, Hyde Park/Scranton
Read more about the history of Hyde Park with an emphasis on mining
Read more about Benjamin Hughes, brother of Avondale Mine Boss Evan Hughes
Return to the main page at the Thomas family web site
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