Plymouth, PA Avondale Mine Disaster, Sept 1869 - Timeline


Scranton, Sept. 8. -- At 1:15 o'clock a. m. four men went down the shaft and were gone thirty-five minutes, and discovered dinner cans and cups. At 6:30 a. m. four more went down and were gone thirty minutes. They discovered the whole company of miners dead in the east side of the plane. Preparations are making to send down six gangs of four men each, and the bodies will be brought out as rapidly as possible. The foul air does not interfere to any great extent.

At 7:30 o'clock one of the gangs reported that they went up the plane just beyond which a barrier was met, consisting of a car packed around with coal and clothing. This was cleared away, and proceeding a little further another barrier was net, nearly completed, and constructed as the first. One man was found upon the outside, where he had been at work laying up the wall. All was completed save a small aperture sufficient to admit the passage of a human body, and it is inferred that he had just finished his task and was preparing to join his companions on the opposite side by crawling back. This barrier was removed when the whole force of miners were found congregated and piled one upon another, and dead.

9:10 o'clock – The fourth body exhumed was WM. P. EWELL of Plymouth; eyes both open, and head turned aside. He had a son in the mine.

9:30 A. M. -- DANIEL JONES, who lost his life in an effort to rescue his companions on Monday night, and THOMAS WILLIAMS, who also sacrificed his life for the same object, are to be buried this afternoon. At 9:45, MR. WM. HOLLIDAY was brought from the mine nearly exhausted. The fifth body rescued was a boy named WM. WILLIAMS, aged 14 years. He worked here only one day. The sixth body is MATTHEW EVANS; he died in great agony. Active preparations are making for the immediate removal of the bodies, which work will consume the greater part of the day, owing to the lack of facilities for hoisting. The condition of the mines is improving.

At 8:15, Coroner _____, of Plymouth, who was on the ground, impaneled a jury of inquest, who will view the bodies as they are brought out.

8:40 a. m. -- The body of JOHN BOWEN, of Plymouth, a miner, was the third brought out. His left eye is partially open, but otherwise his countenance is placid. He leaves a wife and one child. He was found outside the barricade, behind which were all the other bodies. He was evidently overcome before he could get through. The names of the dead men will be announced as fast as they are brought out, and relatives will be allowed to enter the mines. The coroners jury have just viewed the bodies of STEELE and SLOCUM. The men engaged in bringing out the bodies are required to be sworn to the fact in each case E. L. MIERIMAN and H. B. PAYNE, lawyers, of Wilkes-barre, are attending the jury, and Father O'HARA, of Wilkesbarre, is present.

Scranton, Pa., Sept, 8. -- Up to 7:15 this evening the work of bringing the dead bodies to the surface proceeded steadily. Sixty bodies have now been raised, and the funerals will be held tomorrow from Avondale.

A dispatch has been received from President SLOAN, of the Delware [sic], Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, ordering all shops and works of the Company to be closed, and free trains run to and from Avondale and all prominent points on the road. The stores in Pittston were closed to-day, and a meeting held to raise funds for the relief of the sufferers. Mayor HILL, of this city, will, in the morning, issue a proclamation ordering the places of business to be closed on the 9th and 10th inst. Relief subscriptions received as follows: $5,000 from the New York Board of Brokers, $2,500 from ASA PACKER, and $500 from Gov. GEARY.

The Janesville Gazette Wisconsin 1869-09-09