Coal Field, VA Coal Mine Explosion, Feb 1882

A MINE DISASTER IN VIRGINIA.

AN EXPLOSION IMPRISONS 32 MEN, WITH LITTLE HOPE OF THEIR RESCUE.

Coal Field, Va., Feb. 3 -- An explosion occurred at the Grove shaft of the Midlothian coal mines, about a mile and a half from here, at about 1 o'clock this afternoon. Thirty-two men were caught in the shaft, and there is little or no hope that any of them will be got out alive. The gas testers went down nearly to the bottom of the pit three times, but were forced to return on account of the smoke and gas, which were suffocating. They report the pit on fire, but they will make another effort in the morning to search for the unfortunate men. The news of the disaster spread very rapidly, and in a short time a crowd had gathered at the shaft, and the scene was most distressing, as nearly every one had some relative or friend among the entombed miners.
The cause of the disaster is not positively known. By some it is attributed to gas, while others say the boiler in the pit exploded. MR. GEORGE M. DODDS, the Superintendent, states that the gas-testers made an examination this morning, and reported that there was no gas to burn. There is no doubt, however, that those who were not killed by the explosion will be suffocated by black damp and smoke with which the pit is choked and through which no fresh air can penetrate.
The following is the list of the victims:
Whites:
WILLIAM H. MARSHALL, the bottom boss.
GEORGE JEWETT, JR.
A. W. JEWETT.
JAMES BROWN.
JOSEPH COURNOW.
JOHN MORRIS.
JAMES SHIELDS.
RICHARD COGBILL
Collored:
RICHARD MORGAN.
ROBERT BINFORD.
SAMUEL COX.
PLEASANT STEWART.
JOSEPH CUNLUPP.
BEN BROOKS.
ALEX LOGAN.
PETER HOPPER.
MAJOR POLLARD.
SOLOMON TAYLOR.
SQUIRE BRIGHT.
JOHN GREEN.
LEWIS HOBBS.
DANIEL HAMMOND.
ISHAM GRAVES.
ED. ROSS.
ROBERT BROOKS.
THOMAS SUMMELLS.
ALBERT HUGHES.
JAMES MILLS.
JEFF COLEMAN.
FRED ANDERSON.
The shaft in which the explosion occurred is nearly 600 feet deep, running about three-quarters of a mile in ta lateral direction. The Midlothion Coal Mines belong to the estate of the late H. H. BURROUGHS, of New York, and cost, about 12 years ago, between $400,000 and $500,000.

The New York Times New York 1882-02-04

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Coal Field, VA Coal Mine Explosion

My husbands 2nd great grandfather was James Brown who appears on the casualty list along with his 2 brothers in law George Jewett and Andrew Watson Jewett. James left behind a young widow and 3 small children, the youngest a 6 month old baby girl, Martha, who was my husband's great grandmother.