Victor, CO Anna Lee Mine Cave In, Jan 1896


Nine Men Perish in a Cave-In on the Anna Lee at Victor.


Five Others Are Imprisoned In the Workings of the Mine -- Foreman W. E. LOANE, Formerly of Aspen, One of the Doomed Men --- Will Take Ten Days to Reach the Miners.

Victor, Jan. 4. --- A terrible accident occurred about noon here today at the Anna Lee shaft on Battle mountain, belonging to the Portland mine. Nine men were caught in a big cave-in and four of these who were in the cage when the ground gave way, are probably dead.

The names of those who were in the cage are:
Those who were in the mine at the time are:
_______ COSGROVE.
_______ LEWIS.

It is believed it will take a week or ten days to rescue the entombed miners. The shaft on the Anna Lee is about 900 feet deep and the cave-in takes in the entire shaft from top to bottom.

The cause of the disaster cannot be definitely stated, but it is known that the timbering for some time past has been insufficient to sustain the great weight, both interally [sic] and perpendicularly, to which it has been subjected.
About two weeks ago the shaft of the Anna Lee shrank to such an extent near one of the stations about the middle of the shaft that that the cage upon which there were three men at the time would not pass down. This was the first indication that the workings were closing in and efforts were made to remedy the trouble.
The cave-in began thirty-five feet from the top and the debris has filled the greather part of the shaft. The work of rescue was started at once and great efforts are being made to reach the men. It is doubtful, however, if they can be reached in time to save any of them.
There is great excitement among mining men at Victor in consequence of the accident.
The foreman of the mine, W. E. LOANE, who was caught on the cage, and for whose escape from death there is little hope, is well know in Aspen. He lived in this city for many years, was at one time foreman of the Aspen mine, and engaged in numerous mining enterprises here. He has been an invalid for a couple of years, suffering with inflammatory rheumatism. Recently his health improved and he accepted the position of foreman on the Anna Lee.
ED GLADDEN of this city received a letter a day or two ago from MR. LOANE in which the letter stated that he had commenced work for the Portland company as foreman of the Anna Lee on Sunday, December 22.
MR. LOANE was about 38 years of age and leaves a wife but no children.
Victor, Jan. 6. --- The rescue force on the Anna Lee has been working all day, but none of the buried men have yet been reached.
All work on the Portland property has been suspended and the most competent miners are engaged in the rescue work. The men are working at the fifth, or 240-foot level and the cage is supposed to be hear the fourth level. Entrance was gained through the Scranton shaft on the fifth level. The thirty feet of debris lying between the rescuers and the fourth level will probably be cleared before morning. The objective point is the cage and the idea that three men are in it urges the work in that direction.

Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1896-01-11


Thomas Harnan

Interesting to learn more about this. My Great Uncle was Thomas Harnan and his brother was John M Harnan who got off the elevator just before Thomas went down the shaft. It took me a while to realize that my Great Grandfather (also John M Harnan but cousin of Thomas and John) was not the one almost killed. Turns out that my great grandfather was their lawyer.

William E. Loane

It has been very interesting and very sad to read about the mine disaster which took the life of William E. Loane. My grandmother was Florence Loane Lynch. William's grandfather, Edmund Loane, and my great great grandfather, John Loane, were brothers and lived in Baltimore.

William E. Loane

I just purchased a cabinet card photograph, taken in 1882 in Baltimore, of William E. Loane. Born about 1859 and raised In Baltimore, he worked as a draftsman. He was the son of builder Harry Loane. It's a shock to learn he was killed in the Anna Lee disaster. Thank you so much for posting this article..