Dawson, NM Mine Explosion, Feb 1923
CAUSE OF MINE BLAST UNKNOWN
SEVENTY OF DAWSON DEAD ARE BURIED WITH SIMPLE CEREMONY.
MINERS ARE BURIED
DEATH LIST IN MINE DISASTER EXPECTED TO TOTAL ONE HUNDRED TWENTY.
Dawson, N. M. - The shattered depths of Dawson mine No. 1 had given up seventy dead and two living. Within the subterranean tomb fifty miners still remain. It is more than a reasonable certainty that all have perished, according to officials.
Bathed in the warm rays of the dazzling sun, Dawson set about the task of burying her dead. The rough pine boxes, carrying all that was mortal of those whose lives were snuffed out in the disaster, were borne through the main street of the town, out along the winding rustic trail to the peaceful, cross-bedecked hillside, which is to be their last resting place.
A small knot of men idled around the entrance to the mine waiting for more bodies to be brought out. A huge crowd surged against the ropes which barred them from the mine mouth. In the crowd were many women and children. As in the other days since the blast, they are dry-eyed, unemotional and quiet.
Touching scenes were enacted in the little Catholic church of Dawson and at the graveside. It was there, apparently that the full realization of the enormity of their loss smote for the first time many of those who have been too stunned by the explosion to betray their sorrow.
In a few brief words of comfort, Father Joseph Couterier and a visiting priest sought to assuage the pain of the people left behind, as the last rites of the church were administered to their loved ones.
In Protestant homes the last rites were simple.
Dawson's soldier dead were buried with such military services as possible in the emergency. The coffins of the men who had served in the World War were wrapped in the Stars and Stripes.
Each grave will be marked with a simple cross bearing the name of the occupant. Adjoining the burial plot of Thursday's disaster are more than 20 graves of Dawson men who died when Stag Canon Mine No. 2 was wrecked by an explosion in 1913.
Regular shifts of more than fifty men worked inside the mine. In several instances bodies have been found to be deeply buried in debris. Others are more visible beyond piles of rocks and coal and will be brought out as soon as passageways have been cleared for the stretcher-bearers.
Daniel Harrington, supervising engineer of the United States bureau of mines, after a journey through the damaged mine, declared his search had revealed nothing to indicate what was responsible for the blast.
'The mine shows the usual wrecked condition of a mine after an explosion," he declared.
Akron Weekly Pioneer Press, Akron, CO 16 Feb 1923