Plymouth, 13 Feb 1894
We are called upon to detail the awful scenes of another miner horror. Thirteen men who went down to repair some damaged worklugs in the Gaylord slope at Plymouth are caught by a fall of coal and most probably called to the great beyond, their bodies crushed and very little hope entertained for their recovery for days to come. It has been noticed for some time past that the workings in the Gaylord slope, owned by Daniel EDWARDS, of Kingston, located near the Bull Run crossing, Plymouth, gave evidence of a squeeze on the pillars. A gang of men were detailed to go down and do some timbering at 5:30 pm on Monday. At one o'clock pm today an alarm was given that the mine was caving. It was soon discovered to be a certainty, and the men are now shut in with very little hope expressed of their ever being taken out alive. The majority of the entombed men are married and have large families to support and the fate of the widows and orphans left without husband or father is sad to contemplate. The following is a complete list of the names of the men:
Thomas MERRIMAN, married Walnut St
John MORRIS, married, Centre Ave
Mine Foreman, Thomas PICTON, married Shawnee Ave
Thomas JONES, married, Walnut St
Richard DAVIS, married Meginnes St
Daniel MORGAN, widower, Walnut St
Michael WALSH, married, Avondale
John HOMER, married, Shawnee Ave
Peter S. MC LAUGHLIN, married, Avondale
Joseph OLDS, married, Orchard St
Thomas COLE, married, Willow St
Thomas LYSHON, single, boards with Geo. PICTON
The cave took place in what is known as the Bennet, seven-foot and five foot veins. It is about one square mile in extent and affects the central portion of the town of Plymouth. The surface has not as yet been affected beyond a few cracks which are visible in several places.
The outlets to the mine----(not readable) most closed, thus making --(not readable) . On Monday afternoon a part of timber men in charge of Mine Foreman PICTON went down the shaft for the purpose of standing heavy timber in order to stay the progress of the squeeze. Their method of operation is supposed to have been the same as usual in cases of the same kind. The men got as near as possible to the cave, and by the insertion of props, endeavor to break off the rock at certain point in order to lessen the pressure on other portions of the mine. It seems that these men were not very successful, as the cave extended for beyond the danger line. This fact is proven by the extent of the cave. There is a very faint hope that a few pillars have been left standing which will afford the men safety for a few days until a rescuing party can reach them. There is very little upon which to build this hope however, and the probabilities are that they are dead before this writing. At five o'clock a rescuing party composed of the following men was organized to search for the entombed men: Superintendent James B.
DAVIES, John DAVIS, a miner employed at No 12 colliery; D. M. MORRIS, assistant mine foreman at the Gaylord slope, and several others. They were inside but a short time, however, when they were compelled to retreat on account of the cave, which was awful in its intensity. The crashing of the huge rocks, the rolling and rumbling of the distant falls reverberated through the narrow chambers, and the rush and roar of the wind caused by the concussion was enough to strike terror to the stoutest heart, and the rescuing party came to the surface, where a council was held as to the next best thing to be affect a rescue. Early this morning Mine Inspector WILLIAMS, Superintendent MORGANS of Wilkes-Barre, and Civil Engineer, RICHARDS of the L & W B C CO. Morgan ROSSER of Kingston and Superintendent COBLEIGH are doing all in their power in order to rescue the men. The scene around the mine can be better imagined than described.
The wives and children of the entombed men gathered around the shaft and made the air resound with their piteous wails of distress. Men, gathered from all parts, with willing hearts and strong arms were in plenty and willing to work, but the day wore on without any gleam of hope that the men were safe. The mine is supposed to be a total wreck.
During the afternoon the mules were taken out of the shaft, as the cave had extended close to the foot. In the even of the shaft closing, as it is feared it will, all hopes of rescuing the bodies will have to be abandoned for some time to come. The Kingston Coal company operate, the shaft and the Gaylord slope. The latter is situated about 200 yards from the shaft and extends westerly under the mountain. The working of the shaft extends toward the river in a south easterly direction. There is no connection between the two and it was in the shaft the men were working.
It was said they were warned yesterday that there was danger, but they did not think that the danger was sufficiently great, to cause them to stay out of the mines. They said, however, upon going down, that if anything should happen they would be at the big branch in the Bennett vein. The five-foot is the upper and the Bennett the lower vein in the Gaylord shaft, and it was in this they were working. The D & H colliery No 5 is located close to the Gaylord and about 500 feet of a pillar separates the two with no connections. It is expected that this heavy pillar will break off the cave and the D & H mine will suffer no damage.
At about noon the women had returned to their homes. Around the mines the crowd of men stood in the raw cold air and did not seem to know what to do, although the officials were working hard to devise some means of rescue. The latest news from the scene of the disaster is that in order to rescue the men about 300 feet of solid coal will have to be penetrated before they can be found.
NOTE: When I got to the end of this film they had found all but the last body after many days of working on the project.This Article was donated by Marge Gray.
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