July 18, 1938


Tragedy in underground cavern continued to trail the family of Levi Schmaltz,

early settler of Hughestown, as his third son George "Hum" Schmaltz was

instantly killed Tuesday beneath a fall of rock in No. 9 Colliery of the

Pittston Anthracite Coal Company. Two other brothers, Fred and Jacob, met

death in the mines, also.


When he went to work, George had no premonition that it was the last day and

that fate had decreed that he should depart from this earth in tragic miner,

similar to that which claimed his kin years ago.


Fred, old residents of the borough, recall, was killed when he fell down the

shaft at Barnum Colliery, after belong "kicked" by a dead mule. In those

days it was customary for mine workers to removed the carcasses of dead mules

to the surface via the cage. The cage was much smaller than those used today

and in order to get the mules' body on it, it was necessary to bend its legs

and tie them closely to its body. This had been done and Schmaltz was

assigned to go to the surface with the mule. The cage had ascended the shaft

for some distance when in some unknown manner the rope that held the dead

mule's legs became unloosened and the leg moved quickly and struck Schmaltz,

hurtling him through space to the bottom of the shaft where his lifeless body

was later found by co-workers.


Another brother, "Jake" Schmaltz, was working at the foot of No. 10 shaft

when a cage fell upon him causing instant death. The third brother was

working in a chamber, assisting George "Dietch" Moss, a miner, when a slab of

rock fell on his neck and crushed out his life, Tuesday. Much sorrow has

been occasioned in Hughestown by this tragic death and residents readily

recall the ill luck that befell the three brothers while working in the mines.


Moss, who narrowly escaped similar fate, his brother of former Chief of

Police, Steven Moss of Hughestown. His brother, Frank Moss, was killed in

No. # 9 colliery about 10 years ago.



The following article was in the Pittston Gazette in 1938, relating the

deaths of 3 members of my family.

The above information was donated by: MistyBIue49@aol.com
Mary Ann Lubinsky for the PAGenWeb Project, and by Individual Contributors