OF THE AVONDALE MINE DISASTER BURIED AT
The following text is from a news story about the burials of victims of the Avondale Mine disaster, 6 September, 1869 and was extracted from a compilation of data done by James Ellsworth for the Plymouth Historical Society, Plymouth, Pennsylvania. Mr. Ellsworth kindly gave permission to post this information on the Luzerne Co. GenWeb site. This excerpt is offered here as found ~ the only editing has been to format for easier reading.
On 13 October, 2000 I visited the Washburn Street Cemetery [Hyde Park Cemetery] (1915 Washburn Street Scranton 18504-2405) with family members and found several of the graves in the location reported here, including that of my great-great-grandfather, William Powell and his son, James. Let me say here that we could not have found these graves without the help of the Plymouth Historical Society.
the cemetery entrance is a memorial to the victims
of the disaster. With the memorial behind you, turn left at the first intersecting road: the graves are
on the right. There was a very large tree near them when we visited, but I
noticed they had been trimming trees, so it might be gone by now.
of the stones were worn and illegible,
toppled and lay face down.
Some of the stones were worn and illegible, others were toppled and lay face down.
The victims' names whose headstones were photographed are linked to the photos and are shown in color below ~ just click on the link to view the photograph. There is one photograph of a broken headstone I have labeled Unknown: the date of death is clearly 6 September 1869, but the name is difficult to read (poss. Thomas and/or Rees Llewellyn?). There is also a photograph of a marker for Thomas Jones, but I'm not sure whether this is Thomas D. Jones or Thomas L. Jones.
Note: I have no further information about these graves than what is presented here, but will share photos (slightly higher resolution than shown here). For more information about the disaster, contact the Plymouth Historical Society ~ and while you're at it, please send a small donation to help them save these resources.
Morgans, pastor of the Welsh Baptist Church at Plymouth, announced the
sad intelligence that all but three of the male members of his church
perished by the Avondale calamity. He felt confident that they were all
prepared to meet their god.
those who were not relatives of the dead were requested to give room to
the mourners, to allow them the privilege of looking for the last time
on the rough coffins which were in line. At this time, the scene was sad
beyond description. Mothers wailing the death of their sons, wives their
husbands, sisters their brothers. Few were the eyes that were dry as
they listened to the crying over her poor Jim, or John, or Edward, or
William, and when the dust had returned to dust, the poor heart-broken
creatures gave vent to their emotions in sobs and several then fainted
away. The sad scenes of yesterday will never be obliterated from memory.
the management of Thomas Phillips, esq., of Summit Hill, the men were
all laid in their final resting place.
THE SECOND LOT
five coffins reached the depot at four o’clock and were immediately
conveyed to the same place and after a prayer by Rev. Isaac Bovan, were
laid in the grave.
eleven coffins, reached the depot at near seven o’clock, and were also
conveyed to the cemetery. By this time, it was dark and the scene was
sad and impressive. All eyes were wet as they looked at the long, live.
Wending itself slowly to the graveyard. Religious service was held over
nine of the victims on the same spot as the others had been held; a
prayer being offered by Rev. Joseph C. Davies, while Rev. E.B. Evans,
made an affecting prayer over the remains of Thomas and Willie Phillips.
Two brothers, noble and industrious who were the only support of their
parents; the father being unable to work for years having been attacked
with paralytic stroke. The cries of the poor distressed mother were
heartrending in the extreme.
dead were buried in three rows in the following order, each one
Hughes, inside boss, buried in the family lot. John Bowen was buried in
the family lot.
Bowen being an odd fellow, he was buried by that fraternity, Rev. S.W.
Weiss of Providence, officiating.
and Willie Phillips were buried in the family lot.
Burk’s remains were taken in charge by his friends on the arrival of
the first train yesterday, and conveyed to his late residence on Shanty
Hill. He will be buried this afternoon.
that is mortal of William H. Williams and his son, William Williams,
will be interred this afternoon, at half-past one o’clock. From their
home on Prospect St., opposite the old Presbyterian church, Hyde Park.
reporter desires to return thanks for favors shown him to the following
gentlemen: Messrs. W.F. Hallstead, Bogart, Joseph Zimmerman, W.H.H.
Tripp, John L. Lewis, Daniel S. Roberts, and Julius Fern of the firm of
Fern & Skillhorn.
Sept. 9. 1869
the citizens of Scranton.
behalf of the bereaved, I hereby tender you their fervent thanks for the
faithful observance of my recommendations of the 8th, 9th, and 10th.
© 2001 Kathleen Cooper
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