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. 

Just inside 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.  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.

Kathleen Cooper

Rev. Mr. 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.

All 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.

Under the management of Thomas Phillips, esq., of Summit Hill, the men were all laid in their final resting place.


Numbering 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.


Numbering 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.

The dead were buried in three rows in the following order, each one numbered:  


1. Thomas Morris   11. Morgan Watkin  
2. Thomas Davies 12. Richard Woolley  
3. John Burgh   13. Wm. J. Evans
4. John Burgh, Jr 14. Edward Edwards
5.  William Powell   15. Wm. Phorafit
6.  James Powell   16. John Jenkins  
7. Wm. Harding, & Wm. L. Williams 
in one grave  
17. John D. Evans
8. Wm. N. Williams 18. Wm. J. Davies  
9. Edwin Bowen   19. James T. Williams
10. Wm. D. Jones 20. John J. Thomas


1. Thomas Hatton and his son William, or Wille, ten years old Hatton, in one grave.   11. David J. Rees (son)  
2. Thomas D. Jones and Daniel D. Jones, in one grave. [see note above - kc] 12. David Rees (father)
3. David Thomas   13. William Rees (son)  
4. Thomas L. Jones  [see note above - kc] 14. Wm. T. Morgan  
5. Thomas Hughes and John Hughes, in one grave. 15. Lewis Davies  
6. William Lewis   16. Rees Lumley  
7. Samuel R. Morgan   17. Joseph Morris  
8. Evan Rees 18. John E. Thomas  
9. Henry Morris 19. Thos. Llewellyn  [see note above - kc]
10. James Phillips 20. Rees Llewellyn   [see note above - kc]


1. John Harris   6. Lewis Evans (second son)  
2. Richard Owen   7. Wm. Evans (first son)  
3. Wm. R. Rees 8. Wm. R. Evans (father)
4. William Evans   9. William Bowen  
5. Methuselah Evans (third son)   10. Rowland Jones (buried a day or two later)


Evan Hughes, inside boss, buried in the family lot. John Bowen was buried in the family lot.

Mr. Bowen being an odd fellow, he was buried by that fraternity, Rev. S.W. Weiss of Providence, officiating.

Thomas and Willie Phillips were buried in the family lot.

Patrick 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.

All 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.

Our 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.


Mayor’s office.

Scranton, Sept. 9. 1869

To the citizens of Scranton.

In 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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