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Mine Disasters in the United States

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Children Killed in Mine Accidents in the United States
See also: Women Killed in Mine Accidents
Children Killed in Anthracite Mines, 1899-1932
Additional Resources Regarding Child Labor
More About the Boy Pictured Here  (1.6 Mb)  PDF Format

— 1860 —

05/07/1860 - Reppliers Coal Pits - Reppliers Colliery
Location:  Minersville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  On Monday morning about 9 o'clock at Reppliers Colliery, Minersville, an explosion of firedamp took place, shockingly mutilating 2 miners and 2 boys.  One miner and one of the boys died.  The explosion was caused by the neglect of the miners in leaving their safety lamps in the breasts at night, and going in in the morning with naked lamps to get them.
08/13/1860 - Hoch Coal Pits - Hoch Colliery
Location:  Forestville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  An explosion of firedamp at Forestville on Monday of last week resulted in the instant death of 1 man and a boy and the fearful crushing and maiming of 2 boys.  The man was the fireboss at the colliery.  One of the boys struck a match in the presence of gas.

— 1870 —

04/22/1870 - G. H. Potts and Company - Diamond Slope Colliery
Location:  Wolf Creek, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  Disaster which originated by the explosion of a boiler at the breaker on the morning of the 22nd April, which resulted in the death of John Kelly, (a boy) William Keoch, Richard Hennesy, (boy) John H, Koelle, (boy) and Mr. Given 5 persons; and the injuring of John Combs, John Sheaffer, Christian Weaver, Thomas Campbell, Jacob Friler, Jacob Molley, Bernard Mohan, Alexander Leybach and John Sheaffer - 5 boys and 4 men.

— 1883 —

02/16/1883 - Wilmington Coal, Mining & Manufacturing Co. - Diamond Mine
Location:  Braidwood, Will County, Illinois
Description:  The following children were victims of the Diamond Mine Inundation at Braidwood, Illinois: John Pearson, age 13; Mat Redmond, age 13; William McQuiston, age 14; Robert Stewart, age 14; Lewis Huber, age 15.

— 1885 —

09/18/1885 - Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron - Otto Colliery
Location:  Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  A gas explosion in this mine killed one boy and fatally injured five others.
12/18/1885 - Susquehanna Coal Company - Nanticoke No. 1 Mine
Location:  Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Description:  Two 14-year-old boys, Thomas Clifford and William Delaney, were among the 26 that were killed in the inrush of quicksand and water following a cave-in at the Nanticoke No. 1 mine in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

— 1886 —

01/12/1886 - Rocky Mountain Coal and Iron Company - Almy No. 4 Mine
Location:  Almy, Uinta County, Wyoming
Description:  The night of January 12 about 25 minutes to 12, the people of the vicinity were startled by a loud report as of thunder, and for a few seconds the sky was illuminated for miles like a bright-yellow sunset.  The noise and light, proceeding from the No. 4 mine, was caused by an explosion of gas, the force of which was so terrific as to blow all of the buildings aboveground into kindling wood, sending great timbers and rocks three-quarters of a mile.  Eleven men and two boys were said to have been in the mine, and all were killed.
01/21/1886 - Newburg Orrel Coal Company - Orrel Mine
Location:  Newburg, Preston County, West Virginia
Description:  Among the 39 victims of the Orrel Mine explosion was 14-year-old, William Timmons.  He was the door trapper of the mine and his business was to mind the door opening from a space about the foot of the shaft into the main entry.  He was lying on his face about six feet from the cage.  His bones were broken in several places and his heavy cloth trousers almost entirely torn from his limbs.  Isaiah Timmons, the boy's father and the mine fireboss was also killed in the disaster.

— 1888 —

11/06/1888 - D. & H. Coal Company - Unspecified Breaker
Location:  Five Points, Pennsylvania
Description:  Hugh Brown, a breaker boy, engaged in the D. & H. Coal Company's breaker, at Five Points, was instantly killed on Tuesday, by being run over by nine breaker cars.  The works had shut down at three o'clock in the afternoon, but Brown, in company with a number of his associates loitered about to play.  They loosened the brake on the mine cars, and they ran down the incline, striking the unfortunate boy, and killing him instantly.  He was 14 years of age.  Source document  PDF Format
11/09/1888 - Cherokee and Pittsburg Coal Co. - Frontenac Shaft No. 2
Location:  Frontenac, Crawford County, Kansas
Description:  A total of 40 men and boys were killed in an explosion at Mine No. 2, owned by the Cherokee and Pittsburg Coal and Mining Company.  The blast was so strong that it broke windows in nearby houses.  There were six teenagers killed, including two 13-year-olds.

— 1890 —

06/16/1890 - Dunbar Furnace Co. - Hill Farm Mine
Location:  Dunbar, Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Description:  This mine had a 500-foot bore hole that had filled with water.  A miner accidentally tapped into the bore hole and caused water to rush out.  A boy at the top of the hole heard the water and tried to warn the others only to his detriment he had an open flame head lamp on which caused the natural gas that had become trapped in the bore hole to ignite starting a fire in the mine.
07/11/1890 - Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company - No. 5 Breaker
Location:  Lansford, Pennsylvania
Description:  A breaker boy named David Llewellyn was almost instantly killed in No. 5 breaker of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, and his body fearfully mangled.  He was 15 years of age, and was employed as a slate-picker.  As the coal was coming down the chutes slowly, young Llewellyn left his seat and walked to another part of the breaker.  He picked up a piece of belt and held it against the shaft at one end of the main screen.  The belt was finally caught in the shaft and before Llewellyn could release his hold of the belt he was drawn up and whirled around the shaft with fearful rapidity.  His body was drawn through a small space and was terribly mangled before the breaker machinery could be stopped.  A sickening sight was presented to the other employees and after Llewellyn's body had been removed to his home at Summit Hill, the colliery suspended work for the day.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1892 —

05/23/1892 - Unspecified Company - Brookside Colliery
Location:  Tower City, Pennsylvania
Description:  Charles McNeil, age 14, met with an accident at the Brookside colliery which resulted in his death.  While at work he was caught by a rush of coal and carried into the breaker rollers, and before the machinery could he stopped his right leg was horribly mangled.  The boy was at once removed to his home where Drs. Wilson and Phillips attended him, but he died about ten hours after the accident.  Source document  PDF Format
10/11/1892 - Unspecified Company - Ellengowan Colliery
Location:  Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
Description:  Jerry Burns, age 14, met with a horrible death at Ellengowan Colliery, near Shenandoah.  He was employed as breaker boy, and while working, he fell into the rollers and was crushed to death.  Source document  PDF Format
1892 PA Anthracite Annual Report  (28 Mb)  PDF Format
Location:  Pennsylvania
Description:  In the Second and Seventh Pennsylvania Anthracite Districts, nine boys were killed.
  • Robert Adamson, miner boy, 12
  • Andy Borafskie, miner boy, 14
  • Edward Chadwick, door boy
  • Daniel Connelly, a coupler, 14
  • Joseph Jones, miner boy, 13
  • James S. Limbaugh, trapper boy, 13
  • John Mclntire, miner boy
  • David Stevenson, miner boy, 13
  • Dan Williams, a door boy, 15
And here's a sickening quote about these deaths found buried in this report:
"It seems a pity for these youths to lose their lives so early, and more so when caused by carelessness on the part of their own fathers."

Note: This report was selected at random External Link without knowing if any fatalities of children occurred.

— 1893 —

06/22/1893 - Susquehanna Coal Co. - Susquehanna No. 1 Colliery
Location:  Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Description:  While eight men were at work at Nanticoke in No. 6 gangway of No. 9 slope of the Susquehanna Coal Company, about three quarters of a mile from the bottom of the shaft, a terrific explosion of gas took place, which hurled the victims off their feet and scattered them in all directions killing four men and a boy instantly and seriously, but not fatally injuring three more.

— 1894 —

08/24/1894 - Oregon Improvement Company - Franklin Mine
Location:  Franklin, King County, Washington
Description:  Joseph Stanridge, age 16, was among 37 that were killed in a fire at this mine in 1894.

— 1895 —

04/19/1895 - Pratt Coal & Coke Co. - Pratt No. 6 Mine
Location:  Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama
Description:  John Ely, age 16 or 17, was killed in the Pratt No. 6 mine, cause unknown.
09/14/1895 - Unspecified Company - Horton Colliery Breaker
Location:  Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania
Description:  James Quinn, employed in the breaker of the Horton Colliery, employed as a slate picker, was killed there by being caught between the machinery.  The boy was 14 years old and was at work near the belt wheel at the rollers when he became caught between the belt and the wheel.  He was removed to his home but was so badly injured that he died before he reached there.  Source document  PDF Format
10/01/1895 - Unspecified Company - No. 4 Breaker
Location:  Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania
Description:  Joseph Tubois, a slate picker, aged 16 years, met with a horrible death at the No. 4 breaker.  While playing with a number of companions, he accidently fell into a revolving coal screen.  Before he could be rescued his body was ground into a shapeless mass.  Source document  PDF Format
12/20/1895 - Dayton Coal And Iron Company - Nelson Mine
Location:  Dayton, Rhea County, Tennessee
Description:  Irvin Arthur McMillan, age 15, was among the 28 killed in an explosion in the Nelson Mine, believed to have been caused by open lamps.

— 1896 —

04/16/1896 - Unspecified Company - Nottingham mine
Location:  Plymouth, Pennsylvania
Description:  Molic Addude, 16-years-old, a breaker boy at the Nottingham mine, Plymouth, was killed while going to work.  In crossing the track, a trip of oars pushed by a breaker locomotive knocked him down and several cars passed over his chest.  Source document  PDF Format
08/03/1896 - Goodwill Coal and Coke Co. - Goodwill Mine
Location:  Goodwill, Mercer County, West Virginia
Description:  A trapper was run over by loaded mine cars inside the mine.  It is believed that he had gone to sleep on the tracks and was not awakened by the approach of the trip of cars.  He was a negro boy of twelve years old.

— 1897 —

01/13/1897 - Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. - New Wadesville Shaft
Location:  Wadesville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  This incident occurred while the men engaged in sinking the shaft were changing shifts.  The chargeman of the day shift, with three laborers, got on the bucket to go down, taking with them the pump boy.  During the time the bucket had been standing at the landing, the cross head had been frozen to the guides above the surface landing, and, unnoticed by the men, did not follow the bucket down.  The bucket stopped at the pump station, 200 feet below the surface, and the day and night shift pump boys traded places.  The bucket was again lowered and when about 100 feet below the pump station, the crosshead became loose by the jarring of the rope through it, and went down, striking the bucket, breaking the cross head, and one of the three chains by which the bucket was suspended, knocked the four men off, causing them to fall to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 300 feet killing them instantly.  Theodore Frounkenstein, age 16, was listed among the dead.

— 1898 —

12/14/1898 - Cook and White Mine
Location:  Madrid, Santa Fe County, New Mexico
Description:  Robert Johnson, an American, trapper, age 14, died instantly in the Cook and White Mine when he fell under a pit car and his body was mashed.  Source document External Link

— 1899 —

02/17/1899 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Scott County, Tennessee
Description:  Robert Buttram, age 15, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Scott County, Tennessee.
04/21/1899 - Cook and White Mine
Location:  Madrid, Santa Fe County, New Mexico
Description:  Four men and a boy, Francis E. Watts, age 16, were killed in an explosion of gas in the Cook and White Mine at 11:50 a.m. The gas was ignited by the open lights two of the men took into the area.  The four men were: Fred Aira, Italian, age 32; John Piva, Italian, age 39; John Sienowesky, a Polander, age 35; and Adam Jerosewiez, a Polander, age 35.

— 1900 —

01/18/1900 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Campbell County, Tennessee
Description:  William H. McBrayer, age 16, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Campbell County, Tennessee.
07/03/1900 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Anderson County, Tennessee
Description:  Walter Riley, age 16, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Anderson County, Tennessee.
11/09/1900 - Buck Mountain Coal Company - Buck Mountain Colliery
Location:  Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Description:  John G. McGlynn, age 16, was among the 7 miners killed in an explosion at the Buck Mountain mine.

— 1901 —

02/02/1901 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Campbell County, Tennessee
Description:  Robert Hise, age 14, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Campbell County, Tennessee.
02/09/1901 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Morgan County, Tennessee
Description:  William Burns, age 16, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Morgan County, Tennessee.
05/07/1901 - Unspecified Company - Elba Mine
Location:  Biwabik, Minnesota
Description:  The 2 sons of Joseph Feit, ages 10 and 12, and Andrew Selakdichs, 12, were killed in the Elba Mine at Biwabik, Minnesota.  The boys were playing with a car which was used in the shaft.  One of the boys turned a switch the wrong way and the car crashed down the shaft opening, hurling the boys to the shaft bottom, killing them instantly.  Source document  PDF Format
05/27/1901 - Dayton Coal And Iron Co. - New Richland Mine
Location:  Dayton, Rhea County, Tennessee
Description:  William Mathis and Tom Walker, both age 16, were killed in a series of explosions at this mine.  In all, 20 were killed and 8 were injured.  The origin was a blown-out shot at the head of a cross entry, followed by the explosion of a keg of powder on the main entry causing a second coal-dust explosion.
06/04/1901 - Unspecified Operator - Unspecified Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Grundy County, Tennessee
Description:  Walter Mason, age 16, was fatally injured in a mine accident in Grundy County, Tennessee.

— 1902 —

07/10/1902 - Cambria Steel Co. - Rolling Mill Mine
Location:  Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Description:  At 11:30 a.m. the explosion in the Klondike section killed 112 persons, 7 by force of burns and the rest from suffocation by afterdamp.  Twenty-one others were rescued alive.  The destruction from the force of the detonation was small . . . attesting to its feebleness.  No. 2 room had been cut through to the rib fall on No. 5 entry where gas was known to exist.  The gas was ignited by coming in contact with one or both of the miners' open lamps, found in the face of the room.  Listed among the dead were 2 boys: Frank Sabot, 16 years old and John Yuminski, age unknown.
09/19/1902 - Clarksburg Fuel Co. - Pinnickinnick No. 1 Mine
Location:  Fairmont, Harrison County, West Virginia
Description:  This miner got on the rear end of front trip of loaded cars that were being dropped out on main track by the tippleman and which were being closely followed by another section of loads which overtook the front trip, striking them and jarring the boy off.  He fell to the track and four cars of coal passed over his right arm and body.
11/04/1902 - Temple Coal and Iron Company - Sterrick Creek Colliery
Location:  Jessup, Pennsylvania
Description:  Joseph Koval, a 14-year-old slatepicker, was killed at the Sterrick Creek colliery of the Temple Coal and Iron company at Jessup, by being caught in the machinery. The boy's body was terribly mangled.   Source document  PDF Format

— 1903 —

07/01/1903 - Turkey Gap Coal & Coke Co. - Turkey Gap Mine
Location:  Ennis, McDowell County, West Virginia
Description:  Victim was employed as switch boy and fell asleep at his work and was run over by trip of mine cars before it could be stopped.

— 1905 —

02/14/1905 - Lehigh Valley Coal Company - Maltbv Breaker
Location:  Forty Fort, Pennsylvania
Description:   Frank Heffer, age 16, of Forty Fort and employed as a slate picker In the Maltbv breaker of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company.  Shortly after he went to work yesterday morning, fell in the roller, and was horribly mangled about the abdomen.  Source document  PDF Format
04/27/1905 - Berwind-White Company - Eleanora Mine
Location:  DuBois, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
Description:  John Hopkins, age 14, was one of 13 victims of the Eleanora Mine Explosion in DuBois, Pennsylvania.
12/04/1905 - Cardiff Coal Company - Horton Mine Fire
Location:  Horton, Kanawha County, West Virginia
Description:  Robert Gowens, age 14, was one of 7 miners that were killed by suffocation in the Horton mine fire.  Thomas Gowens, Robert's father, was deposed and provided the following testimony:
My son, Robert, was 14 years of age last June, 1905.  His occupation was helping me in mines as a miner.  I worked in what is known as the third left entry, in room.  My son John came into my place and asked me how many more cars I was going to load, and afterwards returned to his place of work, but returned to my place in about two or three minutes and said, 'Oh, Pa, get your things and lets get out of here,' and I grabbed my things and started.  My son Robert grabbed my bucket and started with me.  My older son, John, took Robert and told me to go on.  The above is all the notice I had of the furnace being on fire and smoke coming back in the mine.
12/13/1905 - Kanawha Gas Coal Co. - Kanawha Gas Mine
Location:  Smithers, Fayette County, West Virginia
Description:  A switch-boy attempted to jump on the front of a motor as it was approaching the mouth of the mine coming out about 200 feet from daylight, and fell under it.

— 1906 —

07/03/1906 - Thacker Coal and Coke Co. - Thacker No. 2 Mine
Location:  Thacker, Mingo County, West Virginia
Description:  A trapper boy had the habit of jumping on mine cars.  He had been frequently warned by the mine foreman and drivers to discontinue this habit.  He was trapping on the main entry between 13th and 14th left, in riding from 14th to 13th left he tried to get off but slipped and fell and the front wheel of the car crushed his leg.  He was taken to the hospital at Welch but died two days after the accident.  He was 13 years old.
12/20/1906 - United States Coal and Coke Co. - No. 6 Mine
Location:  Gary, McDowell County, West Virginia
Description:  A boy was working with his father and while shoveling material back from where his father was working, the slate fell without warning, fracturing his skull and causing death.

— 1907 —

01/26/1907 - Kingston Coal Company - No. 3 Colliery
Location:  Pennsylvania
Description:  James Brennan, age 14, was employed as door boy and that a car jumped the track and he was squeezed to death.  The evidence was also produced that the boy was only 14 years of age and that his father. Patrick Brennan, permitted his son to work in the mines knowing that he was violating the law.  Source document  PDF Format
03/28/1907 - Seattle Electric Company
Location:  Renton County, Washington
Description:  Victim's little son was waiting for his father to finish work so that he might ride the horse to the barn.  As the father was dumping his last car, the boy fell into the hot ashes.  The father jumped to rescue him and both were so badly burned that they died a few days later.
06/03/1907 - Unspecified Company - Ewen Breaker
Location:  Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania
Description:  A little Polish boy named George Vichcowchki, of Wllford Street, a slate picker at the Ewen breaker, attempted to board a moving coal train on the Erie railroad near the colliery, when he lost his footing and fell under the wheels, which almost cut the body in two.  Source document  PDF Format
08/20/1907 - Ellsworth Collieries Company - Ellsworth No. 1 Mine
Location:  Pennsylvania
Description:  James Henderson, age 16, and another older miner were killed instantly when they were struck by a pole that fell which was being used to hoist a piece of machinery.  Source: 1907 Pennsylvania Annual Report
12/19/1907 - Pittsburg Coal Company - Darr Mine
Location:  Van Meter, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Description:  According to the official death toll of miners killed in the Darr Mine explosion, seventeen (17) of the dead were under the age of 18, the youngest being 13 years-of-age.  These children were employed by the Pittsburg Coal Company and do not include any relatives who may have been in the mine helping fathers, uncles, and brothers.
12/30/1907 - Keystone Coal & Coke Company - Hempfield No. 3 Mine
Location:  Pennsylvania
Description:  George Pfiester, age 16, was fatally injured by a fall of coal at the face of a room while at work in the company of his father.  Source: 1907 Pennsylvania Annual Report

— 1908 —

05/13/1908 - Lehigh Valley Coal Company - Prospect Colliery
Location:  Midvale, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Description:  At 12:30 noon, May 13, 1908, a fall of roof occurred in No. 4 road, No. 246 Bowkley vein in Midvale slope by which a timberman, a timberman's helper, a miner, a driver, and a doorboy, were instantly killed and two others slightly injured.
10/10/1908 - Unspecified Company - Big Four Shaft
Location:  Osage City, Kansas
Description:  Samuel Skimore, 16, was suffocated when a piece of soapstone weighing about a ton settled down on him in the Big Four shaft southeast of Osage City, Kansas.  The pressure was great enough to smother him but not to break any bones.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1909 —

05/13/1909 - Chattaroy Colliery - Chattaroy Mine
Location:  Chattaroy, Mingo County, West Virginia
Description:  A trapper left his door and caught a empty car that was passing.  When he was about 200 feet in a fall occurred.  The boy died seven hours later.
07/02/1909 - Unspecified Company - Parshall Mine
Location:  Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Description:  Edward Kirby, age 17, was killed in the Parshall Mine when he was caught and crushed between a mine car and a rib of coal.  Kirby was pushing a mine car when it got away from him and started down a grade at a terrific rate of speed.  When he attempted to stop the car by putting a sprag under the wheels, it left the track and crushed him against the coal.  He died within a few minutes from multiple fractures.  Source document  PDF Format
07/28/1909 - LaMont Mining Co. - LaMont No. 3 Mine
Location:  Beth, Kanawha County, West Virginia
Description:  A boy was working with his brother when he was killed by a fall of slate.  The draw slate in this mine is of a very bad nature, heavy and broken loose.  The slate was overlying the cut from which they were loading.  All miners had been notified to keep the slate taken down close to the face of the coal.  This boy was the victim of disobedience and carelessness.
08/31/1909 - Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Co. - Cretta No. 5 Mine
Location:  Coalwood, McDowell County, West Virginia
Description:  A trapper's signal being misunderstood by the motor man, the motor was derailed and the boy was caught and fatally injured.
11/13/1909 - Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad - St. Paul No. 2 Mine
Location:  Cherry, Bureau County, Illinois
Description:  The youngest of the 259 miners killed is Andrew Krall, age 15.  Other miners under the age of 18 include: Alfred Howard, 16; JNO. McGill, Jr., age 17; Robert Rossman, age 17; and Andrew Tinko, age 17.
12/23/1909 - Chicago and Cartersville Coal Co. - Mine A
Location:  Herrin, Williamson County, Illinois
Description:  Eight men were killed and 400 others had narrow escapes in an explosion of gas today in the Chicago and Cartersville Coal Company mine at Herrin, Illinois.  Open lamps carried by a party of three men and a boy are believed to have caused the disaster.  All these four are among the dead.  The killed are: W.T. Perce, mine engineer; Eugene Barrett, assistant engineer; Thomas Williams, assistant manager; an unidentified boy about 16 years old, George Snyder, miner; Salvator Greeco, miner; Pietro Romeo, laborer, and Thomas Harber, miner.

— 1910 —

09/23/1910 - Davis Coal and Coke - Weaver No. 2 Mine
Location:  Weaver, Randolph County, West Virginia
Description:  This boy was working in a cut with his father and was not employed by the company.  The cut was in deep and had been standing for a week.  The coal broke loose and fell on him, instantly killing him.
11/16/1910 - Unspecified Company - Auchinclaus Breaker
Location:  Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania
Description:  Charles Viorenik Wojnick, aged 14, a slate picker employed at Auchinclaus breaker, was caught in a horizontal shaft on the shaker floor and whirled to death before the machinery could be stopped.  While stooping over to oil the shaft, his coat was caught and the fatal whirl began which caused his death.  His body, which was mangled very badly, was removed to his home.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1911 —

04/10/1911 - Davis Coal and Coke Co. - Weaver No. 3 Mine
Location:  Weaver, Harrison County, West Virginia
Description:  A boy was killed by a fall of slate.  The roof appeared to be sound.  No loose slate was in evidence and this piece fell without warning.
10/05/1911 - E. R. Johnson Coal Mining - Johnson Mine
Location:  Hughey, Logan County, West Virginia
Description:  A miner had pulled down some slate and was sounding it when the boy stuck his head under and the slate fell and killed him.
12/12/1911 - Gauley Mountain Coal - Nova Scotia Mine
Location:  Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia
Description:  A back hand was killed by a fall of a kettle bottom.  The place was thought to be perfectly safe and had been examined just before the boy went in.

— 1912 —

03/26/1912 - Jed Coal and Coke Company - Jed Mine
Location:  Jed, McDowell County, West Virginia
Description:  The explosion occurred at 7:25 a.m. when 91 men were in the mine; 11 men at the shaft bottom and in 2 entries not reached by the explosion escaped, but 1, a door boy, died after being brought to the surface.
05/22/1912 - Consolidation Coal Co. - No. 51 Mine
Location:  Shinnston, Harrison County, West Virginia
Description:  A trapper was lying on the track evidently asleep.  The motorman did not see him until he was within twenty feet.  He reversed the motor and applied the sand but to no avail.  The motor ran over the boy.
06/17/1912 - Central Coal & Coke Company - Mine No. 44
Location:  Weir, Kansas
Description:  Peter Fasoglia (Farsgolia), 17, was killed while at work in the Central Coal & Coke Company's Mine No. 44 at Weir, Kansas.  His father, who working with him, was dangerously injured.  Source document  PDF Format
10/26/1912 - Unspecified Company - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Pittsburg, Kansas
Description:  William Lasier, 14, was electrocuted when he came in contact with electrical wires in an unnamed drift mine near Pittsburg, Kansas.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1913 —

09/06/1913 - Mohawk Coal and Coke - Mohawk Mine
Location:  Mohawk, McDowell County, west Virginia
Description:  Victim was lying asleep on track, just outside of the mine, the engineer going out did not discover door being closed ; the engine crashed thru the door and ran over the boy, causing his death.

— 1914 —

03/13/1914 - Boomer Coal & Coke Co. - Mine No. 1
Location:  Boomer, Fayette County, West Virginia
Description:  Victims, father and son, were loading car, a piece of draw slate fell breaking ribs and causing injury to bowels, causing death instantly to the father and the son died on March 23, 1914.
08/20/1914 - Union Mining Company - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Savannah, Oklahoma
Description:  Herbert Ray Harrison, age 12, died in a mine of the Union Mining Company.  The boy had gone to the mine with his brother who was cleaning the slope.  Returning in a car, the cable coupling slipped off and the car ran 600 feet to the bottom of the slope which dips over 45 degrees.  The car was broken into pieces and the boy was killed.  His body was badly mangled.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1915 —

11/30/1915 - Boomer Coal & Coke Co. - Mine No. 2
Location:  Boomer, Fayette County, West Virginia
Description:  Dominick Vitrella, age 16, was among the 23 killed in an explosion in the Boomer No. 2 mine.

— 1920 —

12/23/1920 - Unspecified Co. - Unspecified Mine  External Link
Location:  Whitesburg, Letcher County, Kentucky
Description:  Roosevelt Jackson, a youth of Lott's Creek, below here in the coal fields, was so severely injured in a mine car accident that he died within a few hours.

— 1921 —

06/07/1921 - United Pocahontas Coal Co. - Zenith Mine
Location:  Gary, McDowell County, West Virginia
Description:  A grease boy was killed when he was caught in a gear wheel.
09/08/1921 - Centralia Coal Company External Link - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Centralia, Marion County, Illinois
Description:  Henry Grabawski, trapper, age 17 years, single, was killed by motor in Centralia Coal Company's mine.
12/13/1921 - Valier Coal Company External Link - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Valier, Franklin County, Illinois
Description:  Joe Paskavich, Jr., trapper, age 16 years, single, was run over and killed by a motor in Valier Coal Company's mine.

— 1922 —

02/22/1922 - Consolidated Coal Company - Mine No. 10 External Link
Location:  Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois
Description:  Joseph Venegonia, laborer, age 17 years, single, was run over and killed by a pit car in Consolidated Coal Company's mine No. 10.
02/25/1922 - Spoon River Colliery Company External Link - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Fulton County, Illinois
Description:  William Berry, miner, age 44 years, married, and Raymond Palmer, apprentice miner, age 16 years, single, were killed in Spoon River Colliery Company's mine by a fall of clod.

— 1925 —

11/18/1925 - Finley Coal Company - Finley Mine
Location: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Description: Harold Vaugh, age 16, was one of 5 miners killed in an explosion at the above location. Mine officials expressed the opinion that a "windy or delayed shot," believed to have been set off by two negroes, caused the explosion.
11/25/1925 - Consolidation Coal Company External Link - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Paintsville, Johnson County, Kentucky
Description:  Ocie Conley, age 15, was injured at the Consolidation Coal Company last week by the elevator and died from injuries at the Paintsville Hospital.  The boy was operating the elevator it is said and was caught between the elevator and the first floor while his feet were hanging over.  His leg was broken and his arm broken in two different places.  Physicians say he was internally injured and that these injuries caused his death.  The Paintsville Herald, Nov. 25, 1925.

— 1926 —

01/23/1926 - Unspecified Company - Harvey Gap Mine
Location:  Rifle, Colorado
Description:  William Cook, age 6, was killed due to an explosion which occurred at the Harvey Gap mine near Rifle, Colorado.  The explosion, which occurred 100 feet from the mine entrance hurled pieces of a mine car hundreds of feet outside the opening.  The Cook boy was in the mine office, 300 feet from the mine opening and was killed when fragments of the coal car were hurled through the walls of the building.  William's father, a miner, was injured in the explosion.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1930 —

05/17/1930 - A. B. Terry of Roanoke, Va. - Terry-Butterskill Quarry
Location:  Union, Monroe County, West Virginia
Description:  Two workmen and four children were killed when six boxes of explosives let go with a terrific force in a blacksmith shop at a rock-quarry operated by A. B. Terry of Roanoke, Va., sub-contractor of a road improvement project.  The four children, who were playing nearby, were badly mangled.  The Welkie boy, water boy for the road workmen, lived for half an hour before he succumbed to his injuries.  The home of Mrs. Wiseman, a widow, is located near the quarry.

— 1934 —

06/06/1934 - Unspecified Company - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Cream City, Ohio
Description:  Pal Hall, age 12, was crushed to death in a cave-in while digging coal for family consumption in a small unnamed mine near his home.  Source document  PDF Format
07/28/1934 - Unspecified Co. - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Berea, Madison County, Kentucky
Description:  Six men were burned from an explosion of black blasting powder which resulted in their death.  Two of the victims were operators of a truck mine, two were coal loaders, one was a truck driver, and a small boy, 13 years old, who was loafing in the building at the time of the explosion.  Apparently there was an argument over money between the two mine owners and the others gathered to listen.  Evidence indicated that a pistol shot was fired into a keg of blasting powder and caused the blast.

— 1950 —

04/11/1950 - Noncommercial - Abandoned Mine
Location:  Cawood, Harlan County, Kentucky
Description:  A 10-year-old boy was killed instantly by a fall of rock while digging house coal in an abandoned mine.
09/13/1950 - Elliot Coal Co. - Elliot Mine Roof Fall
Location:  Wilton, Knox County, Kentucky
Description:  A boy employed as a coal loader in the Elliott mine of the Elliott Coal Company, Wilton KY was killed instantly from a fall of roof about 45 feet inby the mouth of the no. 3 room left off the right entry.  The accident occurred about 3 p.m. November 2, 1950.
11/02/1950 - Elliot Coal Co. - No. 1 Mine
Location:  Woodbine, Knox County, Kentucky
Description:  This 14-year-old boy was killed by a fall of roof while digging coal from a closed mine.

— 1951 —

02/14/1951 - Unspecified Co. - Sizemore Farm
Location:  Erose, Bell County, Kentucky
Description:  A young school boy was killed instantly by a roof fall in a shallow excavation on the Sizemore Farm.  The accident occurred about 11:30 a.m., February 14, 1951; the office at Barbourville, KY was notified of the occurrence at 4:30 p.m.  Gambrel was 12 years old and is survived by a mother, father, sister and brother.

— 1953 —

01/04/1953 - Unspecified Co. - Saint Louis Mine
Location:  Franklin County, Minnesota
Description:  A 10-year-old boy was fatally injured by flyrock while watching blasting at an open pit mine.
11/24/1953 - Tressler Coal Co. - Smokeless Mine
Location:  Boynton, Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Description:  While visiting his father in the mine, a 15-year-old boy was killed by a roof fall taken in by his father.

— 1956 —

12/26/1956 - Ted Robertson Company - Trail Mountain No. 2 Mine
Location:  Orangeville, Emery County, Utah
Description:  A coal dust explosion occurred in this mine, fatally injuring the operator and two 12-year-old boys who were visiting the mine.

— 1957 —

11/02/1957 - Unspecified Company - Unspecified Mine  External Link
Location:  Coupon, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Description:  Robert P. Thompson, 14, schoolboy, died after rescuing John T. Vingless, 13, schoolboy, from a cave-in, November 2, 1957.  While John and Robert were digging for coal in a small pit four and a half feet deep at an abandoned strip mine, one side of the pit collapsed and clay, slate, and coal in a high ridge above it slid onto them.

— 1962 —

05/31/1962 - Unspecified Company - Abandoned Mine
Location:  Ghost Pine Creek, Michigan
Description:  Kenny Kowalchuk, age 4, was found dead 34 hours after he tumbled into an abandonded mine shaft.  Mine officials believed his fall started a trickle of loose dirt that eventually buried him.  Source document  PDF Format

— 1963 —

09/06/1963 - Forestville Sand and Gravel Co. - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Forestville, Prince Georges, Maryland
Description:  A young boy was killed when he slipped or fell over the highwall and was buried by a slide of sand and gravel.

— 1965 —

03/08/1965 - Mining Enterprises Incorporated - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Coalgood, Harlan County, Kentucky
Description:  Three boys under the age 17 were all killed in a roof fall in this abandoned auger mine.  Source document  PDF Format
06/13/1965 - Vanadium Corporation of America - No. 2 Uranium Mine
Location:  Apache County, Arizona
Description:  A boy died of suffocation in a stockpile of sand.

— 1966 —

07/16/1966 - Calumet and Hecla Incorporated - Abandoned North Tamarack No. 4 Shaft
Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan
A seven-year-old girl, Ruth Ann Miller, fell into an abandoned shaft.  Rescue teams, working through the night, discovered a second cap on the mine shaft, about 400 feet below its mouth.  State police said it seemed that Ruth Ann had fallen to the 400-foot slab and was then buried beneath the cap, which fell into the shaft when rescue workers tried to remove it.  The girl's brother, Gary, 10, told his parents Ruth Ann had plunged into the shaft when the ground gave way.  The children had been picking berries near the mouth of the mine, abandoned in 1931.

— 1968 —

08/17/1968 - Joint School District - Joint School District Gravel Pit
Location:  Park Falls, Price County, Wisconsin
Description:  An 8-year-old boy was suffocated when he was buried by a slide of ground at a gravel pit.

— 1969 —

02/10/1969 - Unspecified Co. - Unspecified Mine
Location:  Gordon, Letcher County, Kentucky
Description:  A 14-year-old boy with no mining experience was killed while assisting his father in getting coal from an opening of an abandoned mine for personal use.

— 1972 —

02/26/1972 - Buffalo Mining Company - Retaining Dam Collapse
Location:  Saunders, Logan County, West Virginia

— 1976 —

01/29/1976 - Kline Sand - Kline Dredge and Plant
Location:  Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma
Description:  A mother and her young son (passenger) were killed instantly when the truck she was driving was struck by a train.

— 1980 —

12/04/1980 - Nortonville Mine - Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
Location:  Pittsburg, California
Description:  Four teenage cousins exploring deep in the catacombs of a long-abandoned coal mine were suffocated by carbon dioxide.  Officials identified the youths as Joel Faulkner, 17, his brother, Dell, 16, both of Antioch, and their cousins, Gary Faulkner, 19, a Navy sailor stationed at San Diego, and his brother, Greg, 18, of Willits.  The four were found dead more than a mile inside the Nortonville Mine, near the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, about 50 miles east of San Francisco in what used to be the state's largest coal mining region.

— 1995 —

05/19/1995 - Lloyd Logging, Inc. - Portable Crusher No. 2
Location:  Wenatchee, Chelan County, California
Description:  A crusher operator and the 5-year-old son of another employee were fatally injured when a massive slope failure engulfed the crushing/screening plant and related equipment.

— 1996 —

07/21/1996 - Chemstone Corporation (DBA Global Stone James River) - Plant No. 1  PDF Format
Location:  Buchanan, Botetourt County County, Virginia
Description:  On July 21, 1996, a 15-year-old boy was killed at a limestone quarry.  The boy was fishing in a river on mine property with several of his friends.  The water became energized due to a short in the electrical wiring to a 480 volt water pump located on the shore of the river.  A wire cable led from the pump to the water.  The victim died from electrocution.  This is the 30th fatality reported in calendar year 1996 in the metal and nonmetal mining industries.  As of this date in 1995, there were 22 fatalities reported in these industries.  This death is the second fatality classified as electrical this year.  There was one electrical fatality during the same period in 1995.

— 2004 —

08/20/2004 - A & G Coal Corporation - Strip No. 13 Mine  PDF Format
Location:  Inman, Wise County, Virginia
Description:  In the early morning hours of August 20, 2004, the greatest tragedy that can befall a family happened to Dennis and Cindy Davidson of Inman, Virginia.  Their 3-year-old son, Jeremy Kyle Davidson, was killed while sleeping in his bed.  Jeremy was killed when a large rock, estimated at 1,000 pounds, crashed through his bedroom wall after rolling approximately 649 feet down a steep, wooded hillside.  The rock was dislodged during road reconstruction on a mining operation located above and behind the Davidson's residence.

The USMRA acknowledges that the fatalities listed here may not be all that have occurred.  As additional accident victims are identified, they will be added.

Additional Resources Regarding Child Labor:
•  The Breaker Boys  External Link
•  The Boys in the Breakers  External Link
•  About Lewis Hine's Photo: Young Boy Coal Miner, 1909-13  External Link
•  "Little Miners" - A Pictorial Walk Through the 20th Century  External Link
•  History of Child Labor in the United States

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