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P. C. Mazer and Company
Robbins Mine Explosion

Robbins, Athens County, Ohio
February 10, 1881
No. Killed - 6

News Articles from the Period  (2.8 Mb)  PDF Format
Terrible Mine Accident
Weekly, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
February 16, 1881

Cleveland, February 10. -- A frightful explosion occurred today at P. C. Mazer and Company's coal mine at the Robinson, Niles and New Lisbon railway, with appalling loss of life.

As a man named Smith was going into the mine, the superintendent cautioned him about going into a certain room, as it contained fire-damp, but as that was dry, while around the track it was filled with water, Smith disobeyed orders and attempted to pass through the room with a lighted lamp in his hat.  Immediately a terrific explosion occurred, while a hole was blown through fifteen feet of earth, composing the roof, and carrying death and destruction all around.

About twenty men were in the mine, six of whom were killed outright, and a number dangerously wounded.  A mule and a train of eight cars were shot out of the main entrance as if from a cannon.  Another mule drawing a cart in which a man was seated was blown on top of the cart, killing the driver.  A dog was also blown out of the mine.  One man, Jackson Lech, just entering, was blown back and over a high railroad embankment into a creek below and badly hurt.  The men not disabled or killed escaped through a shaft to the open air.

The killed are:
  • James Logan
  • James Logan, Jr., his son
  • James Meehan
  • William Haley
  • George Henshilwood
  • Edward Smith
The man who caused the explosion was badly mutilated.  His body was burned to a crisp.

The wounded are:
  • James Cronch
  • Robert Haley
  • Edward Creigan
  • John Aiken
  • Peter Wilson
  • and two brothers
They are nearly all badly hurt, and some will die.  Mrs. Griffith had gone to the door of the mine to call her son when the explosion occurred.  She saw the mule shoot out of the mine and found her son injured.  George Henshilwood died in his wife's arms.  The scenes were heartrending in the extreme.  A corps of physicians was summoned.

Fifteen men and one boy were in the mine at the time of the accident.  Eight escaped at a side shaft.  A boy who was entering the mine at the time was hurled forty feet and shockingly mangled.

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