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Northern Pacific Coal Company
Roslyn Mine Explosion

Roslyn, Kittitas County, Washington
May 10, 1892
No. Killed - 45

State Mine Inspector s Report  PDF Format
From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Probably Fifty Lives Lost at Roslyn, Washington
Hamilton Daily Democrat, Ohio
May 11, 1892

Roslyn, Wash., May 11. -- At 1:45 o'clock yesterday afternoon a terrible explosion occurred in the slope of mine No. 2, of the Northern Pacific Coal Company at this point, in which the loss of life exceeded in number that of any other disaster that has ever been chronicled in the northwest or on the Pacific slope.

The exact nature of the explosion or the circumstances that led to it will probably never be known, since at this writing it is believed that every miner who was working in the slope at the time has perished.  It is not definitely known as to the number of men who were in the vicinity of the disaster, but it is believed that between forty-five and fifty men were in the three levels that were affected by the explosion.

Large relief forces are at work and at this time two bodies have been recovered.  These men are working nearest the opening and at some distance from the point where it is supposed the explosion occurred.

Most of the men were 1,500 to 2,000 feet further in the slope, and in the immediate vicinity of the accident.  There is no doubt either in the minds of the miners or the company's officials, but that every man was instantly killed by the explosion.

Following is an authenticated list of the men who were at work on the three levels that were affected, and their condition as to being single or men with families:
  • Thomas Holmes, married
  • John Foster, wife and baby
  • Philip Davies, a large family
  • Thomas Rees, large family
  • John Rees, son of Thomas
  • Will Robinson, wife and baby
  • Robert Graham, wife and two children
  • George Moses, leaves an orphan son 10 years old
  • A. Pollard, colored, married
  • Jack Fergeson, a large family
  • George Brooks, family at Streator, Illinois
  • Joseph Worth, Sr., large family
  • Joseph Ellsworth, Jr.
  • John Lafferty, single, aged 65, owner of considerable property
  • Dan McClelland, wife and three children
  • Richard Forsythe, family
  • Scott Miles, colored, married
  • Pruss Luving, colored, married
  • Andrew Erllandson, wife and four children
  • Charles Palmer, wife and child
  • Mitchell Hale, single
  • Mitchell Roland, large family, brother of ex-Superintendent Roland
  • Winyard Steele, family.  Steele's son was working with his father, but came out last trip and escaped.  He was knocked down by the force of the explosion.
  • William Hague, single, only support of mother and crippled sister
  • Eben Olsifer, large family
  • John Danko, Italian, with family
  • Jake Weatherbee, late mine boss at No. 3, large family
  • Joseph Browitt, family
  • Thomas Breden, leaves wife and five children
  • Harry Campbell, single
  • James Houston, colored
  • Joseph Bennett, wife and two children
  • William Bennett, wife and three children
  • Joseph Ismay, son-in-law of ex-Superintendent Roland
  • William Penhall, married
  • Sidney Wright, brother of County Clerk Thomas Wright, family
  • James Morgan, single
  • Jack Bone, single, soon to marry a lady at Durham
  • Herman Deuster

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