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Full text of "Report on the Cherry mine disaster"

LIBRARY OF THE 
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 
AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 




STATE OF ILLINOIS 



Bureau of Labor Statistics 



REPORT ON 



The Cherry Mine Disaster 



ISSUED BY 



The State Board of Commissioners of Labor 
David Ross, Secretary 
Springfield 



SPRINGFIELD, ILL. 

ILLINOIS STATE JOURNAL Co., STATE PRINTERS 
1910 






I. THE CHERRY MINE DISASTER. 

II. THE PUBLIC'S RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS OF THE 
VICTIMS. 

III. THE SETTLEMENT WITH THE ST. PAUL COAL COM- 

BANT. 

IV. INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS COMPENSATION VS. LITI- 

GATION. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



THE CHERRY MINE DISASTER. 

Page. 

Introductory 7 

Description of the mine 10 

The Company 17 

The fatal day 18 

At the main bottom 21 

Twelve heroes 21 

As told by the diggers 23 

Rescue of twenty-one men '. 32 

Opening of the mine 33 

Names of those killed 35 

Nativity 46 

Ages of the children 46 

Report of Thos. Hudson, State Mine Inspector 47 

THE PUBLIC'S RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS OF THE VICTIMS. 

Relief 57 

Relief commissions 58 

Chicago Tribune fund 58 

Total amount contributed 59 

Pension plan of relief 60 

THE SETTLEMENT WITH THE ST. PAUL COAL COMPANY. 

The work of John E. Williams 65 

An epoch making settlement between capital and labor 69 

Workmen's compensation Act, 1906 '. 71 

Provision for arbitration 71 

Scale and conditions of compensation 

If no widow is left 72 

Average weekly earnings.. 72 

Money invested by court 73 

Payment for injuries 73 

Relief fund 77 

Plan of relief 77 

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS-COMPENSATION VS. LITIGATION. 

Industrial accidents Compensation vs. Litigation 81 

Standards of compensations for sickness, accident and death by Sherman C. Kingsley... 87 



Legislative Refe* Buu. 



THE CHERRY MINE DISASTER. 



INTRODUCTORY. 

The appalling loss of human life caused by the fire in the coal mine 
at Cherry, 111., calls for something more than a mere recital of the 
number and names of those who perished. Experience prepares us to 
expect death at any moment in the mines. Its dangers are so obvious, 
and seemingly inevitable, that the results in dead and disabled, can be 
figured almost with mathematical precision. Our casualty lists, extending 
back as far as we have any authentic history of the mine industry, attest 
the awful toll in life and limb inexorably exacted as a penalty which those 
who pursue such employment must sooner or later pay. Here at least is 
one sphere where the rules of immunity have no application. The record 
shows that with every so many tons of coal, there is lifted to the sunlight 
the bruised or lifeless bodies of men. 

We have in a sense become accustomed to the annual loss of hundreds 
of mine workers distributed quite uniformly through the working days 
of the year, lives that are separately but regularly offered as a sacrifice 
to the demands of the industry, and the slaughter proceeds without 
exciting any special public comment. Comparatively, it is the great 
things that impress us, the extraordinary events that compel attention, 
and the extinction of two hundred and fifty-nine lives in a single accident 
constitutes a calamity unprecedented in the annals of mining in this 
State, fully justifying a report, giving somewhat in detail the cause 
and consequences of the catastrophe ; the manner in which a sympathetic 
public rose to meet the necessities of a suddenly stricken people, and the 
commendable attitude of the St. Paul Coal Company, as evidenced by 
the money settlement it has made with the members of the bereaved 
families or their representatives. 

In order to fully understand the conditions under which the fire 
originated, it is necessary to know the general plan on which the mine 
was being operated. A first seam was struck which was not operated. 
Two seams of coal were being mined, the second at a distance of 320 
feet from the surface, the third or lower seam at a depth of 485 feet. 
The lower seam was in process of development. Substantially all the 
coal mined from the time the shaft was sunk until the day of the 
disaster had been taken from the second level. While the main hoisting 
shaft extended to the bottom vein, the cages in that shaft did not 
descend below the second level. All material intended for use in the 
bottom vein was lowered in the main shaft to the bottom of the second 
level and from there transferred to the escapement shaft where, by a 



8 

separate engine, operated from the surface, it was lowered to the bottom 
seam. So also in the matter of coal or other material hoisted from the 
bottom seam, the escapement shaft was used to bring them up to the 
second seam where they were transferred to the bottom of the main 
second level and from there hoisted in the main shaft to the surface. 

The illustration on page 11 indicates the general plan of hoisting, 
showing also the emergency cage from the bottom to the second level in 
the main shaft. 

Immediately after dinner on the 13th day of November, 1909, a car 
loaded with baled hay, intended for the use of the mules in the lower 
seam, was let down the main shaft. 

Upon reaching the landing of the second seam, which was the desti- 
nation of the cages in the main shaft, the car and its contents were taken 
off, transferred by means of a runabout and started in the narrow 
passageway leading to the airshaft, from which point, in accordance 
with the practice, it was to be sent to the seam below. A like operation 
had been performed successfully on all other occasions, but on this one 
it failed. Fate, utilizing all the agencies of human frailty, was evidently 
busy arranging the scenes for a great tragedy, and circumstances, seem- 
ingly simple in themselves, combined to create a situation involving the 
imprisonment and ultimate death of more men than ever before occurred 
at one time in the history of the State. 

Associated with all great calamities are some simple, curious, or myste- 
rious causes. The burning of baled hay, the initial cause of the Cherry 
disaster, has never been fully explained or clearly understood. Under 
ordinary circumstances, compressed hay will not burn. It has been the 
practice in some mines to construct stable partitions of that material 
and in instances where stable fires occurred everything combustible 
except the partitions was consumed. It has frequently been exposed to 
intense fire and heat with the result that only the broken ends on the 
surface were scorched and blackened. 

The facts as developed by the testimony in this case are that the car 
containing six bales of compressed hay in its journey to the air- 
shaft had stopped immediately at the side of, or directly under, one of 
the burning torches temporarily used to illuminate that portion of the 
underground workings. Its detention at that point was of short duration 
but long enough to permit the hay catching fire, a condition that some 
suppose was made possible by its becoming saturated with oil dripping 
from the lighted torch. Open lights in the connecting passageways and 
about the shaft bottoms had been used for several weeks prior to the 
fire. Before that time electric lights were employed. Some delay was 
experienced in filling the order to replace the destroyed electrical wiring, 
the new supply having reached the mine on the morning of the fatal day. 

From the moment the burning hay was discovered, until the car 
containing it was finally dumped down the airshaft, not to exceed 
thirty minutes elapsed, during which time the cagers, Alex. Eosenjack 
and his assistant, Eobert Dean, and the others who aided, acted 
like men who had confidence in their power to control the situation. That 
the feeling existed that there was no real danger from the fire and that 



it could be extinguished without peril to life is indicated by the testi- 
mony of men who, in passing it on their way to the surface, stated they 
could have put it out easily with their coats. One of them when asked 
why he did not do so said he had an important appointment in Peru 
and that he must take the 1 :30 cage, otherwise he would have to remain 
in the mine until the next cage for men at 3 :30 p. m. In the meantime 
the struggle with this new agency of death in the mine continued until 
the fire fiend closed the last avenue of escape and the country was 
startled with a report of the greatest mine horror of modern times. The 
following general description with plans of the mine, including the testi- 
mony given by certain witnesses at the coroner's inquest, are in part 
copied from a published report approved by Duncan McDonald and 
members of the Illinois Miners' Executive Board. Where reference is 
made to page numbers, it relates to the statement made by witnesses 
before the coroner's inquest. The record of the testimony taken fills 
900 pages, and while it is all interesting it is not necessary for the 
purpose of this report to duplicate it here. 



10 



DESCRIPTION OF THE MINE. 



MAP "A." 

Map "A" is a cross-sectional view of the Cherry mine, looking to the 
northeast. 

Above the main shaft is a steel tipple, which extends 90 feet above 
the surface. 

Immediately back, or south, is the engine room which supplies the 
power for hoisting cages in the main shaft. 

The fan is located a short distance south of this engine room. 

The main shaft is 12-ft. 8-in. by 16-ft., and the depth of the shaft 
is 485 feet in all (pp. 29, 30, 73, 83, 261), the distance from the surface 
to the second vein being 320 feet, and from there to the third vein 165 
feet. 

The first vein was not in use, being of no commercial value. 

The distance from the main shaft to the escape shaft on the surface 
is about 225 feet (p. 261). 

The escape shaft is used for the down cast and the main shaft for 
the up cast (p. 261). 

In the main shaft there are two cageways from the tipple to the 
second vein, in which there are two cages which act as a counter balance 
to each other. These are 6x16 feet in size. 

The cageways are separated by pine timbers 8x12 inches (p. 261), and 
running in length across the shaft. 

At the bottom of the second vein there is a sump constructed of wood 
and iron; that is, a space under the cages, in which 'there are wooden 
doors lying flat, with a perforated iron plate or screen covering them, 
and which may be removed. 

On the third vein bottom there is a small cage, 6x15 feet (p. 773), and 
a cable attached to a hook which, in turn, is hung upon a projection near 
the bottom of the second vein. This is adapted so that by removing 
the doors covering the sump below the main cages it may be attached 
to the main cage and hoisted from the third to the second vein. This 
cage was never hoisted but once, and that was at the time it was con- 
structed by the carpenter (pp. 754 to 770). 

This cage was so constructed that it was to be operated by being drawn 
up within about 10 feet from the bottom of the second vein. There the 
occupants were to get off on a platform, marked on the plat, and from 



11 

MAP A. 




a Fan. b Escape shaft, c Third vein hoisting shaft and air shaft, d Timbers closing first 
vein, e Trap door at the top of the stairway on second level. / Torch where hay caught fire. 
g Small cage to be attached to main cage above. h Hook for attaching to main cage. 
i Sumps, j Main hoisting shaft. 



12 

there go up on a ladder a distance of about 10 feet to the main bottom. 
This cage was constructed about two weeks before the date of the accident 
by Mr. Jones. (See Jones' testimony, p. 754.) 

The escape shaft runs from the surface to the third vein, and is 12-ft. 
6-in. by 7-ft. 10-in. (p. 261). From the surface to the second vein there 
were two compartments, in one of which was a stairway, the stairs run- 
ning at an angle of 45 degrees, with a platform, as provided by law. This 
compartment was 3-ft. 5-in. by 7-ft. 10-in. Separated from this by 
planking was the compartment which was used as a down-cast or air 
shaft, which was- 8-ft. 4-in. by 7-ft. 10-in. At the second vein the air 
parted, a portion of the current going to the southeast 'and a portion to 
the northwest. 

From the second vein to the third, in this shaft, there were three 
compartments one used for a stairway, one for a cageway, and between 
the two a chamber for the down-cast and the counter-balance for the 
single cage which was operated between the second and third veins 
(pp. 22, 23, 46, 37, 261).. The cage here was operated by the escape 
shaft or third vein engine. The signalling for this shaft was operated 
directly from the second and third vein to the "third vein engine 
room" (p. 85). 

On the third vein there was a sump or hole about 6 feet deep, below 
the surface of the bottom, with a floor over it about 2 feet below the 
surface of the bottom (pp. 51, 52, 71, 72, 73). 

Eeferring to the stairway, at the third vein there was a ladder, with 
steps twenty-four inches across and about 3 inches wide, running up 
to the stairs a distance of about 10 feet. From there the stairs con- 
tinued, until about six feet below the second vein bottom, at which there 
was another ladder which ran to the second vein bottom. The opening 
from this stairway was covered by a trap door, 2x3 feet (pp. 104, 239), 
and which opened up between the two rails of a track (pp. 67, 74). 
About 6 feet from there, was a ladder with hinges which could be swung 
up and hooked or let down (pp. 59, 131, 132), the lower step being 8 
feet from the trap door referred to which led to the stairs running to 
the third vein. 

PLAT "B." 

Plat "B" is a plat of 'the second vein, showing the position of the 
main shaft, the main bottom, the east and west run-arounds, the main 
air course, the mule stable, the pump and air course, in the immediate 
vicinity of where the accident took place. 

The main bottom is 14 feet wide, running northeast and southwest 
250 feet in each direction from the main shaft. 

There were two powder holes, one 20 feet northeast and the other 
20 feet southwest of the main shaft (pp. 63, 245, 248). They were 
about 12x8 feet in size. 

There is a run-around to the southeast of the cage and about 12 feet 
of a passageway running into the mule stable (p. 261) and an opening 
into the pump room. 



13 



Fifty feet southwest of the cage is the main passageway or main air 
course, which is about 5 feet by 6 feet. 

In this passageway 20 feet from the main bottom is a door, and 20 
feet further is another door. Down this road to the southeast is the 





mule stable, which faces on this main air course a total of 50 feet, with 
a sump which runs half way across the main passageway and is covered 
by boards; and from there a track runs up to the point indicated by a 
switch, and from that point two tracks run to the southeast. The 



14 

track southwest runs across the trap door at the escape shaft (pp. 67, 
74) heretofore referred to, in the description of the cross-section map, 
which door opened between the two rails, the two tracks continuing 
southeast past the shaft to the point where they met at the switch. 

At the north end of the main passageway there were thirty or forty 
pieces of pipe lying on the floor, from 2 to 4 inches in diameter (pp. 67, 
68, 74, 98, 108). 

The cars when sent to the third vein were drawn by mules around the 
east or west runway, as shown by the map. They were brought north- 
west through the main passageway on the southwest track, passing by 
the side of the cage to the southwest of it, and when a loaded car was 
brought up by the cage the empty car was placed against it, and in 
pushing the full car off from the cage the empty one took its place and 
was lowered to the third vein. 

On the 13th of November, 1909, six bales of hay (p. 9) on a car were 
sent from the tipple about 12 :30 p. m.* They were taken in charge by 
Charlie Thome (p. 219), who took the car round the west runway up 
through the main passageway, and there hitched his team to a loaded 
trip and took it southeast, leaving the car standing there, from which 
place it was later moved by "Bobbie" Deans and Matt Francesco to a 
point in front of where Torch No. 1 was hanging (pp. 7, 11, 24, 68, 95, 
135, 136, 137, 147, 148, 153, 155, 224, 225, 226, 227, 230, 235). 

The timber at the third vein bottom was about 7 feet high from the 
floor. It was upon one of these timbers that the torch was hanging which 
set fire to the hay. 

Electric light equipment had been used throughout this mine and at 
this vein for some time, but about a month before the date of the fire 
the main cable burned out, and torches were used generally in lieu of 
electric lights (pp. 4, 43, 7, 24). 

PLAT "C." 

Plat "C" shows the third vein. The bottom at the main shaft on the 
third vein is not used for any purpose. The mule stable is located near 
there, and tracks run around in the different directions to take the coal 
from the rooms into the different entries and from there to the third 
vein hoisting cage, which is operated through the escape shaft, as stated 
in the description of the second vein plat. 

There was no fire equipment in the third vein excepting a hose which 
was used to wash mules with, and which was about 20 feet long (pp. 79, 
106, 125, 130, 163), and which could be and was attached to the water 
pipe at the third vein bottom to extinguish (pp. 76, 77, 51, 52, 93) the 
burning car of hay (p. 122) when it was dropped down through the 
shaft to the third vein, as hereinafter described. 



15 
PLAT C. 



J 




PLAT "D." 

Plat "D" shows substantially the location of the trap door, marked 
in black, the cageway at the second vein bottom, where the fire started 
(p. 136). 





3 H O W MNC- "T R /*K C K .S /S N O 

SWITCHE.S TR/ST DOOR E.TC 
SE.COHDVEHN 



D 



THE COMPANY. 



The St. Paul Coal Company is a corporation organized under the laws 
of the State of Illinois under a charter dated Oct. 28, 1902. It is 
authorized to mine coal in the counties of Putnam, La Salle, Grundy, 
Bureau, Marshall, Stark and adjoining counties, to lease, purchase and 
own coal lands and other lands with coal mining rights and to control 
such works, buildings, improvements, etc. 

The company owns two mines, one at Granville and one at Cherry. 
The mine at Cherry is operating 7,217 acres of land with 360 acres 
worked out. The output of the mine is about 300,000 tons annually. It 
has a daily capacity of 1,500 tons. 

H. C. Haugan of 122 Judson avenue, Evanston, Cook county, is 
president of the company and Burton Hanson of 4637 Greenwood avenue, 
Chicago, secretary. 

Those in charge of the mine were: W. W. Taylor, general manager 
and superintendent; mine examiner, H. C. Maxwell; mine superintend- 
ent, Joseph Steel; mine manager, John Bundy; pit boss, Alex. Norberg, 
deceased; engineer, main shaft, John Crowley; engineer, escape shaft, 
John Eaisbeck; mine examiner or fire boss, George Eddy. 

When the company sunk the shaft, five years ago, it found that the 
first vein was of no commercial value, so they continued sinking the 
main shaft and the escape shaft to the second vein, which was operated 
by the room and pillar system. This is geoglogical seam No. 6. During 
the year 1908 the company commenced to work the third vein by the 
long wall system; this vein is 485 feet below the surface. This is geo- 
logical seam No. 2. The coal of the third vein is not so easily reached 
but is better than that of the second veip. 



18 



THE FATAL DAY. 



On the date of the accident there were 481 men employed including 
all occupations, diggers, drivers, company men, trappers, spraggers, etc. 

The men entered the mine from 6 :30 to 7 :00 o'clock in the morning 
and there was a cage run, mid-forenoon, noon and at 1 :30, at which time 
those who discontinued work at that hour might be brought up. The regu- 
lar hour for discontinuing work was 3 :30 p. m. At about 3 :00 p. in. the 
diggers were permitted to fire their shots (pp. 192, 193). There were no 
shot-firers in this mine because there was usually less than two pounds of 
powder used for a charge. 

On the 13th of November there were several men who discontinued 
work in time to catch the 1 :30 cage and this in a measure accounts for 
the fact that there were only 259 lives lost. 

Between 12 and 1 o'clock p. m. (p. 541) on the fatal day, six bales of 
hay, standing upright, were placed in a coal car, which was of the aver- 
age size of cars, that is, 6 feet long and 3 feet wide (p.10), and were to 
be taken to the third vein mule stables. There were from sixty to seven- 
ty mules in the second and third veins. The hay was taken down on an 
average of once every twenty-four hours. The car in this instance was 
lowered from the tipple to the second vein and there it was drawn by 
mules in charge of Charles Thome (who usually drove six cars with 
three mules), through the east runaround (pp. 218, 219) and up the 
main passageway over the switch immediately southeast of the third 
vein shaft or escape shaft (p. 219). It was left here by Thome, who 
hitched his mules to some loaded cars and started on his run to the main 
bottom. 

Eobert Deans, the assistant eager, and Matt Francesco, pushed the car 
some distance up toward the shaft and right close to the torch (p. 136), 
which was hanging upon a timber (p. 224) near the bottom at the escape 
shaft. 

. The electrical equipment of the mine had been out of use for -a month 
(pp. 7, 24, 443), which resulted from the short circuiting of the main 
cables due to being water soaked. The torches which had been placed at 
the main bottom and also at the escape shaft to which we have been re- 
ferring, were constructed of pipe about 2 inches in diameter, 12 to 16 
inches long, with a cap on one end and a reducer on the other in which 
a cotton wicking was placed. The torches were filled by the cagers with 
kerosene furnished by the company (pp. 68, 102, 132) and were attached 
with pieces of wire to the timbers (p. 431). The wire was around the 
center of the pipe so that the torch would hang, horizontally, the burning 
end would be lowered as the oil was consumed, so the oil would run down 



19 

upon and against the wick (p. 225). Frequently the oil would seep 
through the end where the wick was inserted and drop. (Pp. 230, 367, 
226.) The torch near which the car and hay were moved by Robert 
Deans and Matt Francesco hung so low that the lower end of the blaze 
was from 5 to 8 inches below the highest part of the baled hay (p. 137). 
After pushing the car to this point Francesco and Deans left that place 
and went to the other track and coupled some loaded cars (p. 138), after 
which they discovered that the hay was on fire, which was about 1 :25 p. 
m. (p. 139). 

The air current at this point was fanning the fire into a blaze and 
Eosenjack and Deans then started to push the car northwest through the 
main air course to the sump near the mule stable, intending to get water 
from that sump and to put out the fire. Upon being unable to push the car 
to the sump, Eosenjack and Hanney, who had just come up from the 
third vein, on his way home and whom Eosenjack called upon for help, got 
in back of the car and attempted to push it toward the third vein shaft. 
The air passing through the main air course fanned the flames into con- 
siderable proportions and the pine timbering, which was used generally 
in this mine, in the main air course, caught fire. 

Albert Buckle, a boy of fifteen, Francesco and others were told to get 
their pails and go around to the main bottom and get some water. 

In the meantime Eosenjack communicated with William Smith, the 
eager at the third vein bottom, and told him they had a car of hay on 
fire (p. 122) and that he, Eosenjack, wished to send it down to the third 
vein and inquired if they could take care of it. Smith responded, "Let 
her come." Eosenjack requested Vickers and Theo. Dehesse to put the 
car of burning hay upon the cage and that he, Eosenjack, would go down 
to the third vein and assist in putting it out. The car was drawn partly 
upon the cage, but the heat was so intense that the car was not accessible 
and the drivers and others assisting were only able to push the car a 
short distance upon the cage (p. 159). 

In the meantime Eosenjack had come up from the third vein and as 
the woodwork at the side of the cage was on fire he signaled (pp. 122, 
890) to hoist the cage, which was raised four feet, the car and hay fall- 
ing under the cage down into the third vein sump (pp. 51, 52). Here 
Smith and Norberg were stationed and they attached the hose which was 
used at the mule stable in the third vein and put the fire out (p. 76). 
This was about 1 :48 p. m. Some of the miners who had noticed that the 
air was bad and that there was smoke in it, left their rooms and came to 
the third vein bottom. They signaled for the cage and received no re- 
sponse and went up the stairs. Probably the last who came up from that 
vein was William Maxwell and his son. When they reached the third 
vein a man was ahead of Maxwell. He lifted the trap door and the- 
smoke and flames were so intense that he said they could not get through. 
Maxwell, an old man, said, "We must," and he crept through with his 
son and went through the east runabout and was finally pulled on to the 
main hoisting cage and brought to the top insensible. 

His story of their escape is given on page 29 of this report. 

During this time several signals were given to stop and reverse the 
fan, etc. (pp. 218, 219, 890). Tin 1 f;in WMS first stopped, then reversed, 



20 

then stopped and then drawn in its usual course, then reversed until the 
flames which were drawn up the escape shaft, burned out the doors and 
disabled the fan. 

When the fan was reversed it drew the flames up through the escape 
shaft from the second vein to the surface and cut off all means of escape 
from the third to the second vein through the third vein hoisting shaft 
or the stairway (p. 416). 

At about 1 :40 o'clock the last signal was received by the third vein 
engineer (p. 890) for hoisting the cage to the second vein. The probabil- 
ities are that whoever took the cage at that time were burned to death 
upon reaching the second level and there was no signal after that. 

In the meantime the fire had been noticed by the cagers on the main 
bottom, but before referring to this,. the attention of the reader should 
be called to the fact that for months there was no appliance for hoisting 
men from the third vein to the second vein through the main shaft. 
There was a bucket there which was attached to a rope, which in turn 
could be attached to one of the main cages. Two or three weeks before 
the date of the accident, a small cage had been constructed to take the 
place of the bucket. ' But this cage was not available. A rope was at- 
tached to this cage which was hanging on some cleats or a projection 
near the main bottom. This hook could be attached or hooked on the 
cage, and thus raised from the third vein to within about 10 or 15 feet 
of the second vein bottom. Most all of the miners working in the third 
vein were not familiar with the fact that there had been any change in 
the construction or method of escape through the main shaft (p. 435). 
Hanney, who was president of the local union, a man of more than aver- 
age ability, did not know that such a change had taken place and was 
under the impression at the time of the accident that the bucket was still 
the only thing that could by any possible means be used for hoisting 
purposes from the third to the second vein in the main shaft. 

The small cage that had been constructed (pp. 765, 766, 767) to be 
operated in case of emergency from the third to the second vein was 
of small dimensions and it was smaller than the compartment in which 
it was to operate, and when it was drawn up the distance between the 
side of the cage and the bunting or the side of the shaft was covered 
with planks which formed a platform. From this platform there was a 
ladder about 8 or 10 feet long which led to the bottom of the second vein. 
When this cage was used by the rescuers after the fire it stuck in the 
shaft and the rescuers were obliged to climb on top of the cage and then 
climb up 10 feet to the landing. The persons using this method were 
then obliged to come up through the opening left 'by a main cage when it 
was hoisted and could not get up when the cage was down on either of the 
respective sides where the cage rested unless they could crawl through 
the space between the two compartments occupied by these cages, which 
was about 8 to 12 inches in breadth. 

At about 1:30 p. m. some miners (pp. 21, 42) became aware of the 
existence of the fire. The trapper boys came to the main bottom and 
asked to be permitted to go up. The eager at first refused, stating that 
they would get the fire out (p. 147) and commence to work again. Later 
he sent them up. 



21 



AT THE MAIN BOTTOM. 



The cagers at the main bottom were among the first at the main shaft 
who became aware of the existence of the fire. They continued to hoist 
coal for some five or ten minutes after they knew the fire was in exist- 
ence, evidently under the belief that it would be put out. When the 
serious nature of it became apparent, several of the drivers and company 
men endeavored to give notice to the diggers, although the fire had 
burned for at least forty-five minutes to an hour before any such attempt 
was systematically made. The trapper boys near the main cage were 
taken up early (testimony of witnesses, pp. 410, 141, 552), and the cages 
were then continually operated for the purpose of taking the men up 
from the main bottom. 

During the fire there was an attempt made to get into the mule barn, 
which had been filled with smoke and flames, to attach a hose, but the 
heat and smoke prevented ; this hose was brought down from the surface. 
Being unable to get into the mule barn they made an attempt to attach 
it to a nozzle or piece of water-pipe near the main cage. The pipe wa? 
too small, the water was hot and the hose could not be held around or 
against the opening of the pipe. 

Whether the cage at the third vein bottom was ever attached to the 
main cage does not appear very certain from the evidence taken. It 
is certain, however, that if it was it was immediately detached, for there 
is no evidence that the cage was used, that a rope was attached, or that 
any attempt was made to hoist the men from the third vein by using 
the third vein cage in the main shaft, which some have called the 
"emergency cage." 

TWELVE HEROES. 

The condition of the main bottom at 3:30 or 4:00 o'clock was such 
as to indicate that all possibility of escape was rapidly disappearing. 
The flames were very intense. At about this time the cage was lowered 
(pp. 745, 832) with twelve men oh it and word was left on top that 
the engineer should pay strict attention to signals. The signals he 
received were as follows: Three bells (meaning to hoist); four bells 
(meaning hoist slowly) ; then four bells (meaning to hoist slower) ; 
then signals to lower and no more signals were received. About fifteen 
minutes after that the rope was seen to shake. The engineer, after long 
and repeated pleading and begging on the part of many of the men 



22 

(pp. 745, 832), hoisted the cage and the rescuers were found, some in 
the cage and others on top of it, all dead. It happened. that one who 
was rescued seven days after the mine was closed tells that he reached 
the shaft (p. 410) and found no cage there and using his cap to protect 
his hands, tried to signal for the cage to come down; that in a measure 
accounts for the confusion of signals received by the engineer. 

This was one of the most unfortunate incidents in the history of this 
disaster. Here were twelve brave men that were willing to risk and, 
as it were, sacrifice their own lives in an attempt to save their fellow- 
townsmen from their peril in the mine. 

The names of these men should go down in history as heroes in the 
time of the darkest tragedy that has occurred in the industrial field of 
this State. They had volunteered to go down into the mine expecting 
to be able to notify the miners and aid them in their escape, but they 
were too late. They were not all miners. Their names and occupations 
are as follows : 

John Bundy, mine manager; Andrew McLuckie, miner; Harry Stew- 
art, miner; James Spiers, miner; Mike Suhe, miner; Eobert Clark, 
miner; Alexander Norberg, assistant mine manager; Isaac Lewis, livery- 
man; Dominic Dormento, grocer; John Flood, clothier, John Sczabrin- 
ski (Smith), eager; Joseph Eobesa, driver. 

This was the seventh time that the cage was lowered with rescuers 
upon it after the seriousness of the fire was realized, and each time they 
had succeeded in bringing up some men alive; each time those who 
ventured down encountered the smoke and came up almost asphyxiated. 
The fire was getting nearer and nearer the main hoisting shaft; but this 
last cage of men were doomed to meet their fate in a supreme effort. 
When the cage was raised eight of them lay on the floor of the cage. 
Their clothing was still blazing and their arms and hands were in 
convulsive postures, just as death had seized them and when they had 
tried to protect their faces from the awful heat. Four of the bodies 
were lying across the top of the cage where they had died in a frantic 
effort to climb away from the fire. 

When they were hoisted to the surface it was a most pitiful sight. The 
relatives of these men were there and the scene witnessed was the most 
heartrending. Strong hearted men broke down. After all, the story of 
the twelve martyrs is but a phase of the great disaster. 

The time that elapsed from the beginning of the fire until the last 
person came out shows that if there had been some system of notifying 
the men at work in the mine they could all have gotten out. Or if the 
serious danger had been realized in time by the cagers and others at 
the hoisting shaft the men could have been notified by messenger, as 
some were who escaped and whose stories we he're publish. 

We have selected from the testimony of those who were in the mine 
at the time of the fire and made their escape, and have transformed this 
testimony into a story or narrative, using their own word?. Space will 
not permit us to give the account of all of them, as the testimony com- 



23 

prises nearly 900 pages, but we will give those which we think will best 
enable the reader to understand the conditions on that fateful day. Many 
others would be interesting, however. 



AS TOLD BY THE DIGGEES. 

The first is that told by James Hanney, who was president of tfie 
local union, and who testified that he was 56 years of age, born in 
Scotland, and commenced to work in the Cherry mine a year ago last 
June. He had worked in different kinds of mines before this one, and 
had worked in the third vein about a year. He says : "We were coming 
from the third vein and started through the main air course in the third 
vein. We had to hurry to get to the big shaft to get up at half past one. 
The shortest route is about 200 feet through the main air course. At 
the second vein we saw the car of hay on fire and the eager asked us to 
give him a hand to shove the car back. We gave him a hand and shoved 
the car back as far as we could stand it, about ten or fifteen yards, and 
then the heat and smoke were so bad we could not stand it any more, 
and I went out to get assistance to stop the fire. Nothing was said about 
notifying the men, for no boss was around. Some one had to get assist- 
ance and I went to get it. The eager let us go up because it was time. 
We took the cage to the top. When I first saw the flames they were 
probably 5 or 6 yards long. There was a great current of air in the main 
entry or air course, and the fire was reaching out to the shaft to where 
the barns were situated, toward the main shaft. Upon reaching the top 
I told the boss there was a fire down there and to stop the fan, and the 
fan was stopped. It was about 4 :00 o'clock when they covered the main 
shaft, on the surface and I don't know why they didn't cover the escape 
shaft, but I think the people would not permit it. The superintendent 
said, 'If I ordered the escape shaft covered the people in town would 
kill me.' I worked in the third vein since it opened that is a year ago 
last August. There is no fire equipment there; none was ever pointed 
out. The doors and the entries there are about 5x5, and are timbered 
with white pine." 

William A. Smith testified that he lived in Cherry and was a eager 
in the third vein on the day of the fire. He said : "The best I remember 
of it we were waiting at the bottom for what we thought was empty 
cars, because when they run out of cars often they would hold the cago 
until they got empties and then send them down to us. There were 
three bells rung and one of the cagers from the second level came down 
and the best I remember he told us that they had a car of hay afire up 
there; this was Alex. Rosenjack. It was shortly after half past one. 
Then I let up my half past one cage of men. He asked, 'Should I send 
it down or could we handle it down there.' I said yes send it down. 
Instead of going up with it he said, 'just bell it away one bell, for the 
boys up there.' I did so and waited down there probably five minutes, 
possibly eight, it might not have been more than four. I didn't look 
at my watch and couldn't say and the hay hadn't come down yet. Mr. 



24 

Norberg, the boss of the third level, came out to the bottom of the third 
level and wanted to know what was wrong. One of the boys told him 
there was a car of hay on fire up there and he hollered up for them to 
send that hay down. He got no answer; then he hollered again rather 
rough and loud and .still there was no answer. Then he says, 'I will go 
up/ And he started up and I would not say positive but I think that 
eager Kosenjack went with him. They walked up the manway. We 
waited there sometime again and still no hay came down; one of the 
drivers said, 'I will go up and tell him if he can't get it on the cage 
to shove it into the shaft and we will take care of it/ We waited some 
more and then we started. This was Andy Lettsome; and Dave Wright 
says, 'I will go with you' ; and the two went up. When they about had 
time to walk up the manway the bell rang four and one; that was to 
hoist and go ahead slowly and they hollered 'Look out'; the car of hay 
and all came down below like a flash in the smoke. I think both car 
and hay was all afire when it reached the sump. It had fallen 160 
feet; we were ready with the hose and turned the hose on it and put 
it out. It didn't take long because we had the force pump and plenty 
of water. When it came down it was very hot and there was fire on the 
cage; also the protecting sheet of iron on top of the cage was red hot; 
we turned the hose on that and cooled it down. John Brown and Oley 
Freiburg had hold of the hose besides me. When the car came down 
there John Brown, the opposite eager to me, had the hose and I was 
standing at the water column; the hose is connected to the column and 
there is a valve on that that you have to open to let it flow out through 
the hose, otherwise it would go up through the column to the second 
vein or into the main sump. When the hay came down I opened that 
valve and threw the water right onto it and it flew back into my face; 
the water hit me and I could not see anything so I stepped back. I was 
not in the smoke and it didn't bother me where I was ; then Oley Frei- 
burg took the hose out of my hand and said, 'go and get some air and let 
me have it/ About the time we got the fire out Andy Lettsome came 
back down to see if we had gotten the fire out and he says, 'there is still 
fire in the timbers up there that I don't like the looks of, but I hurried 
back to see if you got this out/ I said some of us will have to go up 
and see about that. I don't know how many times we belled but we got 
no reply from the engineer so I said we will have to walk up. As soon 
as we got to the second vein we thought there was enough fire to be 
dangerous. I said we have got to get our men up from the bottom; he 
says, 'I will do that,' then I said one of us ought to go up and the other 
down; one should go up and tell the engineer to go up without signals; 
he says, 'you go on up and I will go back after Pa/ I asked, will you 
notify the men? He says, 'sure I will scare them out/ So I went up 
and he went down. That was all I saw of the fire. I went up the 
stairway in the escape shaft, when I got about half way the air was 
coming a moderate gait about as fast as a man reasonably would require 
but suddenly the fan stopped. I didn't think anything of it because it 
had stopped once or twice before for a time. In about half a minute I 
will say from a half to a minute and a half the fan started tip again. 



25 

But they had reversed the fan and I knew that the fire and smoke would 
come up and catch me on the way so I climbed faster than I had ever 
climbed in my life before. The smoke overtook me when I got about 
half way up or a little more I don't know just how far for I was choking 
and climbing all the time; I don't know how I did get up the rest of 
the way.- 

William Vickers testified that he lived in Cherry four years, was mar- 
ried, and entered the mine on the 13th at about twenty minutes to seven. 
"Had worked in the third vein since 1908 and was working in Eoom No. 
1 in the Southeast with his 'buddie/ At about twenty-five minutes to 
three he heard of the fire and heard hollering at the switch to 'Come out,' 
that there was a fire in the second vein, and he says I hollered into the 
straight East, 'Come out right away; the shaft is on lire!' The men 
were Italians, and did not understand English well. They said, 'What's 
the matter ?' and I said, 'The shaft is afire ; get out !' and one of the fel- 
lows understood English a little better and he says, 'What's the matter?' 
.and I said, 'Fire in the second vein, come out quick; right away!' and 
I showed them out from the wall to the road ahead. The bottom is about 
300 feet from where I was working. At the third vein bottom I saw a 
hose in a man's hand and he was fighting the fire, putting out the burn- 
ing hay. You could not see the blaze, just the steam and smoke. The 
man was Ole Frieburg ; he is down there yet. It was a short hose. There 
were twelve or fifteen men behind me, and I was at the escape shaft with 
my foot on the ladder to go up on the steps. I turned to my buddie and 
he was right behind me. I told him I was going to take the coal out of 
my shoes and I turned back and said, 'Go on up, and I will come up 
after you/ So I turned round to Ole Frieburg, who was standing there, 
and asked him if they were not running the cage, and he said 'No; it 
has been quiet for quite a while/ I got the coal out of my shoes and 
started up and went up the stairway and just as I got to the last step, 
there is a ladder there, four or five steps, we have a trap door to go 
through, and the trap door slammed down and knocked me down a flight 
of stairs. I got myself picked up. There were two men behind me, so 
I crawled up and went through the door and the smoke and flames were 
so thick I did not blame the fellow for letting the. door fall on me; but 
I held it open to let the others go through. I don't know who they were. 
I started to holler to try and find out which way to go. I thought maybe 
some boss would have men stationed there to direct the men which way 
to go, because there were three roads out, the east and west runway and 
the main air course. I saw flames all over, but I did not know how far 
they extended. I thought maybe they would have somebody posted 
to tell us. Well, anyhow, when I hollered and could not get any answer 
from this side, I started up in this direction. I could hear men hollering 
and saw there were four or five cars, or whatever it was I can't say, were 
afire there right close to the bottom. When I got up there to this bunch 
of men, I said, 'Why don't you push through?' and he said, 'There are 
mules here/ I said, 'To hell with the mules; push through/ So we 
got over here to the left hand side, because it is the road that branches 
off, and I knew that if T went to the left-hand I would not mips my road. 

Legislate 



26 

1 pushed ahead of them up to where the roads branch off. I saw some 
lights ahead of me and hollered for a light and they would not stop, and 
1 started to run, and the faster I ran the louder 1 hollered for a light; 
I could not say how far I ran, but when I got pretty close to them the 
last man stopped and gave me a light, and I came back here to this turn 
in the road, and" got right close te the left hand side, because the way 
the air was I knew I couldn't hold a light in there ; I could holler to the 
men and showed the light the best I could round the corner. As soon as 
they came up 'they got a light, and an old man and his son came up. I 
gave the father a light first and then I gave the son a light and my own 
light went out. The son started to go on and I said, 'Come back here 
and give me a light/ because I was getting very weak myself, and I 
says, 'Johnnie, I can't stand here any longer, this smoke is getting the 
bett of me; somebody else has got to stay here.' He says, 'I have two 
lamps.' So I took his lamp and pulled the wick away up and hung the 
lamp on the beam and hollered 'to come up and get a light and we could 
not hear any more voices, so we left. About half way up here both of 
us got in the dark again. His lamp went out during the time I .was 
lighting the lamp hanging on the beam, and he says to me, 'You've got 
a good lamp there,' and just as he said that out it went; so we put our 
coats together and struck a match and got both lamps lighted, and got 
out here after running across a trip with a team of mules. We then 
went straight on and he says, 'Where are we?' I said, 'I don't know,' 
and started feeling round for the timbers. The timbers in the west 
bottom are square, and I could tell by them where we were. I says, 'We 
are on the bottom' ; so we made down to the cage. When I came to the 
main bottom, Bundy and three or four more were standing there and 
he said, 'How is it?' and I said, 'The men can't get out of here, because 
they can't see. You should have lanterns strung along the road,' and 
li<- said, 'All right.' A eager had rung the bell to hoist the men. I got 
oiv the cage and went up. It was about twenty-five minutes to three 
when I was notified in my working place. It was a quarter to three 
before I got to the second vein at the bottom of the escape shaft." 

John Stuckert, who had been a miner for thirty-five years, was secre- 
tary of the Cherry local of the miners, and who was working in the third 
vein, says: "At half past two we got smoke in our working place right 
off the air course. My partner is an Italian and I hollered to him, 
'What are those fellows burning up there, anyhow ?' So the smoke began 
to get thicker. He said in broken English, 'I guess we got to die like 
mules.' I paid but little attention. But after a while the smoke got 
thicker and I said, 'We better try and make the bottom and investigate 
what is going on.' We made toward the bottom, but we could not get 
on the bottom for smoke, the closer we got the stronger it was ; we were 
driven back. There were six or eight of us going back and we got into 
my own working place. There were two entries, two roads and I went 
beck to my entry. We waited a few minutes. One man said, 'I can see 
light on the bottom.' I said, 'If there is light on the bottom, it is clear; 
let us go out.' We went to the bottom and some fellow hollered down 
from the top that there wouldn't be any more doing today and we had 



27 

better try and get out. I climbed up the escape to the second vein and 
there was a bunch climbed ahead of me and when arriving there I found 
tire and smoke. I tried to light my lamp and it would not burn. I 
waited four or five minutes in the smoke, then there was a bunch came 
up after me. When the next men came they did not know which way 
to go, not knowing the different roads and everything full of smoke. So 
one of them said to me, 'What do you think?' I said, 'You have to 
judge for yourselves, I don't know/ and they attempted to climb up 
further; they rushed up the escape and I followed, two men behind 
me and a man in the lead and he hollered, 'For God's sake, get 
back quick.' I said, 'I am going to make for the old east runway,' where 
we go up in the evening. We hadn't got to the end of what they call 
the bottom when we were running into mules and empty cars and we 
had to crawl by the cars to get by the trip and there was a turn made 
then to the left; then we ran into another mule with empty cars. We 
traveled around until we came to the bottom. The smoke was awful 
thick. We had two doors to go through. When we got to the first door 
it was hard to open. I fell when I got the door open. One man came up 
and fell over us. He picked himself up and helped me up. And I stood 
back and I had hold of my own partner and he pulled me up to the 
next door and we got the next door open and got on the bottom. The 
smoke was so heavy there that it was like a vise holding you around the 
chest and taking your breath away. The man ahead held up and said, 
'N"o further, boys, we are going to die here,' and he was trying to pull 
me back. I said, 'No, friend, don't go back; I see only one chance for 
us to make the big bottom ; if we can't make the big bottom we are lost.' 
He got away from me and all I remember is that he made a couple of 
steps back, but who he was or where he landed I don't know. I stumbled 
across the bottom the best I could. I held myself up once by putting 
my hand on top of a railing which helped me a little. I heard mules 
coming and men hollering among the mules and I crawled along the 
right side till I got right close to the bottom, then I was completely done 
end fell. At last I got up again and crawled a little more and I just 
made the bottom and fell on the cage. I never lost my presence of 
mind until I reached the top. I walked home and everything was a 
blank to me. After recovering I went back to the shaft and there was a 
crowd around there, and the mine was closed." 

Alma Lettsome testified that he lived at Cherry, was married, and was 
20 years of age and had worked at the Cherry mine since the 19th day 
of August, 1908. On the day of the accident he was working in the 
third vein, his attention was first attracted when the cars had stopped 
coming and he went out to the bottom of the big shaft, saw a driver 
standing there and said, " 'How is it they are not hoisting in the big 
shaft?' and he said, 'Probably they are waiting for the flats.' I paid 
no more attention and walked back in company with two other men to 
my working place. The three of us stayed clown there together for I 
should judge about twenty minutes, when my son came along and told 
me the mule barn was on fire. He said, 'We have been up there and 
it is all afire.' I walked up the stairs and saw it and said wo must get out 



28 

as quick as we can. We were then about 750 feet from the escape shaft; 
we gave the men the warning that were around us and started up -to 
make our way out. There were other men standing at the bottom of the 
third vein waiting for us to come out and we all started up the stairs 
one man after the other. When we reached the top of the stairs there 
was a man standing against the trap door and he wouldn't go through 
it; he had lifted it up and seen the fire above and he said, 'We can't go 
through there, it is all afire.' I said, 'We can't go back, we have got to 
go through there.' He said, 'I can't get through/ and I said, 'Well, get 
out of the road.' I saw it was all on fire, in fact, all flames. We went 
th rough the door and south round the east way, reached the cage and 
went up to the top." 

Among the many statements made, comprising nearly 900 pages of 
evidence taken, there were none more graphic, dramatic and clearer than 
that of Albert Buckle, a boy standing about 4 feet 6 inches high and 
who was 15 years of age, who worked as a trapper. Even his statement 
as to the number of cars of coal hoisted after the fire was discovered is 
corroborated by the check weighman, and the other incidents related by 
him are so completely corroborated that we give his story here as among 
the best, if not the very best, statement made of the affairs that took 
place on the main bottom. 

His story is substantially as follows : "My name is Albert Buckle ; my 
father's, Otto Buckle; he is dead; he died four years ago; my brother is 
18 and he is in the mine; my sister, 12; my mother, Mary Buckle, is 
sick. My uncle is Eichard Schwartz and lives in Norfolk, Neb. I will 
be 16 on the 28th of November. I was a trapper. We ate dinner and 
then my brother came down and took a car in. He got a trip and came 
out in the entries and I opened the door and Matt says, 'There is a fire.' 
I said, 'Where?' and he said, 'At the third vein shaft.' I was in the 
east runway when I heard of the fire. I took my pail and set it down 
and Johnson, the mule boss, said, 'Bring your pails,' and we tried to get 
into the barn for water and we could not get in there for smoke. We 
could not get any water in the sump, we were too late already. The 
fire was burning in the main air course. Matt tried to get water with 
me and we tried to go through the doors (main air course), but the fire 
was there ; I saw a car of hay burning and the timbers were starting to 
burn. I saw Bosenjack come running out to the main bottom. He got 
a cage and went up. I saw Bundy, the diggers, cagers and spraggers at 
the bottom. I was sitting there playing and he said, 'Fire, come out,' 
and I said, 'Oh, there is plenty of time,' and he said, 'There isn't time,' 
and the boss told us to get our water pails and get water. After the fire 
started there was five or six cars of coal that went up. At half past one 
the diggers came along and I got my pail and went to get on the cage 
and the eager put me off and said, 'Get the pails and put the fire out.' 

I think it was George Eddy who told the drivers, 'We are going to 
put the fire out and go to work again.' I remained on the bottom for 
half an hour. We stood around there and they still hoisted coal. I think 
it was half an hour from the number of cars that went up. Johnson 
was running around opening and closing the doors and the smoke was 



21) 

getting strong. Dominic Christo told me that Andrew Timko would 
tell my brother and they went to tell the diggers to come out. My driver 
said, 'Bill, give us a cage; every one is going to die here/ and he said, 
'No, we are going to put the fire out and start to work again.' I says, 
'You ought to notify them diggers inside that is working in there/ and 
he says to me to run and tell them. It was after that that I told 
Dominic. They were hoisting coal then with the main cage. Some 
parties went up for a hose. They got the hose, then put something over 
their faces and tried to go into the barn to fasten it, but could not get 
in. My driver said, 'Bill, if you don't give us a cage, we are all going 
to choke/ but after that he gave us a cage for the smoke was too strong. 
As we were going up I hollered to McFadden to notify them diggers and 
he ran back." 

William Maxwell testified that his home was in Spring Valley, but 
that he had been working for some time at Cherry, and that on the 
13th of November he was working in the third vein in the southwest. 
He said : "I saw smoke coming in at the face and it got so mighty hot 
and thick that I got a little alarmed and came out to see the cause of 
it. I thought it was a sheet that had taken afire. I would judge that 
was about half past two; it was all of that anyhow. I came out to the 
bottom; the smoke got thicker all the way. I couldn't see anything 
because of it until I came to the bottom and I saw there was one man 
with a hose putting out some burning hay that had fallen into the 
shaft. The car and all was in the sump. As I started to go up the 
ladder to go home some one said that the middle vein is on fire, so I 
went back after my son ; he had been with me at the face of the entry. I 
went back to him and when we returned to the bottom there was nobody 
there then. We went up the ladder and up the stairway and when we 
reached the top at the second vein it took two of us to lift that door 
that you have to raise when you come up. After traveling that distance 
in that unlivable smoke you are not in a very good shape to lift a heavy 
door made of sheet iron which was about 2 feet square. 

"After my son and I lifted it we came out, but .two Italian men who 
followed us did not get out. They fell on the road between the ladders 
and the cage in the second vein. My boy dropped about 70 feet away 
from the cage; there were two parties that went down later and rescued 
him. I went on staggering to the cage and Mr. Eosenjack helped me 
on the cage and asked me if I could take hold of the bar myself and I 
said I could, so I came up alone on the cage. About six or eight minutes 
afterwards my son was brought up. I should judge that we were about 
the last that came out of the bottom vein." 

Robert Shaw testified that he lived at Spring Valley, had been a 
coal miner for about ten years and that he went into the mine on the 
second Wednesday after the fire at about 2:00 o'clock. He said: "I 
went down in the cage to the second level and from there to the third 
vein. I had to slide down a rope 10 or 12 feet to reach the cage that 
took us to the third vein. There were four of us and when we got off 
the cage we stepped into water and walked 'for about 150 feet, I suppose. 
We went to the west side first, returned and hollered up and told them 



30 

we were going to the east side ; we walked off and went to the first entry 
north, northeast is what they call it, I guess. We found men there ; and 
also as we came in we found the canvass, all stuck up round the bottom 
and the rails stacked up to keep the air from going forward or so the 
air could get through it. We walked into three or four entries to the 
second switch and there found many dead men; beside them were three 
pieces of slate, one piece had marked on it the number of men that 
came up to this point in bunches. It was beside a fellow that was sitting 
up against the timber. There was one bunch of thirty-five; another 
piece of slate had marked on it twenty-three, etc.; that was the last 
bunch that came I think; the figures totaled on these pieces of slate 168. 
The men were all lying right along the road to the left, to the right and 
to the straight. They were about 500 feet from the hoisting shaft. We 
counted forty-nine men and merely looked over the rest. They had con- 
structed a fan like the paddle of a little steamer for the purpose of 
furnishing air for breathing; it was made out of boxes they had down 
there for their tools. It was about 3 feet in diameter. We found one 
bucket on the west side of the shaft with a piece of bread and a piece of 
cheese in it. The bottom was fixed with canvas to keep the smoke or 
whatever it was that came there away from them." 

George Eddy testified that he lived at Cherry, was 48 years of age 
and mine examiner for the St. Paul Coal Company. He said : "At 
about 1 :30 in the afternoon of November 13th last I was on top of the 
shaft sitting down there on the third vein engine house steps, the first 
knowledge I had that there was a fire was when I saw the smoke coming 
out of the shaft ; I went right down on the first cage ; the first thing I 
did was to ask one of the drivers to loan me his lamp and he said he 
had only one lamp; I said, 'Well, lend me your lamp until I go to the 
cupboard/ and we have some there so I got a torch and went into the 
air shaft. Mr. Norberg was ahead of me; there was a car of hay on fire 
and it had caught the timbers in the lagging and Mr. Norberg says, 
'George, the whole thing is afire.' I says, 'Yes, it is working on the 
roof/ So Mr. Norberg turned around and came back and I followed 
him out and before we got out somebody opened the two check doors. 
Then when we got through into the big bottom I went up on the west 
side to see if we could do anything about getting the fire out. 

"I found some empty cars and a team of mules near the air shaft 
and hay on the other side; there was nobody in there but me and I came 
up to the big bottom to get some one to help me. There was nothing on the 
west side of the bottom, the flames were coming through there and I 
just took my torch and went inside to get all the men out I could. I 
went up on the second west to notify the men when I met the drivers 
on the parting and they asked me what was the matter; I told them 
to get out just as soon as possible, just as fast as they could and leave 
their mules and everything there and run. They all started out for the 
bottom and then I went into the sixth south entry. There are twenty- 
two rooms turned in that entry but they are all finished up to eighteen. 
That is the first room working; I notified them and got them all out, 
came out again to the main entry and met John Bundy and told him the 



31 

shaft is on fire, and he asked me where it was and I told him it was 
between the air shaft and the main shaft. I told him I had got all the 
men out there and he said I should go in and get these others to the 
south, so I went in and notified them and then I notified the men in 
the seventh and eighth south and then I met Mr. Waite and told him 
what was wrong and he said you finish this entry and I will go in the 
nine and ten north, so we did that and met on the switch and we waited 
there until all the men came out. 

"When we got the men all out ahead of us and got down to near the 
mouth of the entry, we could not get out, we were blocked in on account 
of the black damp and smoke; there were twenty-one men with us; we 
went back up the entry and tried to go out another road and we found 
the black damp was stronger there than it was where we were, so we 
went back into the main entry again. Then we tried two or three times 
to get out on Saturday and Sunday, but we couldn't get out ; every time 
we would try it we were further away from the bottom, so we saw that 
we were not going to get to the cage because the black damp was pressing 
us in from both sections and we knew it was going to fill up the face 
and that we would smother in there, so we went in and built a wall across 
the second west entry and we built across the first west entry of dirt and 
we were inside there seven days or until the rescuing party came for us.'' 



32 



RESCUE OF TWENTY-ONE MEN. 



TKe story of George Eddy is particularly interesting, for his experience 
is connected with the gathering together of twenty-one men who walled 
themselves away from the fire and smoke by closing up an entry and 
living therein for eight days, after which they were rescued by parties 
who had ventured to go into the mine for the purpose of getting out 
dead bodies, but not expecting to find any one alive. 

These men were notified by Eddy on the afternoon of the fire, but 
after they had collected they could not reach the shaft and after one man 
had died they were compelled to retreat to a distance where they could 
find an entry containing a living atmosphere. George Eddy and Walter 
Waite persisted in the attempt to find their way out. They all then spent 
the first night huddled together at a safe distance from the main shaft 
hoping the fire would die out and that they would be able to make their 
escape,' but the next morning they encountered black damp and had to- 
retreat further back; George Eddy and Walter Waite made a desperate 
effort but were overcome in the attempt. They decided that their only 
safety lay in walling themselves in until a change in the condition of the 
mine took place. 

Here they remained, with nothing to. eat and very little water, for 
seven days. They had a light from Saturday, the day they were entrapped, 
until Tuesday, when their oil gave out. They were able with the aid of 
their picks to dig a few holes, into which there run some water, but it 
was of so poor a quality that it was not of much value. Here they lived 
in hope and in prayer that their lives might be spared and that they 
might be able- to return to their families. 

The suffering which they endured from hunger, suffocation and the 
thought of their most certain death is almost undescribable. Here they 
dwelt in darkness and despair, writing notes to their loved ones whom 
they had given up all hope of ever seeing again. At the end of a week's 
time they were getting in such a weakened condition that they knew 
they could not hold out much longer, so they agreed that the four who 
were the strongest were to make a last attempt to get out even 
though they should die in their efforts. This was on Saturday evening, 
November 20th. 

It was in this attempt, as they struggled toward the escapement shaft 
finding better air than existed before, that they encountered the rescue 
party, consisting of David Powell, mine superintendent of the Braceville 
mine; Father Hanney of St. Manx's church of Mendota, 111.; Captain 



33 

Kenney of the Chicago Fire Department and three other firemen. It was 
the greatest surprise to the rescuing party to hear voices of human beings 
in the mine, when they expected to find nothing but dead men. After 
coming in contact with these four men and after a most heartfelt and 
thankful greeting they lost no time in finding out how many there were 
and preparing for their safe deliverance and rescue. They soon run 
across four others who had followed the first four. Those who were left 
were not able to walk. 

It would be hard for us to comprehend the joy and expectations that 
existed in Cherry when the news was spread that men had been found 
alive. Each one hoped that all would be found and that their own dear 
loved one was among the rescued. Those who were rescued were : George 
Eddy, Walter Waite, Thomas White, John Lorimer, Frank Waite, 
Thomas Brown, John Barnoski, John Semich, George Semich, George 
Stimez, Frank Sanerania, Q. Antenore, Daniel Holafcak, William Cle- 
land, Fred Lauzi, Slivatore Piggatti, Josept Piggatti, Bonfiglio Kuggeri, 
Fred Prohaska and Frank Prohaska, 

Daniel Holafick, the oldest man in the party, was not able to stand 
the ordeal through which he had passed and died the day after his 
rescue, Sunday, November 21st. 

The meeting of these men with their families and friends was a bright 
spot in the history of the dark days around the .little village of Cherry, 
for they had been mourned as dead. 

It encouraged the rescuing parties to search for others that might have 
so protected themselves, but no more were to be found. The others had 
died in their attempts to reach the escape shaft. 

OPENING OF THE MINE. 

Mr. McDonald arrived at Cherry on Sunday morning, November 14th, 
and says the main shaft was sealed up and the escape shaft partly sealed. 
The work of directing the relief and rescue was in charge of the State 
Mine Inspectors, and also mine experts from Urbana, and, later on, men 
from the United States Eescue Station at Pittsburg. Eichard Newsam 
was directing this work. An effort was being made to enter the escape 
shaft, which was only partially successful. 

On Sunday, the 14th, the main shaft was opened and two men with 
helmets were lowered to the second vein. They reported that with a 
sufficient supply of water and suitable hose they could have extinguished 
the flames, but the only available hose was so large and cumbersome and 
the supply of water, which was furnished by tanks on flat cars hauled from 
Ladd or Mendota, so inadequate, as to seriously handicap the work of 
fighting the fire, and the men with the helmets were soon driven out and 
the mine sealed again. 

Two days later the main shaft was opened again, and with the valuable 
assistance of the Chicago and Ladd firemen, who displayed great courage, 
the mine was again entered and the fire placed under control, tempo- 
rarily, and the work of taking out the bodies began. 

3 C 



34 



On Saturday, one week after the fire, some practical miners took charge 
of the rescue work, and by noon some fifty bodies were taken out, a 
at 1 -00 o'clock some men were discovered alive and twenty-one taken out. 

On the east side of the shaft at the second vein bottom, where the 
had burned out the timbers, an immense fall had occurred, * 
fallen some 40 or 50 feet high, and made it unsafe to get oft the cage 
on that side as the rock was continually dropping, making it impo; 
to explore that side of the mine. 

On the west side the entries were standing about as well as before, b 
the black damp was so bad it was impossible to enter many ( 
without helmets. 

The partings were blocked with loaded cars and dead mules, which 
were in such a state of decomposition as to make it almost imposs: 

get beyond them. 

' After passing the first main parting in the south entry, we encounters 
a group of some ten bodies, one in the center in the attitude of prayer. 
From there on the sights were horrifying. Men's bodies singly and in 
groups were encountered, and the stench was such as to tax to the 
the strength of the rescuers. 

A great deal was accomplished in rescue work during the day, t 
that night a number of the inspectors returned, and on Sunday a new 
mine manager was employed and the entire day was consumed in explo: 
ing certain sections of the mine and discussing theories among 
so-called experts, and the work of rescuing the bodies was, by their 
orders, practically discontinued. Fortunately, the mine manager who 
was engaged in the morning resigned in the afternoon, and, after vigorous 
protests by the miners and the officials of the United Mine Workers, the 
work of rescue was resumed. 

On the following day a meeting of the executive board of the Mil 
Workers of Illinois was held at Cherry, who selected a committee to visit 
the management and the inspectors to demand that steps be at once take 
to explore the third vein, and to protest against the dilatory tactic 
employed, and volunteer their assistance in making the exploration. 
After ome further delay a committee of miners were lowered into t 
third vein and reported finding all the men gathered in one group wh( 
they had met death together. 

During the entire proceedings much valuable time was consumed by 
those in charge discussing theories, and there is no secret of the fact that 
harmony was a stranger between the State and Federal forces. 

There were too many bosses, and apparently no one in authority, 
of the experts made the statement a few days after the accident that 
the mine might as well be sealed up and abandoned entirely, notwith 
standing the fact that twenty-one men were taken out alive some days 

1 Q"f pV 

The miners' executive board finally appealed to Governor Deneen by 
wire to put some one in charge of the work, and registered a vigorous 
protect againsi the delay; but by this time the fire had again begun tc 
burn more fiercely, and the mine \va? again scaled and remained sealed 
until Feb. 1. 1910. 



35 

On this date the concrete top that sealed the mine was broken and, 
after thorough tests by the officials and experts, it was found that the 
fire had been smothered out. A party of men, headed by Richard New- 
sam and Thomas Moses, made the first descent into the mine and found 
the fire entirely extinguished. 

Work was begun at once at removing the debris, falling timbers and 
numerous cave-ins through the direction of the above men and State 
Inspectors John Dunlop, Thomas Hudson, Hector McAllister and mine 
officials; volunteers were called for and soon a large force of men were 
at work, but it was not until February 18th they could get far enough 
away from the main shaft to discern the bodies of the men they failed 
to reach before sealing the shaft. It was then that eleven bodies were 
found. On February 19th, four more were found and on the 21st two 
more. On March 2d two more were found and on the 4th day of March 
sixty-one bodies were found hudled together as if they had banded them- 
selves together for mutual protection. 

On April 10th thirty-one were found in a like manner, as it appears 
that they had met their death from the foul air and the poisonous gases. 
They had constructed fans out of 1x12 inch boards, mounted them upon 
mine props and they had turned them by the aid of mine machine 
handles. On one of the blades was written: "All alive 2 p. m., 14." 
Other bodies were subsequently found until in all 251 bodies had been 
discovered Aug. 1, 1910. There were probably eight remaining in the 
mine in some cave that has as yet been unaccessible. 

The second vein of the mine has been abandoned by the company and 
they will continue to work only the third or lower vein. The mine is 
at this date, September 1st, about ready for operation. 

NAMES OF THOSE KILLED. 

I 

We herewith publish the names of those killed, as reported to us by 
the company, their check numbers,, occupations, wages, age, nativity, 
residence, conjugal relationship, together with the names of the children 
left, if any. 



3G 



CHEERY MINE DISASTER. 



VICTIMS. 



6 
Z 

J4 


u 

a 

o 


Name. 


Occupation. 


Wages. 


Age. 


Nativity. 


547 
291 
510 
240 
2 47 
131 
Co .. 

Co .. 

86 
155 
110 
25 

289 
108 
274 
170 
573 
538 
536 
228 
210 
191 
169 
272 
17 

498 
208 
294 
447 
569 
579 
309 
Co .. 

Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 

597 
489 
479 
451 
415 
37 
585 
231 
36 
196 


Amider, Altio 


Miner 




18 
40 


Italian 


Agramanti , Foliani 


. .do 




..do 


Alexius, Joseph 


. do 




28 


. .do 


Atalakis, Peter 


. .do ... 




34 
39 




Atalakis, G 


..do 




. .do ... 


Adakosky, M. .... 


..do 




18 
32 

33 

31 
43 
40 
34 

24 


..do 






$2 56 
2 56 


Italian .... 


Armelani, Paul 


. do 


..do 


Burke, Joseph 


Miner . 


Irish 


Bauer, Milce 


..do 




German 


Brain, Oliver 


. .do ... 




Scotch 


Burslie, Clemento 


..do 




Italian 


Bolla, Antonio 


. .do ... 




. .do ... 


Bastia, Mike ... 


do 




28 
51 
32 
28 
31 
26 
33 


..do 


Brown, Thomas 


. do 




English 


Bo'la, Peter 


..do 




Italian 


Bawman , Frank .... 


do 




Belgium 


Bawman, Lewis 


..do 




. .do 


Barozzi, Antone. 


. .do ... 




Italian .. 


Bruno, Kdward 


. do 




do 


Bredenci, Peter 


..do 




30 
30 
39 
25 
31 

26 
33 
30 
22 
34 


Lithuanian . . 


Budzon, Joseph 


..do .... 




Polish 


Boucher, Jerome. 


. do . . * . . 




Belgium 


Bakalar, Geo 


..do 




Slavish 


Bayliff, Thomas ... 


..do 




English 


Bernadini, Chas .... 


do 




Italian 


Bosviel, Adolph 


. .do ... 






Budzom , Chas 


..do 




Polish 


Bertolioni, Tonzothe 


. .do . . . 




Italian 


Benossif, J 


..do .. 




..do 


Hut ilia, August 


..do .. 




32 


..do 


Bordesona, Joseph 


do 




35 


. .do 


Betot, John 

Brown, John 
Buckets, Richard 


Trackman . .. 


2 56 

2 56 
1 40 
2 56 


40 
83 


Lithuanian 






Spragger .. 


German 


Bruzis, John 
Bundy, John.. 


Timberman 


Lithuanian . . 
do 




Costi, Angelo 


Miner 




23 
24 


Italian . 


Ciocci, Peter 


. .do . 




..do .. 


Canov, Carivo 


.do 




33 


do . 


Cioci, Canical 


.00 




22 


..do 


Costi , Lewis 


.do 




22 


do 


Cam ill i, Frank 


. .do ... 




36 
26 
27 
56 
32 


French 


Casseno, John 


. .do ... 




Italian 


Castoinelo, Chelstd 
Cagoskey, John 


..do 
..do 




. .do 
Slavish 


Chebubar, Joseph 


..do 




Austrian . 











37 



NOVEMBER 13, 1909. 



VICTIMS. 



Married or 
single. 


Children Name and age 


Residence. 


Remarks. 


Single 




Cherry. 




..do 




..do... 




Married .-.. 


Teressa, 3; babe, 2 weeks. .. 


..do 


Widow and two children 








No particulars 








..do 


Single 




Cherry 




Married . .... 


Albert, 5; John, 3; Edith, 2 








mos 


..do 


Widow and three children 


..do 


Richard, 8; Marco, 7; Albert, 








6; Kachael, 4; Caroline, 2.. 




Widow and five children 


.do... 


Joseph, 2 


Cherry 


Widow and one child 


.do 
. .do ... 


Mary, 18 
Beatrice, 10; Winnie, 6 . .. 


..do 
. do 


.do 
Widow and two children 


..do 


Sidney, 6; Rolando, 3; in- 








fant 


do 


Widow and three children 


Single 








Married 


Marlco, 6 mos 


Cherry 


Widow and child .. 


.do 






Widow 


. .do ... 


Dowardo, 6 


Cherry 


Widow and child 


Single 








Married 


August, 6 


Cherry . . .. 


Widow and child .. 


..do 






Widow 


do . 


Josie,9; Antone,8; Teressa, 2 




Widow and three children 


..do .. 


Annie. 2; Mary, 1 ... 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


. .do . . . 


Sati&lar, 3; Joseph, 2 


. .do 


..do 


do .. 


Amelia, 17 


do . .. 


Widow and one child 


. .do ... 


George, 10 mos 


. do 


..do 


do 


Rosie Pearl, 18; John Lin- 








coln, 1 . 


do 


Widow and two children... 


..do. . 


Child, 2 wks 


..do... 


Widow and child 


do 


Clatilda, 15; Bertha, 15 


do 


Widow and two children 


..do 


Infant 


.do 


Widow and child 


Single 








.do 








..do 
















Married 


Annie, 9; John, 5; Sophia, 4; 








Mary, 2 


Cherry 


Widow and four children 


Single 




. .do . . ." 




Mother.. 


Albert 15- Lottie, 11 . .. 


.do 


Mother and two children 










Married. 


Alfred, Amv, William Flor- 








ence, Herbert, Ethel, Lin- 


Cherry 


Widow and eight children 


Single 




. .do 




. .do 




..do 




Married . 






Widow and two children in Italy 










Single 












Cherry 


Widow and one child .... 


Single 












Cherry 


Widow and two children 


do 


John 16' Andrew, 11; Mike 7 


. do 


Widow and three children 


. .do 


Joseph, 7; Mary, 6; Phillip.3: 








John, 1 .. 


..do... 


Widow and four children . . . 



38 



Victims 





Z 

M 

1 

u 


Name. 


Occupation. 


Wages. 


Age. 


Nativity. 


572 

410 

203 
97 
105 
129 
436 
53U 

570 

Co .. 
Co .. 

35 

7 
38 
58 
269 
151 
461 
236 
Co .. 
Co .. 
416 
241 
487 
554 
Co .. 
153 
47 
370 

Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 

Co .. 
Co .. 
204 

258 

187 
528 
531 

586 
493 
486 

575 
14 
119 

189 

80 
114 
221 

ISf 

66 

206 
262 


Casol lari , Kli/.io 


Miner 




29 
21 

34 


Italian ... 


Conlon, Henry 


..do 




French. 


Cohard, Henry . 


. .do . . . 




..do 


Cipola, Mike 


. .do ... 




40 

28 
28 
40 


Slavish. . . 


Clark. Robt 


. .do ... 




Scotch 


Carlo, Elfl . .. 


do... 




Italian 


Casolari, Dimiuick . 


..do . 




..do . 


Cavaglini, Chas 


..do 




45 
33 


..do 


Compasso, John 


..do 




..do 


Debulka. John 


Driver 


$2 56 


27 
49 


Slavish . . . 


Dovin, Andrew 


Miner ... 


. .do 


Donaldson, John 


..do 




46 

18 
29 
33 


Scotch 


Dovin, George. 


..do 




Slavish 


Demesey, Fred 


..do 




French 


Humont, Leopold 


. .do . . . 




Belgium 


Detournev. Victor 


. .do ... 




36 


. .do 


Uenalfi, Francisco 


. .do ... 




30 
26 
22 


Italian 


Durand, Benjamin 


. .do ... 




French .. .. 


Dunko, John 


..do 




Slavish 


Durclan, Andrew 


Timberman helper. 
Trapper 


2 36 
1 13 




Davies, Jno. G 
Elario , M iestre 


17 
24 

18 
23 

r>5 




Miner... 


Italian 


Klko, George 


..do... 




Slavish 


Eloses, Peter 


..do 




Italian 


Erickson, Chas 


..do 




S* ede .. 


Erickson, Eric 


Timberman 


2 56 


39 
30 
40 
34 

32 
35 
48 

23 
49 

42 

49 

34 
29 
41 

33 


..do 


Farlo, John 


Miner. 


Italian 


Fayen, Peter 


..do 




French 


Forgach, John 


. .do 






Formento, Dominick 


Grocer 




Italian 


Freebirg, Ole 


Timberman .. 


2 56 
2 56 

2 56 


Swede . 


Francisco, John 

Francisco, August 
Flood, John 


..do 

Driver 
Merchant 


Austrian 


..do 
Irish 


Governer, Jno 


Miner 




Belgium 


Grehaski, Andrew 


..do .-. 




Slavish 


Gugleilm, Peter 


..do . 




Italian 


Garletti, J ; 


. .do ... 






Guidarini, Jno 


do 




Italian 


Gialcolzza, Angone 


. .do ... 




.A>... 


Garabelda, Jno 


do 




35 


. .do 


Gulick, Joseph 


..do 




34 

28 
19 


Austrian 


Gwaltyeri, Jalindy.. .. .... 


do 




Italian 


Garletti, Jno 


. .do ... 




. .do 


Geckse, Frank 


. do 




20 
34 

34 

28 
28 
20 
45 

25 
39 


Austrian 


Grumeth, Frank 


do 






Gibbs, Lewis 


Timberman. 


2.56 


English 


Halko, Mike 


Miner .... 


Slavish .. 


Hadovski, Steve 


do... 




do 


Howard, Samuel 


.do 




French .. 


Hudar, Jno 


do 






Hynds, William 


.do 






Hertzel, Jno 


.do 















39 



Continued. 



Married or 
Single. 


Children Name and Age. 


Residence. 


Remarks. 


Single 




Seatonville.... 




do 




Cherry . . 


Supporting threesisters; Minnie, 


Married 


Henry. 7; Marcal, 4; Paul, 3 


. .do 


18; Laura, 10; Dora, 5 
Widow and three children 


do 


Mike, 9; Annie, 8; Andrew, 4 


Streator 


. .do .... 






Scotland 




do 




Cherry 




do 




Italy 




Married 


Jennie, 13; James 11, Sam- 








uel, 8 


.do 


Wife dead; three children 


.do 


Annie. 6; Frank, 5; Mamie, 








4. infant 5 mos 


Cherrv .... 


Widow and four children 


do 


Infant 


. .do . . ." 




do 


Annie, 16; Emma, 14; Mar- 








garet, 13; Joseph, 11 ; Susie, 
9; Frausley, 7; Albert 4; 
Caroline, 3 


. .do 


Widow and eight children . .. 


.do 


Flenan, 21; John, 15; James, 








10 


.do... 


Widow and three children 


Single 




..do 




do 




..do 




do 




..do 




Married 


Victor, 12; Julia, 9; Eddy7.. 


..do 




do 


John. 6 mos 


do 


Widow and one child 


do 


Marsalle 2 


.do 


. .do ... 




Infant 


. .do 


..do 








No particulars 






Cherry 




do 




Cardiff 




do 




Austria 




do 




Italy 




do 




Cherry 












do 




Cherry 




Married . .. 




.do 


Widow, no children 


..do 


John, 8; Albert, 5; Andrew, 
3; Louisa, 1 .... 


do . 


Widow, four children 


do 


Mary, 4; John, 1 


. do 


Widow and two children 


Single 




..do 




Married 


Peter, 22; Matt, 15; John, 13; 








Zony, 12; Mary, 10; Willie. 
8;Veronica, 7; Jennie and 
Joe, 3 


do 


Widow and nine children 


Single 




..do 




. .do 




..do 




Married 


Clara, 18; Martha, 16; Theo- 








dore. 14 


Cherry 


Widow and three children 


do 


Boy, 16; boy, 12; boy, 3; girl, 








20; girl, 18; girl, 9 


Streator.. 


Widow and six children 


..do 


Mary, 8; Annie, 4 


Cherry ... 


Widow and two children 










..do 


Aldo, 11; Amelia, 9; Annie, 
6; Antonia, 3 


do 


Widow and four children 


. xlo ... 


Minnie, 6; Phillip, 2 


Cedar Point,. 




Single 




Italy 




Married . 


Johanna 10; Josie, 5; George 








1 mo. 


Cherry . 


Widow and three children 






.do ... 








. .do 


Widow mother and six children 










.do 






Widow and two children in 








Austria 


Single 




. .do ... 




Married 




do 


Widow, no children 


..do 


Child, 6 mos 


..do 


Widow and one child 


Single 




do 


Mother . 


Married 


Annie. 14; Mary, 12; George, 








6; Susie, 4; Lizzie, 2; John, 
infant.. ."... 


. .do ... 


Widow and six children 


. xlo . . . 




do 


Widow and one child 


..do 


Mary, 19; Susanna. 18; Teres- 
sa. 14; Louisa, 11; John, 7; 
Martha, 5; Hanna, 3; Aug- 
ust, infant .. 


..do... 


Widow and eight children... 



40 



Victims- 



Check No. 


Name. 


Occupation. 


Wages. 


Age. 


Nativity. 


290 

216 
413 
Co .. 
161 
485 
Co .. 
186 
4 

127 
141 
170 
182 
72 
73 

94 
61 
197 
48 
56 
568 
444 
Co .. 
171 
26 
288 

193 
492 
468 
467 
472 
533 

512 

567 
Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
Co . 
133 

91 

128 
134 

174 

305 
102 

32 

60 
280 
549 
599 
331 
327 
263 
101 
139 
24 
34 
63 
95 
551 
552 

200 
172 


Halofcak, Dan 


Miner 




45 


Slavish 


Rescued Nov. 20; died 48 hours 
after. 
Harpka, Joseph 


. .do ... 




52 
25 
16 
43 


Austrian 


Hainan!, August.. 


do 






Howard, Alfred 


Trapper 


$1.13 


..do 


James, Frank 


Miner 


Scotch. 


Janavizza, Joe 


. .do 






Jamison, James 
Klemiar, Thomas 


Driver 

Miner . 


2.56 


20 
5 
42 

30 
41 
24 




German 


Kanz, Jno 
Kussner, Julias 


..do 
. do .. 




Austrian 
German 


Klaeser, Jno 


..do 




. .do ... 


Klemiar, Richard 


..do .. 




..do 


Kometz, John... 


. .do ... 




53 
15 

56 

23 

42 
5S 
33 
38 
21 


Slavish 


Krall, Alfred . . 


. do 




Polish 


Krall. Henry 


..do 




..do 


Kroll, Alex. S 


..do 




..do 


Kenig, John 


..do 




Austrian 


Klemiar, Geo. 


do 






Korvonia, Joseph 


..do 




Austrian 


Kovocivio, Frank 


..do 




. do 


Korvonia, Antone 


. .do ... 




Russian 


Kutz, Paul 


..do 




33 
24 
26 
24 


Lithuanian . . 


Kliklunas, Dominick 
Love, James 


Driver 

Miner .. 


2 56 


..do 


Scotch . . 


Leyshon, Chas 


do 




Welch 


Lukatchko, Andrew 


. do 




35 

26 
26 
31 
34 


Slavish 


Leptack, John 


. do 




. do 


Lonzotti, John 


..do . 




Italian 


Love, Morrison 


..do... 




Scotch . . 


Love, John 


do 




Ao 


Love, David 


..do . 




24 
37 

32 
21 


..do 


Leynaud, Urban 


..do 




French 


Lonzetti, Seicomo 


..do .. 




Italian 


Lallie, Frank ... 


do . 




do 


Lurnas, M ike 
Leadache, Joseph 


Timberman 


2 56 
1 13 
2 56 


..do 


Trapper 


16 
20 
33 
40 

20 
19 


Lithuanian 


Leadache, Frank 
Lewis, Isaac 


Driver 
Liveryman. 


..do 




Leadache, James 


Miner .... 




Lithuanian 


Mumetich Hasan 


do 




Austrian 


Miller or Malner, Lewis 


do 




. .do ... 


Miller or Malner, Joseph 


..do 




39 


..do 


Miller, Edward.. 


.do ... 




33 
43 
36 

62 
44 
54 
to 
32 
52 




Mokos, Joseph 


..do 




Slavish. 




do 




Austrian 




do 




Scotch 


Mills Edward .... 


.do 




English 




do 




Austrian ,. 




do 




Belgium 




do 




Italian. 




do 




.do 




.do . 




26 


Slavish 




do 




29 
37 
27 
25 
26 
27 
17 


English.. 


Mittle Jno .. 


. do . 




Lithuanian 


Mayelemis, Prank 


. .do ... 




..do 


Masenetta Anton 


do 




Italian. 




.do 






McCandless, Robert.. .... 


do 




Scotch 


McGill. Jno. Jr 


. do 




.do 




do 




25 


do 


McCrudden, Peter 


do 




48 


do 


McMullen Geo 


do 




24 


do 


Mazenetto, Jno... 


..do... 




18 


Italian... 



41 



Continued. 



Married or 
single. 


Children Name and age. 


Residence. 


Remarks. 


Married 


Mary, 18, Annie, 1R; Susie, 








13; John, 12; Pauline. 10; 
Maggie, 7; Steve, 3;Geo ,1 


Cherry. . . 


Widow and eight children. . .. 


.do... 




Austria 


Widow and seven children 


..do 


Dorica, 1 


Cherry 


Widow and one child 


Single 




. do 




Married -. 


Daisy, 13 


.do 


Widow and one child 










Single 




Oglesby 


Father 


Married 


Joseph, 6 


Cherry 


Widow and one child 


.do 


Kathrine, 13; Killian, 12; 








Marguerite, 7; Mary, 4 .... 


do . 


Widow and four children 






do 




..do 


Teressa, 10; Peter, 7.. 


do . . 


Widow and 2 children.. 


Married .. 




.do 


Widow and no children 


..do . 


Mike, 19; Mary, 17; Susie, 14 


Streator 


Widow and three children 


Single 




Cherry 




Married 


Eugene. 17; Selma, 12; Ber- 








nard, 9; Edmund, 4 


. .do ... 


Widow and four children 


. do . . . 




do 


Widow and no children 


.do 




Austria 


Widow and six children 


.do... 


Charles, 14; Earnest, 10 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


.do 


Joseph, 9 mo . .. 


do 


W idow and one child 


.do 




. do . 




Single 




. .do ... 




Married 


Barlico, 3; Powla, 3 


do 


Widow and two children 


Single 




do . . 




Married 


Jeanette, 4; Christina, 2. . 


Scotland 


Widow and two children 


Single 




Wales 




Married 


Amin, 12; Andrew,6; John, 








4 


Cherry .. . 


Widow and three children 


. .do ... 


Mary, 2 .... 


do 


Widow and one child 


.do... 




. do 


Widow 


.do... 


Morrison, 9; Jennette 3 


Scotland 


Widow and two children 


.do... 


Morrison 10' Katy 7 


Cherry 


do 


.do... 


Morrison, 4; John, 2 


Scotland . 


.do 


.do 


Bertha, 13, George 3; Marco 








6 mo 


Cherry.. 


Widow and three children 


.do... 




Italy 


Widow and two children 


Single 




do 




. .do ... 




..do 




. .do ... 




Cherry 




..do 




do 




Married. 


Robert, 8; Lola. 6; Isaac, 2 


..do 


Widow and three children 


. .do 


Katie, 22; Josephine, 17- 








Annie, 10 


.do .. 


..do 






..do 




Single 




do 




Married 


Mary, 17; Joseph, 7; Annie, 








6! Eva, 4; Frank, 2 . 


.do... 


Widow and five children 


.do... 


Edmund, 7; Raymund, 5. 


.do ... 


Widow and two children 


..do... 


Mary, 17 


..do 


Widow and one child 


-.do 


Joseph, 3; Cecil, 2; Mary, 3 
mo 


. .do . . . 


Widow and three children .. 


..do . 




. do . 


.do. . 


..do 


Edward, 9- Philip 7- Alma 


do 


..do 


. .do 




do... 




Married 


Anton, 5 .. 


..do... 


Widow and one child . . . 


. .do ... 


Olga, 1 


.do 


. .do 


.do ... 






Widow 


. .do ... 




Old country 


Widow and one child 


.Jo ... 


Doris, 6; Harold, 2 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


.do 


Mary, 7; Annie 6; Susie, 3.. 


. .do 


Widow and three children 


Single 




. .do 




Married . .. 






Widow and two childien 


Single . . 








. .do ... 




Scotland 




. .do ... 




Cherry 




. .do 




. .do 




Married 


Marie. 11 ; Peter. 8; Kathrine, 








4 - Margurite. 2 


do... 


Widow and four children 


. .do 




..do 


Widow and two children. 


Single .. 









42 



Victims 



Check No. 


Name. 


Occupation. 


Wages. 


Age. 


Nativity. 


546 
Co .. 

Co .. 

Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
1 
209 
157 

541 
273 
227 

118 
182 
198 

239 
476 
488 

226 
542 
558 
318 
513 
Co 


Mani, Joseph 


Miner 




56 
39 

31 
22 


Italian. 


Maversky, Jno 


Timberman 


$2 56 
2 56 

2 56 
2 56 
2 56 


Slavish 


McLuckie, Andrew 


..do 


Scotch 


McFadden, Andrew 
Mazak, Jno 


Driver 
Timberman 






Matear (or Mactear), Wm 


..do 


30 
37 
34 
32 
36 




Norberg, Alex 
Norberg, August 


Mine mgr. 


Swede 


Timberman 


2 56 


do 


Ossek, Donaty 


Miner 
..do . 


Austrian .. 
..do 


Ossek, Martin 


Ondurko, Matt 


do 




26 

50 
50 
39 

38 


Slavish 


Olson, Chas. P 
Falmiori, Albert ... 


..do 
do 





Swede 

Italian. 


Prusitus, Perys 


do 




Lithuanian 


Prusitus, Peter 


..do 




. .do 


Pavoloski Jno 


..do 




27 
33 

38 
30 
32 

33 
37 
49 
37 
35 
42 

26 
36 


..do 


Pressenger, Joseph 


.do 




German 


Prich, Joseph 


. .do ... 




Austrian 


Pearson, Alex .... 


do . 




Swede. 


Perono, Dominick 


..do 




Italian. 


Papea, Chas 


do... 




French 


Pearson, John 


..do 




Swede 


Perbacher, Peter 


..do 




Austrian ... 


Packo, Andrew 


.do 




Slav ish 


Pete. Ben 


..do 




A ustrian 


Pshak, John 


Timberman 


2 56 

2 56 


Slavish 


Co .. 
10 

57 
19 

64 
83 
299 
414 
504 
423 
321 
Co .. 

Co .. 
Co .. 
Co .. 
55 
22 

44 
71 

85 
111 

132 
62 
473 
474 

253 

482 


Pauline, Antona 


Driver . 


Austrian 


Repsel, Martin 


Miner. 


do 


Repsel, Joseph 


..do 




29 


.do 


Rodonis, Joseph 


do 




33 

18 
37 
21 
30 
27 


Lithuanian 


Holland, Victor 


. .do ... 






Rittel. Frank 


do 




Austrian 


Richards, Thomas . .. 


do . 




Welch 


Ricca, Cegu 


..do... 




Italian 


Riva, Joseph 


do 




do 


Raviso, Joe 


do 








Ruggesie, Gailamyo 


..do 




25 
17 

21 
27 


Italian 


Rossman, Robert 


Trapper 


1 13 

2 56 
2 56 
2 56 


German 


Ruygiesi, Frank 
Rimkus, Joseph 


Driver 
. .do ... 


Italian 


Lithuanian 


Robeza, Joseph 


do 




Sopko, Cantina 


Miner. .. 


24 
34 

24 

50 

34 
36 
35 
30 
39 
25 

24 


Slavish 


Speir, James 


do 




Scotch 


Stettler Harrv 


do 




German 




do 




Swede 


Seitz, Paul 


.do ... 




Slavish 


Shermel, Antone 


..do 




Austrian 


Stark, John 


do 




..do 
Polish 


Stanchez, Frank 


. .do ... 




Stefenelli, Dominick . 


do 




Italian 


Sarginto, August 
Siamon, Andrew 


..do 
. .do 




..do 
Slavish 


Semboa (or Sereba), J . . 


..do... 







43 



Continued. 



Married or 
single. 


Children Name and age. 


Residence. 


Remarks. 


Married 


Katie, 20: Mary, 4 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


do 


Annie, 13; Susie, 11; Emma, 








8; Joe, 6; George, 2 


..do 


Widow and five children 


..do 


John, 10;Jeannette, 5;James, 
3; Andrew, 2; Wm.Tayter, 
2 wks 


..do 


Widow and five children 


Single 




Spring Valley. 








Cherry.. 


Widow and three children 


. .do ... 




. .do 


Widow 


do 


Mae, 6; Dorothy, 2 


. .do ... 


Widow and two children 


Single 




..do 




Married 


Benat, 8; Mary, 3; Albert. 1. 


. .do . . 


Widow and three children 


do 




.xto 


Widow.. . 


do 


Mary, 6; Verna, 5; Annie, 4; 








Matt, 2; John, infant 


..do... 


\\ idow and five children 


Single 




Cleveland, O. 




Married . .... 




Italy 


Widow and seven children 


do 


Perys, 8; Tony, 6; Mike, 2; 








Infant 11 mo 


Cherry 


Widow and four children 


do 


Pete. 8; William, 7;Blaygue, 








6; Frank, 4 


.do 


Widow and four children 


do 


Rosie, 6; Mary, 2; Susie, 10 








mo . . .. 


do 


Widow and three children 


do 


Hilda, 6; Annie, 4; Walter, 








3 mo 


..do. . . 


Widow and three children 


do 






Widow' 


Single 




Old country 




Married 


Mary, 6; Joseph, 4; Annie, 








2; Peter 


Cherry 


Widow and four children 


..do 


Lucy, 4; Kathryn, 6 mo 


. .do 


Widow and two children 


Single 




Sweden 




Married . 




Austria 


Widow and six children . 


..do 


Andrew, 16; John, 14 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 










Married 


Annie. 12; John, 10; George, 








8; Mary, 4; Lizzie, 14 mos. 


Cherry 


Widow and five children 


do 


Antone, 1 


. .do 


Widow and one child 


..do 


Martin, 8; Lucy, 4; Barbara, 








3; Antone, 1 


. .do ... 


Widow and four children 


. .do ... 


Joseph, 2 


.do 


Widow and one child 


..do 


Peter, 15; Mary, 9; Mabel, 8; 








Joseph, 6 


..do 


Widow and four children 










Married . 


John, 12; Martin, 9 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


do 




. .do 


Widow... . 










Single 




Italy 












Single 




Cherry 




..do 


Teressa, 13; Andrew, 10; 
Hannah, 8; Marguerite, 4; 
John, 2 wks 


..do 


Motherand five children. Father 








and mother not living to- 
gether 


. do 




. .do ... 




..do 




..do 




do . .. 








.do 








Married . 


Alexander. 12; William, 11; 








Jennie, 9; George, 7; Jas., 
5; Elizabeth, 1 


Cherry 


Widow and six children 


. do . .. . 


Herman, 2; Maria. 4 mos 


. .do 


Widow and two children 


. .do 


Roy, 17; Edwin, 15; Jennie, 








12- Evelyn, 6 


.do... 


No widow 


do 


Hattie, 3; Edward, 1 


..do 


Widow and two children 


Single 








Married 
. do 


Josephine, 2; Helen, 3 wks . 


Cherry 


Widow and three children 
Widow and two children 


..do .. .. 




Cherry 


Five children 


. .Jo 


Andrew, 6; Martin, 4; Mary, 










. .do 


Widow and three children 


do 






Widow 






Cherry .. , 





44 



Victims 



Check No. 


Name. 


Occupation . 


Wages. 


Age. 


Nativity. 


4S5 
225 
245 
181 
194 
146 
308 
312 
282 
135 

301 
251 

Co .. 
Co .. 

Co .. 

89 
16 
52 

212 
315 
Co 
Co .. 
516 

537 

313 
431 
478 
503 
Co .. 
596 
29 
113 
Co .. 
Co .. 

149 
211 

477 
Co .. 

Co .. 
5 
148 

497 
265 


Smith, John W 


Miner 
. do 





46 
32 
17 
44 


Scotch 


Sublich, Charles 


Suhe, John 


. do 






Suhe, Mike 


..do 




. .do 


Suffen, John , 


. .do ... 




39 
30 
24 
28 
40 
28 

32 
40 

28 
29 

44 
33 
25 
28 

51 


Austrian . 


Sukitus, Joseph .. 


do 






Steele, Peter 


. .do ... 




American 


Sarbelle, Julius '. 


. .do ... 




Ital an. 


Stearns, James. 


do 






Seitz, Kdward 


.do 




German 


Scotland, William 


do 




Scotch. 


Shemia, Jno 


..do 




Austrian 


Stewart, Harry 


Laborer 


$2 36 
2 56 
2 56 


Scotchman. 


Szabrinski, Jno. (known as John 
Smith) 


Cager 


Lithuanian 


Timberman 




Staszeski, Tony 


Miner 


Polish 


Sestak, Jno 


. .do ... 




Slavish 


Tinko, Joseph jr 


do 




Jo 


Finko, Joseph, sr 


.do... 




..do... 


Tinko, Steve 


..do 




24 


. .do ... 


Tinko, Andrew. . .. 


Spragger. 


1 40 
2 56 


17 
28 
38 


. do 


Teszone. George 


Timberman 


Italian 


Talioli, Eugene. 


Miner 


do 


Tonnelli, Emilia 


..do 




30 


..do 


Turchi, Nocenti 


.do... 




31 


do... 


Tosseth, Frank 


. .do ... 




29 


..do. 


Famashanski, Joseph 


..do 




28 


. .do ... 


Tamarri, Pasquale 


..do 




25 
47 
28 
54 
31 
42 
35 

47 

32 


do 


Tonner, John 


Trackman.... 


2 56 


Scotch. . .. 


Ugo, Filippe .. . 


do 


Italian. 


White, Geo 


Miner . 




English. .. 


Welkas, Anthony 


..do 




Russian 


Waite, Chas 


Mine examiner 1 
Timberman helper. 

Miner. 


3 01 
2 36 


English . 


Wyatt, Wm. 


do 


Yurcheck Antone 


Slav'sh 


Yacober, Frank. . .. 


..do 




German . .. 


Yannis, Peter.. 


.4o 






Yagoginski, Frank 
Yearley, Joseph 


Driver 
. .do ... 


2 56 
2 56 


34 

20 
27 
3? 


Polish 




Zliegley Thos. 


Miner. 


Slavish 


Zekuia, Joseph. 


..do 




..do . .. 


Zacherria, Giatano 


..do... 




40 

28 


Italian 


Zeikell, Pat 


..do 




Austrian 











45 



Concluded. 



Married or 
single. 


Children Name and age. 


Residence. 


Remarks. 


Married 


Arthur. 18; Roy, 12; Phylias,4 
John, 4; Charlie, 2 


Cherry . 


Widow and three children 


. .do 
Single 


..do 
do 


Widow and two children 




Married 


Tony, 9: George, 4 


. do- 


Widow and two children 


. .do 


John, 9; Annie, 5 


. .do 


Widow and two children 


..do . . 


Joe, Annie, Mary. 


Russia 


Widow and three children. .. 


Single 




Streator 




Married ' 




Cherry 


Widow and infant. 


. do 




do 


Widow and one child 


..do 


Henry, 5; Albert, 4; Willie, 
2; Lewis, 2 months 
James, 9; William, 5; An- 
drew Craig, 3 months 
Mary. 12; Annie, 12; Susie, 
9; John, 7: Andrew, 4; 
Emma, 2 


..do 
,.do 

..do 


Widow and four children 


..do 
..do 


Widow and three children. .. 


Widow and six children 


..do 


Henry, 7; Walter, 5; Helen, 
4; Robert, 1 month. 


do 


Widow and four children. . .. 


..do 
Single 


Eale, 2. 


do 


Widow and one child 




Spring Valley 
Cherry 




Married . . 


Antonia, 2 weeks. 


Widow and one child 


Single 








Married 


Joseph, 6; Tony, 5; Mary. 
3; Andrew, 2; George, 2 
months. 


. .do ... 


Widow and five children 


.xk> 
Single 


Louis, 26; John, 14; Paul, 12. 


..do 
. .do ... 


Widow and three children 




.do 




..do. . 




Married . 


Brogo 6' Mary, 4 


do 


Widow and two children 


.do 


Angel. 5; Dominick, 3; An- 
nie. 2; Katie, 2 months 
Stella, 6: Jennie, 4; Charlie, 
2; Amelia, 6 weeks 


..do 
do 


Widow and four children 


..do 


Widow and four children 


Single 




. .do ... 






Armendo 2. ... 


do 


Widow and one child 


Single ... . 




Old country 










Widow 


do 


Rachael, 17- Rose, 15 


Cherry 


Widow and two children 


do .... 




. do . 


Widow 


. do 


Stanley, 10 


. .do ... 


Widow and one child 


do 




do 


Widow and two children 


. do 


Joseph, 4 


..do 




.do 


Ruth, 14; Eva, 12; Annie, 9; 
Thomas, 4; Norris,4 


.do... 


Widow and five children 


do 


Mary, 17; Annie, 12 


.do 


Widow and two children 


..do 


Barbara, 11; Frank, 8; John, 
6; Mary, 4. 


..do 


Widow and four children 










Married.. 


Frank. 16; Mary, 13; Margu- 
rite, 11; Agnes, 5; Hannah, 
3 .. 


Cherry 


W idow and fi ve children 


Single 




Spring Valley 












Annie, 13; Mike, 11; John. 
10; Marv, 8; Emma, 5: 
Joseph. 3; George, 3 mo.. 
August, 8 ;Jennie, 2; Infant. 
Antone.3; Rudolph, 2; Infant 


Cherry . 


Widow and seven children 
Widow and three children 


do 


. .do ... 


..do... 


..do... 


Widow and three children 



46 



NATIVITY. 

The nationality of those killed ranges as follows : Italians, 73 ; 
Slavish, 36; Austrian/ 28; Lithuanian, 21; Scotch, 21; German, 15; 
American, 11; French, 12; Polish, 8; Swede, 9; English, 8; Belgian, 
7; Irish, 3; Greek, 2; Welch, 2; Eussian, 3. .There are sixteen nationali- 
ties represented; 161 were married and 97 were single. There were 607 
persons dependent upon them. This large number of people left either 
destitute or without any means of support attracted the attention and 
sympathy of the nation. Three of those killed were not employes of 
the mine but had volunteered their services in rescuing those below and 
were burned to death on the cage in the attempt. They were: Isaac 
Lewis, a liveryman; John Flood, a merchant, and Dominic Formento, a 
groceryman, all of Cherry. They each were married and left a widow 
and children. 

AGES -OF THE CHILDREN. 
The following table shows the ages of the children by nationalities: 



Nationality 


Agres of children. 


Nationality of 
fathers. 


Un- 
der 3 

year. 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


9 


10 


11 


12 


13 


U 


Over 
14. 


Not 
re- 
port- 
ed. 


Total 


American.. . . 






1 






























1 
54 
9 
14 
10 
34 
1 
69 
40 
15 
43 
87 
6 
7 


1 
15 
4 
6 
6 
11 
1 
25 
11 
6 
15 
25 
2 
2 


Austrian 


4 


4 


5 


8 


4 


3 
1 
1 


2 
1 
1 


7 

1 
1 
1 


2 


3 
1 


2 




4 
1 


2 


'1 


it\ 
3 




Belgian 




English 




1 


1 




3 

2 
4 


1 


2 


1 




1 




1 






French 


2 
ft 


1 


1 

9 

I 


2 
1 






1 








German 


3 


2 


2 


2 




3 


3 




1 


2 


a 




Irish 






Italian .... 


11 
2 
3 
4 

8 


3 

1 

'i 

3 


8 
6 
2 
5 
5 
1 


1 
2 
2 
2 
6 




3 
1 
5 
7 


3 

2 
1 
1 
3 


9 

5 

1 
5 
2 


1 

2 

'3 
3 


6 

4 

'i 

4 


3 
1 
1 
3 
4 


2 

1 

'4 
3 


3 

'i 
2 
4 


'i 

2 
7 
1 


2 

1 
1 
4 


"5 


&. 

eS 

S 

/*13 
*2 


'"8 
'"3 


Lithuanian. .. 


Polish 


Scotch 


Slavish 


Swede 


Not reported 




1 


] 


1 




1 


1 




f, 














Totals 






























39 


15 


39 


. 


38 


2 


29 


21 


22 


18 


16 


Hi 


17 


12 


9 


38 


11 


390 


130 





a One 15, one 16, one 17 and one 22. 

b One 16, one 17 and one 18. 

c One 15, two 18 and one 19. 

d One 15 and one 20. 

e One 15, one 17 and one 22. 

/One 16 and one 17. 

g Two 15, one 17, one 18 and one 21. 

h Five 16, three 17, two 18, one 19, one 20 and one 26. 

i One 15 and one 17. 



REPORT ON THE CHERRY MINE DISASTER. 



BY THOMAS HUDSON, STATE INSPECTOE OF MINES, SECOND DISTRICT, GALVA, ILL. 

This report covers incidents and occurrences which took place at the St. 
Paul Coal Company's mine No. 2, located at Cherry, Bureau county, Illinois, 
from November 13, 1909, when the fire started, until the morning of Novem- 
ber 25, 1909, when both main and air shafts were securely sealed, and cov- 
ered with concrete, to more quickly extinguish the flames known to be raging 
below in close proximity to the main shaft. 

From the most reliable reports to be obtained at the mine, the fire com- 
menced at or about 1:30 p. m., on Saturday, November 13, 1909. The place 
where the fire started, was at, or quite near the landing place, in the airshaft, 
at the second vein, where the coal from the third vein is hoisted through said 
airshaft and taken off- the cage at the second vein, and hauled around to 
the main shaft, recaged and hoisted to the surface. 

The cause of the fire, from information gleaned at the mine, was, a pit car, 
containing five or six bales of hay, intended for the third vein was sent 
down the main shaft, and hauled around in the second vein to the air shaft 
landing above mentioned. This pit car, containing the hay, was placed near, 
probably directly under a blazing open torch, placed there to give light to 
the cagers, consisting of two men and a boy. The oil burned in this torch 
was quite likely kerosene, it is also very possible that some of the oil dripped 
from the torch and fell on the hay in the pit car, at all events, the hay is 
supposed to have caught fire from the torch, and certainly could have been 
easily extinguished, if immediate steps had been taken to do so. The car 
of burning hay, however, seems to have been pushed around from one posi- 
tion to another in an air current having a velocity of about 700 feet per 
minute, until it had fired the overhead timbers. The car containing the 
burning hay, was finally pushed into the shaft opening, and fell into the 
"sump" at the third vein, where it was quickly extinguished; but the heavy 
pine overhead timbers at the second vein were by this time on fire, and 
could not be reached because of the dense smoke; by this time the control of 
the fire was lost, and the result was the worst mine disaster of modern 
times. 

Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning November 14, the mine 
inspectors of Illinois began to arrive at the mine. This force was augmented 
later by mine inspectors from other states; one came from Indiana, two 
from Ohio, two from Iowa and one from Missouri. Professional experts from 
Pittsburg and Champaign experimental stations, and about a dozen firemen 
from the Chicago fire department, were also on the ground. During the 
day, Sunday 14th, two men from Champaign with helmets, succeeded in 
reaching the second vein through the airshaft in a sinking bucket, but could 
do nothing more as the smoke and steam were too dense for exploration. 
Both shafts were covered over and remained so during the night. 

.Monday, November 15: Men with helmets again descended the air shaft, 
they reported the temperature fairly comfortable but smoke and steam still 
too dense for active work. It was then decided to case the fan temporarily 
as an exhaust (the fan casing having been destroyed and the babbit metal 



48 

melted out of the journals, when it was reversed from a blower to an ex- 
haust during -the early stage of the fire) start the fan and attempt a de- 
scent into the mine through the main shaft. This was done, and the main 
shaft uncovered. The airshaft now became the upcast, and men wearing 
helmets went down the main shaft, the cages in this shaft being in good 
working order; when they got to the bottom, or second vein, they found the 
fire raging and were forced to return to the surface; the fresh air admitted 
by making the main shaft the downcast had started the partially subdued 
fire into a blaze. Both shafts were then covered over, and remained so 
during the night. 

Tuesday, November 16: Both shafts remained covered over during the 
day, which was spent mainly in taking the temperature of the mine by 
lowering a thermometer to the second vein, and in every case, the bottom 
of the main shaft at this vein was found too hot for work of any kind. 

Wednesday, November 17: Temperatures were again taken and found to 
be about the same as on the day previous. A conference was held by the 
Inspectors of Illinois with those from Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and 
the mining experts from Pittsburg and Champaign also the representatives 
of the Coal Company. It was decided to again have men with helmets go 
down the air shaft; they descended about 9 p. m. and found the tempera- 
ture more favorable and no fire in sight; of course men did not leave the 
sinking bucket in which they descended. During the night a "float" or tem- 
porary cage was constructed for use in the airshaft, should exploration work 
be again attempted from that point. 

Thursday, November 18: The main shaft was uncovered late that day, 
and a line of hose put down to the second vein, and fire fighting in earnest 
commenced; this was done principally from the north cage as fire was 
blazing on the south" and east sides of the shaft, which prevented firemen 
from leaving the cage. The men with helmets during the day went down 
the air shaft on the "float" and recovered one body that had beed seen on a 
previous trip. Fire fighting was kept up constantly at the main shaft dur- 
ing the night. 

Friday, November 19: Progress was made, advancing on the west side 
shaft parting at the second vein; four bodies were found and brought to 
the surface. The Chicago firemen were in charge of the fire fighting below. 
The east and south sides of the shaft bottom were inaccessible, owing to 
heavy falls of roof and burning timbers, the west side of the shaft only 
being open. During the day explorers got around on the south entry, and 
then east to a point not far from the bottom of the air shaft in the second 
vein, but falls of roof had to be cleaned up, and repairs made in the tim- 
bering, this was ordered done during the night. In the evening after a 
'conference, the Inspectors from other states and seven of the Illinois In- 
spectors returned to their home; three of the Illinois inspectors remaining 
in charge. This action was taken because the inspectors considered that 
the company had a sufficient number of able men on the ground to take 
care of the situation. 

Saturday, November 20: The fire was now seemingly under control, that 
part at least which was accessible from the bottom of the main shaft; the 
heavy falls of roof on the east side of the shaft, probably 35 feet high were 
loaded but and the smouldering fire quenched as it was reached. 

At 10:30 a. m., the three Illinois mine inspectors remaining over from 
the day before left the mine, urgent business in other parts of their respect- 
ive districts calling them away; one of them having a mine explosion that 
had occurred the previous week, to investigate, by which, two shot firers had 
been killed. 

It was shortly after noon on this date, when an exploring party found 21 
men alive in the first west off of the main south entry. The imprisoned 
men had built "stoppings" thereby shutting out the foul gases from the fire, 
and depending on the purer air in the inclosed space to sustain life; they 
were at once removed from the mine, all but one recovering. 



49 

Telegraph messages were sent to all the Illinois inspectors and they 
hurried back to the mine; several of them arriving within a few hours. 
During the night explorations were made in the east entries off of the 
main south. 

Monday, November 22: The exploring of the south section of the mine 
continued through the day, about 100 dead bodies were taken out of that 
part of the workings. 

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 23 and 24: On these dates the first 
northwest entries were explored, the face of the entries were reached but no 
bodies were found; it was learned later, that all of the men got out of this 
part of the mine; it was also found that there was no connection between 
the northwest part of the workings, where the exploration was made and the 
north part of the workings on the east side of the shaft, where many men 
were known to be at work the -day the fire started. 

While the explorers were in the northwest entries, smoke was found 
issuing from the main passageway which connects the west shaft parting 
with the air shaft, and which was closed by a fall of roof and a temporary 
stopping; the explorers in the northwest section were hastily recalled, when 
the temporary stopping was pulled down, and a stream of water from the 
fire hose turned in, and all signs of fire subdued at that point, and a more 
substantial stopping put in during the night. 

About 2 o'clock, a. m., Wednesday, the 24th, a party of four went down 
into the third vein, on their return they reported from 3 to 4 feet of water 
covering the floor of the mine in the lower parts of the workings, and that 
they had found groupes of men in the dry parts, all dead. Pumps were be- 
ing made ready in the meantime to remove the water, partially at least, 
from the third vein workings so that the bodies could be recovered. 

During the succeeding few hours, however, it was noticed that the fire 
from the south and east sides of the main shaft, was slowly encroaching on 
the shaft itself. Holes were cut in the shaft lining as high as 30 feet from 
the bottom, and streams of water thrown in behind the shaft lining; but the 
steam and smoke continued to issue from the openings cut and also from the 
sides of the shaft, in increasing quantities; to offset this a board stopping 
was built around the south and east sides of the shaft, and as close thereto, 
as the working of the cages would permit, and a stopping closed tight, near 
the bottom of the airshaft. The object of this was to deaden, or partially 
subdue, the fire thought to be burning between those points; this, however, 
was not entirely successful as the smoke from behind the shaft lining, which 
formerly passed to the east and around to the upcast or airshaft, was now 
carried to the west side of the main shaft, and the rescuers there practically 
driven from the mine. 

A strong smell of coal smoke was noted indicating that the coal pillars 
were on fire, and as the gases given off by burning coal were known to be 
dangerous, great caution became necessary. Sometime shortly after mid- 
night on the morning of Thursday, November 25, a consultation was held, at 
which, the President of the State Mining Board, chief of the fire depart- 
ment; expert helmet men from Champaign, the Illinois mine inspectors and 
representatives of the St. Paul Coal Company were present. The situation 
was discussed from every possible point of view, and it seemed to be the 
unanimous opinion of all present, that all of the men in the mine were dead; 
and the best way, looking to the recovery of the bodies later, was to seal up 
both of the shafts while they were in this condition, to be entered as soon 
as the fire was extinguished. 

The sealing of the shafts was commenced early Thursday morning Novem- 
ber 25th. A two inch pipe- was inserted in the concrete cover of the main 
shaft, so that the temperature, pressure and condition of the air from the 
mine could be obtained at short intervals, and the exact conditions of the 
underground workings of the mine understood. 

-4 C 



50 

REOPENING OF THE CHERRY MINE. 

Both shafts of the Cherry mine were securely sealed over with steel rails 
and concrete on the morning of November 25, 1909, and remained sealed 
until February 1, 1910. 

During this interval, daily readings of the temperature in the main shaft 
had been taken, and were found to range from 123 on November 29, four 
days after the shaft was sealed, to 121 December, 1; 93 December 10; 84 
December 20; 74 December 30; 70 January 10; 68 January 20; 66 Jan- 
uary 29; and the same on February 1, when the shaft was opened; this was 
assumed to be the normal temperature of the mine under existing conditions. 

In the opening up the main shaft, an aperture about three feet square 
was cut in the concrete covering, just above the cover of the north cage, 
which had been left suspended directly under the concrete cover when the 
shaft was sealed; the south cage had been taken off. 

The same day this opening in the concrete cover, two men, Webb and 
Moses, wearing oxygen helmets, were passed on to the cage and lowered to 
the second vein. After an investigation around the bottom they were 
hoisted to the surface, and reported conditions just about as they were when 
the shaft was sealed up, except, no signs of fire nor smoke were visible, and 
the temperature at the bottom of the shaft -normal and quite comfortable 
to work in. They descended a second time, and brought up a sample of 
air for analysis in which "black damp" or carbon dioxide predominated. 

Late in the same afternoon, the concrete covers from both the main and 
the air shafts were removed, and the fan started up as an exhaust, that is, 
the fresh air was drawn down the main shaft and up the air shaft. It might 
be stated here that the Capell fan, which had been warped and twisted with 
the heat during the fire, had been taken away and thoroughly repaired and 
again put in position and cased in a substantial manner. 

After a short interval, to allow the fan to clear the passage or west "run- 
around" between the main and air shafts, two of the State inspectors, with 
safety lamps, descended the main shaft, and found a good current of air 
passing from the main or downcast, towards the air or upcast shaft. 
They returned to the surface and reported the mine in a safe condition for 
workmen with naked lights to enter, which they did, and during the night 
repaired and reinforced the brattice around the east and south sides of the 
main shaft, also commenced to clean out the west passageway or "run- 
around" to the air shaft which was found in a very bad and dangerous 
condition, owing to falls of roof broken timbers, etc. 

It was considered, that the best and safest method was, to employ only 
a limited number of men underground, a number just sufficient to open up 
the west passageway to the escape and airshaft. After this road is opened 
and the airshaft put in order to take men out of the mine, an escapement 
or two ways out of the mine will be available. This will make men work- 
ing below feel more safe, as it is not likely that fire can break out at both 
shafts at the same time. The cleaning out and retimbering of the west pas- 
sageway to the airshaft continued to be slow and dangerous work impeded 
as it was, by heavy falls of roof. By a good deal of hard and dangerous 
work, a small opening was made over, under and by the side of the falls 
in the west passageway to the bottom of the airshaft, and through this 
opening boards were taken and a "stopping" put in on the north side of 
the airshaft to prevent any sudden breaking out of fire from that direction. 

Cleaning up and retimbering between the two shafts continued, care being 
taken to keep a close watch on all stoppings to prevent leaks or a sudden 
breaking out of fire. 

The body of a man tha,t was known to be lying at the second vein landing 
at the airshaft was brought to the surface February 14, in a sinking bucket. 

February 5: A large steam pump was sent down the main shaft to the 
second vein. An extra covering of brattice was put around the east and 
south sides of the bottom of the main shaft at the second vein. The con- 



51 

crete was shipped away from around the collar of the airshaft, and a "float" 
put in, and suspended just below the surface, ready for carpenters to make 
permanent repairs to the burned out portion of the airshaft. 

February 6: The west passageway from the main to the airshaft was 
now cleaned out and securely timbered and open for the passage of pit cars. 
An entry is being driven in the shaft pillar around the north side of the 
main shaft and the heavy fall of roof on the east bottom, to connect again 
with the shaft bottom on the east side, inside of the burned out tim- 
bers and fall. This entry will give access to the east and northeast sections 
of the mine and to the airshaft by way of the west passageway. Men were 
cleaning up the main south entry on the west side to recover rails, ties, 
pit cars and other material. The use of the cages in the main shaft were 
taken up most of the day by workmen making pipe connections for "steam 
jets" to throw water from the third vein to a tank located at the second 
vein, where it is taken up by the steam pump at the second vein and thrown 
to the surface. The emergency cage at the third vein, main shaft, was 
hoisted to the second vein and reduced to a size suitable to allow the steam 
jets to pass to one side of it. 

February 7 and 8: Work in the mine was progressing slowly; cleaning up 
the south entry, west side; driving the entry around the main shaft and 
fall on east side, also fitting water and steam pipes in the main shaft for 
pumps and injectors. 

February 9 and 10: When steam was turned on to the injectors and pump 
the heat caused the pipes to expand, they were thrown out of line and were 
struck and broken by a descending cage. A concrete stopping was put in 
on the second east entry, west side, near the bottom of the airshaft. 

February 11 and 12: The pipe line was repaired and started up but was 
broken again but repaired, and at 8 a. m. the 12th both pump and injectors 
were working steadily and .doing good work. The entry around the main 
shaft was driven in 120 feet and has about 70 feet more to be completed. 

February 13 and 19 inclusive: The work done during the week consisted 
in holing the entry into the main bottom, east side, and putting a concrete 
stopping across the main bottoms inside of the east opening, to the mule 
stables; cleaning up heavy falls of roof on the main north entry, east side, 
and in the east passageway or runaround to the. airshaft. 

Fifteen bodies were recovered during the week; all were found near 
where the new entry connected with the main bottom inside of the large 
fall thereon. 

The shaft timbers in the main shaft were again giving off considerable 
smoke and heat, showing quite plainly that the fire was smouldering behind 
them, and in dangerous proximity thereto. Pumping from the third vein 
was suspended until more brattice could be put around the bottom of the 
main shaft to keep back the fire. 

February 20 and 21: The pump and injectors were still idle, as the steam 
given off prevents a close watch for fire being observed on the main shaft. 
Three more bodies were recovered on the 21st; they were found just outside 
of the second door going south in the east passageway to the escape shaft. 
The pumps and injectors were started again but shut down later, because 
of the smoke and heat from the shaft lining. 

One more body was found on the evening of the 23d under a large fall 
of roof, on the main north entry, east side. 

February 24: Good work was being done in repairing the burned out 
lining and partition in the airshaft; in two or three days the work of put- 
ting in the burned out stairway from the second vein to the surface will be 
completed. The east passageway to the airshaft is cleaned up and retim- 
bered and in shape for the hauling of pit cars. 

February 27 to March 5: During the week ending March 5th cleaning 
up of the north entry, east side was continued, and 65 bodies in that section 
of the mine Yi'ere recovered. 



x 

**$>* 



52 

It is quite probable that all of the bodies in the 2d vein have now been 
recovered, except perhaps some that may be covered up by "falls" on the 
shaft bottom or parting on the east side, or in the direct passageway, from 
the shaft parting on the west side, to the airshaft. 

March 6 to 13: The northeast workings of the second vein, were quite 
thoroughly explored, and rails, pit cars and other material taken out; pump- 
ing water from the third vein was continued. An injector was put in at 
the airshaft, to raise the water from the third vein to the second and a 
pump was installed at the second vein to raise the water to the surface; 
both were working in a satisfactory manner. The water at the airshaft in 
the third vein was reported to be two inches below the "door heads" on 
March 9th; on this date the main shaft was again giving off heat and smoke, 
so much so, that all of the men also two mules were brought out of the 
mine, and carpenters again put to work patching up the brattices. A wooden 
form was put around the east and south sides of the main shaft, and about 
six inches of sand bedded therein to shut off the smoke. The sand packing 
proved successful, the smoke being practically shut off. The injectors and 
pumps at both shafts were in operation; the water at the bottom of the air- 
shaft in the third vein was nine inches below the door heads March 13. 

March 13 to 26: There was not much work during the past two weeks 
except the pumping of water from the third vein. March 26 two and a half 
feet of water was above the rail at the bottom of the airshaft. 

March 27 to 29: The water was fairly well removed, a cage was prepared 
to hoist rock from .the third vein to the second at the airshaft; large falls 
of roof were encountered both north and south. The pump at the third 
vein, bottom of the airshaft was started up and was working fairly well; 
this pump had been submerged since the sealing of the mine, November 
25th. 

March 29: Richard Newsam, president of the State Mining Board, and 
four State inspectors of mines some of whom had been on duty continuously 
since the opening of the mine February 1st, went down from the second 
and the third vein on the emergency cage at the main shaft. They found 
about two and one half feet of water at the cage landing; the shaft bottom, 
east and west, also the mule stables, where heavy, permanent timbering had 
been done were all found standing intact. After leaving the main bottom, 
however, large falls of roof were found; in fact, the entries around the shaft 
pillar, in every direction were practically closed. This condition required 
a great deal of time and labor, before the bodies known to be in the third 
vein were reached. 

April 1 to 6: The work of cleaning up the falls in the north section of 
the third vein was continued. Connections having been made between the 
main and airshafts, at the third vein. 

April 7: Mine Inspector McAllister, mine manager Frew and John Fraser, 
a shift foreman, by climbing over falls, broken timbers and other obstruc- 
tions, located the bodies of the men in the third vein. They were found at 
the end of the north air course, running direct from the bottom of the air- 
shaft, just at the north boundary of the shaft pillar. Workmen were at 
once started to clean out the aircourse, north from the main shaft bottom, 
as this was the nearest and quickest way to reach the bodies. 

April 10: One body was recovered from the third vein; April 11, 35 
bodies were taken out; April 12, 15 bodies were taken out, making 51 bodies 
in all taken from the third vein. 

The bodies of these men were found comparatively close together within 
a radius of not more than about 100 feet. According to the record of F. P. 
Buck, the clerk in the office at the mine, 10 or 12 men are still missing; but 
as 5 men have been located, working at other mines, who were supposed to 
be lost in the Cherry mine, some of the missing men may be found in like 
manner. However, if any more bodies are in the mine, they will be found 
as the cleaning up process progresses. 



53 

The four State inspectors, who had been on duty by relays since the open- 
ing of the mine, February 1st, considering they could be of no further ser- 
vice, or not until the fire area should be broken into, left for their homes 
April 13, 1910. 

OPENING OF THE FIRE AREA AND SECURING THE SHAFTS IN THE CHERRY MINE. 

After the recovering of the bodies from the thu?d vein April 12, about 30 
days were consumed in removing the pit cars, track, timber and everything 
of value from the interior workings of the second vein, it having been de- 
cided by the company to abandon that seam permanently. 

May 14: After a narrow entry had been driven through the shaft pillar 
on the west side, to connect with the pump room an opening about 12 feet 
wide, and 70 feet in length, running from the south end of the main shaft 
to the stable in which the fire was known to be burning; another opening 
was made into the pump room, where a good deal of fire was in evidence, 
especially the coal "ribs" which were actively burning; but with an abun- 
dant supply of water, under a 300 foot head, and the necessary hose conr 
nections, the fire was easily kept under control, and the shale roof which 
had fallen to a height of fully 30 feet, was loaded into pit cars and sent out 
of the mine. 

As soon as a sufficient space was cleaned, two sets of heavy timbers were 
set up, and on top of these "cogs" were formed and built up to the top, and 
the roof secured. 

The building of the "cogs" was most difficult and dangerous; difficult, 
because of the intense heat, which was more intense as the "cogs" were 
placed higher; and dangerous because of the unreliable nature of the roof, 
large slabs of which fell or were liable to fall at all times. 

The heat was partially overcome by putting a small air compressor into 
operation and carrying compressed air down the shaft in pipes and thence 
through hose to the men at work. As soon as sufficient space was cleared, 
and the roof temporarily secured by "cogging," a base for concrete dams or 
stoppings was formed by cutting down into the floor and into the sides of 
the opening or entry, and a concrete stopping built, quite close to where 
the pump room connected with the stables. The same methods described 
above were used in breaking into the fire area on the shaft bottom, east of 
the main shaft, and on the north side of the airshaft. 

The conditions encountered were similar in each case, but differed some- 
what in degrees; that is, more fire was found on the main shaft parting 
than in the pump room and less north of the airshaft. 

After the fallen roof had been removed from around both shafts, the work 
of thoroughly securing the same with concrete was commenced. On the 
east side of the main shaft a heavy wall or "backing" of concrete was built 
against the shaft timbers, and at right angles thereto; three walls of con- 
crete one on each rib and one in the center were built to connect with a 
concrete stopping about 28 feet east of the main shaft. These walls are 
built to within about a foot of the roof, about 30 feet high, and across them 
are laid steel rails and wedges driven between the rails and the roof, thor- 
oughly securing the latter. 

Openings are left in the concrete walls around both shafts, to admit the 
passage of any one desiring to examine or inspect the walls and stoppings. 

Practically the same methods as described above, are used to secure the 
south side of the main shaft, and the north side of the air shaft. The "old 
works" of the second vein are completely cut off from the main shaft by 
permanent stoppings and a new entry has been driven around the main 
shaft, and through the shaft pillar to the air shaft. 

Through this entry, pipes are laid connecting the "rings" in the airshaft, 
which gi\ r es off abundance of water, with a concrete reservoir built near 
the main shaft at the second vein. From this reservoir the third vein will 



54 

obtain its water supply for fire fighting purposes. The distance between the 
two veins being 160 feet, the pressure due to the altitude will be about 
80 pounds per square inch. 

During the week ending August 13th, steel guides were put in between the 
second and third veins, new ropes put on and the cages running down to the 
third vein; and the cleaning up well underway. September 3, the cleaning 
up had progressed so far, that the coal face had been reached at 5 or 6 dif- 
ferent points, and it is fair to assume, that by October 1, 1910, the mine will 
again be in a coal producing condition. 

NOTE On July 7th the body of a man was found about 10 feet north of 
the airshaft, under a large fall of roof. In regard to the number of men 
lost, and number of bodies recovered, the following statement was received 
from an official of the St. Paul Coal Company. 

August 16, 1910 

Total number believed to be lost 268 

Total number of bodies recovered from second vein 187 

Total number of bodies recovered from third vein 51 

Lost, by burning, on the cage 12 

Thought to be lost in the mine but found later alive and working at 

other parts of the State 11 

Still missing, but whether in the mine or gone to parts unknown, 

cannot at this time be determined 6 

THOS. HUDSON, 

Mine Inspector. 



II. The Public's Response to the 
Needs of the Victims. 



57 



THE PUBLIC'S RESPONSE TO THE NEEDS OF 

THE VICTIMS. 



EELIEF. 

After dwelling with the horror and suffering of victims that were 
caught in the mine we must turn to the heart-stricken widows and 
children, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who anxiously waited 
for those who never returned. 

It was a pitiful sight to see those bereft ones linger about the hoisting 
shaft for days, scarcely taking time to eat or sleep, hoping and praying 
that those upon whom they were dependent might return. 

One of the greatest difficulties which those in charge about the mine 
and in the village had was the pacifying and providing for these bereaved 
people. 

The widows and children were, in many cases, left without provisions 
that would last for any length of time and, being mostly foreigners, had 
no relatives to fall back upon. They were clearly at the mercy of the 
public. 

As is generally the case in an affair of this kind, the great need is for 
immediate relief. It takes some time to administer relief efficiently 
and systematically after it has been tendered. There were 160 widows 
and 390 children to be cared for. In some instances, a son was support- 
ing a widowed mother and brothers and sisters. There were in all 607 
persons dependent upon those who were killed in the mine. 

Notwithstanding that there was some complaint at first from these 
unfortunates, there probably was never a case of this kind where relief 
was administered more promptly or where those in need were better 
taken care of than these people. Nearly every city and village in the 
State contributed in some way to their relief; the United Mine Workers, 
the Chicago Tribune, ' the Red Cross Society and the various secret 
societies and organizations were all early on the ground and the little 
village of Cherry was soon the recipient of the generosity of thousands. 

It is hardly possible to state the exact amount of relief tendered the 
Cherry sufferers in dollars and cents, for a great deal was sent in 
merchandise; supplies having been sent in car loads and many organiza- 
tions worked independently. From the best information that we are 
able to obtain the total amount of the contribution is .$444,785.93. The 



58 

amount paid out by the company in settlements (July 11, 1910), 
approximately $400,000.00, making a total of $844,785.92 contributed 
to those left without support. 

BELIEF COMMISSION. 

A national relief commission, known as the Cherry Relief Commission, 
is organized for the purpose of distributing in a proper manner these 
contributions. The members of this commission are: 

Judge L. Y. Sherman, Chairman, Springfield, Illinois, of the State Board 
of Administration. 

J. E. Williams, Vice-Chairman, Streator, Illinois, Streator Relief Com- 
mittee. 

Duncan McDonald, Secretary, Springfield, Illinois, United Mine Workers 
of America. 

E. T. Bent, Chicago, Illinois, Illinois Coal Operators Association. 

Ernest P. Bicknell, Washington, D. C., American Red Cross. 

The following sum had been turned over to this commission on July 
28, 1910: 

American Red Cross $ 85,837 96 

United Mine Workers of Illinois (by Duncan McDonald) ...... 37,466 54 

United Mine Workers of America (by Ed. Perry) 26,798 71 

Streator Relief Fund (by J. E. Williams) 4,869 21 

Mrs. James Spears (by Dr. G. Taylor) 1,000 00 

Dr. R. A. Smith, Spring Valley, proceeds of a concert 243 40 



Total 1156,215 72 

This commission will also have, under the direction of the State Board 
of Administration, of which Judge Sherman is also president, the distri- 
bution of the $100,000 which the State Legislature appropriated, making 
the total sum of $256,215.72, which is to be distributed on the pension 
plan to the widows and orphans. Other sums are in the hands of relief 
committees of Oglesby, La Salle and Peru and will probably be turned 
over to this commission. 

There is contained in the donations of the Eed Cross many large 
contributions that should probably receive special mention. Among 
them is that of the Chicago Tribune, having raised $41,041.78 for the 
relief of the Cherry sufferers. Through the courtesy of Mr. Kelly, 
general manager, we publish a statement of the contributions: 

TRIBUNE RELIEF FUND. 
1909. 

Nov. 15 Contributed by "The Chicago Daily Tribune" f 1,000 00 

Nov. 15 Cash contributions received and acknowl- 
to Mar. edged in the columns of "The Chicago 
23, 1910 Daily Tribune" 40,041 78 



Total contributed $41,041 78 



59 

Disbursed as follows: 
Cash. 

Total amount of checks remitted to C. D. Norton, 
Treasurer Red Cross Society, Washington, D. C. . . $33,687 03 

Check to Bishop Edward W. Dunne, Bishop of 
Peoria 2,500 00 

Cash distributed by our representative in amounts of 
50 cents and $1.00 among widows and orphans 
at Cherry, December 1st 50 00 



Total cash paid over $36,237 03 

Supplies purchased and expenses incidental thereto. 4,804 75 



Total disbursements $41,041 78 

TOTAL AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED. 

The total amounts contributed, as near as we can learn, are as follows : 

At the disposal of the Cherry Relief Commission $256,215 72 

Contributions of St. Paul Coal and Mining Company 55,742 40 

Death benefits paid by Mine Workers of Illinois 40,000 00 

Expended by the Local Relief Committee of Cherry 33,968 91 

St. Paul Railroad Company 10,964 29 

Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company 10,000 00 

Congregational Church 10,000 00 

Knights of Pythias 7,500 00 

Bishop Edward Dunne 5,000 Ov, 

Coal Operators 5,000 00 

Citizens of La Salle 4,292 85 

Slavish Newspapers 4,000 00 

Citizens of Oglesby 2,101 75 



Total contributions $444,785 92 

Settlement made by St. Paul Coal Company approximately $400,000. 

Total which will go to the support of the dependents, of which we have 
a report, $844,785.92. 

The contributions of the St. Paul Coal Company consisted of money, 
provisions, rents, coal, etc. 

The death benefit of $150 to the family of each miner killed, which 
was paid by the United Mine Workers of Illinois for 256 deaths, totals 
$38,700, and other burial expenses will probably make the total $40,000. 

There was turned over to Charles L. Connolly, mayor of Cherry and 
who is cashier of the bank, the sum of $33,968.91, all of which has been 
expended in administering relief. This sum was made up of hundreds 
of donors representing amounts of from 50 cents to hundreds of dollars. 

The Columbus Newsboys' associations of Columbus, 0., is worthy of 
special attention, it having contributed $1,720 to the local relief com- 
mittee at Cherry. The United Mine Workers were among the first to 
come forward with $5,000. The Hod Carriers' Union of Chicago con- 
tributed $650. The Farmers' and Miners' Bank of Ladd, 111., gave $200. 
The rest of the contributions were made up of smaller amounts and 
represented nearly every vocation and calling and the generosity of all 
classes of people. 



60 

The amount raised by the employes of the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul Bailroad Company was also turned over to Mayor Connolly, as 
treasurer. Although a busy man, and especially so after the fire, Mr. 
Connolly deserves great credit for the valuable service he rendered during 
this calamity upon the little city and for the most excellent manner in 
which he kept the records of the contributions and in his careful distri- 
bution of them. 

Thirty-one of those killed belonged to the Knights of Pythias and 
the family of each received the regular benefit of $70. Those that 
belonged to the local lodge received $50 more. 

The total amount of all contributions makes a per capita of $1,717,32 
for the death of each person killed. This, of course, does not represent 
the amount of cash each widow or family received, as much of this has 
already been expended in relieving their wants. 

Including the contributions and the money paid in settlements by the 
St. Paul Coal Company there was a per capita of $3,261.72 raised for 
each person killed. 

THE PENSION PLAN OF KELIEF. 

There will be allotted to those people, however, through the National 
Commission, the sum of $256,215.72, or an average of $989.25 to each 
death. This sum will be distributed, however, to the dependents of those 
who were killed, each family receiving an amount in proportion to the 
Dumber of dependents in a lump sum if a widow alone is left, or if the 
family leaves this country ; but to the widow with children residing here 
it is paid on the pension plan, in amounts according to the number of 
children. A widow and one child under the age of 14 years gets a 
pension of $25 per month until the child is 14 years of age or until they 
should, by the widow marrying or otherwise, become self-supporting. A 
widow and two children under the ages of 14 years gets $30, and for 
each additional child $5 more per month until the maximum of $40 
per month is reached. A widow with more than four children under the 
age of 14 does not get more than $40. 

To widows without children or with children over the age of 14 years 
a cash settlement is made according to the conditions peculiar to the 
family, their ability to support themselves, etc., usually about $300. The 
average age of the children left was 5% years and it is estimated that 
the fund on hand will support the dependents for eight or more years 
or until the children are able to work. Thus it will be seen that at all 
times from the first the relief work was pushed with vigor and that 
the American people displayed in no uncertain manner their sympathetic 
generosity and big-heartedness. Food, clothing, medicines and supplies 
were sent from all parts of the country and were rapidly dispensed by 
the members of the charitable institutions on the ground, the value of 
which we cannot estimate. It was announced that on the 23d of 
November, ten days after the accident, $31,650.93 had been sent to the 
relief committee at Cherry. 



61 

The St. Paul Coal Company accommodated in the sleeping cars of 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad from 150 to 200 men and 
nurses, and the dining cars were serving meals three times a day to the 
officials of the mine, mine experts, mine examiners, physicians, nurses, 
newspapermen and the workers. The company did all in its power to 
alleviate the suffering and distress. The homes in which the widows 
and children lived were turned over to their occupants and no rent was 
charged during the months of that winter. The coal which was used to 
heat those domiciles was also furnished. Even medical aid was tendered 
the sufferers for months following the disaster. 

It seems that everything that could be done for the physical relief 
of those bereaved people was cheerfully performed in the hope that 
th rough this means they might partially at least help them to bear their 
sorrow. 

Plans have not only been made for their immediate relief but, through 
the commission which has been established, a thorough businesslike 
systematic plan has been perfected for the care of those unfortunate 
dependents until they are able to care for themselves. 



III. The Settlement With the 
St. Paul Coal Company. 



65 



THE SETTLEMENT WITH THE ST. PAUL COAL 

COMPANY. 



THE EFFORTS OF JOHN E. WILLIAMS. 

Before the bodies of all the dead were recovered and while it was still 
uncertain whether all of them would ever be reclaimd or not, the people, 
whose sympathies had responded so promptly in the hour of Cherry's 
affliction, began to inquire, what is to become of the widows and orphans ? 
The sending of special trains loaded with food, clothing and other provi- 
sions as an expression of public sentiment served very well indeed to 
relieve the pressure of immediate wants, but what of the future? The 
widows and children of the ill-fated men had to be taken care of in 
some way, but how? That was the problem, and while hundreds were 
wondering, the mind of John E. Williams was working, and out of it 
came a solution accepted ultimately by every interest concerned, in 
consequence of which ample financial provision is made for all the 
victims of the Cherry disaster, continuing until most of the children 
will be old enough to support themselves. 

In an article contributed to The Forensic Quarterly for June, 1910, by 
S. B. Elliott, a fairly full and authentic account is given. It contains 
so much of the history of the settlement that the liberty is taken of 
incorporating it as a part of this report. It quotes sections of the 
English Workmen's Compensation Act, upon which the settlement with 
the St. Paul Coal Company was based. It also contains a reference to 
the preliminary discussion conducted by Mr. Williams, forming as it 
did the ground work of all subsequent negotiations. The proportions of 
the self-imposed task are only partly shown in the complexity of con- 
flicting interests that had to be reconciled, the character of the prejudices 
that had to be removed, and the tempting visions of large contingent 
fees, that had to be destroyed. 

The situation was at all times critical, requiring the constant presence 
not only of a persuasive and persevering but of a controlling master- 
mind, and the artist possessing all these needed qualifications was on 
the job, the only uncertain element being whether the patience and 
self-interest of ordinary men could withstand the strain. 

When all the interests were apparently harmonized and success in 
sight, a break in some unexpected quarter would occur and with it would 
vanish the prospect of an adjustment, to be again revived by another 

5 C 



66 

effort. Behind all this time-consuming, patience-exhausting skirmish- 
ing, the crux of the main question remained untouched, for, as Mr. 
Williams states, up to this time neither the survivors had been pacified 
nor the company persuaded. To this greater question Mr. Williams 
focused all the power and influence of a well-trained and evenly-balanced 
mind. With a vision rare among men, through the tears and grief of a 
stricken people, he saw the lines of a new duty, the open doorway of a 
great opportunity, and succeeded in transmitting the materials of a 
tragedy into an instrumentality of immense service to mankind. Inspired 
by no other purpose except the weal of his fellow mortals this man for 
months disregarded the demands of home and business and in the ardor 
of a splendid consecration gave the wealth of his mental and spiritual 
endowments to a cause that absorbed all the energies of his active soul. 

It is the writer's privilege to know nearly all the men whose coopera- 
tion were required to bring about the consummation of the plan. Mr. 
Albert J. Earling, the large-hearted, broad-brained president of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Eailway, whose comprehensive judgment 
and wide sympathies has done so much to destroy the force of the criti- 
cism directed against all corporations; John H. Walker and Duncan 
McDonald who, as officials of the mine workers' organization, were 
heartily in sympathy with the principle of compensation which the 
plan embodied; the consuls and representatives of foreign governments, 
and the attorneys for the company and the sufferers. While each are 
entitled to great consideration, the credit for the settlement belongs 
almost exclusively to Mr. Williams, and all familiar with the facts will 
so declare : this claim can be made for him without disparagement to 
any one. His ministrations brought the parties together. He paved 
the way and was the first to clearly recognize the possibilities of the 
situation. 

By training and talent he is specially fitted for just such work, besides 
he was the solitary man whose motives could not be questioned. Neither 
the mine workers' union, representing the victims, nor the St. Paul 
Coal Company, with an investment of nearly half a billion dollars, had 
anything but good will that he would accept. He was not a hired agent ; 
he came as one imbued with a high sense of justice, seeing in the wreck 
of an awful calamity a chance to emphasize, as Mr. Earling expresses 
it, a "principle of equity," and with a pleasing, pleading personality 
eventually won others to his view. There is a saving sense of satisfaction 
in the assurance that we still have with us men of such strong, helpful, 
altruistic character. 

It speaks well for the present and future of the race, besides helping 
to remove the grounds for the accusation that all men's motives are 
mercenary and that the commercial demands of the age are such as to 
exclude all other higher considerations. 

There is a wide field for the exercise of such powers and the men 
who are able and willing to fully meet the obligations of this relation in 
life are now, and ever have been, the real kings of the world. The 
ceremony of fixing a date for their coronation may be dispensed with, 




JOHN E. WILLIAMS, Streator, 111. 

"The self-appointed mediator", whose influence in the matter of the Cherry settlement 
made it possible for the 'course of the world to be turned one way when it might have been 
turned another." 



68 

for they stand already crowned and glorified. And to the immortals 
who are thus qualified to take their respective places in the "Choir 
Invisible," what a pleasure and a privilege it is to be to other souls 
"The cup of strength in some great agony" 

and then to live for evermore 
"In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn 
For miserable aims that end in self 
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars 
And in their mild persistence urge man's search 
To vaster issues." 



69 



AN EPOCH-MAKING SETTLEMENT BETWEEN 
LABOR AND CAPITAL.* 



[ Keprinted from The Forensic Quarterly for June, 1910.] 

"One of those solemn moments had just passed when men see before 
them the course of the world turned one way, when it might have been 
turned another." 

In the face of the titanic movements of the universe that of late we 
have for a moment paused from toil or pleasure to realize, our world 
seems very diminutive. We have, perhaps, wondered if our planet 
counts for much, and we venture to think that for a few weeks at least, 
millions of mortals have felt anxiously insignificant. And yet, as we 
speak of the world's history, as we say "One of those solemn moments 
had just passed when men see before them the course of the world turned 
one way, when it might have been turned another," a sense as of great- 
ness comes over us, and that, not all spiritual, and be we, as planet or as 
mass of life, large or small, such moment is, to us, solemn. 

The whole country heard of the "Cherry Disaster." The awful 
entombing of hundreds of men; the horror of the slowly suffocating, 
sealed in a burning pit. And yet, it was only one of the many coal 
companies that was wrecked ; only a few hundred of the many thousand 
coal miners who were buried ; a local calamity just as other calamities 
in this big country; an unnecessary horror caused by the stupidity of 
one mule-driver. The federal and state governments furnished various 
kinds of experts ; troops were sent to save the crazed people from them- 
selves; the Red Cross did its work; a relief committee was formed; 
money was subscribed, and the "shyster" lawyers gathered like birds 
of prey. 

There was a pause while the dead were buried, while the hungry were 
fed, then the shock passed and the world, drawing a long breath, went 
on its way leaving the wrecked corporation, the destitute widows and 
orphans to solve their own problem of irreparable loss, of bitterness, of 
antagonisms, of legal war between capital and labor. It was in this 
pause that a man, just one man, a looker-on, a one-time miner; who, 
because of his experience realized the present, as well as the possible 
future misery, to both sides, began to work. So quiet, so sane, so gentle, 
so patient was he that the crushed people, the wrecked corporation scarcely 



"This article is a compilation patiently made by Miss Sarah Barnwell Elliott from letters, 
reports and official statements, with the least possible editing, as it was felt that in this case 
"scissors and paste" would be of more public service than "Pegasus." 



70 

knew that he worked; not even the "shyster" lawyers suspected in him 
an enemy; he, however, fully realized them, and guided himself accord- 
ingly. Back and forth between corporation and claimants he went; he 
listened, he questioned, he advised, until at last, after long and patient 
labor against seemingly overwhelming odds, he turned the destroying fire 
of the unfortunate mule-driver into a "refiner's fire," where the dross 
of all evil contentions, all bitternesses was burned away and only the 
pure gold of loving-kindness, of Christ-like compassion was left. 

How he did this is the point of this summary. 

He found that the total number of killed was about 270. 

Total number of widows, 160. 

Total number of children, 470; of these, 407 were under 14 years of 
age; by law, too young to work. 

After careful calculation he decided that besides what had been given 
by the Eed Cross, the United Mine Workers, the State of Illinois, and 
the general public, a half million of dollars would be needed to care 
for these dependents in any permanent way. Also, he decided that the 
St. Paul Coal Company, owner of the Cherry mines, was the most 
promising source of help. 

He then made a study of the resources of , this corporation and found 
that the -mines of the St. Paul Coal Company, "capitalized at $350,000, 
fully paid in, were opened and operated especially to supply the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad with coal"; . . . "that without the 
trade of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Eailroad they would be 
curtailed of their market, and with the hostility of that road be practi- 
cally valueless." . . . "That if the claimants went to law . . . 
fought through to the Supreme Court; . . . that if a judgment 
against the company were affirmed, ... if the property were sold 
to satisfy this judgment . . . the company could go through bank- 
ruptcy or go into the hands of a friendly receiver" ... "that if, 
under the circumstances, the property could be sold for its full value, 
and there were no other creditors, it would yield about $1,000 apiece 
to the claimants." 

He then asked, "Could it be sold for $350,000?" "The stock being 
owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, any friend of 
that road could and would, at a forced sale, bid in the property," no 
one daring to bid against him because, as it was expressed, "No one 
could afford to have the mines as a gift, if in so doing he incurred the 
hostility of that road for in that case he could not expect the trade 
of that road, and could expect no other !" 

But supposing the sale at full value; first, the legal expenses would 
have to be paid ; then the sums due for rescue work ; then for repairing 
the mines. To sum up the losses : 

Forced sale in an unfavored market. 

Enormous legal expenses. 

The cost of the disaster. What then would be left each claimant? 

After this summing up ; after bringing home to all, that though the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, a $400,000,000 corporation, 
owned, practically, the St. Paul Coal Company, yet beyond the resources 



71 

of the St. Paul Coal Company, there was no legal liability for the Cherry 
disaster. Then the problem had to be met: "What other recourse had 
they?" The self-appointed mediator asked the president of the great 
railway company this question: "What other recourse have we?" And 
the president "met the question squarely" by answering: "We acknowl- 
edge a moral obligation." "This statement . . . was the keynote 
of all the subsequent proceedings." 

Up to this time, the self-appointed mediator had proceeded on his 
own responsibility; now, he reported all his findings to the relief com- 
mittee and asked their opinion. At once and unanimously, the committee 
put itself on record as "favoring mediation as the best possible solution 
of the Cherry situation . . . and the greatest precedent for the 
future that it would be the privilege of any body of men to establish." 

At once they saw "before them the course of the world turned one way, 
when it might have been turned another." 

The next step was the basis of settlement. In company with the three 
chief officials of the United Mine Workers, the self-appointed mediator 
called upon the president of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Eailroad 
President Earling and submitted -to him "two plans of settlement, 
one by a commission appointed by the President of the United States; 
the other, a proposal to settle on the basis of the English Workmen's 
Compensation Act." 

"Of the two proposals suggested the one that found the most favor 
was the proposal to adjust the claims on the basis of the English 
'Workmen's Compensation Act.' Some of the consuls were very warm 
in their commendation of this idea, and suggested that a clearer and 
fuller knowledge of the law should be obtained. A copy of the Act was 
procured, and extracts bearing on the Cherry case and on the 'Employers' 
Liability' in general, are here given." 

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT, 1906. 

"Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Lord's Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, 
in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, 
as follows: 

"1. If in any employment personal injury by accident arising out 
of and in the course of the employment is caused to a workman, his 
employer shall, subject as hereinafter mentioned, be liable to pay com- 
pensation in accordance with the first schedule of this Act. 

PROVISION FOR ARBITRATION. 

"2. If any question arises in any proceedings under this Act as to 
the liability to pay compensation under this Act (including any question 
as to whether the person injured is a workman to whom this Act 
applies), or as to the amount or duration of compensation under this 
Act, the question, if not settled by agreement, shall, subject to the 
provisions of the first schedule of this Act, be settled by arbitration, in 
accordance with the second schedule to this Act. 



72 

SCALE AND CONDITIONS OF COMPENSATION. 

"The amount of compensation under this Act shall be : 
"1. -If the workman leaves any dependants wholly dependent upon his 
earnings, a sum equal to his earnings in the employment of the same 
employer during the three years next preceding the injury, or the sum 
of one hundred and fifty pounds, whichever of those sums is the larger, 
but not exceeding in any case three hundred pounds, provided that the 
amount of any weekly payments made under this Act, and any lump 
sum paid in redemption thereof, shall be deducted from such sum, and, 
if the period of the workman's employment by the said employer has 
been less than the said three years, then the amount of his 'earnings 
during the said three years shall be deemed to be one hundred and 
fifty-six times his average weekly earnings during the period of his 
actual employment under the said employer. 

IF No WIDOW Is LEFT. 

"2. If the workman does not have any such dependants, but leaves 
any dependants in part upon his earnings, such sum, not exceeding in 
any case the amount payable under the foregoing provisions, as may be 
agreed upon, or, in default of agreement, may be determined, on arbitra- 
tion under this Act, to be reasonable and proportionate to the inju-ry to 
the said dependants. 

"3. If he leaves no dependants, the reasonable expenses of his medical 
attendance and burial, not exceeding ten pounds. 

"4. Where total or partial incapacity for work results from the 
injury, a weekly payment during the incapacity not exceeding 50 per 
cent of his average weekly earnings during the previous twelve months, 
if he has been so long employed, but if not, then for any less period 
during which he has been in the employment of the same employer, such 
weekly payment not to exceed one pound. 

AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS. 

"For the purpose of the provisions of this schedule relating to 'earn- 
ings' and ' average weekly earnings' of a workman, the following rules 
shall be observed : 

"1. Average weekly earnings shall be computed in such manner as 
is best calculated to give the rate per week at which the workman was 
being remunerated. Provided, that where by reason of the shortness of 
the time during which the workman has been in the employment of his 
employer, or the casual nature of the employment, it is impracticable 
at the date of the accident to compute the rate for remuneration, regard 
may be had to the avera'ge weekly amount which, during the twelve 
months previous to the accident, was being earned by a person in the 
same grade employed at the same work by the same employer, or, if 
there is no person so employed, by a person in the same grade employed 
in the same class of employment and in the same district. 



73 

MONEY INVESTED BY COURT. 

"5. The payment in the case of death shall, unless otherwise ordered 
as hereinafter provided, be paid into the county court, shall, subject to 
rules of court and the provisions of this schedule, be invested, applied, 
or otherwise dealt with by the court in such manner as the court in its 
discretion thinks fit for the benefit of the persons entitled thereto under 
this Act, and the receipt of the registrar of the court shall be a sufficient 
discharge in respect to the amount paid in. 

"8. Any question as to who is a dependant shall, in default of agree- 
ment, be settled by arbitration under this Act/' 

PAYMENT FOR INJURIES. 

"In addition to indemnity for death the law also grants for disability 
a weekly payment during such disability 'not exceeding 50 per cent of 
his average weekly earnings during the previous twelve months, such 
weekly payment not to exceed one pound/ The law provides compensa- 
tion for disability by diseases that can be shown to grow out of the 
occupation." 

"The next step was a mass meeting of the widows at Cherry, where 
a committee of conference was appointed, of which the self-appointed 
mediator was made a member/' It is impossible to tell of all the con- 
flicting interests and purposes; of the tremendous difficulty of uniting 
them on any plan that would avoid litigation. The survivors had to be 
pacified, the company had to be persuaded, for the sum asked in settle- 
ment was not a small amount. 

To give figures, the sum settled on by the St. Paul Coal Company 
as being "the most" that could be paid for settlement, was $250,000 
and a "moral obligation" felt by the controlling railway company, while 
the sum settled on by the self-appointed mediator as necessary from the 
corporation was $500,000. How could he get this? How "transmute 
a moral obligation into its financial equivalent?" As the self-appointed 
mediator writes, "It was by no means a simple matter. For if we took 
any arbitrary sum as the measure of indemnity, just as good arguments 
could be urged for a larger sum. If we suggested $1,500, the largest 
sum up to that time paid in a large disaster, some one with equal force 
could urge $2,500, or $3,500, or $5,000. 

"And then the obligation was not all on one side. The powerful head 
of a $400,000,000 corporation is by no means a dictator. He is allowed 
his power only because his stockholders believe he will use it to their 
mutual advantage. If he acknowledges a moral obligation it must be 
such a one as. they can be brought to sanction and approve. He must 
satisfy his own sense of right, he must meet the reasonable moral expecta- 
tion of right-thinking men, and he must do it in such a way as to secure 
the approval and support of those who paid the bills, and received neither 
publicity or reward for their contribution. 

"I shall never forget the memorable interview at which the many 
angles of this complicated question were made clear to me. It was at 



74 

an interview with President Earling. It was my part to urge with all 
the fervor and eloquence at my command the moral demands of the 
situation; it was his to listen and decide. In two hours of sincere, 
earnest, and fervent discussion I presented my cause from every con- 
ceivable point of view. Mr. Earling listened, weighed, and considered 
patiently, and met every point with a sincerity, earnestness and fairness 
equal to my own. Where he agreed, he admitted it frankly and gladly; 
where he differed, he did it courteously, kindly, almost regretfully. I 
felt I was in the presence of a man who felt the grandeur of a great 
moral issue, and who was weighed down by the burden of a heavy, an 
almost tragic responsibility. But he could not at that time reconcile 
himself to my solution of the moral problem. He had fixed his mind 
on a sum that was $100,000 less than my plan called for, and it seemed 
to him better that the claimants should 'take the property' rather than 
grant the sum that my proposal seemed to demand. 

"I left his presence chastened and discouraged, but not the least 
doubting the sincerity and moral earnestness of the man whose responsi- 
bilities were so much greater than mine. The interview was not without 
its fruits, however, for a few weeks afterwards I was summoned to a 
conference of representatives of the various interests, at which Mr. 
Earling adopted in substance the principle of the proposal I had previ- 
ously made. That principle is well known to readers now, being the 
principle of the English law which gives for each accidental death the 
equivalent of three years' earnings. The proposal was accepted by 
consular and other interests, and settlements with the Cherry claimants 
are now in process of being effected on this basis. Mr. Earling did me 
the honor to say that my words had been the means of convincing him 
of the wisdom of adopting the English precedent in the settlement of 
the Cherry problem, and I am proud of the honor; but it is his own 
broad mind, big heart, and strong will that has put the plan into execu- 
tion, and given it a reality in the world of fact that will make it go 
down into history as the most potent and significant result of the greatest 
mining tragedy in history. 

"I am tempted to add just a word of an impression left on my mind 
as the result of my unusual contact with one of our great over-lords of 
commerce. It is this : That corporations are endurable or possible only 
because of the great humans who are behind them. In themselves they 
are soulless abstractions, existing only for the economic purposes. But 
they must have men to run them, big men, strong men, and you can't 
find a man big enough for the job unless he has a great Tinman heart' 
and plenty of rich, red, blood in his veins. Down below you may find 
automata, man machines; but at the top you must have a live wire/ a 
real man, and not all the corporation machinery in the world can grind 
the human sympathy, the human interest, out of him. Without him, the 
barricades, the red flag, the reign of terror; with him, perhaps the 
evolution of the corporation into the Hope of the Ages. Let us dare to 
have faith. At least so much has my brief contact with President 
Earling enabled me to do." 



75 

So much for the self-appointed mediator's view of Mr. Bailing, presi- 
dent of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad; let us see now 
what Mr. Earling thinks of him, of this sane, wise, patient J. E. 
Williams. Mr. Earling says : 

"DEAK MR. WILLIAMS Your letter of April 16th, with the enclosure 
accompanying it came to my office during my absence in the east. 

"It is better, in view of all the interests, that the facts concerning the 
Cherry settlement be given to the public. There is no one so well quali- 
fied to give them as yourself, and, while I have a natural disinclination 
to publicity, I cannot be otherwise than glad that you have published this 
statement, and with it there is a deep measure of personal appreciation 
of the more than kindly treatment you have accorded me. 

"No one could have gone to Cherry in its hour of disaster without 
being profoundly impressed with the futility of mere legal remedies. The 
machinery of the law never could have fed the hungry or clothed the 
naked. No corporation worthy of receiving from the State the right to 
transact its business could have closed its treasury in the presence of 
hunger and destitution simply because no legal responsibility rested 
upon it to furnish food and clothing. At such an hour as that the ques- 
tion of legal rights and duties become insignificant as compared with 
the impelling call of humanity, and corporations are as human as the 
men who compose them. 

"I hope no question more appalling or more difficult to solve will ever 
come to any corporation than "that involved in doing justice to the 
survivors at Cherry. There were two survivors of that disaster, the 
bereaved and stricken people, and the ravaged corporation. Again the 
impotence of the law was emphasized. All the law could do was to take 
the wrecked and shattered property, and divide it as best it might, 
through long and tedious delays and expensive and wasting processes. 
This meant the complete loss of the property to its owners, and, in the 
end, but little, if any, alleviation of the suffering of the survivors, or 
mitigation of their poverty. It was evident from the outset that the 
best relief which the law could afford meant only added disaster for the 
survivors at Cherry, and absolute annihilation for the company. It 
became, therefore, of the highest importance to all that some basis of 
settlement should be arrived at which* would give quicker relief than 
could be obtained through legal means, and which would be within the 
financial limits of the property involved. 

"I think it is probable that the company and a considerable number 
of the survivors could have come to view the principles that are involved 
with substantial unanimity, but I am convinced that whatever might 
have been the disposition to arrive at a settlement, just on the one 
side, and equitable on the other, nothing could have crystalized the 
details into a final result as did your patient, earnest and disinterested 
mediation. 

"It was difficult at the outset to understand such unselfish devotion 
to the cause of humanity. There are many motives which lead men to 
champion one side or the other in any controversy. There are many 
ardent advocates of one side or the other, but no other instance has come 



76 

under my observation of a man with the capacity to help, coining volun- 
tarily to the aid of contending parties, with an equal eye to fair dealing 
for both and justice for all. 1 think I am justified in saying that without 
your skillful and intelligent mediation the settlement at Cherry would 
have been as far off now as at any stage of its negotiation. 

"I am glad that the Cherry settlement bids fair to be an epoch-making 
event in the relations between employers and employed in this country. 
All those who had a part in bringing it about must, of necessity, have 
their share of credit for its result, but, above and beyond them all, no 
single factor of as much importance as your own undaunted persistence 
in the face of circumstances that so often seemed hopeless. If, out of 
the wreckage of property and tombs of men at Cherry, there shall come 
forth a permanent bettering of the relations of employers and employed 
in the hours of their common disaster, it may be counted as some small 
salvage from so awful a calamity. And, so far as it contributes to the 
welfare of humanity and the advancement of commerce, it shall stand 
as a monument to your unfaltering effort to establish among men a 
lasting principle of equity and justice. 

Very truly yours, 

"ALBERT J. EAKLING." 

The reader who has reached this point will wish to know something 
of Mr. Williams. He is a one-time coal miner; he was secretary of the 
first miners' union; was first miners' check- weighman in Streator, 111.; 
has been for twenty-five years the manager of the Plumb Opera House 
in the same town. With the Hon. Lyman Gage and Colonel Eend of 
Chicago he arbitrated the Cpal Eun strike,' and later organized and was 
president of "The Business Men's Auxiliary League," which helped the 
miners to carry on the strike of 1897. He is now a business man; is 
chairman of the "Cherry Belief Committee" of Streator, and the "Self- 
Appointed Mediator" who has not seen "the course of the world turned 
one way, when it might have been turned another," but who has turned 
it. For, "... hardly has the Cherry settlement taken effect when 
its principle is adopted. . . The International Harvester Company, 
employing 25,000 people, has voluntarily come forward and offered its 
employes an indemnity contract based on the same terms as the Cherry 
settlement, namely, three times the annual wage in the event of acci- 
dental death. It waives all question of 'negligence,' or legal liability, 
and makes the simple fact of death or injury sufficient ground for 
indemnity. . . "But the influence of the settlement does not end 
here. The press dispatches bring the news that the Wisconsin legisla- 
ture, through its committee, has recommended a bill containing the same 
essential features three times the annual wage as indemnity for acci- 
dental death. And information has come that the commission appointed 
by Governor Deneen, one of whom was a Cherry mediator, is seriously 
considering the same, or a similar measure." 

Up to date, May 11, 1910, "the amount paid by the St. Paul Coal 
Company in settlement of claims is $400,000. About forty claims are 
still unsettled, mostly single. About $75,000 will be required to rehabili- 
tate the mine." 



77 

President Earling was "converted" from "$250,000 as being the most 
that he could bring himself to pay" to the above amounts. Mr. Will- 
iams' comment is: "Best of all, he rejoices in his conversion. . . . 
The doing of the good deed changes the scale of values, and makes the 
good man feel the result to be worth more than the sacrifice." 

BELIEF FUND FACTS. 

Over $400,000 was raised by the Red Cross, the United Mine Workers, 
the State of Illinois, the coal operators, and the general public. This 
will be administered by the Cherry commission, which is constituted as 
follows : 

Chairman, Hon. L. Y. Sherman, representing the State of Illinois; 
vice chairman, J. E. Williams, representing the general public ; secretary, 
Duncan McDonald, representing the United Mine workers; member, 
E. P. Bicknell, representing the Eed Cross; member, E. T. Brent, repre- 
senting the coal operators. 

"In view of the fact that the coal company's payment was made 'flat' 
to each widow, regardless of the number of children, we have thought it 
best to make our fund go as far as possible for the benefit of the children." 

PLAN OF RELIEF. 

"Beneficiaries are divided into two classes : those having children, and 
those without. Widows and others without children will be apportioned 
a payment ranging from $300 to $500, which will be paid to them direct 
as a final contribution. Widows with one child will be paid $20 per 
month; with two children, $25 per month; and so on, increasing $5. 
per month for each child until $40 is reached, which is the maximum 
payment. 

"Our calculations are that our funds will enable us to pay these pen- 
sions until one or two of the eldest children in the family reach the age 
of 14 years, the age the law fixes as the earliest age they can be permitted 
to work. They will then be able to help support the family, and the 
pension will stop except in exceptional cases." 

Down to that spring day outside the walls of Jerusalem, when the 
Sacrifice of the World was offered up, there had been but two classes: 
the tramped-on and the trampler. From that Cross of the Carpenter, 
watched by fishermen, came the light, that increasing through all the 
ages, has gradually revealed to men the highest, deepest, truest meaning 
of love "as thyself." 

What might be called the chief characteristic of the fair races, has 
been fair play until today it has, because of these controlling races, 
become more or less the idea of humanity. It was from this standpoint 
that the "self-appointed mediator" worked. From that older fair race 
across the water he called the law (based on "as thyself"), and we, the 
children of that race, will answer to the call must answer to the call. 
Not only a few corporations, but the federal government must see to it 
that, as in England, so in this country it shall become the law of the 
land. 



IV. Industrial Accidents-Com- 
pensation vs. Litigation. 



81 



INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS COMPENSATION VS. 

LITIGATION. 



The American Mining Congress, at its late session at Los Angeles, 
Cal., adopted a resolution which, while general in its terms, clearly com- 
mits that body to the principle of legislation favoring certain definite 
compensation in the case of industrial accidents. This is a pronounced 
forward step and is the more significant when the fact is recalled that 
a decided proportion of the delegates represented large employers of 
labor whose cooperation is essential to secure such a needed reform in 
tun- present law and practice. It not only attests the humanitarianism 
of the men who have their capital invested in legitimate mining, but 
expresses their business sense in an organized effort to dispense with the 
unjustifiable waste that marks every attempt to adjudicate accident claims 
under existing law and to substitute for it a plan, inexpensive and easy 
of iiiforcement, that will place the responsibility where it properly 
belongs on the whole industry and that will consider fairly and treat 
equitably every interest represented in the great mining industry of our 
country. It is unfair to the employing interests that they should bo 
made the subject of interminable legal assaults in which designing 
lawyers play upon the gambling instincts of injured men in the hope, 
seldom realized, however, of obtaining fabulous rewards. It is no less 
unfair to thrust upon the injured man or his dependant family the entire 
burden of the loss sustained by accidents, a great per cent of which, as 
our statistics show, is the result of trade hazard for which neither 
employer or employe can legally be held liable. The purpose of the 
policy approved by the resolution adopted at the Los Angeles convention 
is to save ihe money now squandered in useless litigation and give it, 
under propel 1 regulations, to those who. may be injured while in the line 
of their employment as compensation, in part at least, for the suffering 
and le,.-- of earning power sustained; and the compensation thus provided 
to be recognized as a proper liability of the business and to be charged 
against it like all other legitimate costs. The wonder is that the Amer- 
ican people with all their indomitable energy and enterprise are not the 
leaders in this, the most important conservation movement; as it is, we 
have the example of twenty-one foreign governments, any one of which 
might be accepted as a model for our conduct. This is the only civilized 
nation in this respect that p'-rsists in its adherence to an out 
obsolete legal policy. 

6 C 



82 

Our faith is still anchored in fees and certain precedents considered 
more important than principles. 

The legislature of Montana, at its last session, enacted a law, effective 
December 1st this year, authorizing the levying of a tax of 1 eenl 
per ton on all coal mined and sold in that state for the purpose of 
providing a fund from which to compensate those injured in connection 
with the coal mining industry. The New York legislature, .upon the 
recommendation of its Commission on Employers' Liability, enacted 
two laws, effective September 1st this year, one optional, the other 
providing compensation for accidents occurring in certain non-competitive 
industries. The Illinois Commission created by Act of Special Session, 
1910, partly on account of the awful disaster at Cherry, reports" to Gov- 
ernor Deneen, under date of September loth last, the results of six 
months' investigation of the subject. Unfortunately, the members were 
unable to agree upon a measure. While the employers on the Commission 
were favorable to a compensation act, certain of the labor representatives, 
while not opposing the plan for compensation, felt that it should follow 
and not precede a comprehensive employers' liability law. Because of 
this division of opinion the Commission adjourned without recommend- 
ing any particular bill. While the failure is regretted, it does not relieve 
the forthcoming Legislature from the responsibility of squarely meeting 
the issue, in fact, the dominant political party in its platform pledges 
its candidates for the Legislature to do so; besides, the valuable data 
collected by the Commission and incorporated in its report will prove 
M|' great service in the task of formulating a law on the subject. Several 
other states, notably Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey 
and Massachusetts have commissions now engaged in the work of pro- 
posing changes in present employers' liability laws, the reports of which 
will be submitted for the consideration this winter of their respective 
legislatures. 

While in full sympathy with the purpose back of the efforts of such 
commissions their conclusions or recommendations necessarily depend 
upon legislative approval which, if granted, certain selfish interests will 
probably attack in the courts, thus rendering indefinite the time when 
such remedial measures will become effective. Anticipating the ultimate 
enactment of laws requiring compensation in all cases where employes 
are disabled by accidents occurring in the line of their work, would it 
not be advisable for associations of employers, in conjunction probably 
with that of their employes, to put into immediate operation, by volun- 
tary agreement, a plan that would fully dispose of the legal contentions 
resulting from industrial accidents? 

After an experience of more than half a century with litigation grow- 
ing out of personal injury claims, founded on statutory or the common 
law theory of negligence, the system, judged by its results, h:is fail;. 1 , 1. 
Whatever justification the principle may have had in the earlier and 
simpler stages of our industrial evolution, any further at tempi to apply 
it to the complicated conditions of the present day must be attended 
with greatly increased embarrassment to the courts, taking up tlieii- 
time to the exclusion or delay of more legitimate business: to the denial 
of simple justice to injured workmen or their dependants, and to the 



83 

ever increasing annoyance and expense of employers who, in many 
instances in self-protection, aie compelled lo contest suits of that char- 
acter. Kmployers are familiar from experience with the nature of the 
customary deft uses interpos-d against the successful prosecution of 
claims of that nalmv so that it is unnecessary to discuss the rules of 
contrihntory negligence, assumed risk, the relation of fellow-servant and 
other doctrines proclaimed firm time to time by the courts. They are 
also familiar with that class of insurance organizations which, in con- 
sideiation of a fee that is never earned or dissipated in expenses that 
should never he incurred, agree to relieve them in part from the legal 
const <[ueiu\s of an accident for which an uninformed jury may hold 
them responsible. The situation created by our failure to do even handed 
justice lias made it seemingly obligatory on the part of many to seek 
prohction in the nature of liability insurance. That, too, has miserably 
"tailed; first, because the protection is incomplete; second, because real 
responsibility cannot be permanently and successfully transferred; third, 
because the injection of a foreign interest, usually without conscience, 
having no particular concern for the rights or interests of employes, 
intensifies friction and widens the gulf between them and their employers, 
and fourth, because the plan is organized for private or corporate 
profit, maintained at great expense, for salaries of officials, agents, 
solicitors, engineers, attorneys, etc., constituting a severe tax upon the 
industry, the smallest fraction of which ever finds its way into the home- 
of injured workmen. This plan, like the legal practices under which 
it has heen developed, now stands condemned, and the task of this moment 
is the substitution of a system that will remove 1 on the one hand the 
requirement for a suit in the civil courts, and on the other the necessity 
of depending for protection upon . insurance companies as at present 
organized. 

The only proposition to consider is that of substituting for the present 
expensive and wasteful plan the policy 'of compensation under which 
the victims of industiial accidents would receive in the case of all 
injuries a definite sum equal under many existing laws to one-half wages' 
during incapacity: and for fatal accidents, in case of the ' head of a 
family, the aggregate of three years' average earnings. There is nothing 
new or revolutionary in such a scheme. It has long been the settled 
policy of more than a BCOre of foreign governments, some of them adopt- 
ing it over a quarter of a century ago. 

This policy is based on the sound economic theory that the losses 
sustained by workmen from accidents received in the line of their employ- 
ment is a legitimate tax upon the industry lesponsihle for them and that 
the earning power suspended or lost in consequence should in part, at 
least, he recouped out of the profits of the enterprise and charged against 
the business in the same manner as breakage, depreciation of plants 
and other unavoidable costs of production. 

Mining people as a class may have been deterred from adopting a 
compensation plan, under the impression that the \anishing margin 



84 

tvhich unlimited competition has left in the way of profits, makes it 
impossible for thorn to assume it. This conclusion may have been formed 
to ithout fully considering the expense of present methods. 

A prominent manufacturer in this State, for his own information, 
recently checked up his casualty accounts for a period of nineteen 
mouths; somewhat to his surprise he discovered that the amount required 
to compensate a-11 his employes who were injured during that time (on 
the basis of the English compensation law) comprised but one-fifth of 
the premiums he had paid for accident insurance during that time. The 
aggregate value of the total coal product of this State for 1909 was 
over fifty million dollars; that for the entire country being six hundred 
fifteen and three-quarters million dollars. The addition of nine-tenths 
of 1 per cent to the estimated valuation would be sufficient to allow the 
payment of one-half wages to every mine worker for time lost on account 
of injury, and two thousand dollars ($2,000) to the families of all those 
who were killed during that year. 

Because of certain laws, employers are not yet in a position to protect 
themselves against the frightful and inexcusable waste incident to our 
whole competitive system, but present restrictions need not prevent the 
inauguration of a policy in relation to accidents, such as that herein 
suggested, which, even on present valuations, assuming the cost would 
be as great or greater, would carry with it the comfort and satisfaction 
that whatever sums were paid out on such account would go directly, 
and, what is equally important, immediately, to those who 'are most 
entitled to receive them. 

The practice and the law should unite with ethics in requiring that 
the financial loss caused by injury to a workman should not be imposed 
upon him alone, but shared, as far as can be, by the society receiving 
benefits from his labor. 

certain employers contend that to provide compensation for accidents 
would operate as a direct inducement to carelessness, and that instead 
of less there would be more casualties. Fortunately, such opinions 
among employers are rare and it is enough to say that the experience 
of foreign countries, working under compensation laws, show without 
exception that the accident rate has been reduced to such extent, in fact, 
tluit. their records are offered as examples for our emulation. 

In the matter of industrial, accidents the purely legal question as to 
where the personal responsibility rests should not be considered at all, 
because it is not, strictly speaking, a personal affair, for the reasoii that 
in extra hazardous occupations, like that of railroading, coal and metal 
mining, and construction work, accidents occur chiefly as a result of the 
inherent dangers of the calling, making it impossible in most cases in 
determine the question of negligence as defined by the law. Our difficulties 
in these respects arc but multiplied in the foolish attempts to apply a legal 
theory that can have no logical or reasonable relation to the existing 
industrial situation or to our new social concepts of the real duties and 
responsibilities of men. 

A capable and distinguished judge of this State, having a long and 
varied experience in the trial of personal injury suits, declares he could 



85 

write in ton minutes a fair and comprehensive law on the subject of 
employers' li;iliilii y. A simple act comprising a few lines requiring 
e\i(lenee of the fact that an injury has been sustained by a workman 
while in 1 lie- course of his employment, and the earning time lost on 
th MI account. These few words clearly define the basis upon which 
accident chums, are to be adjusted, the balance is merely detail. Elimi- 
nating tiie disturbing issue of negligence, there would be no longer a 
basis tor quarreling over whether the employer is liable or not. The 
only question likely to give rise to a difference of opinion is in partial 
disability cases, the degree of which has to be determined, and the time 
of the courts need not be occupied in such hearings, as those matters are 
adjusted by commissions organized for that purpose. 

Some confusion exists in the minds of workingmen regarding liability 
and compensation laws. This is shown in the attitude of certain labor 
leaders who oppose all plans proposing compensation until a compre- 
hensive employers' liability law is enacted. 

A law providing compensation for injuries is a distinct liability law 
without the uncertainties that inevitably attach themselves to any pro- 
ceeding under a general liability act, 

To the extent of the amount required to be paid on proof of any 
accident, compensatory legislation not only determines specifically the 
extent of the employers' liability, but, what is equally important, avoids 
the waste of time and loss of money incident to recovery under any other 
system of liability practice. 

Kvery statute attempting to define employers' liability is essentially 
based on the legal idea of negligence. Wholly aside from the particular 
del'mscs which the rulings of the courts allow, there can be no recovery 
under a general liability act, except on proof of negligence on- the part 
of the employer. Under such a procedure, with any kind of a law r , the 
burden of furnishing evidence in support of the charge of negligence is 
upon the party seeking to recover damages. There can be no escape 
from this obligation on the plaintiffs part, and the record of litigated 
cases show only' too frequently how lamentably has been the failure to 
supply the Deeded evidence and this, too, in cases where neither the 
doctrine of fellow-servant, contributory negligence, or assumption of 
risk had been pleaded or allowed in defense. 

While in a few cases under the general law there has been recovered 
and sustained judgments in damage suits for considerable sums of 
money, the amount of the judgment recovered in the average case is 
scarcely equal to the expen^' required to defend it. After a careful 
investigation. Mr. S. C. Kmgsley, of the National Conference of Chari- 
ties, discovered that in fifty contested cases, where the claimants were 
successful iii dodging every legal technicality, the aggregate amount 
recovered was $8,749, or an average of $1 ; : for each. Jn the adjudication 
of the claims in the case of the Cherry disaster, founded, as it was. on 
the Knglish compensation act, fifty families received an aggregate of 
$!Hl.O<)(). or an average of *l.sun raeh. If the real concern is for the 
welfare of the families of injured workmen, surely there can lie no -ond 
reason for hesitation in the matter of a choice between the two systems. 



86 

One offers a definite amount paid directly without the expense or inter- 
vention of agents or attorneys; the other presents the skeleton of a 
hope the prospect only of a long delayed law suit with the final result 
always uncertain. The hoped for millennium is still far 'off. We are 
forced to deal with men and situations as they are, not as we would 
wish them to be, and in legal, as in other contests, with rich and power- 
ful interests, the injured workman, with his damage claim represented i 
by a contingent fee lawyer, finds himself at a disadvantage when pitted 
against, the trained corporation attorney. In no other way can the 
increasing number of verdicts for the defendant be explained. It is 
incredible to suppose that the workman who performs all the labor, 
assumes all the risks, and suffers all the pain will consent to a further 
continuance of an unequal contest. 

In respect to mining accidents the number as between coal and metal 
mines is quite evenly distributed, those "of a fatal character exceeding 
three in every thousand employes in each class of mines. Public atten- 
tion, however, has been directed chiefly to accidents in coal mines on 
account of recent frightful disasters, in some of which more than half 
a thousand lives have been lost at one time. 

The great loss of life in. the mines of West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsyl- 
vania, Illinois and Colorado within a period of two years, witli a 
proportionate loss in our metal mines, although not so extensively 
advertised, imperatively demand that everything possible be done to 
diminish the number of accidents and to care for their victims in a 
human and businesslike manner. 

Every calamity brings in some form its compensation. These terrible 
experiences may have been required to arouse in men a true sense of 
their responsibility to their less fortunate fellows. The devastating 
Hoods that destroyed the city of Galveston ten years ago made necessary 
llic commission form of gbvernment for cities, a system which, beginning 
with that wrecked municipality, is now spreading over the country 
l>r, sriiting the. last hope of escape from the blight of municipal corrup- 
tion. If, out of the wreck of industrial accidents, the results of 
inevitable dangers, there shall come reasonable laws recognizing in a 
broader way the rights and interests of all men, some atonement will 
have been made and the lives of our workers shall not have been offered 
in vain. 



87 



STANDARDS OF COMPENSATION FOR SICKNESS, ACCIDENT 
AND DEATH. 



(Sherman C. Kingsley, Superintendent United Charities of Chicago, in the 
Survey of September 3, 1910.] 

On Saturday afternoon, November 13, 1909, a torch, carelessly exposed 
and a bale of hay started a fire which caused one of the most dramatic mine 
disasters in industrial history, and cost the lives of Andrew Dovin and 257 
fellow workmen. Thrilling rescues by a heroic band of men who finally 
perished in an act of supreme sacrifice and heroism; sealing the shaft in 
the presence of an ineffably pathetic group of women and children; the re- 
covery of revolting human shapes; the rescue of twenty-one men buried 
alive for eight days, all this for weeks kept the press of a great city, indeed 

of the nation, pulsing with stories of intensest human interest. The pulpit 
took it up, so did teachers in the colleges. The imagination and sympathy 
of the public were profoundly stirred. More was written and said, thought 
and felt, about Andrew Dovin and his comrades, their wives and children, 
than perhaps about any equal number of people who suffered a disaster 
while pursuing industrial duty. This publicity acted with compelling and 
persuasive unction upon the employing company, the' giving public, city 
councils and the State Legislature. In this conspicuous respect, the wives 
and children of Andrew Dovin and his fellow victims were most fortunate. 

. These men died a congregate death in a disaster that was dramatic, thrilling, 
spectacular. 

On Saturday, November 14, 1908, one year before this disaster, an ambu- 
lance backed up to No. 17 Bond street, the home of Abe. Miller. Abe was 
in the ambulance. He was a worker in a steel mill. Together with other 
men, he was burned in handling hot metal, receiving injuries which re- 
sulted in his death. The only newspaper mention of Abe's case was a three 
line statement in a list of accidents, giving his name, address and the 
nature of the case. The company settled for $500 and promised permanent 
employment to Abe's wife. She went to work and her inadequate earnings 
were supplemented by charitable relief. The circumstances of Abe's mis- 
fortune are fairly typical of fifty other fatal accidents of which information 
was obtained through charitable organizations in ten of the largest cities of 
the country. 

I want to consider the information about these fifty accidents, which oc- 
curred at a time in commonplace obscurity, and to contrast the circum- 
stances of the wives and children of these men with what happened in the 
way of compensation and relief for the wives and children of Andrew Dovin 
and forty-nine other victims of the Cherry catastrophe. My object in mak- 
ing this comparison, as I have indicated before, is that the circumstances 
of the Cherrv victims were studied for weeks by the Red Cross, miners' 
unions, city councils, the Legislature, associations of business men, maga- 
zine writers, charity workers, indeed the whole public. What should be 
done for the families of these men was deliberated perhaps more fully than 
the circumstances of any other equal number of accident cases happening 
in years. 



The schedules sent to the ten societies called for the following information: 

1. Income conditions in the families before the accident. The man's age, 
occupation and wages. 

2. Nature of the accident. How he was killed. Insurance, if any. Gift 
by employer and damages recovered. 

3. Conditions in the family after the accident. The vacant chair. 
Shrinkage in income. Kind of employment secured by wife and children. 
The new adjustment. 

While returns were made in 100 cases, I shall have more to say about the 
fifty which were fatal. The families of these fifty oien, having obscure, 
one-at-a-time accidents, received in compensation $8,749 $187 a piece. The 
fifty Cherry families received from the company $90,000 $1,800 a piece. 

In the case of Cherry, on account of the publicity and activity of the Red 
Cross, the press, business associations, the fifty families received in con- 
tributions, from the Legislature, miners' unions, etc., $87,000 making a total 
of $177,000; in the other, the families received $8,749 plus an uncertain and 
indefinite amount in relief and pensions from charity societies, and a still 
more indeterminable amount from institutions, nurseries, hospitals, etc: 
In the case of the fifty other victims, we have tried to indicate some of the 
sources of help which were added to the $8,749. 

I should like to call attention more in detail to the information gathered 
from these schedules, to consider the income in the families before the acci- 
dent, the size of the family, ages of the children, and the way they made 
their new adjustment. The average income in the fifty fatal cases before 
the accident was $668.47. Twenty-four occupations were represented. I am 
inclined to think that the average income is a little high and that the so- 
cieties arrived at the annual income by multiplying the weekly wage by the 
number of weeks in a year, consequently not allowing for sickness, shut 
downs or holidays. The present average income, after an average period of 
a little more than a year since the accident the wife and children going to 
work, taking boarders, renting rooms, etc., was $238.80 a decrease of 62.4 
per cent. The average number in the family was five, wife and four chil- 
dren. The average age of the children was 8 years and 2 months. The 
average age of the fifty men killed was thirty-four and a half years. In the 
fifty other accidents where the man was wholly or partially permanently 
disabled, the recovery was $8,566, an average of $178.45 per man. The aver- 
age income in these families before the accident was $700; after the acci- 
dent, $255 a decrease of 65 per cent. 

The societies were asked these additional questions: 

First To state the amount of relief given or obtained by them for the 
families. 

Second Since relief societies are seldom able to give adequate relief, 
they were asked what they would consider adequate relief. 

I have already indicated that we could not get a definite measure of what 
the societies actually gave in relief, but we got a more definite reply to the 
second question, namely, what would be considered adequate relief in these 
families. The average estimate was $5.80 a week for each family, which 
amounts to $301.60 a year. This, add to the $238.80 earned by the wife and 
children, taking boarders, etc., would make an income of $10.40 a week or 
$504.40 a year. Understand that this was simply an estimate of what 
would be adequate relief and not what the family got. 

At Cherry, the question was discussed as to what shrinkage in income 
might legitimately be allowed for counting out the man's expenses. If we 
accept $5.80 as an adequate allowance to supplement each of these one-at-a- 
time accident families, increasing the income to $539.60 and deduct this from 
the $644 which was the average income in the fifty families before the ac- 
cident, it would make an allowance of $104 a year for the man, or only about 
a sixth of the income, on his account. In the discussions of the Cherry cases, 



89 

it was thought that rather more than one-fourth should be allowed for the 
man. This would put the family-' in better financial condition than when the 
man was alive. 

Chapin, in his valuable study, set $800.00 as the lowest income on which 
u family could maintain a proper standard in New York city. However, the 
average income of the working man is much less than $800.00. The average 
income at Cherry was $600.00, and, as we have seen, it was set at $644.00 in 
the fifty families we are studying. 

The societies, in making their returns, did not indicate during how many 
years this $5.80 a week should run. The average period over which the 
money contributed to the Cherry victims will run is about seven years. If 
we should accept the Cherry standard of distribution and should run the 
fifty casual families for seven years, it would amount to $2,111.20; whereas, 
the Cherry families will receive a total average of $1,745.00 of relief con- 
tributed, not counting what they received from the company. 

I am inclined to think that the minimum compensation for death should 
be four times the annual earnings of the man, and that this should be paid 
on a percentage basis to the wife and to each child below working age. In 
oase of total disability, the compensation should be more because the man 
is robbed of ability to work and must be maintained. 

A car inspector lost his life in a crib fire at Chicago two years and three 
months ago. He left a wife and three children, aged 7 and 4 and 2 years. 
He earned $750.00 a year. The employer offered $1,500 in settlement as com 
pensation. This offer was not accepted and suit was begun and is still 
pending. 

Had the laws of the following countries been in operation in Illinois the 
family would have received aid in the amounts given below in the form 
of annual pensions, except in Great Britain where the amount is a lump 
sum, providing the widow did not marry and all the children lived to work- 
ing age: 

Austria until youngest child is fifteen $4,268 23 

France until youngest child is fifteen 5,162 50 

Germany until youngest child is fifteen 5,062 50 

Great Britain three times annual wage 2,250 00 

Hungary until youngest child is sixteen 5,615 06 

Italy purchase of annuities until eighteen 3,750 00 

Norway until youngest child is fifteen 4,268 23 

Russia until youngest child is fifteen 5,800 00 

In most of the countries the law determines the maximum annual earn 
ings upon which the percentage of compensation is based. This maximum 
ranges from $321.60 in Norway to $772.50 in Russia. In all of these coun- 
tries the state guarantees payment. In all cases of fatal accident in these 
countries, except Austria, the insurance premiums are carried entirely by 
i he employer In Austria the employ^ contributes one tenth to the fund 
;iud the employer nine tenths. 

Growing out of the study of these cases there are certain observations to 
be made The compensation to the victims of fifty fatal accidents ranged from 
s::. iMMi.no to nothing. In two cases $7,000.00 each was awarded, but they 
were appealed from court to court and the victims finally got nothing. In 
one of the permanent disability cases, a lower court awarded $22,500.00 
After the same exhausting routine of going from court to court, the case 
was thrown out and this family got nothing. 

The uncertainty and delay had a most demoralizing effect both morally and 
physically. Demoralization and general deterioration were returned as 
among the social consequences in many of these cases. These people were 
in suspense, setting their expectations on sums of money that would make 
them independent . huge fortunes in their eyes, and after living in this anti 
cipation, sometimes adopting a scale of living accordingly, so far as they 
.ould tlip;^ were finalh disappointed and got nothing. 



7 I' 



90 

Some of these excessive awards were an injustice to the employer, but 
when they were reversed and nothing was received, it certainly was an in- 
justice to the employe, and all the time this sort of thing engenders V>a<i 
reeling between employer and employ^. 

Another thing which should be considered in this connection is the present 
wasteful expenditure in our method of handling these matters. George M. 
(Jillette, of Minnesota, in an address before the Commercial Association of 
Chicago staled that the manufacturing and business concerns of this coun- 
try have in the last five years paid to casualty companies in premiums $95,- 
000,000.00. Less than $45,000,000.00 has gone in settlement of damages, and 
again, less than half of this $45,000,000.00 has reached injured persons, going 
in lawyers' fees, court costs, etc., making not more than 20 per cent or 3d 
per cent of the whole sum, the fellow servant and contributory negligence 
doctrines being in large measure responsible for adverse judgment. 

This enormous expense has, of course, been added to the cost of the 
manufactured product, the same as other expenses incident to the manu- 
facture of commodities. The community has not only paid this $95,000,000.00 
but it has in large measure taken care of the people who were injured and 
of their dependent families, thus paying the bill twice. If this matter could 
be taken from the war basis on which it rests, and could be so adjusted that 
injured people would receive compensation that was just and fair for their 
injuries, and this were paid on a pension basis promptly when the family 
was in greatest need, and if, as would happen, accidents were prevented in 
greater degree than they are at present, because insurance would be affected 
by reduction in the number of accidents, it seems altogether likely that the 
money which employing concerns are already expending would go a long 
way to meet the needs of a just, fair and adequate compensation. 

The consequences of occupational diseases are just as disastrous to the 
family. The causes are more subtle and elusive. It is easy to determine 
where and how a man lost an arm or a leg, an eye or his head; it is more 
difficult to determine where he picked up tuberculosis germs or just when 
and how bad sanitation, poor ventilation, the inhalation of dust, bad work- 
ing conditions generally, wore away physical resistance and laW the founda- 
tion of physical undoing. 

The numbers and consequences of these preventable occupational disease- 
are doubtless greater and more disastrous than those resulting from acci 
dent. It is intrinsically as inappropriate that charity, either private or 
public, should be relied upon to take these consequences as for the same 
sources to undertake the pensioning of the soldiers of the Mexican. Civil or 
Spanish wars. What the victims of these accidents and diseases want is 
just what charity workers would want under similar circumstances that 
all preventable accidents and preventable diseases should be prevented: that 
accidents and diseases which must necessarily befall in the course of in- 
dustrial service, should be taken care of, broadly, by those who are hem 
titled by that service, just as the nation at large is a debtor to the soldie; 
who sacrifices health or life, and participates as a nation in movements of 
amelioration for him and those dependent upon him. 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA