Oops! wrong address: PALACKAW-D@ Rootsweb.com
is correct. Info fron
Lackawanna county,PA newspaper. Sally
----- Original Message -----
From: Sally Walton <ncwalt(a)dnet.net>
To: <BlaenauGwent-L(a)rootsweb.com>; <DYFED-D(a)rootsweb.com>; Glamorgan
<PROSSER-D(a)rootsweb.com>; WLS-Breconshire-D <WLS-Breconshire-D(a)rootsweb.com>
Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2001 1:25 PM
Subject: Fw: [PA-LAC] Follow-up information on 1869 Avondale Tragedy
Received this from my Lackawanna County -D@rootsweb .com list.
someone there may find it useful. Lots of Phillips and even a Blewitt as
well as many others. Hope it helps someone! Sally
----- Original Message -----
From: Richard M. Reese <richreese(a)fast.net>
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 5:41 PM
Subject: [PA-LAC] Follow-up information on 1869 Avondale Tragedy
> The following illustrates details of the Scranton connection to the
> Avondale tragedy, and why anniversary
> information may be used to shed light on family connections not found
> the event was current news.
> Scranton Tribune-Republican, Wednesday, Sept. 6. 1911 -
> ANNIVERSARY OF AVONDALE HORROR
> Forty-two years ago today, 110 men lost their lives in a fire in the
> Avondale mine of the Lackawanna company, and the village of Hyde Park,
> scores of the men resided, was plunged into grief, similar in respects
> the sorrow which prevailed six [five -ed.] months ago tomorrow,
> in Throop and North Scranton as the result of the Pancoast disaster,
> seventy three men lost their lives.
> In the Washburn Street cemetery, lying in two long rows, are the
> of fifty-one of the victims, many of
> whom were never identified.
> Col. R. A. PHILLIPS, general superintendent of the Lackawanna Coal
> department, lived in Plymouth at the
> time. He was a boy of five or six years, and his father, Thomas J.
> PHILLIPS, was foreman of the Jersey mine of the Lackawanna, which
> the Avondale colliery. Colonel Phillips said last night that
> the women running to and fro carrying coffee to the relief parties which
> been formed.
> "Scores of people from this section lost relatives in the disaster,"
> said Colonel Phillips. "Walter
> REESE, one of our district superintendents, lost a father and two
> Harry HATTON lost a father and a
> brother, and there were others that I do not recall at the moment.
> HUGHES was then general
> superintendent, and his brother, Evan HUGHES, mine foreman at the
> was one of the victims."
> "Some of the best miners of West Scranton were taken down there to
> in the relief work. Evan J. EVANS, district superintendent now, was
> and John H. POWELL, one of our mine foremen was another. Quite
> dead. I remember Benjamin HUGHES, Thomas D. DAVIES and Richard H.
> among others and Thomas CARSON, who died a few years ago."
> The Avondale mine is being operated now from a new breaker, the old
> having been destroyed in the fire. Legislation promoted by Harry J.
> PHILLIPS now requires that there be two openings in a mine.
> Phillips was a brother of Joseph P. PHILLIPS, former city
> Scranton Tribune-Republican, Thursday, Sept. 7. 1911 - West Scranton
> column - Notes and Comments:
> It will be many years until the Avondale is not a frequent topic in
> Scranton, owing to the peculiar fact that
> the large majority of the victims were residents of this section of the
> city. The reference in yesterday's Tribune-
> Republican to the forty-second anniversary of the disaster caused the
> inquiry as to the reason that so many of the victims should have found
> last resting place in the Washburn Street cemetery. There are eighty of
> poor fellows who were entombed buried in this city, which was their
> although employed at such a distance away. There are many of
> settlers who will remember the old Luzerne slope, in the Notch, where
> Benjamin HUGHES was appointed foreman by the Delaware, Lackawanna and
> Western Company. In 1862 Mr. Hughes was commissioned by a New York
> syndicate to examine some coal lands in Nova Scotia, and the late Thomas
> DAVIES was appointed to succeed him as foreman of the Luzerne slope. In
> 1866 Mr. Davies was promoted foreman of the Bellvue Mine, succeeding
> PHILLIPS, who fell down the shaft and was killed. Evan HUGHES, a
> Benjamin Hughes, succeeded Mr. Davies at the Luzerne slope, which was
> in 1868, and thereupon Evan Hughes was transferred to the ill-fated
> mine. When the Luzerne slope was thus closed all the miners were
> practically out of employment, and Mr. Hughes prevailed upon them to
> accompany him to the Avondale, where he arranged to find work for them.
> Although they worked in the Wyoming valley many of them retained their
> residence in Hyde Park and Providence, coming home each week-end.
> When Benjamin Hughes returned from Nova Scotia, the Delaware,
> and Western company was glad to secure his services again and placed him
> charge of the Hyde Park shaft, then known as Price's, which had been
> with water and rendered idle for a long time.
> There are many men who rendered heroic service in the Avondale
> whose names are easily brought to mind. One of the most pathetic
> was the dying effort of seventy-two men to protect themselves
> by building a wall and making an inclosure. It was necessary, however,
> one man should remain on the outside to close the aperture and then meet
> death in the effort to save the seventy-two who were inside. The
> was Johnny BOWEN, whose relatives live in North Scranton.
> When the enclosure was reached Thomas DAVIES, Rees T. EVANS, and two
> others found Bowen's body near the wall and then, forcing an entrance,
> the seventy-two bodies within the enclosure. The total number of
> was 110.
> Rees T. Evans did some heroic work. He was the father of Mrs. John
> BRADLEY and Mrs. Eleazer EVANS, of Lafayette street, and was one
> known bards of his day.
> Another rescuer was John T. WILLIAMS, afterwards state
> and merchant of South Main avenue, who was at the time a foreman
> DL&W company. His widow resides on South Main avenue. His two well
> sons, Palmer WILLIAMS and Elmer WILLIAMS, have passed away.
> Joseph D. LLOYD, father of Mrs. William R. LEWIS, was a rescuer and
> afterward foreman of several of the
> DL&W collieries.
> John HALE, who is still living and a comparatively young man,
> retired from the foremanship of the
> Bellvue colliery, was one of the untiring workers. Among the other
> Lewis ROBERTS, now dead, foreman for years at the Central and Dodge
> mines, and one of the brainiest
> foremen in the employ of the company. He was the father of Robert
> employed in the post office.
> Edward JAMES, father of the late Hon. Edward JAMES, and of John Rees
> JAMES, now of Kingston. He was an excellent poet and well known by his
> non-de-plume, "Iorweth Ddu".
> Morgan HARRIS, of Taylor, father of John M. HARRIS, and Supt. H. E.
> HARRIS. He was undoubtably one of
> the best read men in the community and exercised a marked influence
> the men in the uplifting of their
> John L. LEWIS, of the Pyne, at which place he was foreman. His son,
> V. LEWIS, who is now in West
> Scranton on a visit form his home in Montana, where he has prospered.
> Thomas HOUSER, who was foreman at the Diamond, and was the father of
> HOUSER, of Taylor. "Mike"
> HOUSER, brother of the last mentioned, who was a foreman of many years.
> Henry P. DAVIES, father of John J. DAVIES, the druggist, who died
> a year or so ago, and was a popular choir leader and bard.
> Thomas WATKINS, foreman at the Cayuga, and father of Daniel WATKINS,
> city assessor, and William
> WATKINS, formerly bank cashier of this city and now of New York city.
> Elijah DAGGER, of South Main avenue, and Frank ZIMMERMAN, of West
> both of whom are still living
> and are retired foremen.
> Daniel PHILLIPS, now dead, an uncle to Col. R. A. PHILLIPS. Who was
> a foreman.
> Morgan MORGAN, superintendent of the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal
> company, and Rees MORGAN, his
> W. T. SMITH, former general superintendent of the lehigh and
> Wilkes-Barre Coal company.
> Gwilym M. WILLIAMS, now dead, the well known mine inspector and
> John GORDON, father of T. P. GORDON.
> John FLYNN, now dead, who after leaving the service of the DL&W
> was a partner in the firm of
> Mears & Flynn.
> Reese G. BROOKS, then a foeman for the Lackawanna Iron and Coal
> rendered splendid aid.
> Patrick BLEWITT, mine inspector, who I regret to learn is seriously
> Harry J. PHILLIPS, mining engineer, who returned to Wales and built
> little home and called it "Lackawanna
> Villa." He died about four years ago.
> J. J. EVANS, the South Main avenue merchant, who is still alive and
> youthful as ever. Mr. Evans has a
> wonderful memory and recites the stirring scenes of the Avondale
> today just as clearly, vividly, and with as much detail as he
> years ago.
> Joseph P. PHILLIPS, then in the engineer's department and afterwards
> city engineer, and his brother, Jeremiah J. PHILLIPS, mining engineer,
> also among the rescuers.