Cardiff Mine Memorial

Photo added by ray hutchison

Cardiff Mine Memorial

Cardiff, Livingston County, Illinois, USA
Memorials 3 added (67% photographed)

Search Cardiff Mine Memorial:

The first explosion in the Cardiff mine, which occurred March 13, 1903, whereby three persons lost their lives, was caused by gas igniting at a gob fire in the old workings down the south slope, which had been abandoned over a year ago. This mine is situated on the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, and the Wabash railroads, in the northeast corner of Livingston county, and is owned and operated by the Cardiff Coal company. The shaft is 240 feet deep to a 12 foot seam of coal; six feet lower there is a 3 foot seam. When the upper seam was worked out at this point, the south slope was commenced in the lower seam, and the rooms were driven at right angles to the rooms in the upper seam at the location of the gob fire in the lower seam. The strata between the two seams caved through, thus forming a chimney or draft for the fire.

The second explosion occurred Sunday evening, March 15, about 5:20 o'clock. Six men were in the mine at the time, building and repairing stoppings. W. H. Parker, superintendent, and Thomas Roberts, mine manager, with several others, volunteers, made preparations to go down the shaft; when about half way down the cage caught in the slides, owing to some broken timbers, caused by the force of the explosion. Considerable time was lost before the party reached the bottom of the shaft. William Humphreys was found alive at the bottom of the air shaft. He was taken home, and at once received medical attention. The rescuing party followed down the back entry to the south slope, where the men had been working. They found the dead bodies of Anton Hassell and Anton Jeokoski; further search was made for the other three men, but they could not be found. The party was forced to abandon the search at this time on account of the bad condition of the air.

I arrived at the mine about 9:30 o'clock Monday, the 16th, just at the time when the third explosion was taking place. This was decidedly the most violent explosion that had occurred; the force of the explosion blew down the pulley wheels, and knocked down part of the tower at the air shaft, and also forced through the end of the engine house. A. M. Michaels, head carpenter, was struck on the breast with a piece of flying timber, injuring him seriously; he died about noon the same day.

I concluded at once that it would be very foolish and inconsiderate, that other lives should be sacrificed, as the explosions seemed to be occurring at frequent intervals. Under these conditions, it was apparent that further effort to secure the bodies of the three men -- James Hutchinson, William Alderson and A. Wilson -- whom the rescuers had failed to find, was hopeless,and would evidently result in further loss of life. I ordered the shaft to be flooded with water. During the time occupied by the men digging the ditch, both hoisting and escapement shafts were covered over to stop the circulation of air and thereby smother the fire.


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GPS Coordinates: 41.05619, -88.28707

  • Added: 21 Jan 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2632972