David Mills Elias
Cenotaph

David Mills Elias

Birth
Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio, USA
Death 28 Mar 1908 (aged 50)
Hanna, Carbon County, Wyoming, USA
Cenotaph Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA
Plot BUNNING_184_5_1
Memorial ID 21229257 · View Source
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Rock Springs Rocket no. 19 April 02, 1908
BIG DISASTER IN HANNA MINE

About Sixty Miners At Hanna Are Entombed In Mine—No Hope of Recovery—Inspector Elias Prominent Citizen of This Place Numbered With the Dead.

The mantle of sorrow enshrouds the whole state of Wyoming on account of the terrible disaster at Hanna, when between fifty-five and sixty lives were lost in the explosions in No. 1 mine, on last Saturday, owned by the Union Pacific Coal Company.

The explosions were caused by gas and coal dust and were followed by fire.

In the first explosion, which occurred about three o'clock Saturday afternoon, about seventeen lives were claimed. A rescuing party of fifty men, headed by State mine Inspector D.M. Elias, went into the mine and all were lost but one in the second explosion which occurred soon after. Mr. Elias had stopped off at Hanna on his way home from Laramie, where he had been on business.

Superintendent Briggs and seventeen picked men were fighting the fire at the tenth level when the first explosion occurred. But one man is known to have escaped death, Charles Harris, a colored man. Harris reentered the mine with the rescue party organized by Inspector Elias, and is numbered among the missing. It is not definitely known how many were in the rescue party for the reason that many went in after the rescue party had been in for some minutes. It is estimated that about seventy lives were lost. At daylight, Sunday morning, the bodies of Alexander Tennant and Matt Huhtala were found on the upraise some distance from the slope; their heads and arms were found some distance from the bodies, showing with what terrific force they were hurled. The burning mine has been sealed and no attempt to enter will be made until it is certain the mine is in safe condition. The first explosion claimed Sup't Briggs, the mine foreman and all the stable bosses, these being in authority in the three mines of the camp, and it was necessary to reorganize the working forces.

In 1903 this same mine claimed one-hundred and sixty-nine lives in an explosion and it is estimated in the twenty years it has been working that three-hundred lives have been lost.

Officials of the Union Pacific rushed from Omaha to the scene of the accident.

Although the majority of the men employed in No. 1 mine are foreigners all of the victims were Americans, and at least two-thirds were married men and have families. Steps have been taken to care for the widows and orphans of the seventy dead. The local lodges of Odd Fellows and United Mine Workers met and planned relief work and will provide for the burial of their dead. Workers from neighboring camps have flocked in and are working diligently, and all are ready to enter the mine when the call is made.

All Wyoming mourns with the poor grief-stricken widows, orphans and mothers in this dreadful disaster.

Rock Springs mourns the loss of one of its prominent citizens, D.M. Elias, who organized the party to go into the mine after the first explosion; who gave his life to aid the unfortunate men who were below.

An attempt was made yesterday to enter the mine but the workers were so overcome with gas, that is has been abandoned for the present. The heat from the fire has been so intense that there is no doubt but that all the bodies will be charred and beyond recognition. Just what steps will be taken is not known, but the mine will in all probability serve as a tomb for these poor unfortunates.


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  • Maintained by: Lostnwyomn
  • Originally Created by: Bob Rohwedder
  • Added: 28 Aug 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21229257
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Mills Elias (28 Sep 1857–28 Mar 1908), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21229257, citing Rock Springs Cemetery, Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA ; Maintained by Lostnwyomn (contributor 47168791) .