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Coal Miners Apollo Mine & Coke Works, Fayette City, Washington Twp., Fayette Co., PA

Coal Mines of Fayette Co., PA MAIN INDEX
Map of H.C.Frick Coke Co. Mines
Map of West Penn System Light Power Railway
Apollo Mine & Coke Works,
Fayette City,
Washington Twp.,
Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams of the Apollo Mine, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

Raymond A. Washlaski, Historian, Editor,
Ryan P. Washlaski, Technical Editor,

Updated July 26, 2010

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Apollo Mine & Coke Works (ca.1898-  ?  ),
Located on the Pittsburg & Lake Erie Railroad, near Fayette City, Washington Twp., Fayette Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1898-  ?  ), C. Jutte & Company, Fayette City, PA
              (ca.1903-  ?  ), Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company, Pittsburg, PA
              (ca.1910-  ?  ) ,  ?
              (ca.1917-  ?  ), Pittsburg Coal Company, Pittsburgh, PA
              (ca.1920-  ?  ), Pittsburg Coal Company, Pittsburgh, PA

Apollo Operations at Fayette City Scene of Disaster Monday Morning

Charles Dolan and Joseph Greenlee Are Hurried to Pittsburg Hospital

In Critical Condition as the Result Of Their Burns.

Two men were critically burned and nearly 30 others burned more or less seriously when a car load of powder exploded on the first trip into the Apollo mine or as it known by some the old Jutte workings of the Pittsburg Coal Company at Fayette City this morning.

The Seriously Burned

Charles Dolan, Aged 24 years and married of Fayette City; taken to Mercy hospital at Pittsburg; not expected to live.

Joseph Greenlee, aged about 24 and single of Fayette City; taken to Mercy Hospital at Pittsburg; not expected to live.

Those less seriously burned all of whom went home after receiving medical attention included Patrick Hines Sr., Patrick Hines Jr., George Hines, George Drennon, Peter Veovachok, Andy Yahar, John Naytaner, Frank Brewer, Russell McCready, George Coleman, John Zopolsky, Elmer Hill, Charles Captain, Lewis Captain, John Pelochek, Thomas Todd, John Brasiek and Charles Hill.

At 7 o’clock this morning a train of about 35 cars was made up to enter the mine, Charles Dolan and Joseph Greenlee being the drivers. In one of the cars near the motor was piled the powder in five-pound cans and miners carry and use. In other cars were miners. At the end of the dilly road there was an interruption. The motor declined to pull the load to the desired point in the mine. The drivers investigated, and then boarding their car turned on the currents again. The theory is that electricity shot back to the car carrying the powder and inflamed it. When the explosion came Dolan and Greenlee got the full effect, being near. Others who were in other cars were burned only as they were near to the powder car.

Excitement reigned, it being feared by some that there had been a disastrous mine explosion. Haste was made in getting all the men to the air. Physicians were hurriedly summoned from Fayette City a short distance away. As soon as possible the two worst burned were sent to Pittsburg Hospital, though their sufferings were acute. Their burns covered almost the entire surface of their body, their clothing having been burned off.

The mine was not much damaged by the explosion as tremendous as it seemed. Cars were hurled about pretty lively but there was no fall of slate or earth such as ordinarily might have occurred from the impact.
(from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, Jan. 26, 1916)

Joseph Greenlee Dies and both Mine Department and Coroner Start Work


Such Is Report That Has Won Some Attention—

Mine Inspector Harry Phythyon Makes Inspection—

Greenlee’s Body Brought Home

Official investigation will be made in the powder explosion of Monday morning at the Apollo mine of the Pittsburg Coal Company at Fayette City which ended in tragedy. Of the two young men who were worst burned in the explosion and removed hurriedly to the Mercy hospital at Pittsburg, Joseph Greenlee is already dead and Charles Dolan is in critical condition. Others who were burned more or less in the explosion are still suffering from their burns.

Mine Inspector Harry Phythyon of the twenty-seventh bituminous district, with headquarters at Belle Vernon started his work of investigation Monday to ascertain causes, then upon the death of Greenlee Monday evening the coroner department of Fayette county got into action.

It is now being hinted that negligence might have been at the bottom of the whole affair.

It has been the custom to haul the small tins of powder in the Apollo mine in a wooden box, which was placed in a car. Monday morning as it appears when the trip was started, the powder cans were placed in steel car, but the wooden box was missing. Had it been there the disaster would never have occurred, according to the belief and theory of certain ones who are interesting themselves in the affair.

Explanation tot he absence of the box is given by the fact that the mine was idle Saturday and that the car containing it was pushed around until it was practically lost. In the rush of entering the mine on time Monday its absence was not noticed, the officials taking it for granted it was there and consequently overlooking.

“I do not know what will be done,” Inspector Phythyon said. “Of course it will depend to some extent upon the result of the coroners inquest for I presume there will be one.”

Greenlee died in Allegheny County so the Allegheny County authorities will have to give the matte attention and formally turn over the case to Fayette County for the attention of Coroner S. H. Baum. The death of Greenlee is sufficient cause for a jury to be sworn in. Deputy Coroner John J. Crowley is in charge at Fayette City.

Greenlee is survived by two brothers in Fayette City and five sisters, two of whom live in Fayette City. He was a well known young man, 19 years of age. His body was brought home during Monday night.

The death of Greenlee and the injury of the more than a score of others will place the case under the recently effective compensation law. The Pittsburg Coal Company, owners of the mine, handle their own insurance, under a separate arrangement with the state.

At the hospital, reports were this morning that Dolan was resting easy. His burns are such though that the worst is feared.
(from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA Jan. 25, 1916.)


Louis and Charles Captain Taken From Fayette City to Pittsburgh Institution


Two more victims of the powder explosions of Monday at the Apollo mine near Fayette City have been taken to the Mercy hospital at Pittsburgh to receive medical attention for their severe burns. These make three now in the institution, Charles Dolan who was considerably fatally burned, still being cared for there. Joseph Greenlee died and his funeral is being held today. Those taken Tuesday to the hospital were Louis and Charles Captain, brothers.

Officials of the Pittsburgh Coal Company have taken up an investigation into causes. Much interest is being manifested in the coroner’s inquest either the council chambers or the opera house. Coroner S. H. Baum of Fayette county will either come in person or deputize Deputy Coroner John J. Crowley to assume charge.
(from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA Jan. 26, 1916.)


Authorities Accused of Carelessness in Death of Greenlee in Apollo Mine


A coroner's jury empaneled by Coroner S. H. Baum, of Fayette County, conducted an inquest Monday evening at Fayette City into the death of Joseph Greenlee, victim of the Apollo mine explosion January 24, in which 27 other persons were injured, five of whom are now in a Pittsburgh hospital. Responsibility for the accident was placed by the jury on those in authority which examined 13 witnesses under the direction of Coroner Baum and Mine Inspector Harry Phythyon. The verdict rendered at 11 o’clock, after the jury had deliberated an hour, follows:

Joseph Greenlee, of Gillespie came to his death on the 24th of January, 1916, at Mercy hospital Pittsburgh, Pa., from burns received at the Apollo mines of the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal company, in Fayette county, Pa., due to the explosion of powder. After hearing the evidence its character and details we believe that this explosion was due to the general carelessness or negligence on the part of those in authority. We recommend that any foreman or employee placed in authority, of transportation of explosives shall personally, in every case know that the mining law has been complied with before the trip enters the mine.

The members of the jury were E. D. Bevier, David Rosenberg, L.M. Gilliland, P.J. Johansen, William Ashton and Thomas Young. The following witnesses were examined: Albert Hall, mine foreman; Clyde Elder, dilly rider; Charles Belmar, boss driver; Charles Stitt, motorman: Loe Harris, snapper on motor; William Linn, pumper; Joseph Hetherington Jr., loader; F. Smith, digger; John Polcheck, loader; Abe Trew, assistant mine foreman; Irwin Brown, dilly engineer; Patrick Hines Jr., loader; Andy Sutta, loader; George Hines, loader; Charles Cairns, loader.

The inquest was held in the opera house and fully 400 persons were present. The examination of witnesses occupied three hours.

The testimony brought out concerned largely the absence of a wooden box in a powder car from which the explosion originated.

Today it was stated that Charles Dolan was dying at the Mercy Hospital at Pittsburgh and members of his family were hurriedly summoned there. He was burned along with Greenlee.
(from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA  Feb. 1, 1916.)

Coal Miner Memorial Apollo Mine & Coke Works,
Fayette City, Washington Twp., Fayette Co., PA

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