Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Mine buggy - Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pennsylvania
Virtual Museum of Coal Mining in Western Pennsylvania

Digital Coal Research Library
The 20th Century Society of Western Pennsylvania
Links to:
Return to the Main County Index for Southwestern Pennsylvania Coal Mines


Coal Miners Memorial Umpire Mine & Coke Works, Brownsville, 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
Umpire Mine & Coke Works,
Umpire,
Brownsville,
Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

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

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Aug. 20, 2010

Search our Web Sites total data base!
Enter a Miner's last Name, Coal Mine Name, or Coal Company Name.
 A single name works best.
powered by FreeFind

(This Page Still Underconstruction)

Umpire, Fayette Co., PA
[A coal company patch town in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.]
[Umpire is located near Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA.]
See: Umpire Mine & Coke Works, Umpire, Fayette Co., PA

Umpire Mine & Coke Works (ca.1889- ? ),
Located on the Monongahela Railroad, Umpire, near Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA
[Umpire Mine was abandoned ca.1903.]
Owners: (ca.1889-   ?   ), C. L. Snowden & Company, Brownsville, PA
              (ca.1892-   ?   ), C. L. Snowden & Company, Brownsville, PA
              (ca.1898-   ?   ), Umpire Coal Company, Brownsville, PA
              (ca.1909-   ?   ), Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company,
              (ca.1909-   ?   ), Pates Coal Works [Leased the old Umpire Mine from Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company.]

HISTORY:

Brownsville, Pennsylvania
Empire Mine Explosion

September 23, 1898

MANY MINERS ENTOMBED

Fatal Explosions of Coal Gas and Fire Damp Near Brownsville, Penna.

EIGHT MEET SUDDEN DEATH.

Six Scores In Peril –
They Escaped, Injured and Nearly Choked by the Fire Damp –
Walked Four Miles Underground to Safety –
Wild Scenes at the Mouth of the Shaft –
Loose Coal Causes Accident.

BROWNSVILLE, Penna. (Special).
Seventy men were entombed Friday in the Empire [Umpire] Mine of Snowdon, Gould & Co., one fourth of a mile below town, as the result of an explosion of gas, followed by another explosion of fire damp. Of the number entombed, all escaped or were taken out by rescuing parties, except eight, who were killed outright, and three who were more or less hurt.

The list of the dead includes John Halston, Salem Halston, Robert Davidson, John Bennett, William Pritchard, Henry Hagar, John Cartwright and James Hall. The following were injured: George Baker, John Baker, and Samuel McIntyre.

The explosion is said to have been caused by the loosening of a large block of coal which opened a pocket of gas. Immediately following the explosion of gas there was a second explosion of fire damp. There were seventy men at work in the mine at the time of the disaster.

When the mine was reached willing hands at once went to work. Everybody seemed to want to go into the mine, it was by sheer force that those in charge at the entry kept the crowd out. It was announced that there was a sufficient force of men inside to do rescue work, but a weary and painful wait of hours took place.

Just above the entrance to the mine there is an artificial plateau. From the edge of the plateau a good view of the track leading to the mine could be had. Here women stood wringing their hands in anguish and weeping. The hundreds of people realized that they stood at the entrance of living tombs.

It was several hours later that the tingle of the electric bell in the engine house announced that a train of coal cars was coming from within. The scene of the disaster is more than a mile from the entry. It took about ten minutes for the first load to reach the outside world.

When the little train of cars emerged, a shudder was visible in the crowd. First there came two cars loaded with coal. Then three cars in each of which there were two bodies. In one there were two brothers, side by side, John and Salem Halston. In the others were Robert Davidson and John Bennett, William Pritchard and John Cartwright. James Hall was in the last car.

Wagons were in waiting, and the bodies were taken to undertaking establishments. When the bodies were brought up from the mines they presented a ghastly appearance. After the first lot of bodies had been brought out the excitement and anxiety grew more intense.

It was announced that many men had come out of the mine through an abandoned entry nearly three miles distant. This allayed the fears of many, and as fast as the men were accounted for to their friends and families rejoicings and congratulations followed.
(from: "The Cranbury Press," New Jersey, Sept. 30, 1898.)

Sept. 23, 1898.
Umpire Mine, Brownsville.
Explosion of gas in the Umpire Mine.
8 Miners Killed.

(U.S. Bureau of Mines Report.)

Umpire Mine.  This mine is located near Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA.  It is a drift opening and ventilation is produced by a boiler furnace and a six-foot Murphy fan, the later being placed on the top of a shaft, which is 140 feet deep.  On the 23rd of Sept., 1898, an explosion of firedamp occurred in this mine which resulted in the death of eight persons.  The location of the explosion was on entry No. 10, and so that the reader can form an intelligent idea of the matter, it is necessary to state that two entries known as Nos. 9 and 10 are driven parallel, the lower part of the former entry having been cut off, it was necessary to take the coal from the upper part through a "Break Through" onto entry No. 10 and thence to the double parting over the track of No. 10. Opposite this break through, on No. 10, is located room 13.  On the fall of this room as well as those of rooms 12, 13, 14 and 15, firedamp was knownto exist since September 17, 1898, as on this date Fore Boss Henry Farrer reported to Mine Foreman James Broderick that he had found gas on the falls, but it seems that the latter was trusting to luck, as no effort was made on his part to remove the danger.

(From:  Report of the Department of Mines, 1909.)

Umpire Mine.  1909. New Operation by Pates Coal Works in the old Umpire Mine leased from Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company.  The equipment is new.

Coal Miners Memorial Umpire Mine & Coke Works,
Umpire, Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA

Support the Coal & Coke Heritage Center, a non-profit research center and museum.
Want to know more about the women who lived in the coal patch towns?  You need this book.  One of the few studies done on the women of the coal & coke era.
Common lives of Uncommon Strength:
The Women of the Coal & Coke Era of Southwestern Pennsylvania 1880-1970
Complied, written and edited by: Evelyn A. Hovanec, PhD   227 pages.
Voices of the women tell unique stores of the coal and coke era, plus vintage photographs, documents, maps, and newspaper articles.  Hardcover $35.00  Soft cover $25.00  Add $5.00 shipping / handling.
Send Check or money order to:
Coal & Coke Heritage Center, Penn State University Fayette Campus
P.O. Box 519, Uniontown, PA  15401
To Select another Index
to Fayette County Coal Mines
Click on the Larry cars for Index Page
or on a Letter below
Select another Index to Fayette County Mines


or
Go to Top of Page

Select another Index to the Coal Mines of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
[Click on a letter to take you to that Index]
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Return to the Main County Index for Southwestern Pennsylvania Coal Mines

Local History Sites
Links to other coal mining sites
Reference Sources for Southwestern Pennsylvania Coal Mines The New Message Boards have not worked, Use our guestbook.  Email the Editor. Have information to add on Fayette County Coal Mines?
E-Mail the Editor
View the
"Old Miner's"
Guestbook
Let the Old Miner know you've been here.
Sign the
"Old Miner's"
Guestbook
Guestbook by GuestWorld

FastCounter by LinkExchange
Mercers, an Undertakers Business - Web Productions If you have additional information or pictures on the Coal Mines of Fayette County, PA
Contact: Ray Washlaski, Editor

Copyright 2008, All rights reserved, by Raymond A. Washlaski, Ryan P. Washlaski & The 20th Century Society of Western Pennsylvania.
Web site Design by "Mercers, an Undertakers" Web Design Company