CENTREVILLE, Ala., May 10 — Thirty-six
negro convicts lost their lives early
to-day when the stockade of the Red
Feather Coal Company, at Lucille Mines,
Bibb County, about fifteen miles north of
Centreville, was destroyed by a fire set by
one of the prisoners in an effort to gain
his freedom.
Thirty-five of the convicts were burned
to death and another was fatally shot by
guards while trying to escape. Among
those burned is the negro who started the
The fire had gained such headway as
to be beyond control when the guards
and other men on the outside of the
stockade discovered it. At the risk of
their own lives, they rushed into the burning
building, freeing many of the convicts
from their cells. The division of
forces to guard the prisoners who were
hurried outside greatly hampered the rescue
work, it is said.
The wood of which the stockade was
built burned like tinder and the flames
spread so rapidly that in an hour after
the blaze was discovered the spot was
marked only by glowing embers and the
huddled bodies of the dead convicts.
It was with much difficulty that the
unharmed convicts in the stockade were
prevented from eluding the guards.
All of the convicts at Lucille Mines are
State prisoners leased to the Red Feather
Coal Company for work in the mines.
H. W. Perry is President of the company
and J. H. Taylor Superintendent.
The financial loss will reach several thousand
dollars. It is reported that all the
convicts at the Lucille camp were Negroes.
So far as known none of the workmen
There were but three white convicts at
the camp. State Inspector Hugh Wilson
has been sent to the scene. The stockade
was recently inspected and pronounced
in good condition. Several guards suffered injuries while rescuing some of the men. Most of the dead will
be buried to-morrow.

May 16, 1910 edition of "The New York Times"