Victor, CO Mine Cage Accident, Jan 1904

Victor CO Independence Mine today.jpg

DROP DOWN DEEP SHAFT TO DEATH.

FIFTEEN MEN ARE KILLED IN THE STRATTON INDEPENDENT MINE.

CABLE PARTS RELEASING CAGE IN WHICH THEY WERE BEING HOISTED.

Victor, Colo., Jan. 26. -- As the result of an accident which occurred about 2 o'clock this morning at the Stratton Independence Mine, located near the center of this city, fifteen men are dead and one other is severely injured.
The dead:
W. R. FRAZIER.
JOHN SEBECK.
JOE SMITHERUM.
EDWARD TWIGGS.
L. A. WAGONER.
H. A. YOEMAN.
EDWARD SMITH.
JOSEPH OVERY.
H. F. BROWN.
W. B. COLLINS.
J. L. STEWARD.
C. C. STATEN.
FRANK COCHRANE.
L. P. JACKSON.
HARRY GOEGEN.
Injured:
JAMES BULLBEK, body bruised and scalp wounds.
In the main shaft of the mine sixteen men were being hoisted in the cage from the six, seventh and eighth levels. When the cage got to the surface in the shafthouse the engineer was unable to stop the engine and the cage with its load of human freight was drawn up into the gallows frame, where it became lodged temporarily. The strain on the cable caused it to part, releasing the cage, which went down the shaft at terrific momentum. Two of the occupants of the cage, however, had become entangled with the timber rods near the top of the gallows frame and one of them, L. P. JACKSON, was crushed to death by the sheave wheel falling upon him. The other, JAMES BULLBEK, had a marvelous escape from death, but received painful injuries. He was rescued from his perilous position by men in the shafthouse.
The shift boss and a number of miners went down into the mine through another compartment of the shaft and found that all the men who started with the cage on its wild flight of 1500 feet to the bottom of the shaft were dead, their bodies being scattered at the stations at different points. Their arms and bodies were mangled, their heads crushed and their clothing stripped from their bodies. At the bottom of the shaft stands twenty feet of water, and into this the cage plunged. Some of the miners were carried with the cage into this sump.
Nearly all of the men killed had wives and children. HARRY GOEGEN leaves a wife and three children, who are in Michigan. W. B. COLLINS was a Baptist minister and preached on Sundays at Goldfield. He was 38 years of age and came from Cornwall, England. EDWARD TWIGGS and FRANK COCHRANE were from the Coeur d'Alenes.
Frank Gellese, engineer in charge of the machinery when the accident occurred, surrendered himself to the military and was locked up in the bull pen. Gellese is a newcomer in the district, but is said to have been strongly recommended as a competent engineer.
Most of the victims of the accident were strangers in the district, having come from the Coeur d'Alenes, the Lake Superior mines and other districts to take the places of strikers in Cripple Creek.
At a late hour tonight only one body that could be identified had been taken from the shaft. It was that of HARRY GOEGEN, and was terribly mutilated. Fragments of four or more bodies were recovered from the various levels and many articles of clothing which were torn from the falling men were found.
An investigation of the causes has been going on tonight, three expert engineers having been called in to examine the machinery; but newspaper representatives as well as the public have been rigidly excluded by the mine officers in control.

St. Paul Globe Minnesota 1904-01-27

Comments

name in the stratton's 'independence disaster

One of the men who died in this disaster is a great uncle of mine - he was my greatgrandfather's brother, and his name is Harry Cogene, not Goegen as in the article.
It all makes for sobering reading. Poor men and their families.