GenDisasters...events that touched our ancestors' lives

 

Fires Floods Tornadoes Train Wrecks

  Home Earthquakes Hurricanes Ship Wrecks Explosions More...

 

 

   
Tennessee Disasters
Mines
Explosions
Disasters by Location
Disasters by Type
Home
 
Tennessee Genealogy
 
Search Tennessee Birth, Death, Marriage and other records
Vital Records, searchable by surname. Find your ancestors.
 
Search Historic Newspapers Online
Find your ancestors in over 1000 old newspapers from the 1700s-1900s
 
Search US Federal Census Records for Your Ancestors
Searchable by surname and location, index and images, 1790-1930
 
Social Security Death Index
Search SSDI records on millions of Americans, updated frequently
 
Search Historical Documents
Find Your Ancestors in City Directories, Civil War & Revolutionary War Records, Naturalization Records
 
Obituary Collection

Search full-text obituaries from newspapers across the country

.
Tennessee Old Photos
Old Photos & Genealogy Blog
Search Over One Million Family Photographs
 
 
Find your ancestors

When & Where
Did My
Ancestors Die?

Death Certificates, Obituaries, Cemetery Records, and Family Bibles, record the place and day our ancestors died. A few online places to look for death records:

Search Death Records Database at Rootsweb
Search the Social Security Death Index
SSDI records on over 77 million
people
Search Millions of Death Recordsat ancestry.com.  Your ancestors records may be online!
Search Records in the USGenWeb Archives
Search Obituariesold & recent at ancestry.com
Search Death Records at worldvitalrecords.com
Search Old Newspapers for Obituaries & Death Noticesat ancestry.com
 Death Certificatesat vitalchek
 
 

FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

LOCALITY


 

It's FREE and easy. 
Start with yourself, your parents, grandparents
and you're on your way!
There's no better time to begin a FREE tree at ancestry.com & preserve your family's legacy.
Get Started Now

 

Search Civil War Documents,
Revolutionary War Records,
Naturalization Records, City Directories & more 
Try Footnote.com for FREE!

 

 
Fraterville Mine, Coal Creek, Tennessee 1899, click to enlarge
 

Search Tennessee Records Search birth, death & marriage records, immigration & ships passenger lists, census images, genealogy & history books at ancestry.com for your ancestors. Free Trial for all records
 

Coal Creek, Tennessee

Fraterville Mine Explosion

May 19, 1902

Explosion in the Coal Creek District in Tennessee.

NOT A MAN ESCAPES DEATH

Rescue Party Works All Day at a Slate Barrier – Once Through, Only Dead Men Are Found – Probably 200 have Perished.

Coal Creek, Tenn., May 19.
– Between 175 and 220 men and boys met instant death at the Fraterville coal mine, located two miles west of this town, at 7:30 o’clock this morning, because of a gas explosion.

Of the large number of men and boys who went to work this morning, only one is alive and his is so badly injured that he cannot live. This man is William Morgan, an aged Englishman, who was a road man in the mine. He was blown out of the entrance by the force of the explosion.

One hundred and seventy-five miners were checked in for work this morning, by the mine boss. In addition to these there were the boys who acted as helpers and drivers, and road men and others, to the number pr perhaps 50.

The Fraterville mine is the oldest mine in the Coal Creek district, having been opened in 1870. It is fully three miles from the opening of the mine to the point where the men were at work. They had not been at work long before the terrible explosion occurred. There was a fearful roar and then flames shot from the entrance and the air shafts.

RESCUERS IMPEDED.
As soon as possible two rescuing parties were started in, one at the main entrance, the other through the Thistle mine, which adjoins and in which men were at work. The Thistle party were unable to make any headway, as the gas stifled the workers. The Fraterville party went full two miles under the earth until a heavy fall of slate was encountered. At this barrier men worked desperately, hoping against hope that those beyond might be safe.

The news of the disaster spread quickly and the scenes at the mouth of the mine while the workers were within was beyond description. Business was suspended in Cola Creek and all its mines as soon as the news became known, and men, women and children gathered around the Fraterville entrance. Women whose husbands and sons were within were wild with grief.

NOT ONE FOUND ALIVE.
All day long the rescuers toiled at the slate obstruction, and not until 5 o’clock did they force an entrance through it. Up to that hour only five dead bodies had been recovered and hope was still high that many miners within were safe.

The hopes of the living were doomed, however, for when once the rescuers had entered and proceeded, they walked along one continuous tomb of death. There was not a sign of life. Every man had perished, the believed, although it will be early in the morning before all the rooms can be entered.

Eight dead bodies were first recovered, and these were sent to Coal Creek. Twenty-six were soon found. They were disfigured beyond identification, and each corpse, as it was borne form the mouth of the great tomb, was surrounded by eager crowds of relatives of the men who had been stricken down.

The mine was not on fire, except in remote portions, and all the bodies will perhaps be reached by daylight.

LIST OF THE VICTIMS.
A partial list of the victims, scarcely one-third, follows:

GEORGE AIKENS, mine foreman, head blown off.
JAMES HIGHTOWER.
ROBERT SMITH.
ROBERT PRICE.
JAMES SLOVER.
WILLIAM PRICE.
ROSCOE BRADLEY.
WILLIAM BRADLEY.
THORNTON M’GHEE.
CHAS. VANDEGRIT.
W. J. EVANS.
CHARLES BROOKS.
OSCAR MURRAY.
WILLIAM MURRAY.
GEORGE AIKENS.
JAMES WHITTEN,

TEN-YEAR-OLD SON.
ED SORFREL,
15-YEAR OLD SON.
JOHN AIKENS,
TWO SONS.
JAMES STRICKLAND.
PETER CHILDRESS.
WM. CHILDRESS.
JOHN CHILDRESS.
JAMES CHILDRESS.
JOE SMITTEY.
EDWARD SMITTEY.
MARION WILSON.
BAILEY WILSON.
MANDY WEBBER.
CARL DISCERN.
JAMES WHITE.
JOHN WHITE, JR.
WALTER WHITE.
BANNIE VOWELL,

TWO SONS.
R. MASSINGILL.
SCOTT HUDSON.
CHARLES ADKINS.
BOYD ADKINS.
FRANK SHARP.
OSCAR SHARP.
RUFUS WEBB.
LEON MILLER.
ROSCOE E. MILLER.
BEN SHARP.
ALBERT GOODMAN.
GIT HIGHTOWER.
THOMAS DISNEY.


The Fraterville mine is owned by the Coal Creek company, of which Major F. C. Camp is president. He was in Cincinnati and is now hurrying to the scene of the disaster.

Idaho Daily Statesman, Boise City, ID 20 May 1902

Transcribed by Jenni Lanham.  Thank you, Jenni!

       

Fraterville Mine, Coal Creek. Tenn.; 184 Killed

Bureau of Mines, Bulletin 586, Historical Summary of Coal Mine Explosions in the US, 1810-1958

       

LIST OF THE DEAD

George W. Adkins
Conda Adkins
Paul A. Adkins
Chas. Adkins
Robert H. Allen
A. Hamilton AIred
Wm. A. Alred
Enoch H. Alred
Wm. B. Angel
Henry C. Brooks
Jas. A. Brooks
R. S. W. Brooks
Charley Brooks
James F. Bennett
Conda Bennett
Charles Bennett
Wm. Brymer
John Bullock, Jr.
Henry C. Beach
Roscoe Brantly
John C. Chapman
Chas J. Chapman
Scott Chapman
William Curnutt
P. C. Childress
Wm. C. Childress
John Childress
James Childress
Richard N. Cox
John L. Cooper
James F. Cooper
Thomas Cooper
Charles Carden
John D'Zern
David D'Zern
Samuel D'Zern
Car D'Zern
George D'Zern
Noah Daugherty
Thomas Davis
A. T. Dabney
Samuel M. Disney
William Evans
Edward Evans
Charley Evans
Wm. John Evans
S. T. Eckardt
John Elliot
James Elliot
Wm. Fielden
Mack C. Foust
P. C. Green
James S. Green
Richard Green
W. B. Goodman
Wm. F. Gross
F. Oscar Goans
Wm. R. Goans
Bart D. Hightower
James P. Hightower
Powell Harmon
John Hendren
Thos. W. Henaren
W. Scott Hutson
George S. Hutson
Charles Hutson
Levi Hatmaker
Wm. O. HatmaKer
George Hill
Alphonso Hensley
W. W. Hays
James M. Leach
James E. Leinart
Charles A. Leinart
Wm. Leach

Luke Leach
Thos. Luttrel
Houston C. Miller
Leon C. Miller
John C. McKamy
Andrew McCamy
William McCamy
James McKamy
J. Clay McKlin
Levi McKlin
Thomas Melford
James W. Martin
Dan Martin
Thorton McGhee
B. M. McGhee
William Murray
Oscar Murray
Nicholas Massengill Jr.
James E. McDonald

William Morgan
David P. O'Dell
Charles R. Orben Jr.
Hillery C. Pitman
W. Frank Pitman
J. Taylor Pratt
Thomas Prince
Robert Price
Oscar Reynolds
Wm. Reynolds
J. Franklin Reynolds
Andrew J. Reynolds
Levi Riggs
Roy Riggs
Porter Roberson
Walter Roberts
Wm. H. Roberts

Edgar Sorrells
David H. Stansberry
Lewis Stansberry
John "Red" Smith
Forrest Smith
Robert Smith
R. H. Smith
Edward Smiddy
Joseph Smiddy
Andrew Stooksberry
Charles R. Seivers
Alex B. Scott
Jacob Sharp
Roscoe Sharp
Benjamin Sharp
Alex Sharp
Frank Sharp
James D. Strickland

Wm. H. Slover
John B. Slover
Samuel H. Slover
James R. Slovor
Samuel Logan Slover
Milburn Turner
Jacob L. Vowell
Elbert Vowell
Bannister Vowell
George Vowell
Wm. H. Vowell
Levi Vowell
Charles Vallalay
Chesley V.Vandergriff
James Vandergriff
Andrew Woods
Charles H. Woods
Joel Woods
John Woods
John M. White
Elijah M. Weaver

Sam Weaver
Marion Wilson
R. C. Wilson
Ernest Wilson
Huston M. Webb
Eli Webb
W. K. Webb
Conda Webb
Wm. J. Webb
James R. Whitton
Henry Whitton
John Webber
Rufus Webber
Chas. A. Wallace
John C. Wallace
W. Earnest Wallace
W. G. Wallace
Wm. E. Wallace
Wm. Henry Wallace
James H. Wallace

William Witt
Marvin J. Witt
James R. Wallace

COLORED MEN
James Davidson
Frank Gibbs
Preston Griffitts
James Kindman
Thomas Mack
Sampson McClain
Jas. P. Massengill
Robert M. Rhea
John Redick
William Spears
Joseph Yett

       

Coal Creek Mine Explosion from the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation, includes photos of the widows of the Coal Creek Miners

Final Letters from the Miners from History Matters

       

Search for more information on the Fraterville Mine Explosion and other disasters in the Historic Newspaper Collection on line at ancestry.com   Search over 1000 different newspapers. Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

Search for your ancestors from Coal Creek, TN among the billions of names at ancestry.com Find birth records, census images, immigration lists and genealogy other databases for your surnames.   Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

Tennessee Marriages, 1851-1900 Searchable database at ancestry.com. Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

 

Earliest Tennessee Land Records and Earliest Tennessee Land History Searchable database at ancestry.com. Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

Tennessee Records: Bible Records and Marriage Bonds Searchable database at ancestry.com. Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

Anderson County Genealogy & History Resources at linkpendium.com

Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 1, Vol. 2,  Vol. 3, Vol. 4 Read these books on line at ancestry.com. Use this Free Trial to search for your ancestors.

Tennessee Old Photos

Looking For Your
Family's Photos?
 
     
   
                  Search Over One Million
  User Submitted Photographs for free
  at ancestry.com    Search Now!