Friday, September 12, 2008

The Native Copper Times September 17, 1895

Just in case you haven't seen this article in the Native Copper Times, I'm sending this to you. I posted this several years ago on the MIHOUGHT listserv. Anthony Jozwiak died in this same accident. His name is listed as Zeswick. Two years or so later, his two sons died in a mining accident. There is more on my blog about it.

Jeff (Antaya)

The Native Copper Times September 17, 1895
"The Osceola Tragedy"

Or in other words the fire in the Osceola, which resulted in the most appalling loss of life-no less than 30 human beings having perished- men and boys who went into the mine, some of them over 3000 feet deep, on hte morning of Sept. 7th, without any feeling that their end was near- went down to do their respective duties, and for the last time- only to be brought up lifeless, is an occurance that appeals to the stoutest hearts, bringing home to us all the awful risks aken by those who delve underground, and pleading strongly for the position The Times has ever occupied, viz: That miners and other underground workers should be well paid. Most of the victrims of this terrible event leave widows and orphans or parents who were largely dependent upon them, and the circumstances and conditions of the bereaved ones should be given the most careful consideration, and that at the hands of the company within whose mine the calamity occurred.

Just think of it- no less than 25 bodies brought up Thursday last and two on the following day. One was found at the first level; three near the tenth level; two at the twelth level; thirteen in the neighborhood of the fourtheenth; four at the fifteenth and one each at the seventeenth and eighteenth levels, all in No. 4 shaft, and only a short distance from where they were working, which would seem to indicate that they had received no warning that the mine was on fire- a circumstance which demonstrates the necessity of our mines putting some alarm device whereby all men underground be given warning, simultamously; and it appears that if this could have been done at the Osceola, few if any lives would been lost.

The body of Robert Johns- making 28 in all- was recovered Saturday between Nos. 4 and 5 shafts at the 17th level, and Monday morning the bodies of the last two victims- Peter Mahlstrom and Walter Dahl were recovered. They were found at the 17th level between Nos. 3 and 4 shafts, and were partially hidden by a plank.

Fourteenth of the victims were buried Friday- the funerals of Capt. Rich. Traubath, Thos. H. Curtis, Rich. Grenfell and William Bryant were held form the M.E. church, under the auspices of One and All Lodge, Sons of St. George and Court Robin Hood, A.O. of F.; those of Michael Schutte, A. Verbonitz and Michael Vuk from the Austrian church; those of John Matson, Mich'l Johnson and Issac Harra from the Finnish Lutheran church and those of Michael and Joseph Slota, Andrew Rosinski and Joseph Rassetz from the Polish church.

The remains of the following were intered Saturday- Anton Zeswick, Alex Daniell, Peter Strangard, John Cudlip, Peter Peardon,F. Lander, Jr. Steve Ristoway, Jas. Williams, M. Polchak.

Sunday the following were laid at rest- Wm. H. Donald, James D. Harrington, Barney Heiner, Richard Bickle, Robt. Johns.

The last two of the victims to be found, Peter Mahlstrom and Walter Dahl, were interred this morning.

An inquiry into this fearful tragedy is to be held before coroner D. T. Macdonald, with the following jurors- all said to be residents of Osceola township, if not employees of the Osceola Mining Company; Messrs. Victor Petersen, Peter Stangard, Dan Howard, Lawence Illinitch, William Mille and John Stephens. The jurors have viewed the bodies of the victims and the taking of testimony was to have commenced today. A searching investigation is promised, and certainly the terribleness of the tragedy demands that it should be most searching and thorough.

We noticed that Postmaster M. R. Redmond, of Hancock, has already began the solicitation of aid for the bereaved widows and orphans, and that a meeting is to be held at Calumet this week to take steps in the same direction. The circumstances of the terrible disaster, and the needs of the bereaved ones are such as to call the substantial sympathy of all- that best of all sympathy, expressed in dollars and cents."