Huerfano County, Colorado
Death Toll of Coal Mines

NOTICE All data and photos on this website are Copyrighted by Karen Mitchell. Duplication of this data or photos is strictly forbidden without legal written permission by the Copyright holder.

Telluride Journal 10-13-1910 - Death Toll in Coal Mines - In common with other states and countries the treacherous occupation of coal mining has exacted a terrible tax in human life in Colorado. Though the industry is still in its infancy in this state and exempt from many of the treacherous conditions that prevail in the older and deeper mines, still the recovery of this mineral wealth, so prolifically abundant in Colorado, has already exacted a terrible total, compared with the limited number of men employed in this industry. Following is a list of some of the more serious disasters resulting in a heavy loss of life:
Crested Butte, Colo., January 24, 1884, fifty-nine killed.
Vulcan, Colo., February 18, 1886, forty-nine killed.
Sunshine, Colo., September 3, 1897, twelve killed.
Spring Gulch, Colo., September 16, 1901, six killed.
Bowen, Colo., August 7, 1902, thirteen killed.
Tercio, Colo., October 28, 1904, nineteen killed.
Maitland, Colo., February 19, 1906, fourteen killed.
Quatro, Colo., April 22, 1906, nineteen killed.
Primero, Colo., January 23, 1907, twenty-four killed.
Primero, Colo., January 31, 1910, 108 killed.
To this must now be added an estimated loss of 55 lives at Starkville last week bringing the total for thirty-six years up to 378.

Steamboat Pilot 11-16-1910 - Colorado's Death Toll of Coal Mine Disasters - Reports Compiled That Are Shocking the People and Eighteenth General Assembly Will Be Asked to Pass Law and Provide Remedy - Denver, Nov. 12 - Reports complied here indicate that the average yearly death toll as a result of coal mine disasters in Colorado since 1906 has been 50. This average does not take into account the number of deaths resulting from accidents in which a few only have been killed. With these included it would bring the grand total up to at least 65 a year. Following is a list of the principal disasters during the period named above:
Maitland mine explosion - February 19, 1906, 16 killed.
Quatro mine explosion - April 22, 1906, 19 killed.
Primero mine explosion - June (January) 23, 1907, 22 killed.
Engleville mine explosion - May 5, 1907, 5 killed.
Primero mine explosion and fire - January 31, 1910, 77 killed.
Toler mine and gas explosion - April, 1910, 6 killed.
Starkville mine cave-in - October 8, 1910, 55 killed.
Delagua mine explosion - November 8, 1910, 81 killed.
Five of these disasters occurred in the mines of the Colorado Fuel & Iron company, two in the mines of the Victor Fuel company and one in the mines of an independent company. Several disputed causes are charged with being at the bottom of these catastrophes, the mine owners claiming that they have been due to carelessness on the part of the miners, while the state labor bureau officials assert that the disasters have been the direct cause of negligence of operators in not properly safeguarding against accumulation of coal dust which has been ignited by miners' lamps and other causes. As a result of these great losses of lives it is said that during the Eighteenth general assembly a law will be passed that will better regulate the conduct of coal mines in the state and thus prevent disasters.

Return to the Huerfano County Home Page
© Karen Mitchell