Obituaries - Stafford
(father of DOROTHY MAY STAFFORD)- (Continued)
500 feet right, when they hit a gas pocket and it is thought that the open miners’ lamps on their caps caused the explosion, which occured [sic] in the fifth right, room number three.
William Eisel, fire boss at the mine, and Harry Rairick were at the mouth of the mine when the explosion occured [sic]. According to reports the entire mountain side trembled. Timber, heading and trap doors were torn from their places, as was discovered when Eisel and Rairick entered to learn the fate of their fellow workers. Eisel discovered Long crawling on his hands and knees, trying to get to the mouth of the operation. Both men carried him to Eisel’s car and took him to the Miners’ Hospital at the same time notifying members of the firm of Sullivan Bros. Coal Company and the mine rescue team of the Consolidation Coal Company.
Arriving on the scene at 5 a.m., the rescue team had not yet discovered Stafford.
Forty men reporting for work this morning were turned home.
The occurrence at the Clarysville mine is a repetition of similar accidents except that they previously have been with less force.
Dr. T.L. Conroy, physician attending Mr. Long at the Miners’ Hospital reported that his condition was not of a serious nature.
From best information obtainable men had been working in the same room yesterday and there was no gas at that time. A gas formation, however, is thought to have taken place over night. Stafford’s body shows that he suffered little from burns, but probably died from a fore skull fracture or inhaling a surface damp which accumulates on the bottom of the mine after an explosion of this nature. Examination revealed that the fore skull had been fractured. Preparation for a monoxide test of his blood which will show the exact cause of death is being made by Doctors W.O. McLane, Jr., and T. L. Conroy.
Eisel and Rairick cautiously moved toward the scene of the blast and about 75 feet from the room where the explosion occured [sic] found Long crawling toward the mine entrance. Eisel brought him to the surface and hurried him to the hospital.
After notifying members of the Sullivan Bros. firm and District Mine Inspector Frank Powers, Eisel returned to the mine and a rescue party was formed, consisting of Inspector Powers, Dr. J.J. Rutledge, chief of the Maryland Bureau of Mines; Frank Carter, foreman of Mine No. 10 of the Consolidation Coal Company; James Fraser, maintenance engineer of the C.C. Co.; W.L. Kelley, C.C. Co. mine inpsector, and Clyde Rowe, district mine inspector.
According to members of the party, Stafford’s body was found about thirty feet from the entrance of the room where the blast occured [sic], lying on his face and hands stretched forward as if he had made an effort to escape, but had fallen strking his head on the steel rail or ties. His body was found back of the motor which he and Long had run into the mine. Long was found in front of the motor. The rescue party found Stafford’s body about 6:30 o’clock. They arrived on the scene at 5:45 a.m.
Orders were issued by W.J. Wolfe, general superintendent of the Consolidation Coal Company, to let no one view Stafford’s remains, according to J.J. Durst, proprietor of the Frostburg Furniture and Undertaking Company, where the body had been taken to be prepared for burial. Burial preparation, however, was halted temporarily, on account of an examination of the deceased’s blood which was ordered by District Inspector Powers and Dr. Rutledge.
Operation at the mine were suspended today as mine official made an investigation.
Mr. Stafford is survived by his widow, Mrs. Margaret Stafford, and six small children, Anna, Mary, Bernard, Lena, Robert and Eddie, a six month old infant; his mother, Mrs. Robert Rizer, four sisters, Mrs. Etta LaRue, Mrs. Katherine Winters, Mrs. Elizabeth Yates, Mrs. Helen LaRue, and one brother, Robert Stafford, all of Frostburg. He resided on Mechanic street.
Mr. Long is married and resides on Standish street.
The explosion is the first dealing in fatalities for a number of years.” [CET, 1-6-1932, pp. 1 & 2]
“Inquiry into the accident causing the death of Henry Stafford, age 34, in a mine blast early yesterday morning at the Clarysville mine of the Sullivan Bros. Coal Company, will be held tonight at 7 o’clock at the office of District Mine Inspector Frank C. Powers, Wood street.
J.J. Durst, proprietor of the furniture and undertaking company, states he was misunderstood with a statement that he was told to permit no one to view the body of Mr. Stafford at his undertaking rooms pending an examination. Mr. Durst says no such order was given by the authorities.
The funeral of Mr. Stafford will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. from his home, 174 Mechanic street. The Rev. Walter V. Simon, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Percy cemetery.” [CET 1-7-1932, p. 7]
Anthony E. Crosby and Michael R. Olson
28 x 22 cms
Cemeteries, Maryland, Frostburg; Obituaries, Maryland, Frostburg. .
Frostburg (Md.), 1800-1972