Pushmataha County
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Articles from
Pushmataha Newspapers

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Gravestones of casualties of the Jumbo Mine Explosion
photos by Teresa Young

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Antlers American
December 1, 1910 No. 39


One Monday about 7:25 o'clock one of the most serious and saddest accidents occurred at the Jumbo Asphalt Mines in which 12 of Pushmataha's best citizens lost their lives.

It seems from all that can be learned that it was an explosion of dust that had accumulated in the mines and it must have been caused by one of the men exposing a lift in some way the exact cause will never be known as the only survivor does not know how it occurred or the cause. At the time of the explosion the men were changing the "shift" the men who had worked at night were coming out and the new men were going in a part of the night men come out and the foreman Jas. W. Carpenter and four others went down and the last of the night men were to come back in the lift about the time Carpenter and his part of the crew got to the bottom of the shaft the explosion occurred and five men that went down were litterely blown out of the shaft a distance of over 250 feet and over 150 feet after they left the shaft the poor fellows that were blown out were mangled and crushed so that they could not be recognized except by some article of clothing which they had on their bodies or what was left of them was literally blown full of Asphalt dust and small particles of Asphalt, arms were separated from the bodies and bodies cut in too and disfigured in all kinds of ways. The disaster is doubly terrible because all of them to a man were good men and good citizens and nearly all have left wives and children to mourn their irretrievable loss. After gathering up the remains of those that were blown out of the mine shaft there were nine men not accounted for and were still in the mine. Mr. A. W. Thomas the Superintendent phoned to Antlers for help and every available team was taken and out people rushed out to help thought they had to go 20 miles by private conveyances, the people of Moyer's also sent out numbers of their citizens to aid in the rescue work and to care for the dead.

A.W. Thomas the manager of the mines was the first man to enter the shaft after the explosion other would have volunteered to but Mr. Thomas would not permit anyone save himself to run the terrible risk until he saw that it was safe. Mr. Thomas was tied in the bucket and with his trusty men at the top he agreed on signals he was then lowered into the depths of the shaft after getting to the bottom of the shaft (300 feet) he became convinced that the danger was over and he was hauled out and others went down to search for men.

Their first find was a young man who was still alive they hastened to the top with him and turned him over to friends, Drs. McGinnis and Patterson were at hand and went to administering to the rescued man and they now think he will recover though he had a close call. The work went on until about ten o'clock that night they had recovered the bodies of eight others who were all dead when found, making a total number killed out-right 13. Below we give the names of the dead.

Those who were in the cage at the time were: J.W. Carpenter, Richard Palmer, Charles Self, Will Brown, and W.Z. Jones.

The nine men buried in the mine were: Henry Self, Dan McCarty, J. W. Gould, Fars Lax, Thomas Stephens, Oland Malone, Williams Hawkins, J.W. Gillenwater and Jordan Robbins was taken out alive but died Wednesday.

A great gloom is over the county as this great disaster touches the home and hearts of many of our good people who were the relatives and friends of the victims. The whole county is in sorrow for the loss sustained by deaths of these men and our people are aiding to care for the stricken friends and relatives of the dead and will do all that mortals can for them.

Copied from Antlers American. Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, December 2, 1910 No. 39

This is the first mine horror that has ever occurred in our county and we hope it will be the last.

During the excitement at the mines and old gentlemen named Daughtery from Texas died from heart failure thus making 15 deaths from the disaster.


Mine Inspector Investigates Cause of Jumbo Disaster

Jumbo, Okla.-Chief Mine Inspector Church of McAlester arrived Thursday morning and will make an investigation of the mine here in which the explosion took place that killed eleven men. So far as can be ascertained the only cause for the explosion was the accumulation of natural gas and that fired by a faulty lamp.

The little church here presented a pathetic scene Wednesday evening when a simple service was said over the bodies of the eleven men and they were buried side by side in the cemetery. Two rows of seats in the church were reserved for the relatives of the dead men and practically the whole population of the town turned out. All business houses were closed.

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