Hellraisers Journal: Rescue at Monongah Mine Disaster Hampered by Another Fire; Agonizing Scenes of Grief as Hope Fades

How can God forgive you, you do know what you’ve done.
You’ve killed my husband, now you want my son.
-Hazel Dickens


Hellraisers Journal, Monday December 9, 1917
Monongah, West Virginia – Agonizing Scenes of Grief and Despair

From The Pittsburgh Press of December 7, 1907:

Monongah Mine Disaster, Ptt Prs, Dec 7, 1907

James Cain, an inspector, was overcome while working in the mine this afternoon and is in a precarious condition.

Many women are rallying to aid in giving temporary relief wherever possible. Across the street from the mine quarters have been arranged where the distracted widows of the dead miners are cared for…..


With the early dawn of day and rising of the sun, the beautiful little mining village of Monongah was found to be one of sorrow and despair. Throughout the night widows and orphans hovered close together at the mine entrance, despite the coldness of the night, hoping against hope that their loved ones would still be found alive who were entombed.

The concussion was felt all over the country, houses were wrecked, windows broken and many persons near the mines knocked down and injured.

Thousands of people have assembled at the mine entrances.

The scenes about the mine openings throughout the night were agonizing in the extreme. The anguish of wives and mothers who wrung their hands and cried hysterically out of their solicitude for bread winners who were locked up in their underground sepulchre, were painful in the extreme. Women fainted. Strong men gave way. Little children, only faintly realizing what happened, cried pitifully, not for absent fathers and brothers, but because of the distress round about them and their intuitive knowledge that it was an occasion that called for tears…

The scene around the mine is beyond description in its depth of agonized grief. All night long crowds of men, women and children have clustered, shivering in the cold wind, as near as they could get to the mouth opening, calling pathetically for missing loved ones, screaming in abject sorrow, and wringing their hands in abject misery.

The mine is located about a mile and a half from the town of Monongah, and after the frantic women and relatives of the missing men had reached the scene they refused to retrace the weary distance, and so have remained clustered half dead with cold, fear and exhaustion about the place where their husbands, fathers and sons have met such a dreadful fate.


Every measure to contribute to the comfort and assistance of the rescuers and the wailing, distracted friends of the missing men have been taken by the mine officials and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and there is an abundance of hot coffee and food always on hand.

The thermometer registered 16 degrees above freezing this morning, and it was colder during the night but inside the narrow entrance in which the rescuers are working the air is as hot as a furnace, and the men are bathed in perspiration, and emerge from their frightful exertions with clothing wringing wet.


Monongah Mine Disaster, Carloads of Coffins, Ptt Prs, Dec 7, 1907


The Pittsburgh Press
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
-Dec 7, 1907

See also:
Hellraisers Journal, Saturday December 7, 1907
Monongah, West Virginia – Explosion Followed by Fire at Nos. 6 & 8
Heartrending Cries of Grief and Horror at Scene of Monongah Mine Explosion; 400 Miners Feared Lost


The Mannington Mine Disaster – Hazel Dickens

“You’ve killed my husband, now you want my son.”