Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Correspondents

December 7, 2006

An examination of the McConville Rosebrook and North Hill Mines

(Continued)



Kelly called to Jones, who had been shoveling behind the machine, to shut off the current and then risked his own life in an attempt to pull the electrocuted man from the machine. According to Kelly the machine and the ground around it were both charged with electricity, and as he worked his way forward to Murphy he received several severe shocks. As last he managed to grab Murphy’s foot and pull him clear. The doctor arrived and pronounced him dead. The only marks on the dead man were a blue mark on his lower lip where it touched the machine and a spot on his shoulder. Then, in 1930 Calvin Stevens was killed by a fall of bat after he removed a prop in front of a mining machine.

In 1929 there was a serious fire of unknown origin in the McConville north mine. This mine, which was one of the largest producers in this field was being cleaned up at this time preparatory to going to work on July orders. There was no intimation of the disaster at 11 p.m. when the last Centerville to Albia interurban came past. At approximately that time Marshall Strode called one of the McConville brothers notifying him of the fire. The Centerville fire department was called, and a quick trip was made to the shaft. However when reached at about 12:20 the tipple was in flames and the engine house was on fire. However this building was saved with the use of chemicals, and it was believed that the shaft had not been burned very deeply.

It seems there were some new ponies being used in the mine, and one of the small animals became frightened at closing time and refused to get on the cage to be brought up out of the shaft. The men left the mine without it, deciding to leave it on the bottom. However, after they had started away, they thought that the air in the mine might not be good, as the shaft was just being opened up. They went back, forced the pony on the cage and brought it up. Otherwise it might have suffered during or after the fire.

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