The Millfield Coal Mine Disaster
in Athens County, Ohio
Loved ones waiting for news of their miner, click photo to enlarge
One of the saddest events to ever happen in Athens County!
HTML created by Sandra Mitchell Quinn
for her Athens County, OHGENWEB copyright 1996-2005
Best viewed at 800 X 600 desktop display as larger size will show flame in center of page.
(Presented by Sandra Mitchell Quinn for historical and genealogical education. Coal mining was a hazardous profession)
All Rights Reserved
The following are the miners who were killed in the
Sunday Creek Coal Company Mine #6 Explosion,
5 November 1930, in Millfield, Athens county, Ohio
at 12:30 p.m. in one of the worst coal mine disasters in Ohio:
"Eighty-two men lost their lives in the explosion of methane gas which had accumulated and the disaster was caused by a short circuit between the trolley wire and rail, according to a finding by the Athens County coroner, L. F. Jones." (Harris History)
"Maximum death awards from Ohio's workman's compensation was $6,500 which was also given to injured survivors. The state of Ohio fund also paid for the funeral costs and burials of the men." ( Athens Messenger)
Death's grim toll in the Sunday Creek Coal Company's No. 6 Mine explosion at Millfield Wednesday noon reached 79 this morning as rescue workers, after toiling incessantly 21 hours in gas filled tunnels, removed the last body from the scene of Athens County's worse mine catastrophe. (Athens Messenger)
The following is a list of the dead miners and information about their families when known.
Roy B. Andrews age 48 born in Ohio; was a resident of Chauncey, funeral at the Chauncey Methodist church. Leaves behind his wife Ethel, daughters Gwendolyn, Lucy age 14, and Mary age 17, and sons Everett, Paul age 12 and Rolland age 10. Son of Paul and Mary Jane Wilson Andrews was born at Buchtel, Ohio. Married Miss Ethel Phillips. Was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also left three brothers, Dallas Andrews of Whitesville, WV, Clarence Andrews of Buchtel, Ray Andrews of the Phillipine Islands, Four sisters, Mrs. Albert Pierce of Buchtel, Mrs. John Cook of Crooksville, Mrs. Clint Patton and Mrs. Sam Gilham of Nelsonville. (According to the 1930 census Roy and his wife were married 21 years and Roy was a day man in the coal mine.)
Walter Andryevich age 34 born in Poland; was a resident of Sands Ridge, funeral at the Chauncey Church of God, with burial in Millfield cemetery. Son of Stanley and Joseph Andryevich was born in St. Petersburg, Poland. At the age of 13 he migrated to America settling at St. Bellaire, Ohio later coming to Athens county where he spent the past twenty years of his life. He served in WWI. He was married to Alma Jones of Sand Ridge and had three children, Elsie age 7, Kenneth age 8/12, and Wanda Janett. He leaves his brother Stanley of Poland, and three sisters Mary Blanch of Poland, Estella of Trenton N. J. His brother Joe lost his life in the US army during the WWI. He was buried in the Millfield Hilltop cemetery. (He also had his sister in law Iva Jones age 13 residing with him and his wife in the 1930 census.)
John Bauer age 59 born in Ohio; funeral for father John and son Delmar held at the Trimble church of Christ with burial in Oak Hill cemetery. (John was a widow and his children resided with him in the 1930 census. Delmar age 18, Estaline age 16, Juanita 14. John was born in Ohio, his father in Germany and mother born in Ohio. Johan was a loader in the coal mine.)
Delmar Bauer age 19 born in Ohio; funeral for father John and son Delmar held at the Trimble church of Christ with burial in Oak Hill cemetery. Delmar was a loader in the coal mine.
Joseph R. Bergin age 49 born in Michigan; resident of Philo and was general superintendent of the Ohio power company.
George Brown age 32 born in Ohio; George William Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Brown, was born at McLuney, Ohio March 26, 1899, and departed this life November 5, 1930, being one of the victims of the Millfield mine explosion which occurred on this date. For a number of years he made his home in Millfield and where he has made many friends.
On May 12th, 1928 he was united in marriage to Miss Nina Stillwell. He is survived by his wife and two children, William, and Catherine by a former marriage and his parents, two brothers and five sisters. One brother Christopher preceded him in death. (Obituary provided by Patti Brown firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sam Brown age 29 born in Ohio; Samuel Colburn Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Brown, was born at McLuney, Ohio September 19, 1901 and departed this life November 5, 1930, being one of the victims of the Millfield mine explosion which occurred on this date.
In his early childhood he with his parents came to Millfield where the greater part of his life has been spent. On October 8, 1921 he became united in marriage to Miss Esther Leffler, also of Millfield, and to this union were born two children, one having died in infancy.
He was a kind and devoted husband and father and will be sadly missed. Relatives to mourn his loss are his wife Esther and one son Dewey age 8 years, his parents, two brothers and five sisters. One brother Christopher met death in an accident fifteen months ago. (Obituary provided by Patti Brown email@example.com) He was a cutter in the coal mine according to the 1930 census.
William Brown age 49 born in Ohio; resident of Jacksonville. Funeral services were held by the Trimble Lodge No. 557 F. and A. M., burial was in the West Union Street cemetery in Athens.
Paul Burdiss age 37 born in Ohio; Services for Paul Burdiss will be held at Jacksonville at the family home Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock with burial in the West Union Street Cemetery at Athens. Special request is made of all former service men to assist at the funeral. (Obituary provided by Larry Burdiss)
Alex Burmich age 55 born in Hungary;
Joe Butski age 22 born in Ohio; was a resident of Millford, funeral held at the Corning Catholic Church, with burial in the New Lexington cemetery.
John Butsko age 27 born in Oh, (census of 1930 tells of his family: John T. Butsko age 26 was the son of Andrew Butsko age 54 and a widow who was born in Hungary and immigrated in 1901 and was a loader in the coal mine. John was a motorman in the coal mine, he lived in Millfield with his father and siblings. Brothers Andrew age 22 a loader in the mine, Stephen age 20 a loader in the mine, Joseph 18 a loader in the m ine, William 16 and nephew William Lang.
Anthony Bycofski age 22 born in Ohio;
Andy Cuba Bycofski of Jacksonville, Ohio; was a resident of Peach Ridge, funeral was held at St. Paul's Catholic Church, burial in Glouster cemetery. He left a widow, five children, a step mother, three sisters, two brothers, and one half brother.
Michael Clancy age 65 born in Ohio; father and son William Clancy funeral services were held at the Mike Clancy home in Millfield. Burial was made at Greenlawn. The father leaves a widow and a foster daughter while the son leaves a wife and two small children.
William Clancy age 36 born in Ohio; son William Clancy and father Mike Clancy funeral services were held at the Mike Clancy home in Millfield. Burial was made at Greenlawn. The father leaves a widow and a foster daughter while the son leaves a wife and two small children.
Pearl A. Coen age 53 born in Ohio; vice-president and sales manager of the Sunday Creek coal company, funeral services were held in his Columbus home on Elber Avenue with burial in the Columbus Greenlawn cemetery.
Frank Davis age 42 born in Ohio; was a resident of Peach Ridge, funeral was held at the home with burial in West Union Cemetery in Athens.
Clyde Dean age 39 born in Ohio; was a resident of Canaanville, funeral services were held a the Canaanville M. E. church. Burial was in West Union Street Cemetery. He left a wife and small child. His home was near Guysville.
Paul Erwin age 32 born in Ohio; (1930 census tells of his family: wife Myrtle age 25, sons Carl 8, Donald 7, Leo 4 7/12, Paul 10/12; daughters Mary 6, Helen 5, and Dorothy 2 6/12. He was aloader in the coal mine, he was born in Ohio and his parents were born in Ohio.) He lived in Millfield in 1930.
Phillip Shelly Erwin / Ervin age 22 born in Ohio ; funeral at the home of Frances Erwin of Millfield.
Silas Erwin ? Ervin age 20 born in Ohio; funeral at the home of Frances Erwin of Millfield.
Ben Fielder age 39 born in Ohio; mine boss and resident of Chauncey, funeral was conducted by the Chauncey Church of Christ with burial in Nelsonville at the Greenlawn cemetery. He left his wife Goldie Conrad Fielder, a son Willard, and two daughters Lauretta and Florence.
John Green age 46 born in Russia;
Charles Grimm age 18 born in Ohio; son and father Miles, residents of Maplewood in Glouster. Funeral services were held at the family home in charge of the Rev. F. E. Roberts of the Church of Christ. burial was made in the cemetery at Maplewood.
Miles Grimm age 52 born in Racine Ohio; father and son Charles residents of Maplewood. Mr. Grimm was the father of Mrs. Carl Stahl of Glouster.
Thomas Anderson Harley age 41 born in Pennsylvania; son of John and Mary Harley, was born at Smock, Pa, and died at the Millfield mine disaster. He was married to Miss Effie V. Bickel at Marietta Ohio. He leaves a stepson James L. Bickel of Youngstown, Ohio, his mother Mrs John Harley of Pittsburgh, Pa, three sisters, Mrs. Wm. Lang of Pittsburgh, Mrs. R. P. Provost of Oakdale, Pa, Mrs. Laurence Murphyof Detroit MI, four brothers, Mr. Harry Harley of Dubois Pa, Mr. Joe Harley of Detroit, Mr. J. E. Harley of Middleport, Ohio and Mr. W. E. Harley of Pittsburgh. Previous to coming to Millfield he was mine foreman and mine superintendent of one of the Pittsburgh mines at Pomeroy at the time of his death he was inside mine foreman at Sunday Creek Mine No. 6. His body was laid to rest at the Miles Cemetery of Rutland.
Walter Hayden age 49 born in Minersville, Ohio; was the mine superintendent of Millfield, was a former resident of Derthick. Funeral was held at the U. B. Church of Hollister with burial in Maplewood cemetery. Hayden was for years the mine boss of Sunday Creek coal mine No. 10 at Derthick and was widley known throughout the district. He was transferred to Millfield after the mine there was purchased by the Sunday Creek Coal Co. Lois Helmers.
John Hillen age 23 born in Ohio; reverend Mingus of the Holiness church conducted the funeral services in Millfield Methodist church. John is survived by his wife and child, his mother and sisters and brothers Jesse Hillen and Clarence Hillen. (1930 census says John Hillen age 22, wife Mildred 16, mother Isabelle 60 widow, Emery age 36 brother. All born in Ohio, males loading coal, mother was a nurse practional)
Charles Hoops age 27 born in Ohio (1930 census reports he was 26 born in Ohio and was a loader in the coal mine. He lived with his wife Doris age 19 and daughter Jennice age 1 and 9/12.)
Urban Hovath of Millfield, (the Horvath's were from Hungary according to the 1930 census.)
Charles Hunter age 30 born in Ohio; Funeral held at the Sugar Creek Church. brother of Ray Hunter. Was the son of Mary and ? Hunter. Charles was born in Lathrop, Ohio. They had several brothers and sisters.
Ray Edward Hunter age 24 born in Ohio; Funeral held at the Sugar Creek Church. brother of Charles Hunter. Was the son of Pearl and Mary Hunter. Ray was born in Nelsonville, Ohio. They had several brothers and sisters.
James Hurd age 25 born in Ohio; funeral services for James Hurd were held at Millfield.
George Joseph Jackson age 21; funeral held at his home in Millfield
James Jennice; age 36 born in Italy; body taken to Glouster, resident of Glouster. Funeral services were held at his home near Old. No. 2 mine with burial in Maplewood.
Frank Kearns-Kern age 51 born in Ohio; funeral held at Athens central avenue M. E. church with burial in West Union Street cemetery.
Andy Kish Sr. age 42 born in Hungary; (information from the 1930 census tells of his family: Andrew Kish age 42, wife Esther 37, Son Andrew Kish age 17, John 15, Elizabeth 13, Gaza 12, Alexander 10, William 9, Peter 7, Julia 5, Helen 2 11/12. Lived in Millfield, was a cutter in the coal mine, was born in Czeckoslavakia, immigrated in 1904, wife came in 1910.)
Andy Kish Jr. age 17 born in Ohio;
George Keish/ Kish age 52 born in Russia; among first to file claims in the mine accident were Mrs. Anna Keish whose husband George and two sons Stanley and William were killed in the coalmine explosion. Mrs. Keish is left with 8 children of which the oldest is 15. It is unknown whether the commission will grant her the death award for her two sons.
Stanley Keish age 17 born in Russia; see above.
William Keish age 22 born in Russia; see above.
Herbert Lancaster age 40 born in Ohio; resident of Nelsonville and chief engineer to the Sunday Creek coal company president, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Lancaster, a graduate of Nelsonville schools and an OU program of engineering. He married Belle Adamson, and leaves his wife and two sons, Calvin 14, and Robert 12. He also leaves three brothers, Henry and Edgar of Nelsonville, Lawrence of Plattsmouth, Nebraska and one sister Mrs. Ray O'Dell of Columbus. He was an active member of the Nelsonville Church of Christ, and past chancellor of Valley Lodge K. of P. He was also a member of the D. O. K. K. His funeral was held at his residence on West Washington Street conducted by the Rev. C. K. Grammar of the Church of Christ, Nelsonville.
Emerson LeFever age 59 born in Trimble, Ohio; was taken to his former home at Senecaville, Guernsey county, Ohio for funeral services and burial. He spent his young childhood years in Trimble and vicinity. Later he located at Guernsey county where he made his home until recently. He was on his second day of work at mine # 6 when the explosion happened. He leaves two grown sons and a blind brother H. D. LeFever of Columbus. His brother lost his sight and one arm in an explosion of dynamite while working at the old Hysylvania Mine No. 23 at Trimble in the early days of the mine twenty years ago.
George Love age 30 born in Ohio (the 1930 census reports he was living in Millfield and was a loader in the coal mine. He had a wife Dora age 26, son Herman age 10, John Ashbaugh of Pennsylvania father in law, Ida Ashbaugh mother in law, Mable Danielson age 16 niece all living with him.)
James Archie Lyons age 27 born in Ohio; was a resident of Chauncey, services were held at the Morristown church with burial in the Buchtel cemetery. He left a wife Margaret, and in-laws Mr. and Mrs. Charles Showalter. He was born in Orbiston Ohio. His father was killed in a mine at Orbiston many years ago. He also leaves his mother Mrs. Belle Barnhart, one sister Mrs. James Love, and several brothers including David and Orville at home. One brother preceded him in death. He was a kind and loving son and he will be sorely missed by his family circle and numerous friends and neighbors.
John Jack McCallister age 43 born in Ohio; resident of Athens, funeral services at his home on 35 Curran Street Athens with burial in Maplewood.
James Cam McGee age 51 born in Pennsylvania; father and son Earl, residents of Congress Run. He was the son of Harve and Ann McGee of Red Peak, Clarion county, Pa. He was married to Louise Davis and had two sons and one daughter. They survive him, he also leaves his father, a step mother, one full brother, three half brothers, three half sisters and three grandchildren. Funeral services were held a the Calvary Baptist Church with burial in Maplewood cemetery.
Earl McGee age 24 born in Ohio; son of father Cam (above), residents of Congress Run. He was born at Glouster, Ohio. He was married to Ethel Anderson and he had three sons Earl Dwight, Gerald Max, and Foster Lee. He was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church of Glouster. Funeral services were held a the Calvary Baptist Church with burial in Maplewood cemetery.
George McLean age 40 born in Ohio; funeral at home in Millfield. He was the son of Adam and Sarah McLean and was born in Shawnee, Ohio. He was married to Miss Lena Hoisington at Athens , Ohio. He had four children, three sons and one daughter. One preceded him in death. His father died at Glen Roy, Ohio and a sister Maggie McLean died young. He leaves to mourn his wife Lena, his children Adam, Wilbur and Sarah, his mother and step father Mr. and Mrs. James Stevenson, two brothers John and Charles McLean, and one sister Mrs. Herbert Rivers all of Sugar Creek. He was a member of Chauncey Lodge IOOF and spent his entire life in the vicinity of Sugar Creek.
Elsworth McKee age 30 born in Ohio
Ed R. McManaway age 28 born in Ohio (census of 1930 tells of his family: wife Goldie age 24, son Robert 5, Mary E. Lee age 16 sister in law. Ed lived in Millfield and was a motorman in the coal mine)
James Martin age 22 born in Ohio;
William Messenger age 48 born in WV; of Millfield, leaves a wife Susie and five children. Wife Susie Messenger died in 1934 at her home in Circle Hill. She left three sisters Mrs. Paulk, and Mrs. Rose O'Rourke of Circle Hill and Mrs. Edward Huston of Bailey Run near Chauncey. Funeral services for her were held at the Morristown church with burial in the Millfield Hilltop cemetery.
Harry Milliron age 28 born in Athens Ohio; resident of Millfield.(1930 census reports Harry Milliron age 28, wife Emma age 26, children Loraine 5, Evelyn 2 3/12, lived in Athens twp., and was previously a stock dealer of hogs.)
John Nadroski age 23 born in WV; (1930 census reports he was a loader in the coal mine, the son of Frank Nadroski age 63 and a widow that immigrated from Poland in 1896 and lived with his father, and siblings, Frank 19, Eva 27 a saleswoman, and Stanley age 17.)
James North age 38 born in Ohio; was united in marriage to Zora Parker and had eight children, four having preceded him in death. (1930 census reports James North age 39 born in OH, wife Zora born in Michigan her father born in Arkansas and her mother born in Ohio. They lived in Millfield with children Wilber 19, June 15, Vern 12, Ruth 10, James 4 6/12. James was a Loader in the coal mine.)
John Wilbur North age 19 born in Ohio;
W. Ray Parry age 37 born in Ohio; the Masonic lodge of Nelsonville was in charge of the funeral services conducted at his home. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Parry of Adams Street. He was a member of the Christian Church and the Masonic Fraternity there. He leaves his wife Lena Ferrell Parry, two daughters Gerladine Fay and Marilyn Ray, His parents Mr. and Mrs. Will Parry, and four sisters Mrs. George Schwenke of Logan, Mrs. Leland Devore, Mrs. Carnes Hickman, and Miss Frances Parry of Nelsonville. A little daughter Belva May died two years ago at the age of six. Burial was made in Nelsonville Greenlawn cemetery.
Ray Parry's father William Parry of Nelsonville, committed suicide Sept. 30, 1931, age 64 and a former coal bank operator, at the foot of his sons grave in Nelsonville's Greenlawn cemetery.
Lena Parry wife of Ray Parry died of heart trouble, she had been in failing health since the death of her husband. She died Dec. 10, 1931 and she was buried beside the graves of her husband and their 6 year old daughter Belva who had preceded them in death.
Robert Parsons age 45 born in Ohio; resident of Zanesville, and member of the group conducting the coal mine inspection, superintendent of the Columbus Cement Company.
John Patterson age 25 born in Ohio; resident of Chauncey, fumeral at the Chauncey Methodist church. Patterson left a wife Evelyn Spearry Patterson and a three year old son, his parents and several brothers and sisters.
Floyd Pettit age 40 born in Ohio; No obituary for him but for his brother Thomas Pettit. Jan. 4, 1931. Thomas Pettit, aged 57, died Friday morning at the Athens State Hospital. The body was brought to a local mortuary and prepared for burial. Mr. Pettit was never married but made his home with his brother Floyd Pettit and family. The brother was one of the victims of the Millfield mine disaster and grief over the brothers death caused him to become mentally deranged, and his commitment to the state hospital followed. Burial was in the Greenlawn cemetery in Nelsonville. He is survived by a sister Mrs. Hattie Pettit Smith and two brothers. Mr. Pettit never married.
Thomas Peyatt age 22 born in Ohio
Walter Virgil Phillips age 23 born in Ohio; son of Oliver and Blanche Phillips. After the death of his father in 1923 he made his home with his aunt Mrs. Frank Shumway of Sand Ridge. He leaves to mourn him one brother and two sisters, Raymond of Sand Ridge, Mrs. Lennie Byers of Columbus Ohio and Carnet of Chauncey.
Phil Powell age 47 born in Ohio; was the fire boss. He was the son of Phillip and Elizabeth Maffin Powell. He was married to Alice Skiver and they had eight children. Mrs. Floyd Wemmer, Mrs. John Cline of Millfield, Frances, Donald, Phillip J., James, Willow, and Richard Lee at home. His father, mother and two brothers preceded him in death. Left to mourn besides wife and children are one brother George Powell of Cleveland, two sisters, Miss Emma Powell of Columbus and Mrs. Henry Wanlers of St. Charles Michigan and many relatives and friends. He was a member of the Christian church of Nelsonville. His funeral was held at the Millfield Church of Christ and burial was made in Greenlawn. Burial services were conducted at the grave by the Red Men, and Degree of Pocahontas Lodges of which orders Mr. Powell was a member. "Evidence of a Struggle. Mute evidence against a heart breaking struggle against death was discovered in the case of Phil Powell, whose body was found against a brattice. With a hatchet, Powell had cut a hole through the brattice not far from the new air shaft. He was found with one leg through the hole. Had he been able to crawl through the hole in the brattice he probably would have escaped the poisonous black damp gas which claimed the lives of most of the victims, experienced miners said".
Abraham Abe Rankin age 56 born in Ohio; burial was made at Oakhill by the Trimble lodge of which he was a member. The funeral was held at Millfield. (1930 census reports he had a wife Emma age 54, and a son John T. age 14 living with him in Dover township)
Vernon L. Roberts age 36 born in Ohio; resident of Fultonham Zanesville, and member of the group conducting the coal mine inspection, Columbus cement company.
Thomas D. Roberts age 39 born in Ohio; resident of Fultonham, Zanesville and member of the group conducting the coal mine inspection, Columbus Cement company,
Carl Robinette age 29 born in Ohio; was a resident of Millfield, funeral held at Millfield M. E. church, leaves a widow Mrs. Lucille Gillespie Robinette, two sons Stewart age 6 and Victor age 4, and one sister Sylvia McConkey of Athens. He was the son of Frank and Nora Robinett and was born at Jacksonville, Ohio. He was married to Lucille Gillespie of Millfield. He was a member of the Millfield M. E. church, and a member of the Red Men Lodge. He was laid to rest in the NYE cemetery of Chauncey, Ohio.
Harry Jacob Sycks age 40 born in Ohio; was a resident of Sands Ridge, funeral at the Chauncey Church of Christ, burial in the Chauncey Nye Cemetery. He was the son of James and Mary Sycks and was born in Logan, Ohio. He married Maude Palmer , the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Palmer of Chauncey. "Jake" Sycks was a good man. He was affiliated with the Holiness Church of Athens. He leaves to mourn his wife, and three sisters and one brother, Mrs. ? of Toledo, Mrs. Ida Morrison of Columbus and Mrs. Effie Richardson of Toledo, Elmer Sycks of Susquehanna Pa and one half brother Fred Duffy of Steubenville, Ohio besides a number of step brothers and step sisters.
Charlie Sycks age 60 born in Hungary (1930 census tells about him: Charles Sykes age 56, born in Hungary, Naturalized citizen immigrated in 1903. He was a loader in the coal mine, had married at age 24, spoke Magyar.)
George Thomas age 23 born in Ohio; was a resident of Circle Hill. Funeral services were conducted at the Chauncey Church of Christ. He was a graduate of Chauncey Dover High School. He is survived by his wife Shirley Ruth Thomas, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Rice Thomas and several sisters and brothers. Burial was in the Nelsonville Greenlawn cemetery.
Andy Tonac age 68 born in Hungary; resident of Millfield.
William E. Tytus age 40 born in Ohio; President of the Sunday Creek coal company, was a resident of Bexley, Columbus, left a widow Frances. Funeral services were held at his residence on Parkview Avenue in Columbus.
Howard H. Upton age 43 born in Ohio; resident of Newark, assistant to the coal company president. His services were held at his residence at Newark, Hudson Ave.
Harrott Urban age 44 born in Russia
Alfred Wade age 69 born in Ohio; father and son Luther were previous residents of Canaanville, moved to Millfield two days before the disaster. Funerals held at Canaanville.
Luther Wade age 29 born in Ohio; son and father Alfred were previous residents of Canaanville, moved to Millfield two days before the disaster. Funerals held at Canaanville.
John Weiss age 46 born in Ohio, John Weiss Jr. was married to Florence Kittle. He was the father of Mildred Evelyn Weiss, and a son Ruben Edward Weiss. Daughter Mildred Evelyn wife of William Bill Russell, was an Athens county teacher for forty years.
John Williams age 30 born in Athens Co., Ohio; resident of Millfield. Mrs. John Williams of Millfield became the mother of a son early Saturday morning. This happened a the same time period as John Williams death. Besides caring for four children before the death of her husband, Mrs. Williams cared for her mother Mrs. Alexander Stires age 74 who was near death. Mrs. Lydia Ann Stiers, mother in law of John died November of 1930 and was buried in the Glouster Cemetery. (Stires/ Stiers presentation of name from Athens Messenger.)
Andrew Willis age 25 born in Ohio; son of Oscar and brother of Virgil.
Oscar Willis age 45 born in Ohio; the father of Andrew and John Willis, all three perished in the coal mine disaster at Millfield. He was married to Minnie Bolton of Wellston, Aug. 13, 1923. They had ten children, Andrew age 25 loader in the mine, Virgil age 19 loader in the mine, Charles age 23 loader in the mine, Hazel 13, Kathleen 6, Gerald 9 at home, Mrs. Lanning of Millfield, three children Paul, Pauline and Eugene preceded their father in death. Andrew lost his life a the same time as the father, and Virgil was also one of the disaster victims.
So when life's sweet journey ends, soul and body part like friends,
No quarrels, mo murmurs, no delay: A kiss, a sigh, and go away.
The busy day, a sudden stop, the sun had not begun its downward journey it was noon.
No time for a last farewell, no time for the shock of fear,
Scarcely a moment's halt on the shore with the guide and the boatmen near,
Dear how surprised you were to go.
With little to suffer, little to know, Only a moment of death,
A dream of a fleeting night, and then the beautiful break of day, and the quiet peace of night.
And you find yourself where you longed to stand,
In the repose of the fatherland.
(Poem from the obituary notice of Oscar Willis and sons in the Athens Messenger.)
Virgil Willis age 19 born in Ohio, son of Oscar and brother of Andrew.
The listing of the dead miners was taken from the 1990 program for the Millfield Mine Memorial gathering by Sue Leffler, and notes were compiled from the actual death certificates at the Ohio Historical Society by Lois Helmers; and obituary research information was compiled from the Athens Messenger by Sandra Mitchell-Quinn.
According to a 1984 brochure from the Memorial Committee, the mine tipple had been nominated to be placed on the National Registry of Historic Sites.
Names of the men in the mine at the time of the accident: Known Dead:W. E. Tytus, P. A Coen, H. Upson, Joseph Bergen, Robert Parsons, Walter Hayden, H. Lancaster, Vernon Roberts, Thomas Trainor, James Martin, Urban Hovath, John Green, John Huber, Carl McGee, Roy Hunter, Andy Tomak, Vergil Willis, Alex Burmich, John , Delmer, Phillip Ervin, Andy Kish, George Kish, Frank Kish, Josep North, George Brown, Walter Andreyavich, John Maddock, William Peyatt, Charles Hopps, E. McKee, Thomas Peyatt, Vergil Phillips, Alfred Wade, Ralph Davis, Will Brown, Ben Fielder, John Butsko, Carl Robinette, Andy Cuba, Charles G?, Edward McManaway, Abe Rankin, Sam Brown, John Patterson, Floyd Pettit, Miles Grim?, William Messenger, Oscar Willis, George Thomas, Joseph Jackson, Joe Batako, William Clancy, John Williams, Roy Andrews, Charles Sekers?, Wilbur North, William Kish, George Love, Andrew Willis, Paul Burdis, Harry Sycks, John McAllister, Ray Parry, James Hurd, Luther Wade, Missing: James Gennice, Bill Powell, Stanley Kish, Silas Erwin, James Arthur Lyons, Paul Erwin, Thomas Marley?, In hospitals: John Dean, Chris Parker, Charles ?, Henry Forsbach, Cliff Watson, Ed Parker (brother of Chris) James Ronaldo?, Howard Davis, Floyd Ayers, James Norton, Thomas Marshall, John Cavello, James Hunter, Bernard Skinner, Floyd Crabtree, Carl Pickering, Ralph Channell, Robert Cobb, Earl Hunter (brother of James), ? Willis (brother of Oscar), Frank Williams. (as reported in the Athens Messenger)
Millfield Disaster Dayton Articles and the Millfield tipple and washouse photo's submitted by Sue Leffler
Ages at death and birthplace provided from actual death certificates by Hayden family researcher Lois Helmers. Thanks Lois for your hard work!
Obituary research information, 1930 census information and Mitchell girls photo and postcard photos provided by
If you have information to add to the above or wish to add your email address to your ancestor, email me.
Newspaper article #1 Dayton Daily News/Journal Herald
Newspaper article #2 Dayton Daily News/Journal Herald
Millfield Disaster from the Harris History book
1996 Ohio Geology
MILLFIELD MINE DISASTER CORRECTION
The Division of Geological Survey recently learned that Sigmund Kozma, Athens, is the lone living survivor of the methane explosion at the Sunday Creek Coal Company No. 6 mine at Millfield, Athens County (see Ohio Geology, Fall 1995). This explosion on November 5, 1930, took the lives of 82 men. In an article in the Athens News (December 4, 1995, p. 7), Kozma stated "We were loading a coal car and we felt the pressure (much like diving) and then it was released. All you could hear was the force of air (in your ears). There was no (sound of an) explosion . . . . There were four men in our group (of 13) that were badly injured. The force of the explosion hit them and rolled them . . . . As long as we had good air we would have lived. We followed where the (good) air was (leading us)." Three hours after the explosion, Kozma and the rest of his group made it out of the mine.
This article about Kozma was published in the Ohio Geology online magazine
Send comments or questions regarding the Kozma article to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update January 13, 2000
Millfield Disaster Historical Marker
|Coal mine history||Towns||Museum Holdings|
|Area Coal mine photos||Genealogy Society||OHGENWEB|
|Coal, the Diamonds of the Hocking Valley||Logan Obituaries||Message Boards|
|Diary of Murray City Coal Miner John Holt||ATHENS ARCHIVES||USGENWEB|
|World Gen Web for Kids||Athens Obituaries||Home|
Email for Athens County HTML Writer and Coordinator
Return to Athens Resources Page
Copyright 1996-2005 by Sandra Mitchell Quinn
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Athens County, OHGENWEB
Best Viewed on 800 X 600 Desktop Display, on larger format the fire will be in the center of the screen also.