Coal miners die in an explosion at Newcastle on October 9, 1894.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2213

On October 9, 1894, four miners die in an explosion in the Oregon Improvement Company coal mine at Newcastle. The following day, coroner's jury rules that the explosion was "caused by a charge of giant powder being set off" and was "entirely accidental and quite beyond the reach of ordinary human forethought to foresee." The Oregon Improvement Company was "entirely exonerated from any blame on or negligence in the matter" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

The dead were identified as follows:

Name Age   Nationality Occupation Married/Single Family  
George Parrish 19 English Driver Single  
George Dobson 21 English Starter Single  
Charles Giles 16 Negro Trapper/
Switch Boy
David J. Lloyd 30 Welch Miner Married Wife & 2

Oregon Improvement Co. superintendent Theron B. Corey (1846-1909) traveled from Seattle by train to supervise the recovery of bodies. The company paid for all the burials.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 10, 1894, pp. 1-2; Ibid., October 11, 1894, p. 2; Ibid., October 13, 1894, p. 1.

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