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Diamondville Mine No. 1 Accident 1889

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 12 Feb 1889
Location: Diamondville, Lincoln, Wyoming, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters Wyoming Wyoming_Coal_Mining_Disasters
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters |Wyoming Mine Disasters| Diamondville Mine No. 1 Accident, 1889

Contact: United States Mining Disasters


History and Circumstances

Mine History

Diamondville, Wyoming is located South of Kemmerer, Wyoming. In 1868, a man by the name of Harrison church discovered coal near the Hams Fork River. He built a cabin on the hill where part of modern Diamondville now stands. Realizing the area’s potential, he sought financial backing from a group in Minneapolis, who eventually formed the Hams Fork River Coal Company, incorporated in 1884. Later S.F. Fields, a promoter from Salt Lake City, Utah, took over management of the company and with the financial backing of the Anaconda Mining Company, renamed it the Diamond Coal & Coke Company.[1]
Diamondville was incorporated about 1896 with a Scot immigrant, Thomas Sneddon, as the first Mayor. Most of the original settlers came from Almy, Wyoming, where they had been working in the Almy mines, which had been closed after explosions in 1881, 1886, and 1896. Like many of the other miners in the area he previously had been in the service of the Union Pacific Coal Co. in Almy near Evanston.
Diamondville got its name from the quality of the superior-grade coal from the local mines that seemed to resemble black diamonds.
Diamondville Mine Buildings
Diamondville Mine

Mine Disaster Circumstances

Ten brave men were risking their lives endeavoring to reopen the Diamondville No. 1 coal mine. They were all knocked down, one by one, by "Black Damp". When help arrived, two were already dead, and the others were resuscitated with great difficulty. The names of the dead are John L. Russell and Lee Wright. [2] "Black Damp" is a mixture of unbreathable gases in an enclosed area and mainly consists of nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide and water vapor. The gases displaces oxygen in the air. The term black damp comes from the German dampf, "vapors."

The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah – 14 Feb 1899 [3]

Results and Findings

In Memoriam

Men That Died

Miner Deaths
Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
John L. Russell Sr., 46, 28 Dec 1852, Married, 8 children, Scottish Yes Yes No N/A
Lee Wright N/A

Men That Were Injured


  1. Historic Diamondville. The Town of Diamondville, n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.
  2. Diamondville 1899 news

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Comments: 1

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Nice work Sheryl! I'm going to go ahead and update the format to match the new one and convert it to an Accident. Let me know if you have questions!


posted on Diamondville Mine No. 1 - Asphyxiation (merged) by Mindy Silva