Diamondville No. 1 Mine Disaster 1901

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Date: 25 Feb 1901
Location: Diamondville, Lincoln, Wyoming, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters Disasters Wyoming
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters | Wyoming Mine Disasters| Diamondville No. 1 Mine Disaster, 1901

Contact: United States Mining Disasters


History and Circumstances

  • Date: 25 Feb 1901
  • Location: Diamondville, Wyoming
  • Victims: 26 deaths, # injuries
  • Cause: Fire (Coal mine)

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

On the 12th of February 1899, 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 blackdamp. When help arrived, two were already dead, and the others were resuscitated with great difficulty. The names of the dead were John L. Russell and Lee Wright. [2]
The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah – 14 Feb 1899 [3]
On the 25th of February 1901, less than a year after that first incident, a fire broke out in Mine No. 1 trapping many miners inside. The first hint that something had happened was when one of the miners, John Anderson, ran out of the mine cloaked in flames.[4]
It was believed to have started from a miner's lamp in the oil room. Initial newspaper reports indicated that some fifty miners and fifteen horses were entombed when the mine was sealed to extinguish the fire. Because of the belief that all within the mine had been killed, work was directed to saving the rest of the mine. Only one man, John Anderson, managed to escape. Later reports put the number of dead at 32. Most of the men were Italians, Finns, and Austrians. Of the crew, three were Americans, a father and son, Thomas and Everett Simpson. Everett was 17 years old. The third, William O. "Willie" Jarman, had moved to Diamondville from McAllister, Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma), only two months before. His wife with their baby was visiting her family at the time. Several weeks before, he wrote expressing his loneliness and that he did not plan on staying much longer. [5]
Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, 27 Feb 1901 [6]

Results and Findings

The various newspapers reported anywhere from 50[7] to 70[8] men were entombed.

In Memorium

See the category for a list of the men that died, or were injured, in the coal mine fire.

Men That Died

Miner Deaths
Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
Borado Angeles, married
Flano Avavvinseni, married
Ellesardo Barfagnolli, married
Santo Formolo, single
Damiona de Fransisco, single
Ginepe Endriszi, single
Torenso Franzi, married
Siorodono Gabarde, single
Franzi Gueseppe, married
Bicle Kenela, single
Athlio Kucol, single
John Pasquen, married
Emiliaho Ranzramtama
Talmasci Roama, married
Borado Rorni, married
Herbert Simpson
Thomas Simpson, married
Thomas Simpson's son, age 15
Bistisa Sola, married
Nat Tasteun
John Tiplalahti
Hemminiki Tiplalahti,
John's brother

Men That Were Injured


  1. Historic Diamondville. The Town of Diamondville, n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.
  4. "Mine Disasters in the United States" (, as viewed on 11 February 2020. [Mine Disasters in the United States are listed by state from the home page.]
  7. News staff. "Fifty Miners Perished in a Burning Coal Mine in Wyoming," Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, 28 February 1901, p. 8, col. 4.
  8. "Perish in Wyoming Mine," Caroll, Iowa, The Caroll Herald, 27 February 1901, p. 1, col 5.
  • United States. Bureau of Mines. "Bulletin, Volumes 614-619" (Washington, D.C.: United States Department of the Interior, 1964), pp. 12-13
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