Diamondville No. 1 Mine Disaster 1905

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1 Dec 1905
Location: Diamondville, Lincoln County, Wyomingmap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters Disasters Wyoming
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters | Wyoming Mining Disasters|Diamondville No. 1 Mine Disaster, 1905

Contact: United States Mining Disasters


History and Circumstances

  • Date: 2 Dec 1905
  • Location: Diamondville, Wyoming
  • Victims: 18 deaths, # injuries, 2 survivors
  • Cause: Explosion (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

The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utath – 2 Dec 1905 [2]

On 1 Dec 1905, an explosion occurring late Friday night in mine No. 1, at Diamondville, Wyo., caused heavy loss of life. One telegram received here states that 18 men were killed. Another dispatch states that 18 to 35 men were caught in the mine when the explosion occurred. Reports received in Salt Lake City state the explosion was caused by a "blown" shot.

Through telephonic communication with the mine offices at Diamondville it is learned that 18 men, all who were in the mine, were killed. Nearly all of these were English miners, who came to the Wyoming mines direct from England. At 11 o'clock Saturday five bodies had been recovered. Had the full night shift been at work in the mine, the loss of life probably would have been appalling.

The small shift of 18 men were working 4,000 feet down in the mine, knocking down coal to be taken out by the day shift. Presumably, the men were close together in a bunch when the "blown" shot of giant powder exploded. At the mine offices, it is said that the workings are not materially damaged and that the mine will be shipping its usual output within four or five days. [3]

Results and Findings

In Memorium

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

Men That Died

Miner Deaths
Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
John Clark
Thomas Foulds
Ferdinando "Frank" Gabardi
Henry Greenwood
John G. Grimshaw
John Jansen
Gustavus "Gus" Johnson
John Johnson
John Kasair aka Kasari
Jobs Koshinen
Nels Larson
Robert Marshall
Antonion Martinon, aka Martignono, aka Martinoni
John Mawdsley
Henry Ringwood
Thomas Shields
Henry Usatalo aka Usatalto aka Yasatala
William Wilson


  1. Rope Runner
  2. Shift Boss


  1. Historic Diamondville. The Town of Diamondville, n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.
  3. "Eighteen Killed in Mine." Mine Disasters in the United States. Waterloo Times-Tribune, Iowa, 3 Dec. 1905. Web. 10 July 2017.

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