Stockton Disaster - Ann Wetterau

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Stockton Disaster - Ann Wetterau - PAGE 8 THE PLAIN SPEAKER, HAZLETON, PA., FMOAY...
PAGE 8 THE PLAIN SPEAKER, HAZLETON, PA., FMOAY AFTERNOON, JANUARY Pictures Recall Mine Cave Seventy Years Ago Stockton Disaster Details Recalled By Old Weekly Scenes Of Horror In Which Nine Ixst Their Lives. PHOTOS TAKEN FROM WOOD CUTS Cave Engulfing Families Attracted Nation-Vide Nation-Vide Nation-Vide Attention. Thinks to joint effort! by a num. ber of people, The Plain Speaker is bk) to present today pictures and a carefully checked account of the Stockton disaster of December 18, 18(59 when nine persons went to their deaths when two houses crashed into the mines in the little villape a mile east of Hazleton. Loming goon arter tne emu anni versary of the horror that caused sympathy throughout the nation, old timers still recall the disaster through early childhood recollections or through the conversations on the subject by their fathers and mothers Those who drive through Stockton ee on the west aide of the mnin street the little stone marker enclosed by an iron fence where sleep the six whose bodies were not recovered by rescuers. John Corra, Federal Writers Pro ject worker here; Mrs. E. D. Snyder and her brother, Walter Dietrich grandchildren of a trapped survivor of the catastrophe; Mrs. Funnie East Tressler whose brothers were among the rescue workers; Phillip Reilley and the Hugh B. Conahan descen dants whose ancestors were assist ants in the rescue work; and the Bur gess family whose early days were spent in Stockton, together with The Plain Speaker staff, co-operated co-operated co-operated in the gathering of the details of the terrible accident. In addition to these co-laborers, co-laborers, co-laborers, a copy of Frank Leslie's Magazine published published January 5, 1870, soon after the disaster the previous month, carries a story with pictures that was a big help in the collecting of the data. Frank Leslie's Magazine sent a re porter and an artist to the scene. In those days reproduction of cuts was a thing in the future but the artists, with the skill acquired in delineation of Civil War scenes less than a decade decade behind them, turned out pictures telling what witnesses narrated and the p rtrayals printed in this article were taken from the magazine by photographers and then cuts were made from the prints. Samuel East, who took part in the rescue activities, activities, jent a copy of the magazine to his brother John in Berwick. When the Berwick man died, the magazine was given to his Bister, Mrs. Tressler. Tressler. She preserved it carefully and her forethought made possible the Bhowing of the scenes as told by eye witnesses to the artist. Details of Disaster. December 18, 1869 found the landscape landscape covered by fsnow. A bright moon had shone overhead through the night and cold snappy weather prevailed. Daniel Conahan who was laid up with a broken leg was aroused aroused by the persistent barking of a dog at 4:30 a. m. He boarded in the Rough house, which went into the mines. Qespite his infirmity, he limped out of the house and saw the ground cracking and the two double houses eventually involved in the cave-in, cave-in, cave-in, tottering as the ground dipped. dipped. Phillip Wettrau, who lived in one of the doomed dwellings, was also also aroused by the dog and so was the night watchman of Linderman & Skeer, operators at the mines. They found one house leaning forward forward toward the ever deepening dip in the earth and the other sliding also in position to fall as shown in one of the pictures in this article. As they conferred, there was a crash and the home of William Swank and Isaac Rough plunged into the hole. Wettrau. whose family was asleep in the house which later went into the abyss, rushed into his home and aroused the family but -was -was almost too late. The earth was moving as he went into his house but all got out, as did also the Merish family, who lived in the other side of the double cottage the Wettraus tenanted. tenanted. Other people living nearby were aroused by the crash, the rumbling of the ground and the shaking of their homes and rushed about in terror. The bottom dropped out of Slope No. 1 and as the popu.ace gathered, the second house followed followed the Swank-Rough Swank-Rough Swank-Rough dwelling into the chasm. It was now dark for the moon had set but the darkness on the surface could not match the stygian blackness of the hole, 120 feet square and hundreds of feet deep that held the bodies of nine people. It soon developed that in addition to the nine victims, Miss Elizabeth Wettrau, aged 16 years, daughter of Phillip Wettrau, living in the second house, was also trapped. Tradition has it that the girl had rushed back into the house to rescue a new hat and had goneedown into the cave-in cave-in cave-in when the house followed the Swank-Rough Swank-Rough Swank-Rough premises. Daniel Conshan, overcoming with fare courage tfle handicap of a broken broken leg, was foremost among the res- res- Monumcnt Which Marks Disaster Final Scenes Of Stockton Horror In 1869 When Two Houses Were Entombed In Mines Iron fence surrounds filled in spot where two houses went into the mines on December 1H, 1H69, In Stockton, claiming 11 persons, with only 3 bodies recovered. cucrs. Overturned stoves in the two houses had set the debris on fire. Undeterred by the flames and the danger of cave-in cave-in cave-in spreading to other sections, the men folks lowered timbers timbers and ropes into the hole and down them the rescuers scrambled. Daniel Conahan and his brother, Hugh B. Conahan, later a Hazleton builder and Councilman, the Burgess brothers, Daniel Wclliver, Wiiiir.m Carr, who was superintendent of the mines; Samuel, William and John East and many others were in the van. They found the Wettrau girl trap ped with timbers across her legs and with the flames roaring near her. In sheer desperation, after they found that they could not raise the timbers, it was proposed they chop off her legs, bind the wounds and haul her to the surface. Hugh B. Conahan's practical knowledge as carpenter boss averted this need less mutilation. He had ropes placed on timbers and the men on the surface surface hauled them up a few feet. Then the girl was pulled up to the surface with ropes. She lived to become Mrs. Jacob Dietrich and was the grandmother of Walter Dietrich and Mrs. E. D. Snyder. - The rescuers found the bodies of Mrs. George Swank, her half grown daughter and the infant child of the Swanks. The two younger victims had apparently died in their sleep, as is indicated in the picture. These three bodies were taken to the sur face. The other six victims were en cased in a sinking horror of blackness, blackness, lighted with flames from their burning home as the subsidence closed in on the wreckage in which their bodies were trapped. The fire that raged threatened for time to envelop the Stockton mines. The Stockton Hotel ncaroy was menaced but saved. Other hous es near the chasm escaped the flames and the cave-in cave-in cave-in did not envelop envelop them as was feared at first. Stockton had 1200 residents at the time of the disaster and was one of the garden spots of the hard coal fields. Word was sent to Hazleton for help and Hazleton, then a borough borough for only 13 years came to aid, summoned through the ringing of the church bells. Thousands gathered gathered from all over the region and the metropolitan press sent special writers writers to the scene, with Hazleton as their headquarters. The incident was widely publicized and the coal company company was under severe criticism. The volunteer fire company of Hazleton, with Colonel Fitzpatrick, chief engineer, and J. C. Tomlinson, chief engineer of engine No. 1, at once turned out and proceeded .to the scene of the disaster with all speed. Two streams of water were poured on the burning mass from that hour (half past seven) until eight o'clock in the evening, when all danger of a general conflagration was over. Six hours after the first crash another piece of ground, cast of and near the large pit, gave way with a loud report, but happily without carrying with it any of the people who were standing by. The firemen immediately picketed the ground with ropes, and guarded the ap proaches to the hole as best they could from the encroachments of the crowd. The cause of the caving in is ac counted for in various ways, the most plausible theory being the cutting away of the coal pillars or supports to the roofing of the mine, at a place where it had been worked within twenty feet of the surface and the destruction of Hie was caused by the neglect of the company company to survey and map the mine, and notify the dwellers above of the impending danger. Stockton nevtr had a cemeteiy but the "graveyard" of the disaster disaster is known to many persons due to the fact that the G. A. R. each year marks with flowers and "taps" the last resting place of George Swank, Civil War veteran who survived survived the shot and shell of the Civil War to die in a night of horror four years after the war ended. The grave yard is 16 ft., in length and 12 feet in width and in the south corner of the plot stands r- r- ; -i -i r n M W . LAST HOI RS OF STOCKTON' CATASTROPHE with blazing ruins of houses In middle of great abyss, and with crowds gathered to watrh miners and firemen Mill trying to rescue victims of mine horror of early day of mining of eoal in the llarletnn region. Reproduced from artist's drawing published in first January issue of Frank Leslie's Magazine, which sent a reporter and. an artist to the scene to rover an occurrence that spread regret through the nation. victims, the marker is three foet in length and eighteen inches in width and sets at a pitch of ten degrees facing the east towards the road, and on the northern side of the cemetery cemetery there is a large hole, probably the old cave or part of the original cave, there is an iron fence around I the grave, there is inscribed these names. Elizabeth Rough Born May 18th., 1786. Margaret Rough, Born Jan., 18"8. Isaac Rough, Born Jan. 22, 18.10. Elizabeth Rough Born Mar. 18, 1869. George Swank, Born 1819. William Swank, Born 1850. All Died December the 18th, 1869. The tombstone and the old records show that nine died in the disaster. Old time tradition has it that there were eleven victims but the facts learned indicate that nine was the total of the deaths. Six bodies remained remained in the chasm when the firemen firemen finally withdrew after three davs work, the hole was filled and the grave marker placed. Daniel Conahan who aided in the giving of the alarm and who headed the rescuers despite a broken leg, died years ago. His son, John is chief engineer at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D. C; another son is Hugh A. Conahan, undertaker at Bethlehem and a daughter is Miss Kate A. Conahan, bookkeeper for her brother at Bethlehem. Hugh Conahan, who was a city assessor as well as a Councilman, located in Hazleton many years before his death. He was the father of the late, Mrs. Hugh Campbell, Sr. It was learned today for the first time that the restlessness that is caused by a broken leg and th? barking of the dog saved the life of Daniel Conahan. He boarded with the Roughs and had he been asleep, it is probable he would have gone down with the first house from which none was rescued alive. As First Houses Collapsed: Find Girl And Baby Dead Divorcee Bride Of Nelson Eddy Blonde Singer of Films Chooses Accomplished Musician For His Wife. rtM uttnwKT !Tt Mm run tBura nuruTrt mmnT ' I HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 20. () United in a surprise marriage at Las vejras, Nev., yesterday, Nelson Eddy and his bride, the former Ann Franklin, were driving back to Holly wood today for their honeymoon. Eddy will complete work in a current current motion picture and they will leave Feb. 6 on a concert tour of 31 cities. The blonde singer, who has co-starred co-starred co-starred with Jeanette MacDonald in "Sweethearts" and other films, chose an accomplished musician for his wife. They met five years ago at the home of Doris Kenyon, actress and concert singer. Mrs. Eddy is the daughter of Mr, and Mrs. Phillip Denitz of Beverly Hills, and the former wife of Sidney Franklin, screen director. She has a son, Sidney Franklin, Jr., 14. She gave her age as 40 and Eddy his as 37. To Give War Drama At Bucknell. As its "experimental" play this year, Cap and Dagger dramatic society society of Bucknell University at Lew-isburg Lew-isburg Lew-isburg will present "Idiot's Delight," by Robert Sherwood, Monday evening, evening, January 23, in the auditorium of the Lcwisburg High School. A satire on war which won the Pulitzer Prize several years ago, the play will be directed by John Fah-ringer, Fah-ringer, Fah-ringer, Wauwatosa, Wis. Leading roles will be taken by Norman Simpson, Brooklyn, N. Y., and Elizabeth Elizabeth Dinsmore, Teaneck, N. J. The picture to the stop is the reproduction of an artist's drawing of the seen as the two Stockton homes went into the mines in 1869 in a scene of midnight horror. It was sketched by an artist from the staff of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, printed weekly, sent to the scene with a writer from the Leslie staff. The Swank and Rough families, where all members died, were in the house in the bottom of the cave-in. cave-in. cave-in. The Merish and Wettrau families families resided in the dwelling that is to the extreme left. This building pitched finally into the pit but the occupants escaped with their lives'. The picture below depicts the discovery by rescue parties of the body of the daughter of Mrs. Swank and the latter's infant son, uncovered uncovered with the corpses in such a position that it indicates they were killed in the crash into the mine cave pit, without awakening from their sleep. Dr. LaBarre's Son Is New Attorney Donald L. LaBarre, son of Dr. and Mrs. Louis G. LaBarre of the Coaldale State Hospital, was admitted admitted to the bar in Lehigh county court. He will establish practice in that county. Attorney LaBarre, son of the chief surgeon at the Coaldale institution, institution, was educated in the Allen-town Allen-town Allen-town schools, Amherst and Harvard Law School. Until the present time he had been affiliated with Judge Claude Reno, of Allentown, recently appointed Attorney General General by Governor Arthur E. James. Places Youth On Probation. Stever. Rady, Jr., 23, was placed on one and one-hall one-hall one-hall year s probation after pleading guilty on three counts of transporting and possessing AO gallons of untaxed alcohol in Hazleton, Hazleton, when arraigned before Judge Court Clerk Killed. FERNDALE, Pa., Jan. 20. OF) Edgar O. Garrett, 50-ycar-old 50-ycar-old 50-ycar-old 50-ycar-old 50-ycar-old dep uty clerk of the V. S. District Court at Philadelphia, was killed yester day in a collision of a truck and an automobile on the Lackawanna Trail. Adam Boyton, of Nanticoke, driver of the truck, was taken to an Easton hospital with a fractured skull. In 1908, the air speed record was 39 miles an hour. This was set by Glenn H, Curtiss. RUPTURED? To insure our customers of trua comfort and ecurity we recommend NON-SKID NON-SKID NON-SKID SPOT PAD TRUSSES These Hirht-weight Hirht-weight Hirht-weight roliancrs hold your rupture securely, requiring only one-halt one-halt one-halt the pressure of ordinary trusses. an old apple tree and the marker in : Albert W. Johnson in federal court the plot contains the names of the i at Lewisburg yesterday. CROQUIGNOLE WAVE $J.95 Special 1 Other permanent permanent waves $2.50. $3.50, $5, $7. Beauty Services MITTS HAIRDRESSERS 18Vi W.BroadSt.Ph.3811 iff 25c 35c The newly m tented raised "centf Spot" on Psd backed up by main pad holds just like your angers. OUTSIDE of a surgical operation, a good truss, correctly fitted, the only safe relief for rupture. Visit our Truss Department and learn mora about these wonderful Trusses. Ask for free booklet 00 Hernia. Our experienced fitters also serve your needs for Abdominal Supporters. Elastic Hosiery. Shoulder Braces, etc. and our reasonable prices will surely please you. Trusses priced at ....$2.98 and up Elastic Stockings ....$2.98 upward Abdominal Belts . $2.50 to $10.00 Elastic Knee Caps. Ankle Supports. Elbow and Wrist Supports at prices everyone can pay. Information and Advice Free St. Peter's Order Hold The St. Order of St. festival day with a and a rectory of this rity. At 8 be corporate Peters at 7:30 admission of Order of St. A supper will ba o'clock, R. Cower, Acolytes church in speaker, work his general The order Acolytes Episcopal erven of Ilarleton, affi-lated. City Dr. A. superintendent of the of a letter Dur-kin, adviser of the Instruction, expresses completeness recent in the city promptly ment. Miss Miss Sue city school work which have done Hazleton. The new Sacramento, keeping shape, will 1939. I A. DOCTOR 50 Office 636 34? W. Broad Street S80 Alter Street 27 Years Skilled Prescription Service, Merit Confidence. o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o n O o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o '1

Clipped from The Plain Speaker20 Jan 1939, FriPage 8

The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania)20 Jan 1939, FriPage 8
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  • Stockton Disaster - Ann Wetterau

    rogsuem – 23 Jan 2016

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