The Dominion Post  

110 years since Monongah Mine explosion

Created on:   Tue, Dec 5, 2017   10:55 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Dec 6, 2017   7:01 AM

The Dominion Post

MONONGAH — Dec. 6 marks the 110th anniversary of the Monongah Mine Disaster — which claimed the lives of 500 men and boys, while giving the country a grim awareness of the dangers of that profession.

Monongah was what brought Mother Jones to West Virginia.

The fiery labor organizer from County Cork, Ireland, rabbled-roused from hollow to hollow, helping the fledgling United Mine Workers of America dig in like a coal seam.

J. Davitt McAteer, the former assistant secretary for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, has long marveled at the resilience of West Virginians in the aftermath of such tragedies.

He was struck, in particular, by the coal-camp grit of the immigrant families, who stayed on these shores — the widowed women, in particular.

“And there’s still a Monongah today,” he said recently.