by Polla Hammond Horn
For the FROSTBURG EXPRESS
Accident at Mt. Savage
JAMES & JOHN HOSKEN
Phillip Dickel was killed in Union No.1 of the New York Mining company on July 13, 1909. Mr. Dickel was working with a buddy driving a heading in which top rock was shot down for height. The shot did not loosen the top rock so they tried to pull it down with a pick but that, also, failed. Believing it would not fall, they began to work the breast coal. While doing this, the top rock gave way, falling on Mr. Dickel, injuring him in such a way that he died before he was taken out of the mine. Phillip Dickel was 32 years old. He and his wife, Nellie (Blank) Dickel, had three young children and lived at Fire Clay Mountain near Mt. Savage.
Phillip Dickel would never have been born had his father, Michael, not survived a mine accident in Mt. Savage on June 20, 1874.
At the underground works of the Fire brick Company at Mt. Savage, it became necessary, in order to open communication between shaft and gallery, to blast with a large charge of powder. After this was done Michael Dickel descended the shaft in a bucket to inspect the result. The smoke from the blast did not rise as quickly as expected and Mr. Dickel was overcome by bad air and fell from the bucket to the bottom of the shaft. John Hosken went down to assist Mr. Dickel. He, too, was suffocated and fell from the bucket. After the smoke was cleared, Phillip Thomas was lowered into the shaft and brought Dickel and Hosken to the surface where strenuous efforts were made to resuscitate them. Mr. Dickel recovered but Mr. Hosken died a few hours later. John Hosken was 22 years old and left a wife and three small children.
An interesting note is that John Hosken, who died, was the son-in-law of Phillip Thomas, the rescuer.
John Hosken’s brother, James, also worked as a coal miner. On May 13, 1910 James Hosken was instantly killed by a fall of top coal in Mine No.7 of the Consolidation Coal Company. James Hosken was 58 years old and left a widow and several grown children.
The Coal Miner Memorial Statue Fund is accepting contributions for the placement of an educational memorial near the crossroads of state Route 36 and the National Road in Frostburg. A bronze statue will honor all of our Georges Creek Valley miners, and name those who perished while mining. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to the Foundation for Frostburg CMMSF, P.O. Box 765, Frostburg, MD, 21532.
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