The Times West Virginian


November 20, 2013

Farmington men’s sacrifice saved lives of future miners

Arthur Anderson Jr. Jack Armstrong. Thomas Ashcraft. Jimmy Barr. Orval Beam. John Joseph Bingamon. Thomas Boggess. Louis Boros. Harold Butt. Lee Carpenter. David Cartwright. William Currence. Dale Davis. Albert DeBerry. Howard Deel. George Decker. James Efaw. Joe Ferris. Virgil “Pete” Forte. Hilery Wade Foster. Aulda Freeman Jr. Robert Glover. Forrest Goff. John Gouzd. Charles Hardman. Ebert Hartzell. Simon Hayes. Paul Henderson. Roy Henderson Sr. Stever Horvath. Junior Jenkins. James Jones. Peter Kaznoski Sr. Robert Kerns. Charles King. James Ray Kniceley. George Kovar. David Mainella Sr. Walter Martin. Frank Matish. Hartsel Mayle. Dennis McDonald. Emilio Megna. Jack Michael. Wayne Minor. Charles Moody. Paul Moran. Adron Morris. Joseph Muto. Randall Parsons. Raymond Parsons. Nicholas Petro. Fred Burt Rogers. William Sheme. Robert Sigley. Henry Skarzinski. Russell Snyder. John Sopuch. Jerry Stoneking. Harry Strait. Albert Takacs. William Takacs. Dewey Tarley. Frank Tate Jr. Goy Taylor. Hoy Taylor. Edwin Tennant. Homer Tichenor. Dennis Toler. John Toothman. Gorman Trimble. Roscoe Triplett. William Walker. James Walters. Lester Willard. Edward Williams. Lloyd William Wilson. Jerry Yanero.

These men were fathers, husbands, brothers and sons.

And they were the 78 men who lost their lives in the Farmington mine disaster 45 years ago today.

Although 21 miners were able to survive the explosion that rocked the No. 9 mine of Consolidation Coal Co. early that morning, Nov. 20, 1968, is a day that changed the county’s history forever.

It altered the course of mine safety legislation for generations to come as well.

In the months following the mine disaster, the widows and family members of the miners killed lobbied Capitol Hill in an effort to keep other families from having to go through a tragedy like the one in Farmington. The result was the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, which created mine safety regulations to protect miners.

As United Mine Workers International President Cecil Roberts said during Sunday’s annual memorial service, the men killed that day made a terrible sacrifice, but saved the lives of future miners.

During the 25 years before the passage of the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, approximately 30,000 people lost their lives in the mines. But in the 25 years that followed the legislation, less than 3,000 miners died. In addition, the year after the Farmington mine disaster, black lung was recognized by the state of West Virginia and the United States government as an occupational illness, Roberts said.

We know nothing can make up for the pain the families of these men felt in the days, weeks and even years following their untimely deaths. But we hope their families know those deaths were not in vain, and the changes that have happened in the mining industry as a result have helped save countless lives.

May the 78 miners from Farmington No. 9 never be forgotten.

Text Only
  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?

    I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
    “Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
    I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.

    July 13, 2014

  • We must take all weather emergency alerts seriously

    In a weather emergency, every second counts.
    Think back to the derecho that devastated the state just two years ago. The powerful wind storm caused nearly 700,000 people in West Virginia to lose electricity, some who didn’t have power restored for weeks. A state of emergency was declared, and all but two of the state’s 55 counties sustained some damage or loss of power.

    July 10, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads