Jan 25: The Harwick Mine Disaster
179 lives were claimed when the Harwick Mine exploded. 16-year-old Adolf Gunia was the sole survivor. Two men, Daniel A. Lyle of the town of Leechburg and Selwyn M. Taylor of Pittsburgh, heard of the disaster and came to help search for any survivors. Both were overcome by afterdamp, a suffocating mixture of residual gases left after an explosion of firedamp in a mine, and died. The Cheswick Relief Committee was organized and over $40,000 was collected from the general public for the families.
Carnegie writes to close friend and former business associate Charles L. Taylor stating, “I can’t get those widows and children of the mine out of my head.”
Carnegie donates $40,000 to Harwick relief committee, and presents two gold medals to commemorate acts of heroism displayed by Mr. Selwyn M. Taylor and Mr. Daniel Lyle.