TACOMA, Washington, Aug. 25. -- Thirty seven miners of various nationalities were killed yesterday afternoon in the Oregon Improvement Company's coal mine, at Franklin, King County, thirty-four miles southeast of Seattle. The miners were trying to save the mines from destruction by fire, and were suffocated by smoke
Franklin, Aug. 24 - [Special] - After being in session the whole afternoon, the coroner's jury empaneled to investigate yesterday's disaster this evening rendered a verdict which, though it may startle the outside country, caused no surprise here. The jury found that the fire in breast sixty-two of the north level was started by parties unknown who willfully, knowingly and maliciously desired to do great injury and damage to the lives of the employee's and the property of the Oregon Improvement Company. The verdict in full is as follows:
"We, the undersigned jurors, do agree that on August 24, 1894, on the sixth level of the Franklin mine, King county, Wash., the following parties, namely: [here follows a list of the thirty-seven dead miners] did come to their deaths by suffocation caused by smoke emanating from a fire in breast sixty-two, on the north side of the sixth level, said fire having been caused by a party or parties unknown to us, and that said party or parties did willfully, knowingly and maliciously cause said fire with intent and purpose to do great injury and damage to the lives of the miners and property of the Oregon Improvement Company.
HistoryLink.org Essay 9165
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 25, 1894
New York Times. "They Thought They Were Safe"
New York Times Archives, August 26, 1894: web
Franklin, WA Cemetery
Franklin cemetery is an abandoned mining town cemetery located at the old Franklin mine site. I was recently at Franklin and the Cemetery was in rather poor condition. This despite the appreciated efforts of local volunteers who tend the site from time to time. The biggest problem at Franklin is the vegetation namely blackberries. Without any tending the cemetery would not even be visible. Franklin cemetery's two enemies are mother nature and vandals.