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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hyden in Leslie County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Hurricane Creek Miner Memorial

 
 
Hurricane Creek Miner Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
1. Hurricane Creek Miner Memorial
Inscription.

This memorial is dedicated to the 38 men who died here in the explosions in mine Shafts 15 and 16, on December 30, 1970

Miners who gave so much that future generations may benefit with a better life

They sacrificed for their families, labored and lost their lives

We honor them so they will never be forgotten

Walter Bentley, Age 60. Survived by his wife and children, Ralph, 38, Gracie, 36, Glenna, 34, Shelby Jean, 30, Ben 28, Carolyn, 26. He’d been working for Finley Company for about four months. He was a native of Leslie County. • Billy James Bowling, Age 24. Survived by his wife Mary Katherine, children, Deobrah Kay, 4, Donna Lynn, 3, David France, four months, and parents, Robert Lee and Dorothy Bowling. His brothers-in-law Price Henson and Arnold Sizemore were also killed. • Grover Bowling Jr., Age 33. Survived by his wife Barbara, daughter, Denia Lee, 8, and his mother, Ida Bowling. He worked at Finley’s Mines for seven years. He was born in Clay County and lived in Manchester. • Teddy Bush, Age 21. Survived by his parents Taylor and Susie Bush, and three brothers Jerry, Kenneth, and Wayne. He worked only five months in the mines. He lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. His best friend, Delbert Henson was also killed. • Fred Collins,
Entrance to Hurricane Creek Miner Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
2. Entrance to Hurricane Creek Miner Memorial
Age 18. Survived by his parents Dewey and Mac, sisters Kathy Holland, Carlene Turner, Bethel Gray, Evelynene, Bessielene, and brothers Raymond and Dewey, Jr. His brother, Kenople was also killed. • Kenople Collins, Age 26. Survived by his wife Mildred, and children, Sherry Anne, 4, Kenny Wayne, 3. His wife was expecting another baby. His brother, Fred was also killed. He worked in the mines for eight years. He lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. • Lonnie Collins, Age 28. Survived by his wife Jewell Dean, 32 and children, Larry, 12, step-son, Sandy, 3½, daughter, and parents, Elsie and Bige Collins. His relatives, Freddy and Kenople Collins were also killed. He was a native of Leslie County. • Alonzo Couch, Age 36. Survived by his wife Nettie, 41, two sons, ages 15 and 13, and parents Coonie and Stella Couch. He worked in the mines for seventeen years. • Holt Couch, Age 34. Survived by his wife Mattie, 39, children, Judy Gil, 16, Kelly Ray, 11, Donna Kay, 7, and parents, Will and Elsie Couch. His twin brother, Howard was also killed. • Howard Couch, Age 34. Survived by his wife Daisy, four children, Phyllis Jean, 10, Berna Dean, 7, Charlene, 5, Eva Carol, 2, and his parents, Will and Elsie Couch. His twin brother, Holt was also killed. • Carl Ghent, Age 31. Survived by his wife Ruby Ghent, three children, Veda Ann, 10, Jeffrey Lane,
Miner Shaft Corridor to Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
3. Miner Shaft Corridor to Memorial
A miner's helmet with the name of each of the 38 men who died line the corridor to the memorial
7, Tammie Lynne, 3. Carl was born in Clay County, the only son of Lola and John Ghent. He had six sisters. He lived on Billy’s Branch in Clay County. • Alfred Gibson, Age 45. Survived by his wife Emily Sizemore Gibson, his mother Nance Ann, one step-daughter, and one son, eight brothers and four sisters. Preceded in death by his father, Archie. • Lawrence Gray, Age 30. Survived by his wife Nancy, children, Charlotte, 9, Wade, 7, parents, Ballard and Ollie Gray, three sisters and three brothers. He lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. He worked in the mines at least ten years. • Theo Griffin, Age 28. Survived by his wife Martha, and daughter, Sandra Carol, 6. He lived on Paces Creek in Clay County. He worked in the mines for four months. His brother-in-law, Jeff Spurlock was also killed. • Lester Harris, Age 35, Survived by his wife Edith, and three sons, Glenn, 13, Eddie Dean, 10, Timmy Dwayne, 7. He worked in the mines eighteen years, mostly in Clay County. He made his home on Chop Bottom in Clay County. • Delbert Henson, Age 19. Survived by his parents Bertha and Estill Henson, four sisters, Gracie, Oma, Ellen, and Cornelia and six brothers, Carl, Thomas, Asher, Charles, Lloyd Jr., and Sammy. His best friend, Teddy Bush was also killed. • Price Henson, Age 38. Survived by his wife Litha, and children, John, 16, Kelly, 14, Louise, 13, Michael,
Miner Statue and Memorial Wall image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
4. Miner Statue and Memorial Wall
9, Ben, 7, Denise, 3, Tina Lynn, nine months. His brothers-in-law, Billy J. Bowling and Arnold Sizemore were also killed. • Walter Hibbard, Age 41. Survived by his wife Mae Grubb Hibbard, children, Ronnie, 17, Gary, 14, Sharlene, 11, Wanda Faye, 9, Peggy Sue, 7, four sisters and six brothers. He lived in Clay County all of his life. He spent twenty four years in the mines. • George Holland, Age 41. Survived by his wife Alvie, and three daughters, Helen, 19, Wilma Jane, 17, Wanda, 13. He spent twenty three years in the mines. He was born in Leslie County. He and his family lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. • Ben Hoskins, Age 24. Survived by his wife and four children, Francis, Margie Ann, Willie Trapas, Shirley. He worked for Finley’s for seven years. He was born in Clay County and lived on Elk Creek. His brother, Frank was also killed. • Frank Hoskins, Age 19. Survived by his wife Brenda Carol Hoskins, son John Radar, nine months, parents Radar and Celia Hoskins, brother, David, and sister, Margie. He lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. His brother, Ben Hoskins was also killed. • Kermit Hubbard, Age 39. Survived by his wife Geneva Hubbard, and his children, John Clifford, 15, Joyce Anne, 14, Jimmy Lee, 11. He was born in Clay County. He spent twenty three years working in the mines. • Jim Jones, Age 36. Survived by his wife Ruth, and children,
Miner Statue image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
5. Miner Statue
Velma, 12, Cordia Lou, 10, Kathlene, 7. He worked at Finley’s for five years and was a Leslie County native. • Rufus Jones, Age 53. Survived by his wife, Betty, 57, and children, Rufus, Jr. And A.B. His brother-in-law, Alfred Gibson was also killed. • James Minton, Age 27. Survived by his wife Geraldine, and his daughter, Sondra, two years old. He was a veteran, having served in the Army for three years. He performed in musical groups on many occasions. He lived in Manchester. • Lee Mitchell, Age 18. Survived by hsi parents, Robert and Delphia Mitchell, sisters, Bobbie Hoskins, 20, Mary Ann, 16, and brothers, Billy Ray, 14, Bruce, 11, Randy, 8. December 30 was his first day back after being off work for several months. • Russell Morgan, Age 33. Survived by his wife Mossie, children, Deborah, 12, Darrell, 6, his parents, Laura and Ueal Morgan, six brothers and two sisters. He spent twelve months in the mines. He lived on Elk Creek in Clay County. • Earl Philips, Age 45. Survived by his wife Dorothy, children, Marietta, 24, Joyce Ann, 23, Patricia, 20, Margaret, 17, Charlotte, 12, Joseph Earl,10, Deborah Kay, 9, Eddie Dean, 7, and four grandchildren, Rhoda, Estill, Eddie and Jimmy. • Stanley Roberts, Age 44. Survived by his wife Bonnie, and four sons, Stanley Wayne, 21, William Thomas, 19, Delbert, 18, Randy, 12. He worked in the mines for
Metal Tablet on Front Side of Statue Base image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
6. Metal Tablet on Front Side of Statue Base
twenty six years in Clay and Leslie Counties. He lived on Greasy Branch, Clay County. • Arnold Sizemore, Age 34. Survived by his wife Bobbie Lee, children, Randy Dwayne, 9, Charles Glenn, 7, Willia Gail, 2, and parents, Delores and Barrett Sizemore. His brothers-in-law, Price Henson and Billy J. Bowling were also killed. • Wilbert Smith, Age 33. Survived by his wife Betty Faye, and parents, Theo and Rube Smith. He spent fifteen years in the mines. He lived in Lyttleton, Clay County. His father-in-law, Decker Whitehead was also killed. • Jeff Spurlock, Age 41. Survived by his wife Barbara, and four daughters, Alice Sue, 17, Joan, 15, Kathy, 13, Debbie, 12. He lived on Paces Creek, Clay County. His brother-in-law, Theo Griffin was also killed. • Albert Wagers, Age 28. Survived by his wife Betty Lee, children, Anita, 5, Larry Beve, 4, Richard, 1, his mother, Amanda Henson Wagers, three brothers and sisters. His father, Beve Wagers, was killed in an accident at Finley’s in 1963. • Armond Wagers, Age 40. Survived by his wife Elva, and eleven children. He was in the mines for the first time at age 14. His brother, Arnold Wagers was also killed. • Arnold Wagers, Age 35. Survived by his wife Juanita, and four children. He spent eighteen years in the mines. His brother, Armond Wagers was also killed. • Elmer White, Age 23. Survived by his
Metal Tablet on Left Side of Statue Base image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
7. Metal Tablet on Left Side of Statue Base
Facsimile of State House of Representatives bill
wife Brenda, and five month old son. He spent only four weeks at Finley’s. His father-in-law and wife’s uncle were also killed. • Decker Whitehead, Age 46. Survived by his wife Lula, five children, and three grandchildren. He was 16 years old when he started working in the mines and was a mine foreman at Finley’s. • Denver Young, Age 29. Survived by his wife Dailey, son Jeffery, 6, parents John and Rachel, four brothers and four sisters. He lived on Couch’s Branch in Leslie County. He worked in the mine approximately six years.
 
Erected 2011.
 
Location. 37° 7.724′ N, 83° 20.867′ W. Marker is near Hyden, Kentucky, in Leslie County. Marker can be reached from Wendover-Hurricane Creek Road 1.4 miles south of Kentucky Highway 80, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hyden KY 41749, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster (within shouting distance of this marker); Sgt. Willie Sandlin (approx. 2.7 miles away); Leslie County Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away); Finley Mine Disaster Memorial (approx. 2.7 miles away);
Metal Tablet on Right Side of Statue Base image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
8. Metal Tablet on Right Side of Statue Base
Facsimile of Governor's Proclamation
Leslie County (approx. 2.7 miles away); Redbud Capital of the World (approx. 2.7 miles away); Mothers and Babies (approx. 2.7 miles away); Mary Breckinridge (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Hyden.
 
Also see . . .  Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on August 27, 2015.)
 
Additional comments.
1. 40th Anniversary of the Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster

On December 30, 2010, the Governor of Kentucky proclaimed in part:
     WHEREAS, On December 30, 1970, at 12:20 p.m. Eastern Time, a major blast occurred in mines Number 15 and 16 on Hurricane Creek off State Highway 80, about four miles east of Hyden, Kentucky; and
     WHEREAS, All but one of the 39 miners underground at the time were killed; and
     WHEREAS, As a result of deadly mining disasters such as the one at Hurricane Creek, the United States Secretary of the Interior created in 1973 the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA), a new Department of Interior agency that assumed the safety and health enforcement responsibilities formerly assigned to the United
Metal Tablet on Back Side of Statue Base image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
9. Metal Tablet on Back Side of Statue Base
A.T. Collins, the lone survivor of the tragedy
States Bureau of Mines, which mainly oversaw mineral resources; and
     WHEREAS, Congress ultimately passed in 1977 the “Mine Safety and Health Act,” which strengthened protections for mine works and transferred all federal health and safety mining mandates to the Department of Labor for oversight of one of the world’s most dangerous occupations; and
     WHEREAS, Mining fatalities dropped sharply nationwide since the inception of the Mine Act, from 272 in 1977 to 86 in the year 2000, and we honor the sacrifice of those miners whose deaths led to these improvements;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVEN L. BESHEAR, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, do hereby proclaim December 30, 2010, as

THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HURRICANE CREEK MINE DISASTER

A facsimile of this proclamation is on the right side of the base of the sculpture.
    — Submitted August 27, 2015.

2. Lone Survivor
The metal tablet on the back side of the base of the sculpture reads:

A.T. Collins, 1923 - 2007. Survived by his wife Dora, four children, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He worked as the beltman. He was the lone survivor of the tragedy and was blown over 60 feet out of the mine.
    —
Memorial Wall image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
10. Memorial Wall
Memorials for the 38 miners who died line the memorial wall
Submitted August 27, 2015.

 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & Commerce
 
Memorial Wall Inscription image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
11. Memorial Wall Inscription
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
12. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
13. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
14. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
15. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
16. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
17. Miner Memorials
Miner Memorials image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 6, 2015
18. Miner Memorials
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 188 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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