Death of Noah Young - State Mine Inspector for the 1908 Explosion of Mine No. 1
Notes from the Union Pacific Coal Company
Death of Noah Young
Mr. Noah Young, former Coal Mine Inspector of District No.2, northern Wyoming, died at Culver City, California, on July 23rd last, the remains interred at Culver City, July 26th.
Mr. Young, who was 76 years of age at the time of his death, enjoyed a rather colorful career. As a young man he came to Wyoming in the early 70’s, serving as an Indian scout, an occupation that brought him into contact with “Buffalo Bill” Cody and other prominent western characters.
After the Indian troubles subsided, Mr. Young engaged in gold mining and ranching, settling at Glenrock, Wyoming, thereafter accepting the District State Mine Inspectorship, Mr. Young was delegated by Governor Bryant B. Brooks to make an investigation of the explosion which occurred at Hanna Mine No. 1 on March 28, 1908, which cost the lives of fifty-nine men.
Reading over Mr. Young’s report of the causes that led up to this appalling tragedy which followed the even more serious one of June 30, 1903, one cannot be other than impressed with his plea for “flameless” explosives instead of black powder, for the better ventilation of the mines, and the continuous use of the anemometer which apparently was not in vogue in that day.
Since Mr. Young’s day, permissible explosives have completely succeeded black powder, and with this change has come permissible lights, rock dust, water for sprinkling, and the elimination of matches and tobacco within the mines. Our ventilation machinery and inspection has been raised to a high standard but now, as in the past, eternal vigilance is the price of mine safety. (UPCCEM September 1931)