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Belmont Mine Fire Victims

Nye County

In Memory of the 17 miners who lost their lives in the Belmont Mine fire outside of Tonopah on February 23rd, 1911. On that morning, miners believed they smelled smoke near the 1,100- foot level. This means that they were 1,100 feet down in the earth. Their only exit was a hoist cage controlled solely by somebody up top. As the fire grew, one miner continued to travel back into the mine in an attempt to rescue other miners. William 'Big Bill' Murphy continued to descend, even as the conditions were taking effect on him. While traveling back to the top after another trip back into the mine, he lost consciousness. He slipped from the cage and fell to his death. He gave his life saving his fellow miners. He was only 28 years old. The photos below include photographs of the funeral procession that took place several days later in Tonopah. It took place in a blizzard. The Mizpah Hotel is in the background. I have been able to find the graves of 12 of the 17 deceased miners in the old Tonopah Miners Cemetery. A massive thanks to the Central Nevada Museum/ Central Nevada Historical Society, and the Tonopah Historic Mining Park for everything they do to preserve this history. If you are ever passing through Tonopah, stop in and check them out. They are both fantastic places. And leave a donation. It really helps them out. Also see the article titled "Belmont Mine Fire" by Clair Blackburn.

The dead were:

Bozo Bogovich- 28
Frank Burke- 41- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Manuel Cordoza- 36- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Clarence David- 40- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
George Dondero- 30- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery
Robert Fraser- 29- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery
AJ Guilfoyle- Age Unknown- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Mike Hannigan- 34- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
John Mea- 33
Chris Mirkovich- 27
John Murat- 21
William 'Big Bill' Murphy- 28- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Nick Olevich- 31- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Mike Plamanz- 26- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Jack Ryan- 23
Mike Scobally- 38- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)
Matt Slemsed- 25- (Buried in Tonopah Miners Cemetery)


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