Comstock Mining Deaths

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Storey and Lyon Counties

I've always been extremely interested in the Comstock. I was always curious about the miners who died working these mines. There are a few large incidents like the Yellow Jacket mine fire in 1869 that are well documented and written about. But it is extremely difficult to find anything on the smaller accidents where only a miner or two were killed. About two years ago, I started going through old newspaper archives from the Comstock and locating these accidents. I can honestly say, it was the most time-consuming research that I've ever done. I've located hundreds of Comstock mining accidents/ deaths. I've had conversation with a well-known Nevada historian who also publishes books. We've discussed possibly turning this into a book. Many of these men were not buried on the Comstock. Their remains were sent to where they were from for burial. Others who were buried on the Comstock, had their gravestones destroyed or stolen long ago. The following entries are for those men that I was still able to find gravestones for. I'll add a few small details on each man that I found a gravestone for. To include the mine that they were killed in. Specific dates of death have been difficult in a few cases. For example, the news article may not exactly match the date on the stone, etc. Therefore, I am only going to add the month and year of the death. A couple of these men, like Bennetts and Cook, were heroes who died trying to save other miners. Hopefully one day, this will actually become a book and you can read all the details about every Comstock mining death. The Comstock built Nevada. These men built the Comstock! Without them, there would be no Nevada, no Battle Born. So to them, I say, Battle Born! And may you Rest In Peace.

Gravestone photographs and obituaries/ funeral notices (the ones I could find) are attached.

1864 Nov: Noel, Warren- Michigan- Age 30- From Wisconsin- Gold Hill burial
1865 Aug: Dickey, James- Ophir- Age 35- Freemasons- From New York- Virginia City burial
1868 Sept: Griswold, Chauncey- Petaluma Mill- Age 29- From N.Y. or N.J.- Gold Hill burial
1868 Nov: Gaston, William: Doctor who treated many miners- Age 32- From N. Carolina. Gold Hill burial
1869 Apr: Bickle, George: Yellow Jacket- Age 31- Freemasons, Odd Fellows- From England. Gold Hill
1869 Apr: Bickle, James: Yellow Jacket- Age 28- Freemasons- From England. Gold Hill burial
1869 Apr: Bickle, Richard: Yellow Jacket- Age 33- Freemasons, Odd Fellows- From England. Gold Hill
1869 Apr: McCoy, Thomas: Yellow Jacket-Age 34- From Ireland. Gold Hill burial
1871 Nov: Beckerleg, John: Belcher- Age 27- Odd Fellows- From England. Gold Hill burial
1873 Feb: Champion, Edwin: Savage- Age 21- Odd Fellows- From England. Virginia City burial
1874 Aug: Bray (Brey), Richard: Belcher- Age 34- Freemasons- From England. Gold Hill burial
1874 Dec: Stewart, William: Dayton- Age 39- Freemasons- From Scotland. Gold Hill burial
1875 Aug: Cock, John- Overman- Age 35 or 37- Odd Fellows- From England- Gold Hill burial
1876 Mar: Cook, Thomas- Knickerbocker- Age 38- From England- Gold Hill burial
1878 Feb: McKenzie, Robert: Succor- Age 38- From Nova Scotia- Gold Hill burial
1878 Dec: Wasescha, Joseph: Silver Hill- Age 35- Freemasons- From Switzerland- Silver City burial
1879 Mar: Buitman, John: Silver Hill- Age 46- Freemasons- From Germany- Gold Hill burial
1879 Sept: Carter, John: Combination Shaft- Age 29- From England- Virginia City burial
1879 Oct: Retallack, John: Union- Age 32- Freemasons- From England- Virginia City burial
1882 Jun: Bennetts. William: Alta- Age 37- Freemasons and Hero- From England- Gold Hill burial
1882 Jun: Brown, James: Union- Age 38- Odd Fellows- From Ireland- Virginia City burial
1882 Jul: Grant, William: Combination Shaft- Age 28- Odd Fellows- Nova Scotia- Virginia City burial
1884 Jun: Curnow, Mathew- C&C Shaft- Age 45- Knights of Pythias- From England. Virginia City burial
1885 Jun: Scott, John: Kentuck- Age 33- From Canada- Gold Hill burial
1887 Jun: Bruce, Robert: Gould & Curry- Age 24- From California- Gold Hill burial
1887 Jun: Eddy, Peter: Gould & Curry- Age 39- Knights of Pythias- Unknown- Virginia City burial
1887 Jun: Hamilton, Foster: Gould & Curry- Age 36- Freemasons- Unknown- Virginia City burial
1887 Jun: Jeffree, E.B.: Gould & Curry- Age 39- Odd Fellows- From England- Virginia City burial
1887 Jun: Morgan, Joncy: Gould & Curry- Age 29- Odd Fellows- Unknown- Virginia City burial
1887 Jul: Sirlott, William: Dayton- Age 45 or 47- Freemasons- From Illinois- Silver City burial
1887 Jul: Henrichs, Hugh: Ophir- Age 24- Freemason- From Nevada- Virginia City burial
1888 Jun: Drysdale, William: Con Virginia- Age 50- Freemason- From Scotland- Virginia City burial