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Des Moines, Iowa, August 15, 1883. To his Excellency, BUREN R. SHERMAN, Governor of Iowa:
SIR-In compliance with chapter one hundred and seventy-five of the laws of the Nineteenth General Assembly, I herewith submit my first biennial report of the Department of Mines. Chapter two hun. dred and two of the laws of the Eighteenth General Assembly made it the duty of the Inspector of Mines to report annually his proceedings to the Governor, but that portion of the law was amended by chypter one hundred and seventy-five of the laws of the Nineteenth General Assembly.
I have therefore named this my first biennial report, and in this report I will give the condition of the mines from July 1, 1881, to June 30, 1888, containing a statement of the approximate coal production of the State, a list of the fatal accidents, a brief statement of the labors of the Inspector for the last two years, recommendations: for the improvement of the mining law, and such other matters in connection with mines and mining as I have deemed of importance.
The mining industry of the State is yearly growing in magnitude. During the past two years the number of mines has not been increased, but small mines, upon the advent of railroads, have given place to larger ones, so that the coal output of the State is gradually increasing, while perhaps the number of mines has somewhat decreased. The winter of 1881 and 1882 was very mild, and caused the production of coal for the first year of this report, to fall about 300,000 tons short of my former report, but that was caused by the exceeding open win
The approximate output of coal for the year ending June 30, 1882,
was 3,127,700 tons, and for the year ending June 30, 1883, it was 3,881,300 tons, or a total for the two years of 7,009,000 tons. I have never been able to furnish an accurate account of the annual coal production of the State, for the reason of the unwillingness of the operators to furnish the returns to this office of the output of their mines, regarding that as private business. I have sent letters to the different mining companies doing business in this State, requesting them to furnish this office with a statement of the amount of coal mined by each company, but answers were not generally returned; therefore the estimate made is only approximate.
The following is a list of the fatal accidents reported to this office for the two years ending June 30, 1883, including the decision of the coroner's jury in each case.
DANIEL LANTRY. The jurors, upon their oaths, do say that said Daniel Lantry came to his death by the explosion of a 24-pound keg of powder, caused by the lighted lamp falling from his own cap into a large hole in the side of the keg which was lying on its side, and no one is to blame for the accident.
BRUCE INGLES, )
J. S. HENDERSON,
ALBION JOHNSON. The jurors, upon their oaths, do say that the deceased came to his death from the effects of a rock falling upon him while at work in the mines of the White Breast Coal and Mining Company; that it was altogether an accidental occurrence, and no blame attaches to any one.
C. D. FLYNN,)
C. A. FLYNN, )