This week in Summit County history: Miner meets death in Montezuma mine |

This week in Summit County history: Miner meets death in Montezuma mine

Compiled by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
This Week in Summit History
The Sallie Barber Mine, located in French Gulch.
Courtesy Breckenridge Heritage Alliance |

This week in history as reported by the Summit County Journal 100 years ago, the week of May 1.

Zeeka Heilman, aged 28, a machine man, was instantly killed in a stope at the Jumbo mine in Montezuma Sunday morning at 9 o’clock, when a slab of rock weighing nearly a ton fell upon him. No one was near him at the time and it is not known how it happened. It is thought that his neck and back were broken and that several other bones were crushed.

Heilman reentered the stope on short shift change, following the firing of a round of shots and it is believed proceeded to set up his machine without having picked down the loose rock. A fellow-workman reached the unfortunate miner a few moments after the accident but nothing remained to be done except to remove the body from the slope.

Coroner Graham was summoned to the scene and an inquest determined that death was due to an unavoidable accident. Heilman was born at Monte Vista, where he is survived by his parents and two brothers and to which place the remains were shipped Tuesday.

Cause of lung trouble

While poor housing, exposure, alcoholism, use of common drinking cups and overwork all tend to reduce the power of miners to resist disease, the prime factor in causing pulmonary trouble is the rock dust in the mines, according to a well-versed doctor.

Mining men

The hotels of Breckenridge just now present an animated appearance. Accommodations are taxed to the utmost and the lobbies remind one of old-time boom days. Mining men are much in evidence and the principal subject of their discussions is mining—of course.

New residents in town

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hillsdale arrived Monday from Denver and will make their home here. The young people were married a few weeks ago in Ohio. Mr. Hillsdale is a chemical engineer at the Wellington, a young man well known in mining circle and attaining much success in his work.

Mrs. Gaymon returns from vacation

Mrs. O.K. Gaymon returned Saturday from a lengthy visit in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and other Pacific coast points. She had been absent several months. The greater part of her time, she was a quest of her sister, Mrs. Markey, and neice, Miss Enid Markey, the noted moving picture actress, a former Summit county girl.

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