With their lives dependent on one another, miners generally formed the kind of bonds common to soldiers in war time.
Yet, there were exceptions as shown in the report of an assault and robbery reported in the Monday, Feb. 20, 1893 issue of the Evening Herald, Shenandoah.
The victim was John Connors, who was employed as a driver in the shaft section of the Shenandoah City colliery.
On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 18, 1893, Connors drew his pay, amounting to $15.06. As he was on the night shift, he pocketed the money and carried it with him as he entered the mine. He’d hauled out a trip of loaded cars. As he stooped to uncouple a car, the light on his cap was blown out and he received a blow on the back of his neck. The blow knocked him down and as he lay partly stunned he felt someone rifling his pockets.
“When Connors regained his feet and found his lamp he found himself alone and there was no means by which he could learn who had assaulted him.”
The victim reported the incident to his superiors and Coal & Iron police were called in. The police proclaimed it only the second case of its kind in the Anthracite region. The other robbery had occurred a year earlier in one of the Shamokin mines.
Under questioning, Connors recalled another young man working in the Shenandoah mine had told him he didn’t have the money to pay his board. Suspicion immediately fell on this man. “The suspected young man was arrested, but he produced several witnesses before Squire Monaghan who swore the accused was in another part of the mine at the time Connors says the robbery was committed and the justice discharged him.”