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By the Teachers, Pupils, and Patrons of Carbon District
(Edited by Don Strack for improved readability) (Towns listed in alpabetical order.)
(Unless noted, the following text was transcribed by Kathy Hamaker from "A Brief History Of Carbon County, By the Teachers, Pupils, and Patrons of Carbon District," published in 1930)
(See also: Kathy Hamaker's "Towns of Carbon County")
During the year of 1930, the primary teachers of the Carbon County School District, under the leadership of Lamont Poulter, Primary Supervisor, conceived the idea of assembling and compiling data concerning the early history and development of Carbon County. The principal object of this work was to provide a fund of interesting and useful information for use in the social studies of the upper primary grades.
In collecting material for this monograph, every available source of reliable information was contacted. Early settlers of the various communities were interviewed and first hand information solicited. County and ecclesiastical records were studied. Records of the various fuel companies were made available through the courtesy of company officials, and much interesting and reliable data gleaned from those sources. Various company officials and political officers prepared statements concerning industrial and political phases of our community life. In addition, many other records and individuals have aided materially in preparing this work.
In order to assure, as far as possible, accuracy of the data presented, the syllabus has been carefully read by persons qualified to judge its historical value. No effort has been made to present this data as a literary unity in the way of organizing subject matter or presenting it. The different articles are the products of as many different writers. It is believed that this variety of style will, of itself, add to the interest of the work.
In presenting this little monograph to the teachers and pupils of Carbon District, we desire to express again sincere appreciation to all who have aided in collecting and compiling the material assembled herein. If it aids, even in a small degree, in giving the youth of Carbon County a clearer picture of their homeland and a deeper appreciation of their sturdy pioneer ancestors and others who helped in the development of this section, the effort will not have been in vain, and those who have done the work will be amply repaid.
The town of Castle Gate is situated on the Price River, well up on the eastern slope of the Wasatch Range. It is a mile below that famed wonder of natural sculpture, the "Castle Rock" from which the town takes its name; and is almost at the western end of a series of towering sandstone crags carved in fantastic images known as the Book Cliffs. At an elevation of 6,120 feet, but protected by steep slopes on either side, both summers and winters are comparatively mild and equable.
The location of Castle Gate is due to the fact that coal outcrops at a convenient height to be screened and loaded into railroad cars. The D. & R. G. Western Railroad was under construction from 1881 to 1885, and three years after its completion no. 1 mine was opened by the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, now the Utah Fuel Company, and has been in practically continuous operation since that time.
Many years before the west was settled Jedediah Smith, William Ashley, and Eticane Provost passed through Price Canyon and in all probability explored the region that is now known as Castle Gate. The explorations of these men are portrayed in an interesting manner in Neihardt's "Splendid Wayfaring" which is the story of Jedidiah Smith and his comrades, the Ashley-Henry men, discoverers and explorers of the great central route from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. Inasmuch as many of those explorers and early trappers passed through this section of the country it would be of interest to the student to read of their experiences as portrayed in this book.
This region was given its attractive name by sheepherders when they observed the striking similarity of the north entrance to the gate of a protected castle. They know very little of the vast wealth underlying the surface except that here and there out croppings of coal appeared. No development was thought of, however, until the D. & R. G. showed its faith in the region by establishing a narrow gauge railroad through this territory.
The Pleasant Valley Fuel Company, then operating a mine at Winter Quarters, desired to find a profitable coal bed near the main line of this new route. In 1910 they sent their chief engineer, Robert Forester, with a party of prospectors to explore this vicinity. The result of their exploration trip was the opening of No. 2 mine.
The first settlers who resided here lived in box cars provided by the railroad. Some of the oldest residents were Harry World, R.S. Robertson, John Young, Thomas Reese, Charles Checketts, William Jones and John Platt. The first boy born in this settlement was Glen D. Reese, on November 11, 1890.
The first school was held in what is now house No. 47. Instruction was given by James B. Crandall who was the only teacher. Enrollment increased until the building was overcrowded and two years later in 1890, school was held in the L.D.S. church building. The present structure was erected in 1920.
The first postmaster was Harry Nelson, who was also clerk of the Pleasant Valley Fuel Company. The first store was located just south of the present building, and the new structure was built by World and Robertson in 1890. These men also constructed the first tipple just prior to that time.
The opening of the coal field attracted eastern capitalists who acquired more coal land and changed the name of the corporation to the Utah Fuel Company. The output of metal ores of Utah created a demand for a high grade of coking coal. This call was not met by a poorer grade of coke which was being produced from the coal mine at Winter Quarters, therefore in 1889 coke ovens were built in lower Castle Gate and a better grade of coke was produced. The increasing demand for high grade stove coal mined from No. 1 mine and the knowledge of the large veins adjacent at Kenilworth, caused the Utah Fuel Company to develop another mine in Willow Creek Canyon. They were much disappointed, however, when they discovered that the vein was only four feet thick. However, the vein was opened and on the main haulage tunnel, two feet of the roof was blasted down to give sufficient height for the economical operations of the mine. Later, a diamond drill hole was put down from the surface and just below this four foot vein, the twenty foot vein of coal was discovered. Connections between the two mines were made by driving a pair of rock tunnels. This prospect proved to be one of the greatest coal deposits known.
In 1922 No. 3 was opened. It was located on the main line of the D. & R. G. Western Railroad between Castle Gate and Rolapp and was the only shaft mine in the West until the mine at Salina Canyon was opened a few years ago.
Castle Gate was granted the petition for the incorporation of a town, March 4, 1914, and held its first meeting April 1, 1914. The following were the first officers: "President, Robert Williams; Trustees, Andrew Young, Edward Edwards, Levi Davis, William Edmond; Clerk, J.C. Snow; Treasurer, Alfred Thorpe; Marshall, J.F. Cory; Quarantine Physician, Dr. E. M. Nehr.
First among the social organizations must be placed the Castle Gate Welfare Association founded under the guardianship of the Utah Fuel Company and maintained by deductions from employees and the company. The Association concerns itself with providing amusements, caring for the poor, and many other projects for the general welfare of the people. The L.D.S. Church and the Union Church care for the spiritual well-being of the community, as well as assisting in relief work.
The Amusement Hall was dedicated in 1918. In 1919, the $100,000.00 filter plant was put into operation. In 1920 the present attractive school house was finished and in 1924 the new building for convenient postal service was opened for public use.
Clear Creek is situated six miles south of Scofield in a little valley which is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, with an altitude of 8,300 feet. The valley slopes toward the northeast and the road leading from the camp follows the natural course of the canyon. This has been improved but few changes have been made from the original route.
In the autumn of 1898, C.K. Jensen and Neils Sanburg, both Americans, came to Clear Creek, which was then known as Mud Creek, to get timber for Mr. Kimball of Scofield, and also for the Pleasant Valley Coal Company which was later known as the Utah Fuel Company. In 1899 the Utah Fuel Company opened a mine, after considerable prospecting. Other early settlers were Mr. Harskinen, John Erkila, Finns, who came in 1899; Jimmie Mancuzi, Italian, came in 1901, and John Cunningham and Charles Snedden, both Scotch, who came to work immediately after the Winter Quarter's Mine explosion in 1900. David Gordon, Scotch, left his work at railroading and came to Clear Creek in 1901. At the opening of the mine the upper part of the valley was called Clear Creek because of the clear, sparkling stream of water which flowed through the valley. Those men were employed in the mining industry and experienced the inconvenience of living in tents until houses were built. All of the houses erected were of wood, lined with compoboard.
The growth of the camp was rapid due to the great demand for high grade coal. Liberal wages and regular hours were inducements to the ever increasing population. It is interesting to note that when the camp was flourishing, a regular branch of the D. & R. G. Railroad operated through there and trains came to Clear Creek twice daily, morning and evening. Few automobiles were owned so this service facilitated travel. At times the snow was four or five feet deep on the level and for weeks at a time remained thus. No one seemed to be dissatisfied as long as the railroad could be kept open. When the railroad became blocked with snow, the men could not work so all the mine employees worked for the railroad company helping clear the tracks. There was a good school with three or four teachers employed most of the time. At present there are but three.
Another factor which contributed to the rapid growth of the camp was excellent location of the mine. The coal vein occurred at tipple height above the bottom of the canyon eliminating outside haulage which necessitates the tramway to get the coal from the mine to the railroad cars. Another advantage that this mine had was good water for domestic and steam purposes. As this mine was opened before electric power was brought to the coal fields by the Utah Power & Light Company, available water for steam purposes was an asset of considerable importance. then too, an abundance of timber which covered the adjacent mountains, was suitable for timbering the mine and supplying the demand of the saw mill which shipped lumber to Castle Gate and Sunnyside.
At the mine it was below creek level, and there was a large quantity of water which had to be pumped out, naturally a great disadvantage. The discharge pipe from the mine used for conveying the water to the surface was twelve inches in diameter. This gives an idea of the volume of water which had to be pumped from the mine. When the mine was first opened for work the coal was so near the entrance that the men could walk out for lunch. Horses pulled the coal cars out of the mine to the tipple.
For a number of years the coal from this mine was sold as "Run-of the-mine" meaning that the entire produce can be sold without screening and no waste of slack. The first contract was with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Ogden and called for 2000 tons per day. At that time it was considered the cheapest coal in the state due to the advantages mentioned, which curtailed the expense of production. In 1908 there were about 450 men employed with an approximate production of 2,000 tons of coal per day. Until 1912 when machine cutters were installed the pick played an important part in the day's work. With the adoption of modern methods, further developments continued until there were about 200 rooms. The output of coal for October 1903, was 44,513 tons, however this was not the peak of production as the period between 1917 and 1920 shows a much greater population, and in all probability the mine was employing more men.
The out-put for the month of December 1931, was 5000 tons while statistics for 1930 show a population of 256 giving evidence of a decided decline in prosperity. The coal is now sold on the domestic market in competition with all other coals. There is a long underground haulage and many conditions have changed since former times.
The camp was never incorporated and the only officers were Mr. Hampton, Justice of Peace, and Tom Marsh, Constable. Due to the isolation of the camp and the heavy snows in the winter, the amusements consisted mostly of winter sports and dances twice a week. A home dramatic troupe was organized which furnished many a good laugh; a man by the name of Uncle Bert Martin brought a picture to camp once a week; and the Walter's Theatrical Troupe included Clear Creek in its semi- annual circuit. The nationalities represented were Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Italian, Finn, Japanese and American.
The Japanese segregated themselves and were seldom seen at any social gathering except perhaps a celebration of importance. The Finns liked amusement, erected a hall (which is still used by various organizations) and had a great deal of fun among themselves as well as entertaining the community by playing with their brass instruments for the dances.
Many of the older people of the various nationalities have retained their native customs and habits, some of them never having learned to speak or write the English language. Others, of course, adjusted themselves more readily to the American ways and became naturalized. The younger generation includes many good scholars who adopt themselves readily to American ideals and ways.
For amusement now the people go to Scofield for picture shows. The L.D.S. church furnishes other forms of recreation. The majority of the people have cars and frequently go to Helper and Price for amusement and supplies.
Coal City lies nine miles due west of Helper. It is a mining community of 70 inhabitants, bounded on the west by the Gentry mountains. Gordon Creek runs through the town. The elevation is 6,800 feet. The present site of Coal City was first settled by Alfred Grames who came in 1885 for agricultural purposes. He was also a squatter and trapper. Others to settle in the district a short time later were Wesley Gentry, William Warren, Victor Rambeau, Joe Noujuier, and Joe Vacher, all sheepmen and farmers. The place was known as Oak Spring Bench at that time. Later Noe and Edwards Aubert came and also Shekra Sheye and Nedje Sheye. These men were prospectors and also dealt in real estate. By this time the section was referred to as Cedar Mesa Farm.
On August 6, 1921, a petition was presented to the County Commissioners to approve and establish the townsite called "The Great Western". The petition was granted, the townsite laid off and named "Coal City" for the coal industry. A year later the Andreini's store (then known as the Andreini and Calzani building) was built and used as an office for the "Great Western" until 1925 when the mercantile business was started by Eugene Androni.
During 1923, Jack Dempsey, then the world's heavyweight champion, came to Coal City to train, and during this time the town was frequently referred to as "Coal City with a punch behind it".
The National railroad was built to the town during 1923 and 1924, years known as the construction period. The railroad also extended to other mines of the Gordon Creek District. Farming continued to progress during these years. The first school was held for one month in a log cabin in 1925 with Mrs. Henry Snyderguard as teacher. There were 24 pupils. At this time Coal City was a city of tents. Late in the same year J.W. Miller built the new cement block school house and school opened in January, 1926. Two other block houses were also built by Mr. Miller.
A year later the Coal City store and bakery were built. The bakery supplies baked goods to the entire Gordon Creek district. Additional houses were built during this time, and growth continued as mining developed.
In 1926, H.J. Fisher was elected Justice of Peace, and Robert Mack, Constable of Coal City. The townsite has been laid off in an attractive manner and offers possibilities to the miner for his own home and garden plot. Electricity and an ample water supply is also available. The people now residing at Coal City are mostly of foreign nationalities, miners by occupation.
This town is the same location as Coal City.
Small place named after Jack Dempsey, who later became a great fighter.
The following information about Storrs was copied from the autobiography of George A. Storrs.
When I got to the depot I found that Jack Dempsey and Jack Kearns were going through to the east on the same train. I saw Jack and explained to him fully the situation and he was very much interested but he said that Jack Kearns was his manager and he could not take on any contracts where money was involved unless it was entirely satisfactory with Jack Kearns. He said when he got home to Salt Lake he would have his brother go with me over the property and if he found it as I had represented it , he would have his brother wire him and Kearns at New York City, then if it was satisfactory with Kearns they would wire me to come east to make the contract. I went over the property with Bernard Dempsey, Jack's brother. When we got to Helper, Bernard was very much enthused and did not wait until getting to Salt Lake but sent the wire from Helper, which is in substance as follows: "Storrs. Proposition bigger and better than represented. Would advise you to call Storrs east and make contract to finance the property as he has outline."
When I got to Salt Lake I received a wire from Jack Dempsey to come East at once and bring all papers pertaining to our titles. This I did, together with letters from the securities commission. I arrived in New York and met Jack Dempsey, Jack Kearns and Harry Pollick. We went over the whole proposition again and the next day their attorney drew up a contract which was in effect that they were to undertake to finance the property, we were to turn over to them a half interest of all we owned. They would form a sales company, open up a Salt Lake office and sell the stock to be set aside for that purpose. They represented to me that in less than 30 days, through Jack Dempsey's influence among his wealthy friends, they would have all the money they needed. We were to have a board of directors of seven members of which they were to have four.
Jack was to be President of the company, and Kearns was to be Secretary and Treasurer. They came to Salt Lake, having the contract all signed. They opened the office in a very extravagant way and started to sell stock.
Jack called his friends by telephone from the Atlantic to the Pacific to tell them about this great property. It was even flashed on the boats in the Pacific by radio: "Jack Dempsey buys Great Western Coal Mine". There was a great "Hurrah" made and a lot of bluster. Jack moved his training camp to the Great Western Property and sent for his New York trainer and became very much enthused and interested himself.
The money didn't come in from Jacks friends that they had anticipated, and about the time of the "Gibbons - Dempsey" fight in Montana, or two months previous to that a message came to Jack to come to Montana and to bring his trainer at once. After that, notwithstanding the fact that they had absolute control, they paid no attention to this proposition. Again we were left to hold the sack. This caused a delay of about eight months when we decided to try to get free from the Dempsey - Kearns outfit. Through our attorney, Mr. Jake Evans, we called an executive session but did not have enough of our crowd to do this and reorganized the company.
The town of Columbia is located approximately twenty-eight miles east of Price and three miles southeast of Sunnyside. It is a coal mining community and is the property of the Columbia Steel Company which is a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. The mine is operated for the purpose of supplying coking coal to the company's by-product coking plant and blast furnaces, located at Ironton, near Provo, Utah.
Construction of the camp was started in 1922. A year later Thomas C. Harvey took charge as Superintendent of operations and through his efforts and foresight the mine and community have gradually improved until today it is one of the outstanding communities of the county. The present population approximates 650 people.
The first school at Columbia was held in a large tent with Mrs. Amanda Roberts as instructor. She taught eight grades with a total enrollment of forty-nine pupils. In the year 1925 a modern six room brick building was erected, giving the town the best of school accommodations.
The latest type of coal mining equipment has been installed in the Columbia mine, making the production of 2,000 tons or more a day possible, depending upon demands. In 1930 the entire property was purchased by the U.S. Steel Corporation.
Columbia townsite consists of dwelling houses, all of modern construction, and in addition there are bunk houses for the single employees. A store building, boarding house, confectionery, amusement hall and barber shop supply the community needs. All buildings are connected to a complete sewer system.
The community has been greatly improved since construction first started. Today there are many fine lawns, trees, and flowers, tennis court and swimming pool. One of the beauty spots of the camp is the rock garden belonging to Supt. Harvey. This is built in a picturesque setting on the side of a cliff near his home. At the foot of the garden is a small greenhouse where fine plants are kept during the winter months.
Consumers is located on the North Fork of Gordon Creek, eighteen miles northwest of Price. The camp lies at an elevation of 7,600 feet. Years ago, this section of Carbon County was unsettled government property, traversed only by timbermen and cattlemen, who intent on their own affairs, had little thought of the changes which were to take place in the future, and perhaps no realization of the wealth hidden in the mountains.
In 1920, A. E. Gibson, Superintendent of the Spring Canyon Coal mine, and noted for his excellence in prospecting, saw the possibilities in the Consumers hills. He obtained an analysis of the coal in the district and found that it contained 49 percent fixed carbon, 44 percent volatile matter, 3 percent ash, 3.5 percent moisture, and .5 percent sulphur. His prospecting had begun during the winter of 1921 when he had suffered many hardships; but even the bitter cold and lack of food, sometimes, failed to daunt his purpose. The following spring he located a nine-foot vein of coal, but had no way of starting developments, because the roads were snow-drifted and impassable. Alone, he continued prospecting until he was certain of the worth of his findings. Later, he hired men to assist him and in spite of crude implements, scant food and shelter, during the winter of 1922, they succeeded in mining 34 carloads of coal, which were hauled in wagons over poor roads to Wild Cat switch, where they were shipped to prospective stockholders.
About this time, Donald E. Jenkins and J. Tracy Wootton of Salt Lake City, became interested, bought stock amounting to $100,000.00 and organized the Consumers Mutual Coal Company. Mr. Jenkins, the largest stockholder, automatically became the President of the company, and Mr. Gibson was elected Vice president, with Mr. Wootton acting as secretary and treasurer.
During the next few years, rapid progress was made. Immediate preparations for the building of the railroad were started and the road was completed in 1925, extending as far as the fork leading to Sweet's mine. It became necessary to build a bridge across the canyon for the tracks, but funds were lacking and the work was delayed for one year. Work was resumed when Mr. Raddits bought controlling interest in the company. From that time on, work on the railroad progressed rapidly.
Although dwelling places were only tents, the men brought their families and proceeded to make the camp livable. Mrs. Zina Cowley was the first woman to settle in the new town. In a few months there was a thrifty, busy group of miners in the heart of the mountains.
The problem of education arose and in 1924 Miss Mae Mathis and Miss Irene Coats were hired as teachers. There they taught in a tent and in a shack—no examples of modernism—but education went on. Another shack replaced the tent the next year, and, due to increased enrollment from National camp, another room was built. These one-room buildings were replaced in the year 1931 by a modern four-room school. A religious organization began serious work in 1928 and has continued to keep the people interested in the L. D. S. activities.
In the past ten years the tents have been replaced by modern apartment houses and waterproof buildings. The first permanent structure was owned by Jet Alger and is still used as a boarding house.
The new company changed the name of the town from Gibson to Consumers as all consumers of coal were mutually interested. The name of the coal company has since been changed from Consumers Mutual Coal company to the Blue Blaze Coal company, a title typifying the quality of the coal, as suggested by Mr. Gibson. The canyon has been transformed from a quiet timber section into a bustling, thriving coal camp, teeming with ambitious citizens.
The following newspaper article was donated by Alan Drager. He is the great grandson of Walter Louis Drager the man whom the town of Dragerton was named for. We don't know which newspaper the article was in but it was found in the possessions of Walter L. Drager.
Contractors Build City To Order for Coal, Coke Workers
By Aaron E. Jones - 24 Feb 1943
Price - To build a city of 5000 inhabitants usually requires several generations, but W. E. Ryberg company Strong & Grant, contractors, are building a modern city for 5700 prospective inhabitants, and they will have it all done in less than a year's time. In doing this, the contractors will have employed an average of 350 men and a peak labor force of 600, in addition to many large machine tractors, bulldozers and power shovels, according to Joseph W. Grant, representing the construction force.
These two Utah construction companies are building the city of Drager, situated at the junction of the Sunnyside-Columbia highway, for the men who will operate the coke ovens near Columbia and work in the Geneva mine at Horse canyon, some 10 miles away.
Four hundred and fifty homes are being constructed at this time, but utilities, such as water, sewerage system, community centers and recreation parks, are being made to care for 350 more homes if they ever become necessary.
Built to Last
The city is being built, as are the coke ovens, and railways, roads and development of the new coal mine, by the United States Defense plant corporation, and they are being built for permanency.
The cost of the city of Drager, named in honor of the chief engineer of the defense plant corporation, was limited to $3,400,000, but this amount will be exceeded when all community settlement buildings have been added.
The city lay-out and the quality of homes and the type of utilities being constructed have the appearance of permanency, and it seems certain that so long as the Geneva Steel plant operates there will be a city of Drager. The coal supply in the area is almost limitless.
Large steel pipelines for a water system have been laid throughout the city and these lead from a cement storage tank capable of holding a half million gallons of water. Up-to-the minute equipment is being used for purification and chlorination of the water supply for the city.
Two Miles Long
The sewerage system, already completed except for the disposal plants, has been extended and connections provided for every house in the future city that will reach two miles from east to west and a half mile wide.
The houses already constructed, probably 60 in number, and the plans for all to be built, are substantial and commodious. While they are prefabricated by the American Houses company plants at Logan, Utah, they are far more than a mere shell when completed.
Mr. Grant states that within a week's time they will be turning out completed houses at the rate of one for every working hour, or 48 houses a week. Each house is supported on redwood posts, set in cement to last for ages. The floor joists are of heavy timber, the subfloor of large sheets of plywood, and the flooring will be pretreated 3/4-inch hardwood. The hardwood floors are a necessity, as fir cannot be purchased at this time. In addition to the subfloor the hardwood, the houses will be completely insulated - floors, walls and ceilings - with a good quality insulating material.
Walls in Sections
The walls come in sections, with doors already hung and windows in place. The studding is covered with plyboard, as are the roofs, and all can be placed up in a few hours. Over the plywood walls is placed board siding, so that in appearance they will resemble most new lumber homes. Asphalt strip shingles of various colors will be used for roofing.
The inside wall is made of 1/2 inch sheets of sheet rock, painted and decorated.
Several different house patterns are being used and these are being alternated and placed with different frontages at varying distances from the street, in an effort to avoid the monotony of long sections of identical houses. Different color schemes will be used in the painting of the homes, and no one should be excused for mistaking some other home as his own.
Roads and alleys are so arranged that each house will face a street and have an alley at the rear for parking a car or for deliveries. Garages for cars are not yet in the plans, except for a few homes.
Every home will be equipped with a coal burning range and with refrigeration, but the residents will supply their own furniture. It is expected that a circulating air heater will be used in all homes, except for a few for administrative families which will have basements and furnaces.
The roads will be turnpiked and graveled and shaped for gutters. The sidewalks will be six or eight inches higher than the streets and the house lots will be slightly higher than the walks. At present all sidewalks will be graveled.
Officials are now in Washington, D. C., to determine what community facilities will be built. Original plans called for a community center, where stores, barber shops, theaters, recreation center, schools from kindergarten through high school, churches, city hall, fire station and hospital would be built; but it is likely that not all, especially churches, will be built at this time. Where these facilities are added, they will be planned and placed for beauty and utility. Present construction administrative buildings and warehouses for building supplies will be converted into dormitories, garages and further uses.
Supervisors on Job
Constantly on the job, supervising the building of the new city, are Joseph W. Grant, representing the contractors, and Dwight L. Freeman, representing the defense plant corporation. Architectural planning and designing of the city have been done by Holden McLaughlin & Associates, in connection with Edward O. Anderson of Salt Lake City. Charles H. Ullrich of Salt Lake City has been consulting engineer on the sewerage system and waterworks.
Drager has an elevation ranging from 6300 to 6500 feet and when it is landscaped and the trees attain size and beauty it should be a pleasant place in which to live. No hot, sultry nights are experienced there and the winters in Carbon county are seldom severe.
It is too early to know how the city will be governed or what part, if any, the people may take in its administration. For the time being, it probably will be managed by someone appointed by the defense plant corporation. After the war the city may be sold to the Columbia Steel company, a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel company, but this is not likely during the war.
June 18, 1957 - Dragerton Tribune (Volume 10 Number 24)
"In an essay contest conducted by the East Carbon Rotary Club for students in the tenth grade of the East Carbon Junior High School, Patricia Abeyta, 15 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Abeyta, Dragerton, presented the winning paper. The paper was also sent to Rotary Clubs in 52 different countries"
If you are a person who has lived in large urban areas throughout your life, you can well remember the unforgettable experience of coming through Price Canyon into the rugged mountainous country of Carbon County. As you pass over the devious roads and look down the deep canyons, you catch a glimpse of the main industry of the eastern part of the county. You see a modern diesel pulling a long load of coal. You wonder what the history is behind the tons of coal which are loaded into the coal cars. You wonder how the tons of coal could ever be moved from a mountain and who the people would be that would take on such s seemingly unpleasant task. You wonder what part of the country they originally came from and what other resources and jobs would be in the community. You wonder about the education, culture, religion and the type of people as a whole. If you are fortunate to run across a pioneer of East Carbon who is a well versed person on the history of the coal mining industry in East Carbon, he would tell you that the history of this part of the county dates back to 1897 when a small group of pioneers opened a coal mine in an area which was later to be known as Sunnyside.
The first settlers in the Whitmore Canyon, later called Sunnyside, were John and Jefferson Tidwell and their four sons and their families. The Tidwells pitched tents in 1897. During the summer of that year Frank and Hyrum Tidwell built a two-room log cabin. Each family took one room of the cabin and spent two years living there. Then in 1899, the coal company built twenty houses. The railroad was completed in that same year.
Below the town there was a saloon which was operated in a tent, called the "White Elephant". There were more saloons below the town, as well as stores. One of the stores was operated by Louis Oliveto. He delivered merchandise with a horse and wagon for three and one-half years for the Sunnyside Mercantile Company. He often had to plow through seven feet of snow.
Farmers from Wellington, Woodside, Cleveland, Huntington, and Castle Gate peddled their produce into Sunnyside. Teams and wagons hauled in the farmers' vegetable, butter, chickens, etc.
Sunnyside was named by the officials of the railroad and the Utah Fuel Company. There was a station called Sunnyside. It was on the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad twenty miles east of Price. The officials decided that Sunnyside would be a good name for the new coal mine, so they changed the former Sunnyside to "Verdi", and the new coal mine was called Sunnyside.
The Sunnyside mines were opened in the Whitmore Canyon on Grassy Trail Creek. Prior to the opening of the mines there was a ranch in the region. It was owned and farmed by George C. Whitmore who had owned most of the water of Grassy Trail Creek and was making use of it on his ranch.
Seven miles below the Whitmore ranch was the Big Spring Ranch, owned and operated by L. A. Scott- Elliot, a sheepman. Elliot filed on part of the waters of the waters of Grassy Trail Creek and all of the surplus water. There was even a lawsuit pending over the division of this water, between Whitmore and Elliot when the coal mines were being opened in 1899. Officials of the coal company made a proposition with Whitmore for the ranch and water rights, but Whitmore refused and made a counter proposition, wanting $90,000 for his ranch and water rights. The company refused this. So Whitmore ran a pipeline from a spring up in the canyon, putting most of the water in his pipeline.
The coal company needed water for use in the mine, so they dug a well near the creek bed; this was rocked up and it supplied considerable water. Later, when the first left entries in No. 1 mine passed under the canyon, a good amount of water was developed in these entries, and this water, together with the water from the well, was pumped into a 20,000 gallon tank located on the hillside above the mouth of the mine.
Electric power was produced by the fuel company as the Utah Power and Light Company had not yet been built in Carbon County, and it took a lot of water for the boilers; however, they managed to get along until 1906, when a water line was built to Range Creek, a distance of about seven miles, and water was pumped from there to supply all the requirements at the mine and camp.
In the region between Dugout Canyon and Horse Canyon (Sunnyside District) there are two coal veins called Upper and Lower Sunnyside; both of them have more fixed carbon and less volatile than the other veins throughout the region. This coal cakes during the burning process, making a better grade of coke. These characteristics were the main reason for there being a mine at Sunnyside.
At the beginning of World War II, it was decided by the War Department to produce more steel. Henry J. Kaiser was called upon to help because he was known to be one of the country's most progressive industrialists.
Iron deposits were known to be in southern California near Fontana, but California has no coking coal so the coal which is essential for making pig iron and steel must come from Utah.
The Sunnyside No. 2 mine was worked by the Utah Fuel Company until 1921, when a disasterous fire occurred. After the fire was extinguished the mine was closed because of market conditions.
With the coming of the war, these conditions changed. Mr. Kaiser, after securing a lease on No. 2 mine, proceeded to put the mine in condition to produce coal and in this connection a pig iron and steel plant was constructed at Fontana, California.
Five hundred beehive ovens were built at this time in the vicinity of Columbia by the War Department for more coke and pig iron capacity. A blast furnace for making pig iron was moved from Illinois to Ironton, but the war was almost over before the furnace was ready for use. Because of this, the beehive ovens and the blast furnace were only operated for a short time. The War Assets Administration offered the coke ovens and blast furnace for sale to the highest bidder. They were purchased by the Kaiser interest. The building of the 500 coke-ovens and the bringing of the blast furnace from Illinois to Utah would have never been undertaken had it not been for the war.
The townsite of Columbia is also a coal mining community and is one of the three communities which make up East Carbon.
In 1923 the Columbia Steel Company started the Columbia Mines. The Columbia Mine was opened for the purpose of supplying coking coal to the company's by-product coking plant and blast furnace located at Ironton near Provo, Utah.
Construction of the camp was started in 1922. A year later Thomas C. Harvey took charge as superintendent of operations. Some of the old timers who were the first men to work at the Columbia Mine are still there. The Columbia Mine continued to operate under the Columbia Steel Company until 1948; then it went under the Geneva Steel Company. The reason for this was to consolidate the Utah resources. Mr. F. V. Hicks was apoointed superintendent of Coal Mines of the Geneva Steel Company. For the last thirty years the management has dreamed of driving a tunnel from the tipple of the mine through the mountain to the coal seam. The dream will be realized this year.
The Columbia Mine has great resources which should insure its continued operation for many years to come.
The community has been greatly improved since construction first started. Lawns, trees, and flowers have been planted. With the residents of Columbia taking pride in their homes, it's easy for the town to look prosperous and clean.
The town of Dragerton was started in the fall of 1942 when the W. E. Ryberg-Strong and Grant Company received a contract from the Defense Plant Corporation to construct it. The purpose for this new town was to house the coal miners employed at the new Geneva Mine that was to furnish coal for the Geneva Steel plant located at Provo, Utah. The Geneva Mine was started by the Allen and Garcia Company in 1942.
The Geneva Mine is located about ten miles south east of its townsite. In fact, part of the mine itself is in Emery County.
The Geneva Mine is the largest producing coal mine west of the Mississippi, and its coal is produced mostly to make coke for steel production at the Geneva Steel Plant. The best and safest methods are employed at this ultra-modern mine. All safety regulations and suggestions are followed carefully, and inspections are made regularly.
Dragerton got its name from a man named Drager, who was one of the principal engineers of the project concerning the construction of Dragerton.
The first houses in Dragerton were completed in 1943, and the people immediately started moving in. The town is divided into 5 sections, known as A, B, C, D, and E; the people in this community are from all parts of the United States and are predominately white.
All construction in the town was completed early in 1944. The town was operated by the Defense Plant Corporation from the time of construction until it was later sold as surplus property. Early in the spring of 1946, 121 of the homes were declared surplus by the War Assets Administration and were sold to veterans of World War II. Nearly all the homes were moved from the area to various communities in Utah and some outside the state.
On April 1, 1946, the entire community was declared surplus by the War Assets Administration and was sold to the United States Steel Corporation, who also purchased at this sale the Geneva Mine. They also purchased the Geneva Steel Plant previously mentioned. At this time the United States Steel Corporation appointed the firm of John W. Galbreath and Company, realtors from Columbus, Ohio, to manage the town property, as their agents.
Under the ownership of the United States Steel Corporation a great improvement was made. The streets were paved, sidewalks installed, electric stoves and water heaters, and oil furnaces were placed in each house. This was a radical change for any coal mining town, and there was a bitter controversy over the miners not using the products which supplies their livelihood. This was really an economical advantage to the residents since coal produced in this area is coking coal and not suitable for domestic use.
All the houses were repainted. An improvement program was initiated for lawns, trees, and flowers. In September of 1948 the Geneva Steel Company sold the entire townsite to the John W. Galbreath and Company. This sale was made with the purpose that Galbreath would in turn sell the homes to individuals.
The sewage disposal plant in Dragerton is a modern and efficient plant and serves the entire community.
As stated before, water is obtained from the Grassy Trail Creek in the Canyon 10 miles north of the townsite, Dragerton. A dam was completed through the cooperation of the town, the United States Steel Corporation and Kaiser Steel. This dam was built to overcome our continual shortage of water during the summer months. The water is piped directly from the dam to the twenty million gallon storage reservoir. This area uses more water per capita than any other town or city in the state. Since there is little rainfall during the summer, a tremendous amount of water is used, and in the past, the water has been rationed for gardening purpose.
We have discussed the many material resources of the East Carbon area. There are many other resources which we consider very important. The early residents of the East Carbon area at an early date established a school at Sunnyside with three teachers Mr. Joseph R. Dorrus, principal, Miss Elizabeth Anderson, and Miss Maggie Reynolds, assistants. Mrs. Amanda Roberts was one of the early teachers at Columbia. The first school at Columbia was held in a large tent with a total enrollment of 49 pupils. In 1925 a six-room brick building was constructed.
Both Columbia and Sunnyside pupils are required to attend East Carbon Junior High School in Dragerton when they reach the seventh grade. The East Carbon School holds classes from the first grade through the tenth grrde. After this, pupils from all three communities travel by bus each day to the Carbon High School and College in Price, Utah, which is located 23 miles away.
This year the residents of the East Carbon area voted school bonds to erect a new high school building to accommodate the young people who will attend high school. The building will be built to accommodate the last three years of high school.
The social and cultural needs of East Carbon are fulfilled by several clubs and organizations. One of the prominent clubs is the Rotary Club, which has sponsored many activates for the betterment of the communities. Another of the outstanding clubs is the Kiwanis club which has done things for public improvement. The Business and Professional Women's Club, the Culture Club, and the Book Cliff Club are all popular clubs in the town of East Carbon.
The spiritual needs of East Carbon are supplied by a number of churches. They are Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Episcopal, Assembly of God, and Community.
The East Carbon area is unique in several ways. The people in East Carbon are very friendly. This is probably due to the fact that everyone in East Carbon is in some way connected with coal mining. Travelers and visitors coming into these communities are surprised that a mining area can be so clean, modern, and attractive and that the people are so well-dressed and groomed.
As residents of East Carbon, we are happy and satisfied to have our homes here.
Heiner is located in the heart of the mountains of the mouth of Panther Canyon, on the Price River, and on the main line of the D. & R. G. Western Railroad, halfway between Helper and Castle Gate. The elevation is 6023 feet. At present the population is 286 but this fluctuates from time to time depending upon the work available at the Panther coal mine, located a mile north of the village.
In 1911, Frank N. Cameron, a prominent coal mine operator of Carbon County began prospecting for coal in this region and was followed by John Crawford who later became the first mine Superintendent. his brother, A. J. Crawford, who enlisted in the U. S. Army during the World War, and who was the first Carbon County boy to die in service, was also interested in the development of the new coal field. Other early workers were: John Cavania, John Ceteria, Andrew Mininic, Joe Ricardi, Pete Milano, Ernest Juicia, and George Garavaglia.
Heiner was first called Panther because if its location in Panther Canyon, was later known as Carbon, and finally named Heiner in honor of the vice-president of the coal company.
To open the Panther mine it was necessary to go through approximately eighty feet of burned outcrop before commercial coal was reached. Coal was first shipped from Heiner February 13, 1914, by the U.S. Fuel Company. On May 1, 1915 the mine was leased to Frank Cameron and John Crawford. They began with a production of 100 tons of coal per day, and at the end of the lease, April 1, 1918, were producing 500 tons per day. At the expiration of the lease, the property reverted to the U.S. Fuel Company, which owned and operated mines at Hiawatha and Mohrland, Utah. The maximum output of the Panther mine was 700 tons daily, but has now decreased to less than 500 tons. At the present rate of production there is enough coal to last for a number of years.
In the beginning of the camp, tents were used until frame houses could be erected. It is now one of the best housed camps in the district.
School was first taught in 1914 in a small one room building and was later removed to a two room structure. In 1923 a modern brick building of four rooms was erected. It is the most pretentious building in camp. There is also a store and a post office for the convenience of the people, but no town organization, hence the laws are enforced by the camp deputy sheriff. Recreation is provided for the people by the school and the welfare association. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday of the year.
The population of the camp is quite cosmopolitan, consisting of Americans, Italians, Greeks, Austrians, Jugo-Slavs and Czechoslovakians. Old country habits and customs are quite prevalent and are most common at wedding feasts and on special holidays.
Hiawatha nestles at the foot of Gentry Mountain, two arms of which seem to reach out and almost encircle the town. It is located eighteen miles southwest of Price and ten miles off the State Highway, which passes from Price through Emery County to Salina in Sevier County. The elevation of Hiawatha is 7,180 feet.
The first settler was an Austrian by the name of Smith. He located a ranch on the present site of Hiawatha and the traces of some of his dugouts may still be seen in the wash a few hundred feet from the present teachers' dormitory. All other buildings which he may have erected have long since been torn down and forgotten.
The development of the mining industry in the mountains adjoining was the reason for the founding of Hiawatha as a community. In 1908 F.E. Sweet, present owner of Standardville property, opened a mine on the middle fork of Miller Creek. He called this camp Hiawatha. Later two other mining men, Browning and Eccles by name, opened a mine in what is now Hiawatha property and called that camp Black Hawk.
The first houses in the community were erected in what is now known as Greek town. In 1911 sixteen houses were built east of the railroad tracks. The houses along the tramway were built in 1912 and 1913. A year later the houses west of the present school house were erected.
In 1911 the citizens of Hiawatha circulated a petition, which was signed by 70 voters, asking that the town be incorporated. This was granted, and on Sept. 26, of that year, the city government was established. Henry E. Lewis was the first president of the town board and Geo. E. Haymond, Dr. J.E. Dowd, Dr. J. R. Fleming and D. Johnson were the members of the Board. There were 435 people in Hiawatha, eighty-nine being voters.
The U.S. Fuel Company purchased and consolidated the two mines in 1912. The headquarters of the company were established in Black Hawk. Both towns, Hiawatha and Black Hawk, had post offices. In 1915 the post office at Hiawatha was closed and the town government was moved to Black Hawk following the consolidation. The name of the entire community was changed to Hiawatha. This is still the trade name of the coal shipped from the West Hiawatha mine.
In 1908 when the mine was opened on Miller Creek, Ruben G. Miller owned all of the water rights. It was necessary for the consolidated Fuel Company to purchase Miller's water rights, and the ranch owned by him, in order to get water for the camp. The Smith ranch was purchased as a town site for Black Hawk. When the mines were first opened good judgment was used in the laying out and development of the property. The room and pillar method was used and on account of existing conditions it was the best method. When the mines were first opened all the mining was done by hand. Shortly after this time undercutting machines were purchased. These machines travel on a truck and can thus be taken to any part of the mine which has a track. When a place is to be cut the machine is unloaded from the truck and set to the face of the coal. The machines are so constructed that they can dig their way back under the coal for a distance of six or seven feet. The faces are then drilled, shot down, and loaded out by men.
In 1917 a machine was procured which would cut the coal on the top. The coal was drilled and shot up from the bottom. This method did not prove to be successful because the bottom shots would break slate loose from the floor and mix it with the coal. Bottom cutters have been used since that time. During 1929 a new type of machine was put on the market which would cut the bottom, turn half over and shear the face down the center. One of those machines is now operating in King No. 1 mine.
The loading of the coal in the mine cars was done entirely by hand until 1917. At this time several types of mechanical loaders were put on the market. Two of these loaders were tried out in King No. 1 mine. Both proved to be failures. From then until 1925 all the coal was loaded by man power. At this time other types of loading machines were purchased which proved to be successful and for the past four years over 50% of all the coal mined has been loaded mechanically. The loading machine is nothing more than a conveyor which carries the coal from the face to the car. The rotating arms on the front of the machine drag the coal onto the conveyor. This machine is used in rooms and entries. A scraper conveyor is more adaptable to pillar extraction. Two such machines are in use in the King No. 1 mine at the present time. A scraper is a large bucket which is pulled up and down the face of the coal by a hoist and a rope. The coal is pulled into a hopper from which a conveyor carries the coal to the mine car.
From the following figures one can readily see the growth in the coal production of the Black Hawk mine. During the year 1912, 78,769 tons were produced. In 1929 the production had grown to 428,347 tons. King No. 1 mine is very safe from a gas standpoint. It is located high up on the mountain, all the cracks and crevices in the strata over the coal are free from water and in ages past the gas has escaped through these cracks. Gas is usually found in mines which are driven under rivers where the water pressure keeps the cracks sealed.
The first railroad to Hiawatha was built by the Consolidated Fuel Company in 1909. While this road was in operation the railroad headquarters and shops were located in East Hiawatha. Due to the heavy grades and the impossibility of hauling large trains, a new road was built by the Fuel Company in 1914. This road extended from Castle Gate, a distance of 23 miles. The road to Price was abandoned and the steel torn up in 1917.
The town is prosperous and within its limits can be seen the splendid school building, church spires, recreation hall, hotel and store buildings. The profusion of trees, lawns, flowers, and gardens emphasize the pride of the people in their attractive homes. Two hundred twenty-five dollars is given away each year to the owners of the best kept lawns and gardens. The company dairy farms, located at the old Miller ranch insures the employees of a plentiful supply of pure milk and cream. Water from mountain springs is carried to every home in the town through a well installed water system. A modern sewer system aids in sanitation. The town is governed by a Board, with the following members at present: J.P. Russell, President, F. E. Gleason, L.F. Crogan, D.V. Garber and E. E. Wright, trustees. Merrit Brady is Justice of the Peace and Wm. Steckleman is Town Marshall.
Until 1920 when the present school building was erected, considerable difficulty was experienced in housing the pupils. During one year school was held in five different buildings in the town. The teachers had much trouble in finding a places to live or board. The commodious teachers' dormitory solved this problem for the time being but there has been a tendency for many of the more recent teachers to live elsewhere while teaching here or to be recruited during the teacher shortage from local people whose homes are already in Hiawatha.
Information was not available regarding all the names of the school principals, who have directed the local schools. H. A. Dahlsrud was principal for many years but resigned at the close of the year 1945- 1946. He was succeeded by R.S. Williams, who is the present principal. Hiawatha has always taken pride in the quality of its schools and community interest and support has been given the Board of Education and its employees.
Possibly one of the greatest needs of a community like Hiawatha is adequate entertainment for its people. The company, realizing this built the amusement hall in 1917 and turned it over to the Y.M.C.A. to operate. This organization had charge of the hall until 1924, when the Hiawatha Welfare Association was organized and given charge of its management. The policy has always been to use this building for the civic improvement and entertainment of the people of the town. Picture shows are operated, dances conducted, road shows encouraged to "make" Hiawatha, and all other types of wholesome entertainment are encourage. At various times during the history of the community, the town has supported baseball and other clubs to occupy the leisure time of its people. Hiawatha has a fine Scout organization and enthusiastic leaders who sponsor it.
Reliable data was not submitted regarding the personnel of the mining Superintendents who have served Hiawatha since the establishment of the camp. James McKim is the present head of the United States Fuel Company properties at Hiawatha.
The Kenilworth mining camp is known as one of the most attractive camps in Carbon County. It is situated in the west central part of the county in the Wasatch mountains at an elevation of about 6,400 feet above sea level. It is 120 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, three miles east of the Ocean to Ocean Highway, and the same distance from the Price river from which water is supplied. The population of the camp varies to some extent with the seasons, increasing in the winter when the mine works well.
In the early spring of 1904, Heber J. Stowell, a resident of Spring Glen was hunting horses in the mountains northeast of his home when he saw the large veins of outcropping coal. Stowell showed samples of this coal to W.H. Lawley, of Price, who was favorably impressed, and in 1905 these two men began prospecting. Money was scarce and the prospecting difficult until James Wade of Price and Fred Sweet of Salt Lake City became interested and financed the enterprise. Food and supplies for the prospectors were hauled from Price by Mr. Lawley, who states that while he was prospecting he lived in a tent which was pitched where the school house now stands. One night the tent fell in upon its occupants, because they had neglected to sweep the snow from the roof during the day.
Many hardships, as well as dangers, are encountered in prospecting. Mr. Lawley says, "I crept on my hands and knees to get at the coal, as the cliffs were straight up and down, above and below. One false move would have been certain death".
The first development work was done by Lawley and Stowell in Bull Hollow, on the northeast side of the mountains. This proved too difficult, so entry was made on the south side of the mountains where live coal was found on the surface. The south entrance was about halfway up the mountainside, making a sloping entrance to the mine. A very steep tramway led from the tunnel down the fill on the outside. This very steep tramway is not used at the present time due to the fact that a more accessible rock tunnel, which facilitates trackage, was driven in the floor of the vein. Some interesting stories are told about this steep incline. Many of the men, coming home from work would sit on a sled, a shovel or a board placed on the rails, and after a flying ride would reach the bottom of the mountain.
As the work progressed, a track was laid between the new mine and the D. & R. G. Western Railroad at Helper, a distance of three miles. With completion of the line, coal was shipped out for market. The company soon became know as the "Independent" because it was the first independent coal company in the county of Carbon. An interesting reference of old world history featured in the selection of a name for the new camp. Three peaks rising above the camp reminded the prospectors of the three spires of the Kenilworth Castle in Scotland, so they named the new town "Kenilworth".
As the work continued and a greater field was opened up, more men were employed, among them Joseph Barboglio, a present resident of Helper, President of the Helper State bank, and one of the wealthiest men in Carbon County.
Stowell engineered and built the first road up to the camp, and water to supply the inhabitants was first hauled in barrels by wagon and team by Clarence Stowell, a son of Heber J. Stowell.The first "dug-out" in Kenilworth was made by Heber J. Stowell on the northeast side. Everyone was not as fortunate as Stowell, however, for the mine was making such rapid progress that houses could not be erected immediately and many of the miners and their families were obliged to live in tents.
As soon as it was possible, the boarding houses were built. The fourth house east of the present hotel was one of the earliest, and while it was not large, it served its purpose by accommodating a few.
Three apartment houses were built - one for the colored workmen, one for the Japanese, and one for the other workers. The Japanese boarding house still takes care of the people of that nationality, but the others have all served their purpose and are now used as family residences. The second house east of the boarding house was at one time used as sleeping quarters for the officials. This became known as the Cottage, a name which it still retains, although it has been used as family residence for some years. At a later date the present hotel was built, and still later the annex, which makes up part of the hotel which is now known as one of the best in the county.
Across the street from the present school house a residential place was used for educational purposes until the present building was erected. In 1928 crowded conditions compelled the transportation of seventh and eighth grade children to Spring Glen where a new and modern building was furnished.
In 1907, a grocery store was built, with William H. Brooks as manager. There was also an Italian store located half a mile from Kenilworth, off company land, but everything else was owned by the company. About this time an amusement hall was erected where shows and dancing were enjoyed. Mr. Lawley directed and staged the first show given, entitled "Rube and His Ma". In February of 1926, the building was destroyed by fire and replaced the same year by a more modern structure consisting of a theater, confectionery, library, dance hall, and pool rooms. Equipment for talking pictures was recently purchased, and the first talking picture was given December 13, 1930.
The Boy Scout hall was built by the Italians and used by them as a dance hall. Across the road from this now dilapidated building was a saloon, also owned by the Italians but which was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1926. A Greek coffee house furnished pastime for some of the inhabitants until it was also destroyed by fire in 1929.
Improvements continued and the old practice of hauling water in barrels was abandoned when the present system was inaugurated. Water is now taken from the Price River, treated with chemicals at the pump station on the highway between Kenilworth and Helper, then pumped into two large tanks above town.
Roads, too, have been greatly improved from the first rough wagon trails. At first the road lead directly from Price over a very steep hill know as Price Wood Hill. Another road led west of two to Helper. The present road leads out of camp between these two. This was greatly improved in 1930 when about a mile and a half, through Spring Glen, was surfaced with asphalt.
In 1926, a new and more convenient railroad from Helper to the mine, was constructed to replace the one which passed through the main part of town, and which eliminated the dangers of the old steep grade. To make trackage conditions better and to accommodate a growing market, the second tipple was built in 1927, and a third one built in 1931. The latter tipple is known as the largest coal mining tipple west of the Mississippi River. On busy days all the tipples are kept busy loading railroad cars for shipment.
In 1926 the streets of Kenilworth were improved with cement sidewalks and curbs along the entire length of Kenilworth avenue. Trees, which were planted 19 years ago by John Blackham, Sr., lawn and flowers, all help to make the place very attractive. Tennis courts, a splendid hospital, opportunities for church, all contribute to the happiness and welfare of the people.
All of the people of Kenilworth cooperate to make the community a pleasant place in which to live. Of the present workmen a great number of them are of foreign birth - Greeks, Austrians, Hungarians, Japanese, Italians, and Germans are among the leading groups. These people, for the most part, are very willing to enter into the American ways of living. Schools, churches, and civic organizations, are gradually Americanizing these foreign born groups. The change, however, cannot be remedied readily. The growing generation which is more Americanized, must effect the change.
Latuda, a coal mining community, is located about seven miles west of the mouth of Spring Canyon, at an elevation of 6,700 feet. Among the first to prospect in Latuda were Frank Gentry, who lived here until his death in 1928; George Schultz, S. N. Marchetti, and Gus Goddart. Mr. Cameron and Mr.
Latuda organized the coal company in 1917, with Mr. Shultz as Superintendent of the mine, which position he continues to hold. In the same year S.N. Marchetti and family came to the camp for the purpose of building a store. Since Mr. Marchetti's death in 1929, his wife has conducted the mercantile business.
At first there were only two or three houses, the remainder of the employees living in tent until January, 1918, when twenty new houses were completed.
Liberty mine was the name by which the camp was known until the post office was built and the community was then renamed Latuda, honoring the Mine Superintendent, Frank Latuda.
The mining town showed a steady progress from the time of the first shipment of coal from a temporary tipple in January, 1918. In 1920 the mine office was built of native stone and in 1922 thirty- five more homes were built to meet the housing demands of the miners.
The output of coal showed a steady increase from the year 1922. For a time a thousand tons of coal were taken from the mine as a daily capacity, but with the erection of the new tipple in 1928 the capacity increased to fifteen hundred tons daily. The total output of the Latuda mine from 1927 to 1931 has been over two million, two hundred seventy-five thousand tons.
Based on solid hard rock, the seam of Liberty coal varies from six to nine feet and is topped by a seventy-foot stratum of rock, which is so close grained that it appears almost like cement. For a "soft" coal it is one of the hardest in existence. Because of the natural rock roof, the Latuda mine is considered one of the safest in the state.
Nestling at the junction of several mountain canyons, the camp is in a pretty site. The chief disadvantage is the water problem. Culinary water is hauled from Helper, although spring water is piped through the mine into the camp.
A new school building was erected of native stone in 1921. Prior to that time one of the homes was converted into school rooms and was also used for all entertainment's and social functions.
On February 16, 1927, Latuda was the victim of a series of disastrous snow slides. The first slide occurred at the check cabin, near the mountain of the mine, catching the mine foreman, Gus Goodert, just as he entered the cabin. He was buried under twenty feet of snow and ice and killed instantly. He had been in the employ of the company since its organization in 1918, and was considered one of the most capable mining men in the district. An hour or so later the second slide swooped down the canyon, wiping out a row of houses in the town and killing the barn boss, Moroni Mower. Mr. Mower was engaged at the time in the hazardous task of moving furniture and in other ways assisting families to move from their homes, which were considered in danger of the slide. Others were buried in the snow but were not seriously injured. Nearly a mile of railroad track was covered with snow and debris, a condition which tied up the rail service for four days.
The population of Latuda fluctuates from two to four hundred. During the summer many of the miners leave on vacations or to work on farms. Most of the population consists of American, Italian, Welsh, German, Serbian, Scotch, Australian, Finlanders, and Japanese, the latter being found in a separate colony.
The present town officers include Constable Paul Veillard and Justice of the Peace, Clarence Reid. The camp is located in precinct #556.
The mining community of Peerless is located three miles west of Helper and the first coal camp to be developed in the Spring Canyon district. The elevation is 6,000 feet.
In the year 1915, 440 acres of land high up on the cliffs above Helper were owned by a group of people from Ogden. This tract had either been overlooked or rejected by both the Spring Canyon Coal Company and the Utah Fuel company as mining property. Since the owners did not wish to operate a mine they were anxious to secure a purchaser, but with the property so located on a point of the mountain, it was difficult to determine how far under cover the coal would be burned, a fact which impeded the sale. However, the Sweet brothers, Charles and Will, took option on the property and following development work sold it to the mining me, Thompson and Murdock, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Development of the mine followed in rapid strides. A tramway was built to convey the coal from the steep mountainside to the tipple and coal shipments were started about 1917. During the boom years of the coal business, from 1917 to 1921, the coal produced from this mine paid for the project and cleared a bonded indebtedness of $400,000.00 and by 1920 the mine was free from any outstanding obligations.
The coal is now practically worked out and the company has opened a new mine in Price Canyon just above Rolapp. Robert Howard was the Superintendent of the new mine from first operations, until his death, and great credit is due him for development of the new property.
The community of Peerless was comprised of about thirty houses, a store, an office, a post office, a very fine clubhouse for the officials of the company, and a school house, all being well occupied during the life of the camp. About 150 men were employed while the property was at its height of production.
Rains precinct, including Mutual, is located at the upper end of Spring Canyon, seven miles west of Helper at an altitude of 7,000 feet above sea level.
The precinct of Rains has had several different operators within the history of its development. In 1915, L.F. Rains succeeded in interesting P.J. Quealy, a coal operator from Wyoming, in the coal lands just west of Standardville. The land was purchased from the government and the Carbon Fuel Company organized with Mr. Rains as president. It is interesting to note that Mr. Rains was formerly a grand opera singer, until he was attracted to the coal mining business in which he has since made a marked success. In 1913-14 he was general manager for the Standard Coal Company and prior to that time had gained experience selling coal in California.
The new mining community was named Rains. Little development work was necessary on the property and the first load of coal was shipped in November, 1915. Some 60 houses were built for the employees and their families, together with a school building, boarding house, and store. While the mine was at the peak of operation there were about 200 men employed and daily production of coal averaged from 1200 to 1500 tons. The coals seam was about 18 feet thick and of good quality. The mine was operated continuously until March 1930, at which time it was closed down and has not been reopened.
Other mining activities in the Rains precinct are given here in order of their development: Norton No. 1 mine was opened in the fall of 1917 by Thomas Lamph; Thompson Rains wagon mine was opened in the fall of 1917 by Thompson Rains; Norton No. 2 mine was opened in the fall of 1918 by Walter Dake; Annis and DeMyer mine was opened in February 1921, by Frank Hennis; Mutual No. 3 mine was opened in March 1925 by Albert Shaw. Superintendents of the Mutual Coal Company since 1921, have been Mans H. Coffin, Jr., Albert Shaw, W.J. Bowns, and Oliver Sutch.
The McLean mine has always been a small producer, having a daily output at present of from 50 to 100 tons. Mutual Coal Company is the only mine of consequence in this district.
The Mutual Coal Company has produced a total of 1,531,264 tons from February 1921, to December 31, 1931. The maximum tonnage for one year was 191, 635 tons and the minimum was 99,289 tons. Mutual coal is generally rated as one of the best domestic coals in the territory, operating in what is known as No. 2 sub-seam. The coal content of their present land holdings is 20,320,000 tons.
Producing a yearly tonnage of 200,000 tons, which is more than any one previous year's tonnage, the life of the Mutual operation would be 100 years.
The present school house located at Rains was built in 1921, and also serves the population from Mutual. Rains is also the post office for the Mutual camp.
Rolapp is picturesquely located at the foot of Castle Rock, at the junction of the Bear River and Price River canyons on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. It is approximately eleven miles northwest of Helper and one mile northwest of Castle Gate, at an elevation of 6256.25 feet. The new Pike's Peak Highway, completed in October 1931, runs through the center of town. A stage line was started in July 1931 between Salt Lake City and Price. Thus, Rolapp is conveniently located for transportation and communication with Salt Lake City and other state centers.
In 1913 this district attracted the attention of Mr. Frank Cameron, who had previously developed the Heiner property. The first work began in Rolapp with thirty-five men employed. Because of its location the camp was appropriately named Bear Canyon. As the population increased and the mine prospered, the camp was given the name of Cameron, in honor of Mr. Cameron. In 1917, Frank Cameron sold his interest to Henry H. Rolapp. Again the name of the camp was changes in honor of the new manager. The Royal Coal Company owned the property until 1930 when they sold their interests to the Spring Canyon Coal Company.
Rolapp is not incorporated and is, therefore, governed by the county. There are no parks, amusement halls, libraries or churches. All public meetings and gatherings are held in the school buildings. The population varies during the different times of the year. In the winter it is much greater because of the increase in the amount of work in the mine. One can readily see that the present output is not as great as it was in previous years, by comparing the population between the years 1913 to 1920, and the period of 1920 to 1930. In the first period there was an increase of 226 people, while in the latter - a longer period of time - there was an increase of only 129.
The capacity of the mine, when working full force, ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 tons per day. About forty-five men are employed in the mine and about thirteen employed outside. The following nationalities are represented in the town: American, Austrian, Italian, Greek, and Japanese. Most of the foreign born people readily adapt themselves to American customs and habits of living. At the time when the mine was booming this was even more pronounced than it is today. At that time the people were more permanently settled because of the steady work. Realizing that this would ]be their home for several years they were more interested in making their homes comfortable and attractive. The recent decline in economic conditions has caused many residents to move to other localities.
The town of Scofield lies in the bituminous coal fields of Carbon County about 19 miles from the main line of the D. & R. G. Railroad with an elevation of 6,675 feet. Nestled among the hills that surround the upper part of Pleasant Valley, the town is completely isolated from the rest of Carbon County.
"Pleasant Valley is about six miles long and one mile wide, practically all of which is good wild hay land". The early settlers realized that the luxuriant growth of native grasses would make splendid pastures so by 1879 and 1890 immense herds of cattle roamed over the hills and valleys. The first settlers who were attracted by these immense ranges were: S. J. Harkness, T. H. Thomas, Williams Burrows, O.G. Kimball, D. D. Green, J. W. Metcalf, H. McKochency, and Joseph Castle. These pioneers had numerous friendly contacts with the Indians. Deer, wild fowl, and beaver were plentiful, while the streams offered excellent opportunities for fishing. The town was named in honor of General Scofield who owned a ranch in the vicinity and was an early timber contractor.
"Scofield has always been connected with the early history of coal mining in the State of Utah, and within a radius of three miles there are four mines which have been, or are now in operation. They are Winter Quarters, Utah Mine, Union Pacific Blue Seal, and Kinney."
Shortly after the coming of the settlers, coal was discovered. "The hidden treasures of the mountains were not long to lie hidden, and the discoverers soon found out that the supply was inexhaustible - that coal cropped out on every hand where veins were worked. The railway companies, finding that the coal fields were of such magnitude and covered much territory, began to survey for practical routes to reach the coal. The quiet atmosphere of the cattle men was turned into the hustle and activity that attends the opening of any new camp of this kind."
The population grew from the few pioneers to a prosperous community of about 800 inhabitants. In 1882 when the railroad was built to the valley, coal shipments began from Winter Quarters mine. The coal industry thrived and developed into a prosperous enterprise with little difficulty until May 1, 1900, when the Winter Quarters mine exploded taking as toll the lives of 199 men, many of who were living in Scofield at the time. For a detailed report of the explosion see the article in the preceding pages of this history.
On March 15, 1893, a petition carrying one hundred names asking for town government, was filed and recorded in the county recorder's office at Castle Dale, Emery County. (The county of Carbon was not organized at that time.) When the petition was granted the following March, a Town Board was elected, A. H. Earll became the first President, with Messrs. Kimball, Wright, Lewis, and Krebs as trustees. M.P. Braffet was appointed town Clerk and Thomas Lloyd, town Marshall. School buildings were erected, an L.D.S. Ward organized, and the community prospered. Pleasant Valley was an attractive place for outings and many people from various parts of the state came here for summer recreation.
The first school was a two room from building which stood near the city hall and was replaced in 1901 by a nice room brick building. The latter burned Dec. 18, 1927, which necessitated the holding of school in the church, the city hall, confectionery and the Madsen building. The trains passed within three feet of the latter building and often school was interrupted by a stranger or tramp who was very much surprised to meet the grins of the children who enjoyed the joke. The new building, to replace the one that had burned, was completed for the opening of school in the fall of 1928. Usually winter prevails for at least six months of the year and one can generally depend upon sufficient snow for winter sports such as skiing, tobogganing, and sleigh riding.
Scofield has no doubt seen the peak of its prosperity. The work in the mines has decreased, many houses and stores are boarded up, but in spite of all this, the community goes on, even though small. The nationalities represented are: Irish, Welsh, English, Danish, Swedish, Scotch, Greek, Finns, Austrians, Italians, and Americans.
Pleasant Valley continues to be an ideal place for hunting and fishing.
Spring Glen, located along the fertile Price River Valley, two miles south of Helper, is known as the "Garden Spot of Carbon County". Its proximity to many of the coal mines enables numerous mine workers to own their own homes and garden plots and drive to and from their work.
The first settler of Spring Glen was James Davis Gay, a bachelor who came from Spanish Fork during the winter of 1879. He was attracted by the fertility of the Price River land and located on the west side of the stream, opposite the present townsite of Spring Glen. Two other bachelors, who followed and settled as near neighbors, were Omer Brimhall and Andrew Simmons. The family of Teancum Pratt came later in 1880. Mr. Brimhall sold his claim to F. W. Ewell in 1882. The coming of other settlers required a hall for meetings and the first school which was held in 1883, was taught by Mrs. Sarah Ewell. Religious classes were held in the same year.
By 1886 there were enough settlers to seriously consider building a town and taking up bench lands, a procedure which would require an expensive canal. In December, 1886, the following settlers met and took legal measurers to organize a canal company under the territorial statutes: F. W. Ewell, T. Pratt, H. J. Stowell, Andrew J. Simons, H. Southworth, Jans Hansen, W. H. Babcock, and others. On January 22, 1887, the company was organized and work commenced on the canal, which continues to serve the farming community. Much of the activity of the community was carried on in a church capacity. The building of the Spring Glen canal was supervised by the church leaders. The canal was finally completed and water carried to the land in April, 1893.
The town was named Spring Glen and a committee chosen to arrange for a building for meeting and school purposes. In 1886 a dramatic company was formed, and performances given in Spring Glen and Price. School was taught in Ewell's hall by T. Pratt and John Biglow. The meeting house was completed in 1886. The same year a group of citizens made preparations to lay out Spring Glen townsite. T. Pratt was elected secretary of the meeting and H. J. Stowell chairman. It was voted that the town should be four blocks north and south and three blocks east and west. T. Pratt, Edward Davis, and H. J. Stowell were elected to survey the townsite. The land was secured for the city lots for $10.00 per lot, including the streets.
An attempt was made to have a post office on February 20, 1888, which failed because the R. R. Company objected to stopping trains at that point. John Biglow was chosen postmaster. During the years 1888-1889 the settlement was engaged with the school and the meeting house. The ward was organized November 24, 1889, and J. J. Stowell chosen bishop. The counselors were Edwin Fulmer and A. J. Simons with T. Pratt ward clerk.
In 1889, John F. Rowley, an expert charcoal burner in the employ of the S. S. Jones Company of Spanish Fork Canyon, came to Spring Glen to investigate the possibilities of a charcoal business. Finding conditions favorable he built a set of charcoal kilns near the Blue Cut. At that time the narrow gauge railway, which runs through the Blue Cut, had been changed to a standard gauge, but it was equipped with a third rail so the narrow gauge cars could still be used when desired. The charcoal business proved profitable and many men were given employment, cutting and hauling wood and tending the kilns. The next year, another set of six kilns were built on the Andrew Simmons homestead, within the Spring Glen precinct. The mercantile business established was called the Blue Cut Charcoal Company, in connection with the charcoal business. The manufacture of charcoal continued for about fifteen years and proved to be of much benefit to the community financially.
Edwin D. Fullmer was made bishop of the ward in 1893. It was under his supervision that the public square was fenced and planted in trees. Other elders of the L.D.S. church to serve in the capacity of civic leaders were Thomas Rhodes, J.N. Miller, John T. Rowley, and in 1920 Silas Rowley was chosen and holds the position at the present time.
A new school building was erected in 1904. It consisted of two room building constructed of brick made locally, arranged in such a manner that the partition could be moved and the building used for school and community purposes. When this building became inadequate in 1912 another two room building and auditorium was added. In 1927 the older of the two buildings was removed to make place for an extensive new addition, which serves as grade and junior high school for Spring Glen and Kenilworth.
The population of Spring Glen has shown a steady growth and at the present time approximately 800 people have their homes there.
Standardville, model coal camp of Carbon County, is located in Spring Canyon, five miles northwest of Helper. Its early history dates back to 1912 when Mr. F. A. Sweet, prominent Utah coal man and railroad builder opened up a rich seam of coal on the mountain side about a quarter of a mile north of the present camp site. In 1914 about two hundred tons of coal were mined daily. This output increased to 1000 tons the following year. During the present year (1932) more than 2,000 tons daily went over the modern steel tipple which was erected in 1929.
As the coal tonnage increased, more men were employed and additional houses required. Although the housing problem presented many difficulties, wise planning on the part of the mine officials, made Standardville one of the most modern camps in Utah. It became a pattern for other coal camps and thus received its name, Standardville. Today it has steam heated apartments, a hospital, a general merchandise store, butcher shop, post office, barber shop, recreation hall, tennis courts, and modern dwellings.
The population of Standardville, like all coal camps, fluctuates with the demand for coal, increasing during the fall and winter months when coal production is greatest. Approximately 545 people live in the camp. The school census lists over 200 pupils. A public school, where grades one to six are taught, is centrally located. Four teachers are employed to teach the pupils who attend the school. The 7th, 8th and 9th grade students attend the junior high school at Latuda, a camp one mile northwest of Standardville. High school students are transported by bus to the Carbon High School, at Price, twelve miles distant.
Standardville is connected by railroad and good highways with all Carbon County towns. An asphalt road connects the camp with Helper. Both the Utah Coal Route and the D. & R. G. W. Railroads transport coal to the market. A stage line gives daily service between this camp and Helper.
Standardville's future will depend upon the future of the coal industry of Utah. Its location, fine quality of coal mined and the splendid type of people who make the camp their home, assure a bright outlook.
As all coal mining communities, Standardville, has a few foreigners. Japanese, Greeks, Italians, Mexicans, Finns and Austrians are the principal foreign nationalities represented. These people readily adapt American manners, customs and habits.
Named for George Storrs a prominent mining man. Settled in 1911 or earlier. It was located near Spring Canyon. The town of Standardville is an outgrowth of this mining camp.
The following information about Storrs was copied from the autobiography of George A. Storrs.
The next spring, 1912, I was riding between Salt Lake and Provo on the train with Uncle Jesse Knight and he told me he had about three quarters of a million dollars in the bank and he was wondering how he could use it to do the people the most good, and he says, "I have some coal property out near Helper, in Carbon County, and I think you had better go out there tomorrow and find the land; get a description from bookkeeper and go out and look it over and tell me what you think of it." I went to Helper the next day and was informed by an abstractor that this land belonging to Mr. Knight was in what was called "Spring Canyon". I took an old Pennsylvania Coal Miner with me and located the land. While I was looking for corners of the land I noticed some coal showing from the roots of the grass, and in less than an hour and half we had opened a seven foot vein of coal. I took some samples of the coal back to Provo the next day. Mr. Knight asked me what it would cost to build a railroad up to this property, and I told him I thought it would cost approximately $150,000. He asked me what I thought it would cost to build a tipple and open the mine. I told him it would cost over half a million dollars. This conversation was on the 13th of May, 1912. He asked me if I thought I could do all that and be shipping coal by the first of the year. I told him I thought I could. Arrangements were made to proceed with this construction. I first started an engineering corps and had the preliminary survey run, engaged contractors and started to build the railroad. In the meantime I ordered a tipple and five Marine Type boilers of 150 pound pressure each, with which to generate our power, and that year we built approximately five miles of railroad, installed the boilers, and constructed a tipple and built a tramway over half a mile long, laid a pipe line, constructed a large reservoir, built sixty-three rock houses, a hotel, store and a hospital and had acquired more lands. In all I had expended
$675,000. On the 13th of February, 1913, which was nine months from the time of beginning, we were shipping coal. Now, in that canyon where there was only a trail at that time, are eight coal mine camps, shipping about forty percent of the coal mined in the state of Utah. After the town was built, I came to Provo and called Mr. Knight by telephone and told him we must have a name for the town and suggested that we call it "Woodroe". He says, "What did Woodroe have to do with it", that I was the man that built the town and it would be named "Storrs". That is the name of the town today, and is one of the best coal mining camps in the state. Mr. Knight had requested when I started this work that we build homes for the miners and set an example for the coal camps in this state; have hot and cold water and made modern. These houses are four room cottages, set up modern and built of the best material obtainable. They have a tin roof type of shingle and are made fire proof. I was general manager of this coal company for about five years and never had a strike, or any labor trouble.
Sunnyside is located in the eastern part of the Book Cliff mountains at the mouth of Whitmore Canyon, twenty-eight miles southeast of Price. The elevation is 9,716 feet. The total population is approximately 625.
The first settlers in Sunnyside were three brothers - John, Jeff, and William Tidwell, cattlemen from Wellington, who discovered coal in this vicinity about the year 1896. A short time later Robert Forrester came as a representative of the Utah Fuel Company, and purchased, for the sum of $250.00, the land now owned by the Coal Company. Mr. Forrester took a sample of the coal to Castle Gate, where coke ovens were in operation and found it proved highly satisfactory for coking purposes. In 1898 work in Sunnyside Mine No. 1, began which brought more settlers from Castle Valley and Wellington. Among them were Samuel Naylor and Samuel Dugmore. Mr. Mr. Naylor had charge of the laying of the railroad from Mounds to Sunnyside, which was completed November 19, 1899.
On November 20, 1899, Sunnyside product was cut off the east end of Wellington precinct and new school district created. A four room frame school building was erected and stood until 1905 when it was destroyed by fire. An eight room rock building was erected which burned in 1925, when the present junior high building was constructed.
The early settlers lived in tents until the company had houses built. The first dwellings were one and one-half stories high, made of lumber and compo-board. Later four room houses were built, and the last houses erected by the company were of rock construction.
The first settlers encountered many thrilling experiences with bears and lions, but their greatest problem seemed to be the water situation. Whitmore Creek, or Grassy Trail Creek, runs through Sunnyside, but owing to a disagreement it was necessary for the Utah Fuel Company to install a pump and pipeline to secure water for culinary purposes from Range Creek, a distance of approximately seven miles. This pump was installed in 1906 after the water right had been purchased from Preston Nutter. At that time a steam boiler was used to supply power for the pumps. The electric power line was later extended over to Range Creek and in 1920 the two large electric pumps were installed.
For several years Sunnyside remained related very closely to Castle Gate. When Sunnyside mine was first opened, all coal was sent to Castle Gate coke ovens to be coked, until the year 1902 - 03 when 480 coke ovens were built at Sunnyside. The first shipment of coke from the Sunnyside ovens was made on April 1, 1902. In the year 1912 an additional 170 coke ovens were built; two years later saw the addition of 74 more ovens and in 1917, 80 more were completed. In 1905 all coke ovens at Castle Gate were abandoned and coke was made exclusively at Sunnyside until the year 1929.
The growth of Sunnyside was rapid due to the fine coking qualities of the coal. The population grew from 200 to 2700 in 1929. After that year it decreased until at the present time there are less than 500 people there. Today, what was once the largest camp in Carbon County is filled with empty, boarded up houses.
During the first years of operation the demand for the high grade Sunnyside coke was so great that shortly after the opening of the first mine a second mine was opened. During the peak of business the two mines were producing from 5,000 to 5,550 tons per day. During February, 1924, the demand for coke decreased, due to products other than coke being used of smelting purposes. As a result No. 2 mine was finally abandoned. The present coal output from No. 1, is 500 tons per day. Of the total number of 819 coke ovens at the camp, only six are in use at this time.
During the prosperous years the Utah Fuel Company had as high as 1,200 men on their payrolls. For many years Sunnyside had the distinction of working more days in the year than any other coal mine in the United States. It also had the reputation throughout the many years of activity of having fewer accidents for the number of men employed than any mine in the state. Sunnyside mines have never had an explosion of any consequence; however, ten years ago a disastrous fire occurred in Mine No. 2. Men were equipped with oxygen helmets and worked for months to extinguish the fire. For this dangerous work the helmet men were paid $15.00 a day and expenses. It is estimated that the conflagration cost of the company over $1,000,000.00.
Sunnyside was incorporated in 1916 with W. N. Netzel as Mayor; A. D. Hadley, J. M. Slapp, Samuel Dugmore, as trustees; J. C. Moore, town Clerk; E. V. Tucker, constable; Nils Nelson, Treasurer; W. J. Emigholz, Justice of Peace, and Dr. A. W. Dowd physician.
The present officials of the town are as follows: Horace Naylor, Mayor; John James, A. E. Hopkinson and James Peacock, counselors; and Fred Jones, Clerk.
At present there are many foreigners residing at Sunnyside, most of them having adopted American ways, however. There are a few who retain some of their quaint old county customs, such as wrapping the newborn babes in long strips of cloth for fear their bones will not grow straight. Many of the women folk were accustomed to depend upon their handiwork for their hosiery and other needs.
Most of them have since fallen into the modern manner of procuring such articles at the stores.
Wattis is located in a cove in the mountains in the southeasterly part of Carbon County about twenty miles from Price. High mountains extend on the north, west and south of the camp while the east opening permits an excellent view of the valley below. The elevation of Wattis is approximately 7,500 feet. The population varies according to the demand for labor but at the present time it is 249.
In 1916, the Wattis brothers and Mr. Browning of Ogden, bought 160 acres of coal land from the United States and in 1916 began operating a mine. Shipment of coal began in the autumn of 1917 when the railroad to the camp was completed.
Early in the spring of 1918, the permanent camp was built where it is today and called Wattis, for the Wattis brothers of Ogden. The organization was named the Wattis Fuel Company, for the president,
W. H. Wattis. In 1919 this property merged with the Lion Coal Company.
The company built all the homes, bunk houses, Japanese camp, and expanded much money on improvements. The main office is in Ogden where the General Manager has his headquarters. He directs all the company's mines in Utah and Wyoming with superintendents in charge of each mine and camp. There is also a mine foreman, who runs the mine, an outside foreman who operates the tipple, a master mechanic, who superintends the machinery, a company doctor, store manager, mine clerk, night watchman, and at least 150 men who spend their time mining coal.
The mine at Wattis is located on the side of the western mountains to which the men are taken in tram cars to their daily work. They represent various nationalities - Italian, Greek, Japanese, Scotch, German, and American. Due to the uncertainly of work, the larger percent of the inhabitants are transient.
Source of information - Mrs. A. M. Dwight and Cortland T. Krams
Wellington, one of the few farming communities of Carbon County, is situated on the Price River six miles southeast of Price. It is conveniently located on the Pike's Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway and on the main line of the D. & R. G. W. Railroad.
During the autumn of 1879, Jefferson Tidwell, and his son William Tidwell, and William Averett (Everette) of Mt. Pleasant arrived in Castle Dale by way of Cottonwood Creek. Here they met Orange Seeley, who advised them to go to White River (now Price River) and explore that section of the country. Upon their arrival at Price River, they met James Bean of Provo, who endeavored to discourage them by saying that the river was dry part of the time, that frost came early and that the wind blew severely. However, they explored until their supplies were exhausted. The first permanent settlers came to Wellington in 1882, among them were William Barney, Arthur Barney, Thomas Zundel, Robert Snyder, Montis Reids, two families of Fausetts, Brigham Grundvig, and his son, Severne Grundvig. The mother of the boy was stolen by the Indians during the long journey across the plains.
These people, with the spirit of adventure, which is pronounced in most pioneers, came to this region desirous of building homes where land was cheap and feed was ample for their livestock. The first homes were built along the river but gradually the boundaries of the settlement extended as irrigation projects were initiated and more land was made available for use. Canals were built and finally the land on both sides of the river for many miles was placed under cultivation. Wellington now receives its water for irrigation purposes from the conservation water project connected with the Scofield Dam. For details of the project, see article on Irrigation Projects. Drinking water at first was hauled in from a distance of ten to fifteen miles, filtered and stored in barrels, but in recent years it has been piped from the spring at Colton which also supplies Price with water for culinary purposes.
In the early days there were many animals such as the bear, cougar, wild cat, wolf and coyote which preyed upon the cattle, sheep and horses, making it necessary for settlers to guard their livestock. At night the howling wolves from the hilltops would give signal of approaching danger and the guards were often awakened from sleep to protect their cattle. These sturdy pioneers faced blizzards, deep snows, and starvation, but nevertheless in spite of all this, they struggled on until the future for the place was assured.
The settlement was named for Wellington Seeley, an uncle to the Tidwell boys who live in Wellington at the present time. In 1885 an L.D.S. ward was organized.
The growth of Wellington is due to increased supply of water which has made it possible to farm greater areas. The increased number of mining towns in the vicinity provide the farmers with a ready market for their produce. The population of Wellington is now 546.
Immediately after settling here, the necessity of educational advantages was considered and school was held in a stockade on the southside of the river on the Thomas Zundel farm with William D. Tidwell as instructor. During the summer of 1889 the stockade burned but school continued, although it was necessary to convene in W. A. Thayn's orchard, northwest of the present school building, and in a log cabin on Robert Snyder's property. This cabin now belongs to the Daughters of the Pioneers and has been moved to the L.D.S. church grounds.
The process of education of the younger generation seemed somewhat of a migratory nature. After one year's session in the new ward house, one room was built for school purposes only, and in 1895 two more rooms were added. This structure, which stood across the street south of the ward house, was dispensed with in 1911 when an eight room building was erected on a hill overlooking the town. In August 1929, this building was partially burned and could not be used. The school again took refuge in the L.D.S. church for one year and half until the completion of the present modern building in December 1930. Nearly all of the present inhabitants of Wellington are descendants of the northern European peoples.
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Winter Quarters, "The Ghost Village", is situated in the upper end of Pleasant Valley. The boarded windows which were once open to the sunshine, darken the weatherworn houses; the silent school house, a pretentious edifice, is forever hushed and free from muddy feet and the laughter of merry voices. Fate has dealt unkindly with the little village and has left us only a memory of friendly neighbors, pleasant social gatherings, and the horror of the dreadful mine disaster, as well as the struggle of women and children who were left alone to carry on.
Winter Quarters was the first coal mine opened in Utah, east of the Wasatch Mountains. About 1880 coal was discovered by Welch coal miners from San Pete Valley who built a wagon road, opened a small mine and began hauling the coal to the settlements in San Pete and Utah valleys. There was no railroad south of Springville at that time. Cabins were built, provisions brought in to facilitate work during the winter months when the snow was unusually deep, and preparations made for the hauling of coal when the roads became passable in the spring. The town was appropriately named "Winter Quarters".
After a year or two it was decided that a railroad should be constructed. Although there was no money available for the enterprise, a company was organized, and plow and scraper work began. A large supply of dry goods, clothing, shoes, calico, etc., had been purchased at some bankrupt stock sale in the cast, by the promoters of the railroad and this, as well as flour and bacon, were used in lieu of money to pay the workers on the railroad grade. Just how the rails, ties, switches, etc., were purchased is not known by the writer, but nevertheless the project was completed and called by many "The Calico Road", prior to its purchase by the D. & R. G. Western, which later connected the line with the main line at Colton, then known as Pleasant Valley Junction, or briefly - "P. V. Junction".
The mine at Winter Quarters was leased to Bishop David Williams, who operated it for eight or nine years after the completion of the railroad. The Bishop was not Scotch but no doubt thought the methods of paying used in the building of the railroad was an economical plan so he adopted this method in paying the miners whenever possible.
Modern methods of mining were not used in the Winter Quarters mine until the last few years prior to its abandonment. The mine was always considered safe until the explosion in 1900, and from that time on precautions were used to guard against dust accumulations.
After Castle Gate and the Independent mines in the Castle Gate District were opened, the coal produced in Winter Quarters could not be sold on the domestic market as it was inferior in quality so from 1908 until the mine was closed, the coal was used by the railroad company for its locomotives. Since 1920 there was a decided decrease in production. The underground haulage was too far to justify the great expenditure together uith keen competition of modern equipped mines, hence the mine closed in 1928. Some of the houses were moved away, the rest were boarded up. Then followed the pilgrimage of departing home seekers; some of the houses were moved while others were boarded up and the history of Winter Quarters came to a close.