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Carbon County: A History
Interested Carbonites April, 1947
Edited by C. H. Madsen
Price, Utah April 12, 1947
(Edited by Don Strack for improved readability)
Source material is very limited regarding Carbon County. The writer had a modest part in the compilation of "A Brief History of Carbon County" for the schools in 1930. He expects to draw upon this discussion whenever and wherever its contents will enhance the value of the present article. Several of these first topics are quoted from the 1930 history.
("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
Carbon County is located in Central Utah, 123 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. It is bounded on the north by the counties of Utah, Duchesne and Uintah, on the east by Uintah, from which it is separated by the Green River; on the south by Emery, and on the west by the county of Sanpete. From north to south it is 24 miles wide, 74 miles long, with an area of over 1,536 square miles.
This great coal county is peculiarly situated. Its western end rises from 7,000 to 10,400 feet above sea level to rest upon the Wasatch Plateau, down the eastern escarpment of which Price River has cut its canyon to tumble into the beautiful Castle Valley. The valley stretches to the south across the southern half of Carbon into Emery county, while the peaks and cliffs of the Wasatch Range hedge it on the south and west, and the Book Cliffs bound it on the east, extending entirely across the east end of the county. The Wasatch plateau is for the most part a broad upland, whose surface shows smooth, gentle slopes but whose eastern front is marked by very steep sandstone cliffs, which rise from 1,000 to 2,000 foot above Castle Valley. These cliffs are breached by deep canyons which extend back as far as 35 miles from the front of the cliffs.
The Price River is the principal water course. Tributary to it are the Gordon, Fish, Miller, Willow creeks, White River, and some smaller streams, this system watering the western half of the county. In the eastern part are several small canyon streams; the most important being Nine Mile or Minnie Maude, Jack Canyon, Soldier, Coal, Dugout, and Grassy Trail. The climate is moderate with very pleasant winters free from fog, smoke, and extreme cold. Carbon County may indeed be called the sunny valley of the State for very few days are without radiant sunshine.
A tabulation of the climate made by our pupils several years ago and completed by the writer after schools were dismissed in the spring, showed 199 very clear days and 101 partially cloudy, making a total 300 "sunshine" days throughout the year.
We shall see as we pursue the founding of and the growth and development of Carbon County, through the evolution of the cities and the mining camps, that this area occupies a unique place in Utah. In 1879,
the territory adjacent to Price was known as Castle Valley. It was so called because of its "picturesque mountain turrets and battlements" which abound here. It was then a virgin soil in the valley and the hills had not yet shown their enormous stores of "black diamond." Any attempt to evaluate this wealth of carbon would have to be revised every years. A conservative estimate has placed the supply of coal underlying Carbon County as "large enough to furnish the United States its coal for a hundred years." To estimate the monetary worth of the yearly output would run the figures into the millions and to enumerate the men employed would need revision monthly and throughout the seasons. So this history will not be concerned with such enumerations. Suffice it to say that the majority of the people of this county are either directly or indirectly dependent for their livelihood upon the coal mining industry. Other resources abound here.
Agriculture occupies a prominent place and is developing apace. The livestock industry is growing. Sheep and cattle are grazed on the surrounding mountains in the summer and are either fed during the cold seasons or wintered on the desert. Manufacturing has been more slow in developing but plans are laid to establish a coal by-products plant in the near future. This plant will be located at Wellington. To top the claim for uniqueness, we have operating at Wellington a "dry ice plant." The carbon dioxide gas has been harnessed, piped from the well and has been made commercially available to the refrigeration industry of our country. The Carbon Dioxide and Chemical Company at Wellington has one of the few such plants in the United States. A visit to the compression plant at that place is a liberal education in the possibilities of dry ice as a refrigerant.
By an act of the Utah Legislature, approved by Governor West on March 8, 1894, the northern part of Emery County was organized into the County of Carbon, so named because of the rich deposits of coal within its limits. The active settlement dates from the building of the Rio Grande Railroad, which was completed through the county in 1883. On November 20, 1882, the small settlement of Latter Day Saints on the Price River was organized into a ward, with George Frandsen as Bishop. This is the first record of an organized settlement in the county. The first election of county officers was held on Tuesday, May 1, 1894, and resulted in the choice of the following officers: E. C. Lee, E. P. Gridley, and Eugene Santschi, Sr., selectmen (Commissioners); H. A. Nelson, treasurer, S. J. Harkness, attorney; W. J. Tidwell, surveyor, E. M. Olsen, probate judge, and J. W. Davis, Supt. of Schools. At the same election Price was selected as the County seat.
Obviously it would be impossible to record all the events connected with the history of Carbon County and to name the officers who have served from its inception until now. One highlight we must not omit is the building of the Court House. This building was begun in 1908 and finished the next year. Edgar Thayn, James H. Harrison and David J. Thomas were commissioners at the starting of the project and B. R. McDonald, David J. Thomas and Chris K. Jensen, when it was finished, Watkins and Birch were the architects and George A. Ryland, the contractor.
Plans are being considered to remove the court house to a location near the Price City Park. An architect is studying the proposition at the present time. Some persons advocate the keeping of the present building and remodeling it to suit the changing conditions of the county, others favor selling the corner on which it stands and building a new building on the location stated. The present county officers, with William J. Campbell, chairman of the commission and E. B. Miller and Irvin Gerber as members, are studying the people s wishes.
Other officers who are serving elective positions in Carbon County at the present time are: B. H. Young, clerk and auditor; A. N. Smith, treasurer; Charles H. Semken, assessor; A. John Ruggeri, attorney; Lena F. Sidenburg, recorder; J. W. Dudler, sheriff; and John Bene, surveyor.
"Work was commenced on the log meeting house which was 22x40x12, in the early part of January, 1884. George Frandsen, Caleb B. Rhodes, John D. Leigh and others went up Miller Creek and got out the logs. Was completed about April 10, and first services held April 13, 1884. Was used as a house of worship, court house, school house and for dancing and drama, and was so used up to about 1904, and then sold to Peter Anderson, It was afterwards used to build several log homes."
"On August 28, 1911, 4 p. m., services were held on the tabernacle ground and the breaking of ground for erection of the Carbon Stake L. D. S. Tabernacle commenced. Bishop Albert Bryner commenced the digging. The Stake Presidency all present … With perseverance the tabernacle was finished and dedicated July 1,.1923, at a cost of $91;041,62. Contributions trustee and trust $42,250.00. Price ward $39,186.12. Outside wards $8,600.00. Non-members, $1,000.50."
One of the first acts of the Emery Stake Presidency after the organization of that stake on August 13, 1882, was to assemble the members of the "Mormon" faith who were living along the Price River and to make preparations for the establishment of a ward. George Frandsen of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, the highlights of whose life will be given later in this discussion, was chosen as the first Bishop. with Erastus W. McIntire, late of Paragonah, as his first and Caleb B. Rhodes, the first
Price pioneer, as his second counselor. Bishop Frandsen served from November 20, 1882 to July 12; 1896. Ernest S. Horsley became Bishop of the Price Ward on July 12, 1896 and served in this capacity to May 2, 1909. Albert Bryner served in a similar position from May 2, 1909 January 8, 1921. George A. Wootton become Bishop on January 8, 1921 and held this position two years or until January 7, 1923. William E; Stoker followed as Bishop after George A, Wootton and served from Jan. 7, 1923 to May 25, 1930. George E. Jorgensen became the Price Ward Bishop on May 25, 1930 and held the leadership of the °lard until Dec. 15, 1935, when he was succeeded by Orson H. Guymon, who served from December 15, 1935 until June 27, 1943. At the time of the release of Bishop Guymon, Fletcher B. Hammond was chosen to this position, in
June, 1945. Elton L. Taylor was sustained as Bishop of the Price First Ward but served one week only, when he was set apart as president of the Carbon Stake. James W. Fausett was called to preside as Bishop of the First Ward on June 24, 1945, in which capacity he has served until the present time.
In the meantime the growth of the Latter-day Saint Church in Price necessitated first the division of the original ward into two and still later into three groups, and again, recently into four wards. April 26, 1938 Don C. Clayton was selected to preside over the Price Second Ward, but served only a year's time, when the two wards were divided into three. Frank Bryner became Bishop of the Price Second Ward in June, 1939 and served until January 28, 1945, when George Morgan became Bishop. He is still at the head of this ward. In June, 1939, Orson Nelson became Bishop of the Price Third Ward, where he is still serving. He has piloted this ward through a building program, for the erection and equipment of the only chapel built in Price during the War. The Third ward chapel was begun March 1, 1941 and is now practically finished. This has cost more than $40,000.
The newest L. D. S. Church organization, the Price Fourth Ward was organized by dividing the First Ward. A. Fullmer Allred is the Bishop of this Ward.
Latter-day Saint activities from the stake standpoint were administered under the auspices of the Emery Stake until May 8, 1910, when Gustave A. Iverson was selected as President of the newly formed Carbon Stake. Arthur W. Horsley became first and J. Rex Miller, second counselor in the Presidency with Ernest S. Horsley as stake clerk. This presidency served until April 13, 1913, when President Iverson and his counselors were released and Arthur W. Horsley, John H. Pace, and Henry G: Mathis were given the responsibility of presiding. On December 15, 1930, George E. Jorgensen, Parley H. Rhead and Arvel R. Stevens were sustained as the. Carbon Stake Presidency, in which positions they served until June 27, 1943. Elton L. Taylor, Arvel R. Stevens and Cecil Broadbent then occupied these responsible positions from June 27, 1943 until the division of the Carbon Stake into the Carbon and North Carbon Stakes, which occurred on June 24, 1945. At this time the Carbon Stake Presidency consists of Elton L. Taylor, Arvel R. Stevens and Asa L. Draper, while the North Carbon Stake is presided over by President Cecil Broadbent, with Sterling Forsyth and Isaac McQueen as Assistants in the Presidency. The respective Stake Clerks are Afton Alger and Brigham W. McAllister.
The History of Methodism in Utah, by Henry Martin Merkel, gives he following information regarding the activities of this Church in Price. At no place has the writer followed the exact wording of the data presented by this very able author, but has given a resume of the same in his own words.
Reverend J. D. Bird was appointed pastor of the Price congregation in 1899 but failed to accept the appointment. So, likewise, T. J. Strawbridge received an appointment in 1900, but the inference is that he, too, did not accept it. The Reverend Samuel Allison came 1901. A little later the Price-Helper activities of the Methodist Church because the Railroad Chapel at Helper could not be made available, exclusively, to any single denomination.
Reverend J. M. Birk opened a Methodist School in Price in 1906. He was pastor of the Church during 1906 and 1907. On page 255 of the history previously quoted, Reverend Merkel lists the following pastors and their service assignments.
Samuel Allison, 1901-1902; J. M. Birk, 1906-1907; Isaac Corn; 1911-1912; Bradford T. Fish; 1912-1913; James E. Ferris, 1913-1915; C. C. Hartzler, 1915-1917; H: T. Zeiders, 1917-1918; Ralph C. Tones, 1918-1921; Charles E. Brown, 1921-1922; J. Freelen Johnson, 1922-1926; Henry M. Merkel, 1926-1931; T. H. McRill, 1931-1933; E. C. Lind, 1933-1935; Thomas H. Evans, 1935-1941; William Daugherty, 1941-1942; Richard E. Halbert, 1942 until the present.
The following facts are a digest from the History of Methodism in Utah as interpreted by the writer. The first M. E. Parsonage stood where the Silvagni business block now stands. The first chapel was dedicated by Dr. H. J. Talbott, in January, 1908. At this dedication, a former pastor, the Reverend Samuel Allison, assisted and Reverend R. P. Nichols was present. The chapel was enlarged in 1909. The ground for the Price Academy was donated by A. Ballinger and the institution was started by the Reverend J. M. Birk, with five pupils. It grew into an influential institution and was discontinued after several years of activity. The property was sold in 1918, for $10,000 to the Carbon County School District and was converted into a dormitory. This money cleared the downtown church property and left it free of debt. This property was sold for $10,500 and the parsonage for $750. A lot located across from the Price City Hall was purchased and in July, 1923, a contract was let for the building of the Price Community Methodist Episcopal Church. This building was dedicated by Bishop Charles L. Mead on February 3, 1924. Bishop Mead was assisted by Reverend J. Freelen Johnson, who was then the pastor. Dr. John James Lace, District Superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday Schools was also present. The value of this building is in excess of $60,000 and is free of debt. The officials and members of the Church assembled recently and burned the papers that represented the payment of the last outstanding indebtedness against the edifice.
The residence next the Church is used as a parsonage. The old chapel was sold to the American Legion.
The first activities of the Catholic Church, according to Father Thomas F. Butler, the present head of the local organization, were directed by Father Antonio Petillo of Salt Lake City. The record shows that he came into Carbon County at intervals between August 13, 1912 and July 21, 1914 and officiated in baptismal and other rites for the Church.
Father Alfred F. Giovanni came first to Helper in 1913 and established the work of the Catholic Church there before moving to Price. Soon after coming to Price, Father Giovanni began a movement to build a place of worship for his people. A lot was secured at the corner of First North and Carbon Avenue and the building was begun. This magnificent edifice was completed in 1923 and stands as a monument to the work of Father Giovanni and his congregation.
Not satisfied with effort and eager to do something more for the Catholic followers, Father Giovanni asked the Price City officers for land on which to build a parochial school. The Notre Dame School which stands in the northeast section of the city and which has been large influence in educational circles for two decades, came as a
result of this effort. This institution is managed directly by the head of the local Catholic Church and the regular faculty are members of the Sisters of Charity.
Father William Ruel followed Father Giovanni. He served here several years but was finally necessitated to give up his work, because of ill health, and retire to his home in the East. Father Thomas F. Butler as assigned the ministry of the Catholic Church after Father Ruel, and is its present head.
Another of the major ecclesiastical groups in Price and Carbon County is the Greek Orthodox Church. This Church serves the area from Grand Junction, Colorado, on the east to Provo, Utah, on the west. Father Mark Petrakis, whose picture is to be found with other religious leaders from other denominations, in the foyer of the Price Civic Auditorium, of which we have previously spoken, started the activities of this organization in Price, back in 1915. The Hellenic Church which stands on the corner of First South and Second East, is another magnificent structure. Originally this building cost in the neighborhood of $20,000 and it has since been remodeled and improved. After a fire two years ago, the building was completely overhauled and its present monetary value would be in excess of $50,000, according to estimates of the church members.
After the Reverend Father Petrakis, the following Fathers have served this Church. Reverend Arch Mitatakis, John Papadopoulos, Arch D. Smyrnopoulos, Chronidis, Stamatiadis, Zeese, Garananis, Frangos, Economou and Hatzadakis. These Reverend Fathers have each in turn done a splendid service in amalgamating the people of Greek origin into a fine, religious organization.
The sympathy of the entire community went out to this fine group of people just as this history was going to press, when Reverend Hatzadakis, the most recent head of their Church, was taken by death. His place has not yet been filled.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church has a considerable following in Price and Carbon County. They have a splendid little church building, located at the corner of First South and Third East.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance has a considerable following in this section. Reverend Constance started this organization in Price and was followed by Reverend Carl Measell, the present head of the organization. They have not yet erected a church building but contemplate building one in the near future. At present they are holding services at the Harding School.
In accordance with the plan of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in all of its wards and stakes, the Church Welfare Plan of this organization is carried on in this area. The Carbon and North Carbon Stakes own, conjointly, a welfare farm and each ward either has a project of its own or contributes to the general project, or both. There is a commodious Welfare Building in Price.
(This heading was not included in the original work.)
This history will not be a mere chronicle of events but will consist of interpretative and explanatory notes and human interest incidents that will help the reader to view the present Carbon County in the light of the past. It seems to the writer that this viewpoint may best be obtained by giving a more detailed history of the individual communities that comprise the county. Before this is attempted, may we digress for a moment in retrospect.
The historical background of Southeastern Utah of which Carbon County is an integral part begins with the Spanish Explorers of the West and the Northwest and continues through the visits of the Fur Traders; thence down the years to an account of the visits of local hunters, fur traders and trappers. There is some doubt that any of the early Spanish explorers or missionaries ever set foot on what is now Carbon County. The exploits of those intrepid fur men whose fame is inseparably connected with the development of the West are, in a way, outside the scope of this discussion; but, Jim Bridger, Jedediah Smith, William Ashley, Etienne Provost, and possibly others exerted a profound influence on the evolution of the West and therefore an influence on Carbon County. If any of the early missionaries, fur traders or explorers ever came through the Price River country, the writer has been unable to find any authentic account of such travels, yet because of their antecedent influence, no history would be complete without mentioning these names. Certainly a pageant should begin with a characterization of these early missionaries, explorers, and fur traders.
As stated in the introductory pages, the history of Carbon County began officially when the territorial Legislature of Utah on May 1, 1894, designated this area as Carbon County. Prior to that time Carbon had been a part of Emery County and both had previously been included in the old Sanpete County.
This county received its name from the chief product found here. One of the amorphous forms of carbon is coal, the other forms being lampblack or soot, charcoal, graphite, and diamond. The history of this county is intimately connected with the finding and development of the coal fields. However, before we discuss the finding of and the industrial development connected with the production of this coal, let us view some of the events that preceded the advent of coal in Carbon County picture. Of necessity there must have been some attraction which drew early Utah pioneers to this area. Indian troubles in Utah and Sanpete Counties had culminated in a treaty with the redskins on August 19, 1868, thus permitting an expansion into eastern Utah without danger of molestation from the Indians. Rumors had spread in Utah and Sanpete Counties that a large territory east of the Wasatch might become a great livestock area and farming district.
The center of this unique area is Price, the county seat of Carbon county, and considered to be one of the outstanding cities of its size the West. A discussion of this type would naturally center in this city.
One story has it that Bishop William Price of Goshen, Utah County, made an exploring trip up Spanish Fork Canyon during the summer of 1869, although the exact date remains uncertain, and that he came across the stream now called the White River. Following the river, he found another stream about six miles away, which ran through the Pleasant Valley and came to be known as Fish Creek. He called the convergence of these streams the Price River. Legend has it that Bishop Price followed this stream down past the now famous Castlegate Rock and thence into the valley as far east as Wellington. Ernest S. Horsley, of the early Price settlers and one who had an unusual talent for remembering historical data which he had gathered from various sources, gives credence to this story of the origin of the name Price. Another story claims that the city was named from Colonel Sterling G. Price, who "early in the Mexican War, completed the conquest of California and in 1848 won a decisive victory over the Mexicans at Santa Cruz de Rosales, thus earning a place among the national heroes of that time." Most people hereabouts believe that the former story is the more authentic.
For nearly eight years the Castle Valley, so far as the northwestern part is concerned, was not visited by white men. Bishop Price had evidently not interested his neighbors in the new country. However, early in the fall of 1877, during the month of October, two trappers, Caleb Baldwin Rhodes and Abraham Powell, came over from Salem, traveling about the same route as Bishop Price. They remained for a time and built a cabin in the northwest corner of what is now Price. These hardy trappers returned to Salem in the late winter or early spring, when the trapping season was over. Abraham Powell spent the next winter in the Nebo Mountains, plying his avocation, but never returned to Castle Valley: He was killed by a bear in the (Nebo) district on December 7, 1878. However, the visit of these trappers brought to the fore another factor in the settlement of Carbon County—it aroused the pioneering spirit of many people in their home town and among the people in other places where they told the story of their visit.
The following personal sketches are taken from "Items About Price, Utah" by Ernest S. Horsley:
Frederick Empire Grames and Charles Grames, accompanied Caleb Baldwin Rhodes on his next trip to Castle Valley. They arrived on the Price River in January, 1879. On the twenty-first of this cold winter month they pitched their camp near the place where the city of Price now stands. The reader may wish a close-up picture of these early men so a brief description of their origin, personalities and labors will be given here. Caleb Baldwin Rhodes was a typical pioneer and outdoor man. He was large in size, sturdy, and accustomed to hardships. He was entirely at home as a trapper, a hunter, a prospector, and Indian interpreter. He was born in Edger County, Illinois, where his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Rhodes, resided for some time. Caleb B. had arrived in Utah, soon after the coming of the original band of pioneers, with a group that is reputed to have "made" Utah territory late in 1847. According to the early chronicles, Rhodes' exploits in this area, both in and near Price, are many and varied. Older residents here still vouch for the fact that Rhodes died without revealing the secret of his prospecting ventures. They claim
that a rich Rhodes mine will ultimately be re discovered in the Uintah Mountains. Caleb B. Rhodes was a well-rounded character. The religious and civic sides of this interesting frontiersman were not neglected. He occupied several positions of trust in both capacities and helped to build both Emery and Carbon Counties. Lynn Fausett, noted Utah murals painter, has portrayed Caleb Baldwin Rhodes, with others, in the foyer of the Price Civic Auditorium. Interested persons should spend a half-day with these characters and scenes from early Price (and Carbon County) history. Mr. Rhodes was buried in the vicinity of Price. His tombstone carries this caption: "Caleb Baldwin Rhodes, born April 4, 1836, died June 2, 1905."
Frederick Empire Grames was a hardy Englishman, who was born on August 19, 1850 at Finden, Sussex, England. His parents were Charles W. and Marie Lillywhite Grames. Fred was an all-around useful man and an asset in the establishing of a pioneer community. He built and operated the first mercantile store here and was Price's first postmaster, to which office he was appointed August 30, 1883. He was a farmer and stockman—he was always ready and willing to forward better farming and. irrigating practices. He is reputed to have manufactured the first water level to survey the canals adjacent to the Price River. Frederick E. Grames' wife, Martha Ellen Powell Grames, came to Price on June 6, 1879. She was one of the two first women to settle here. Mr. Grames died August 12, 1897 and his wife passed away on April 7, 1925.
Charles W. Grames, the other member of the original trio of first settlers, was born in England, also, in 1855 and was brought by his parents to Utah when a boy of two years. His was an unassuming and quiet nature. He pursued farming and sheepherding for a livelihood and made original entry on several tracts of home lands, which he subsequently sold, He assisted in the establishment and the building of Price, through many of his eighty years. He died in August, 1935.
On March 12, 1879 another sturdy pioneer arrived on the Price River. He established his home about four miles northwest of Price, where his wife and children joined him on June 6, 1879; This man was Robert A. Powell who came originally from Adams County, Illinois, where he was born October 13, 1839. His migration to Utah dated from October, 1852. He was a tall raw-boned, New England-type of man, who was perfectly at home in a new country. He made his living by farming, beekeeping and fruit growing. He was very community-minded and contributed much to the establishment of educational facilities in this region. His interest in building school houses amounted to an obsession. Mr. Powell reared a large family and lived to see them grow up with the country. He died here at the ripe age of 82, on February 15, 1921. His wife, Rachel Davis Powell, lived an active Utah-pioneer career and died in 1930. To this fine couple were born fourteen children, some of whom still reside in this vicinity.
In late March, 1879, Thomas Caldwell, Levi Simmons, William X. Warren from Spanish Fork and William Davis from Salem joined the Price settlers. On April 1; 1879, John A. Powell arrived with his wife, Sarah J. Plumb Powell, who has the distinction of being the first woman
to come to Price. However, at this time she stayed only a few days. Other originals who came soon after this were James Gay and Lyman Curtis. Other pioneers will be listed as the story progresses, but may we say at this point in the narrative that any person who arrived before May 1, 1883, has been adjudged by the pioneers themselves as one of their number. Many who should be listed, have been left out, not because of any intention to slight them but due to their not having been listed in the source materials available.
Most of the first settlers, up to the early part of 1882, had come from points in Utah County, but later in the same year a number came from southern Utah. Joseph Birch came from Leeds, Brigham O. McIntire from St. George, and John D. Leigh from Cedar City. Erastus W. McIntire; Charles H. Empey, Peter Erastus and Bertha Olsen from Paragonah, and others from other Utah towns. Seren Olsen, one of the first settlers who still lives in Price, came with his brother, Peter, and his mother and John D. Leigh, in 1882 but went back to St. George to claim his bride, Emily Barton, and returned in 1883. He has lived here since that time. Incidentally, may we suggest that anyone interested in pioneer characters and stories should consult Mr. Seren Olsen—spend an hour or two with him—before these stories cannot be obtained, first-hand.
Although most of the first settlers were members of the Latter-day Saints faith, no attempt had been made, prior to 1882, to organize a branch of the Church in this area. We mentioned in the introduction a brief statement about the first L. D. S. Church organization of settlers on the Price River. On November 20, 1882, George Frandsen of Mt. Pleasant was chosen by the Emery Stake Presidency to preside as Bishop. He was duly sustained and set apart at Huntington on March 4, 1883. Bishop George Frandsen was of Danish extraction, having been born in that land on May 30, 1834. He had come to Utah in 1856. He was engaged in farming, saw-milling and sheep raising before leaving Mt. Pleasant. His occupational trends followed these and other lines after his arrival in Price. Bishop Frandsen's wife was Karen Nielson Frandsen, whom he married in Salt Lake City in 1856. To this couple were born several children, many of whom still live in this neighborhood. The influence of the Frandsens has been felt in governmental, civic, and religious circles in and surrounding Price.
In this Price River Branch of the L. D. S. Church, Erastus W. McIntire became first counselor to Bishop Frandsen and Caleb Baldwin Rhodes, second counselor. A brief sketch may help to give those interested in this Centennial year, an idea of this man. Erastus W. McIntire was born August 4, 1839 at Stringtown, Indian County Pennsylvania. His parents brought him to Utah on September 23, 1849. He first settled at St. George at the call of President Brigham Young and assisted to build the temple and the tabernacle at that place. Before coming to Price, he had served as Bishop of the Paragonah Ward of the L. D. S. Church, in Iron County. His wife's lot was one pioneer hardship and steadfast devotion to duty. Anna Birch McIntire was the mother of eleven children. Large families seemed to be the rule and smaller ones the exception, in these early pioneer homes.
Albert Bryner was born at St. George, Utah, February 5, 1863 and came to Price in the fall of 1883. He took part in the early activities of the Price Ward. His first home was a dugout on the Price River. He was a farmer and a merchant. His activities centered for many years, while he was Bishop in helping to complete the Tabernacle in Price. Bishop Albert Bryner died December 19, 1930.
Arthur W. Horsley was born June 18, 1860 at North London, England. He arrived in Utah October 6, 1877, and came to Price in July, 1884. By profession, President Horsley was a brick-layer and a merchant. Elsewhere as this history has unfolded, his civic and religious activities have been chronicled. He took a prominent and progressive part in the development of Price and Eastern Utah.
Ernest S. Horsley, a brother to Arthur W., and prominently associated with him, was born in North London, England, June 16, 1861 and came to Utah, October 6, 1877 and to Price on April 13, 1884. In addition to his service as Bishop of the Price Ward, which has been given elsewhere, his greatest contribution to this community and to his church has been the splendid historical data which he has left to its citizens. We are indebted to Ernest S. Horsley for much of the data in this discussion.
John H. Pace was born November 1, 1856 at Spanish Fork, Utah. In his early youth he went to southern Utah. His first pioneering experience in eastern Utah was at San Juan in 1879. He came to Price November 4, 1884. John H. Pace was active in both civic and church affairs during his long residence here. He died November 22, 1922.
Henry G. Mathis was born May 2, 1861 at Plain City, Utah. He went to St. George when a young man but came to Price after a few months in the southern Utah settlement. In the Golden Jubilee booklet commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Price, he is reputed to have come from Old Mexico direct to this city. Mr. Mathis occupied positions of trust in both Carbon and Emery Counties. He is a man of "courage and perseverance" and is respected by his fellows. He is still living. (April, 1947)
Seren Olsen was born in Manti, Sanpete County on September 24, 1860. He came to Price in 1881 to visit his mother and his brother, Peter I., but returned to southern Utah and did not come permanently to this city until 1883. He has held many positions of trust in both civic and ecclesiastical fields. He, also, is still living, at Price.
Albert Joseph Grames was born at Ephraim, Sanpete County on September 24, 1862. He came to Price sixty-six years ago and has lived here, through the pioneer period, to see the city grow from a mere village to the "Biggest Little City on Earth." He died April 12, 1947. He was a quiet, inoffensive, valuable citizen, who "lived in his house by the side of the road" and was a friend to man.
Herman Bloomfield Horsley, another of the local pioneers who came first to Price to work on the railroad in 1881, was born in Woolwich, February 28, 1864. He arrived in Salt Lake City October 7,1877, but did not settle there. He lived in Sevier County, then at Paragonah, Iron County, before coming to Price. Mr. Horsley s interest was music: he served in the first Price Ward choir and was chorister in the Sunday School. Early music was furnished by Herman Horsley with piccolo, John McIntire with his violin and Henry Empey on the organ. Mr. Horsley returned to Paragonah to marry Amanda Barton and lived and reared a large well-respected family, many of whom still reside here. His vocations were farming, stock raising and bee culture. He died December 3, 1931 and was buried at Price.
Parley Pratt Warren, who came to Price in 1882 and lived through the hardships incident to its settlement and growth, was born at Spanish Fork on March 16, 1870. While Mr. Warren spent much of his time in the Nine Mile country, he assisted with many local projects. He was a farmer and stockman.
Sarah Blain Warren, wife of Parley Pratt Warren, whom she married on June 16, 1901, said in the article written by Mrs. O'Driscoll in the Sun Advocate and previously quoted, that "We came to Price in 1873 by ox team and lived in a dugout for the first three years. That same year I was baptized in the Price River by George Downard, which was the first baptism in the community." Mrs. Warren still lives here. She is reported to be the oldest pioneer resident of Price.
Susan Lucretia Peacock Richards, wife of William D. Richards was a pioneer of Winter Quarters and of Castlegate, but did not establish residence in Price as early, as some others in this pioneer list. She was born February 19, 1861, at Manti. The Richards came first to Winter Quarters in 1887. Richards has the distinction of being the first woman to arrive at Castlegate. She said, "I was "Queen for a day" at this camp, as Mrs. James Anderson did not arrive until the next evening." Mr. and Mrs. Richards resided at Hiawatha in the early days of that camp and again at Heiner. She was instrumental in helping to establish the local Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, which organization was effected November 7, 1923. She also was one of the leading persons to promote the Pioneer Evergreen Park. Quoting again from Mrs. Richards, "We women assembled and piled the rocks together from one plot of ground and it was taken by the city for another purpose. We finally had our way and in 1928 received from Mayor Frank Olsen the go ahead signal. It was our intention to place a name plate by each tree to call attention to the Price pioneers. This has never been accomplished. We surely are sorry that the proper officials have not taken care of our pioneer cabin, which we placed in the park as a monument to them. Why cannot people be made to appreciate these things? Why has the Pioneer Woman statue by Dean Fausett been so abused?"
Margaret Ann Watts Horsley was born in Paragonah, Utah on May 26, 1862. She was married to Arthur W. Horsley on June 5, 1884 in the St. George L. D. S. Temple. That same year they came to Price, where Mrs. Horsley kept house for her husband and his three brothers. This fine pioneer lady said when interviewed by Mrs. Irene Cloward O'Driscoll, "My hobby has been cooking; quilting and homemaking. My girlhood days were spent in milking cows, making cheese and butter and sewing by hand. I once made a man's shirt which took three yards of cloth, and was three days in the making. I received fifty cents for the shirt, the first money I had ever earned. At one time I washed clothes for a lady from eight in the morning until eight at night and for this I received twenty-five cents. I joined the first Relief Society in Price in 1885 and I am a charter member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Price camp, which I joined on September 24, 1924."
Deseret Warren Roberts was born at Spanish Fork on May 12, 1874. She attended the school taught by Sally Ann Olsen, for whom the local camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer was named, when Mrs. Roberts was eight years old. She has been a resident of Price for 64 years.
Celestia Draper Oman was born August 27, 1870 at Moroni, Utah. She became the wife of Andrew Oman on September 12, 1889 at Manti, in which place the Omans lived until 1899 when they moved to Winter Quarters. At the time of the great Scofield Mine disaster, they were operating a boarding house at Winter Quarters. She assisted the bereaved wives and mothers of the stricken city. Mrs. Oman moved to Price with her husband in 1910. She was associated with the Sally Ann Olsen Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, along with Mrs. Richards and others when the Pioneer Evergreen Park was established. She assisted with the financial obligation incident to the building of the Tabernacle by helping to stage banquets. In similar capacities she helped to liquidate the debt on the American Legion Hall, and the Price Third Ward chapel. She died at the age of 71.
Andrew Oman was born April 12, 1866 at Mt. Pleasant. At seventeen after leaving the farm, Mr. Oman worked on the railroad near Tucker. The next year he associated himself with the David Eccles saw mill at Mud Creek. He spent the next several years in the lumber business. After moving to Price, Mr. Oman engaged in the cattle and sheep business, specializing in the raising of sheep. He has owned several farms but has now retired, at the age of 81. Both Mr. and Mrs. Oman assisted in the development of Price and Carbon County.
Brigham Oscar McIntire was born in 1852 at Salt Lake City, Utah. He married Barbara Ann Mathis in 1877 at St. George, Utah. Mr. McIntire was a cattleman, farmer and, freighter. The McIntires reared a large family. Mr. McIntire died February 14, 1906, at Price.
Oliver John Harmon was born in Washington County, in 1859, of pioneer parentage. His parents had been called to settle in this Southern Utah area. Mr, Harmon married Almira Terry in the St. George L. D. S. Temple. He, early after his marriage, moved to Provo and later to Emery County. His chief occupation was carpentering, specializing in cabinets and caskets. Mr. Harmon and his family moved to Price in 1906. He occupied positions of trust in religious and civic organizations.
John Ammon Powell was born at Pisday, Illinois, November 27, 1884, where his father had endured much persecution for the sake of his religious convictions. He related the story of a mob attack in which his father had been injured for life by being struck with a steel object during one of these troubles. This attack by the mob had partially paralyzed his father and he was drowned in the Weber River, July 2, 1854 because he could not control his injured body in the water. This was two years after the family had arrived in Utah—they came in October, 1852. When John Ammon was thirteen years old, he managed an ox team and handled the team as skillfully as a man. John Ammon Powell was married three times: On January 13, 1863, Hannah Matilda Snyder became his wife. To Sarah Jane Shields Plumb, he was married on January 6, 1870; and to Rosaltha Allred on January 10, 1882. Mr. Powell was a builder. He built many houses of his own and many for other people. His motto which he left to his children and grandchildren reads as follows: "Be lifters and builders; let your deeds speak for you." He spent the major part of his life from 1879 to a few years before his demise, at Price. He died December 14, 1928, at Salt Lake City and was buried at Salem, Utah.
Sarah Jane Powell, second wife of John Ammon Powell, was born September 29, 1854 at Santa Cruz, California. She came to Price with her husband and has the distinction of being the "first white lady in Eastern Utah." She passed away on January 5, 1932 at Price and was buried at Salem, Utah.
George B. Milner, prominent pioneer and long-time resident of Wellington, was born in Provo, February 28, 1861. He stayed for 20 years in Provo, worked on the railroad in 1881, took a business trip to Arizona and returned to Castle Valley in 1884. He settled at Farnum, which is five miles down the river, east of Wellington. He helped to build dam across the stream but due to heavy-rains, this dam went out in 1883. The dam was put back in, in 1890. Mr. Milner moved to Wellington in 1893, where he has lived for many years. He is the oldest living citizen of that community. His vocation has been principally farming but he has occupied many positions of trust in various organizations. Miss LaDeanne Milner, Carbon County's Centennial Queen, is his granddaughter.
Ulrich Bryner was one of the most remarkable early residents of Price. He had been blinded by an accident while butchering, in Boshwell, Zurich, Switzerland, when a young man. He came to Utah on December 24, 1856, behind the Martin Handcart Company. Mr. Bryner brought his family to Carbon County on July 23, 1884 and camped outside the town, coming into Price the next day. Ulrich Bryner assisted with the development of Price in spite of his handicap. He is pictured in the murals at the Civic Auditorium.
John U. Bryner, a son of Ulrich Bryner, was born in Toquerville, Washington County on July 31, 1869. He came to Price as stated in the foregoing. Mr. Bryner told the writer that he spent the first four years of his residence here, laboring on the canal. In 1888, he was with the surveyors who laid out the Castlegate mine. His occupation has been primarily farming and cattle raising. On January 1, 1894, Mr. Bryner married Martha Eliza Smith. Both he and his wife are still living at Price.
George Frederick Downard, who came early to Carbon County and lived for a time between Price and Wellington in a dugout, was born at Dephford, Kent, England on October 20, 1853. He came to this area directly from Spring City, Utah, where he had lived after coming from England. He was a farmer and freighter. Mena Kofford Downard, wife of George Frederick, was born on September 9, 1864. Her life in Price was filled with pioneer experiences and hardships. Both Mr. and Mrs. Downard are now deceased.
William Downard, brother of George Frederick, was born at Spring City on July 12, 1867. An account of his life, written by himself, says that in October, 1880 he located three miles down the River from the present site of Price and that he lived there in a dugout. He worked early on the railroad, but returned to Spring City, where he learned the carpenter and wheelwright trade. After his return to Price Mr. Downard assisted in the building of many residences and public buildings. on August 3, 1887, William Downard married Anne Catherine Dahl in the Logan L. D. S. Temple. She died August 22, 1941 at Price. Mr. Downard occupied many positions in Price, both in civic and religious capacities. He resides with his daughter in Salt Lake City, Utah. Many of his sons and daughters live at Price.
Peter Isaac Olsen was born at Manti, January 6, 1856. His parents were called to Dixie to help in the colonization of southern Utah. Mr. Olsen married Sally Ann Barton, who was born at Paragonah, Iron County, on September 101 1858, at the St. George Temple of the L. D. S. Church, in 1877. This young couple moved to Price in the fall of 1882 and established their residence up the River about two miles. Mr. Olsen was a farmer and stockman, but took time to serve his community and his Church. He was the first Sunday School Superintendent of the Price Ward, serving for ten years in this capacity. Sally Ann Barton Olsen was the first school teacher in Price and occupied many civic and religious positions. Mr. Olsen died June 4, 1938; Mrs. Olsen, March 6,1934.
[page 13] A complete history of this locality would include the lives and activities of a score or more of wonderful pioneer men and women.
The names of some of these will be recounted in connection with the projects they helped to develop—the enterprises in which they were engaged. Space will not permit character sketches of all and the minute details of description so necessary for a pageant. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers are presenting through the press in various ways the incidents of pioneer history intertwined about the lives of many of these characters. The reader is urged to save these accounts and amalgamate them into a scrap book for future study and reference. ("Centennial Stories of the Six Oldest Women in Price," The Sun-Advocate, Thursday, February 6, 1947. Price, Utah. These accounts were told to Irene Cloward O'Driscoll, of the Sally Ann Olsen Camps Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.)
True to the type of early Utah Pioneers, these settlers set about first to subdue the desert, to build homes and to bring the natural resources to their aid. To do this they had to have water. The soil was fertile in many places but it would not grow crops without irrigation. Sarah Blain Warren tells the story that her grandfather plowed the first ditch from the Price River and guided the water near their garden plot. The children dipped the water from this ditch by buckets and raised the first garden in Price. Culinary water had to be hauled from the river in barrels until a canal could be built, to divert the river water to the townsite. By cooperative effort and laboring under extreme difficulties when often the only food the workers had was bread and onions, these early settlers built the first irrigation system.
Pioneer Ditches Number 1 and 2 were built under the personal supervision of Frederick E. Grames, Caleb B. Rhodes, Robert and John Powell, and William Z. Warren—but every man and boy in the community did his part in the building. Later in 1880, Green Allred and George Downard built the Allred Ditch. Then, far-seeing men saw that these minor projects would not supply the growing need for water and the Pride Water Company's Canal was begun in March 1884 and finished in 1888. This project cost more than $20,000. Recently the Price River Conservation District has amalgamated all the irrigation projects into one and waters of the Price River and its tributaries are distributed under its direction. An attempt at conservation of all water—the runoff from the surrounding mountains to the west—was made in 1925 by building the Horsley Dam at the mouth of the Pleasant Valley. Irrigation experts condemned this dam. It had shown signs of weakness from the first year that any considerable volume of water was impounded behind the dam. It leaked at "every pore." People from Price and the surrounding territory finally stopped the original leaks, but the water users never dared to fill the Scofield Reservoir to capacity. Tests made under the direction of the Bureau of Reclamation engineers about the time that the new the Scofield Dam, was built showed that the old dam had failed to compact after standing for about twenty-five years. From 1943 to 1946, a new project was in the process of construction. Parley Neeley, resident engineer, for the Bureau of Reclamation, assisted by a corps of workers, supervised the work of the W. W. Clyde Company in the building of a new dam, the Scofield Dam: below the old Horsley Dam. The War delayed the completion of
this project but all has now been done except the building of a residence for the caretaker. Enough water can be stored behind this dam to assure adequate irrigation for all tillable lands in this area. Space will not permit a detailed discussion of this wonderful project, but the reader is referred to the files of the Bureau of Reclamation, Denver Office, for a detailed account of the Scofield Dam Project.
Incidentally, the Utah State Fish and Game Department is interested in the foregoing project, both financially and otherwise. The Scofield Reservoir is a mecca for sportsmen from many parts of the state and is fast becoming a resort of major importance in the section.
Although the chief concern of the early settlers was to wrest a living from the soil, other developments contributed to the growth of Price, the surrounding communities and to Carbon County in general; not the least of these developments was the coming of the railroad, which added impetus to the coal industry. Let us first discuss the influence of the railroad, then turn to the evolution of the coal industry in connection with the coal mining camps of the county. We shall say a few words in the language of Arthur W. Ridgway, formerly Chief Engineer for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway.
As the population grew and common problems came to the fore, the pioneers saw that for Price they must establish a town government.
On July 14, 1892, a petition signed by one hundred persons and addressed to the County Court of Emery County; was, acted upon favorably. On the 8th of November of that same year, James M. Whitmore was elected town president with Henry G. Mathis, John H. Pace, Arthur W. Horsley and Seren Olsen, as trustees, and Alf. Ballinger as clerk, and treasurer. At that time Carbon County was not organized. ("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
As time passed, Ernest S. Horsley, L. M. Olsen, Rueben G. Miller, Arthur J. Lee, Arthur W. Horsley, and Frank Olsen served as town presidents; Arthur W. Horsley, W. Frank Olsen, Carlos Gunderson, Geo. A. Wootton, LeRoy A. McGee, W. W. Tones, James W. Loofbourrow, Charles H. Madsen, W. Frank Olsen, R. E, West, B. W. Dalton, and J. Bracken Lee have in turn been mayors of Price City. Many of these men served two or more terms, the incumbent, Mayor J. Bracken Lee, is completing his sixth term as executive head of our city.
The writer regrets that the scope of this article will not permit the enumeration of the many improvements that have been completed in Price City during the administration of each of these leaders: to do so would fill a volume, in and of itself.
Price has witnessed a growth, especially in recent years, unparalleled by any city of Utah. Of course no official census has been taken since 1940, but judging from the records in the city recorder's office, a conservative estimate places the population at more than 7,000. Even during the War and since the cessation of hostilities particularly, we have seen residences and business establishments built on every side. This recent building boom has exceeded two million dollars. Price has an air of the large city. Years ago, the title was coined for it, "Price, the Biggest Little City on Earth". It lives up well to this reputation. One-third of the twenty-five miles of streets and roads in Price are paved, with concrete or Utah rock asphalt, a product mined locally, near Sunnyside, and claimed by its Carbon County and other supporters as superior to concrete." White way lights line many of our business and residential streets. Our parks and recreation areas cover many acres and more are in the planning. In 1941, a completely modern swimming pool was built in the park area at a cost of $78,000. This is a modest estimate of its monetary value. Price boasts a quarter-of-a-million dollar Civic Auditorium and blueprints are on hand for a new library to blend in architectural design with the auditorium-gymnasium. The water supply for Price is second to none in this western area. Water is piped from Colton springs, a distance of more than twenty miles in cast iron and steel pipes and with the completion this year of two-two million gallon tanks, this water will never see daylight until the consumers draw it from their taps. These are but a few specific illustrations of civic pride and consciousness of officials and laymen of this "big little" city.
The vision of the early settlers extended to the field of education. The first public school was established in the home of Mathew Simmons, in 1883, with Sally Ann Olsen as instructor. Mrs. Olsen was noted for her interest in children and played a prominent part in other fields as well as in the matter of education. The local camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers has been named in her honor. This camp can and will supply additional information about many of the pioneers, men and women, whose life and achievements have, because of lack of space, been left out of this history. (History and Minutes, Sally Ann Olsen Camp, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Price, Utah.)
Price School District was organized in 1884 with William H. Branch, George W. Eldridge and John D. Leigh as trustees. The little log meeting house, which stood for many years where the L. D. S. Tabernacle now stands, served as a school house for some time. However, in 1885, a special levy permitted the school district to build a three-room adobe building. Ernest S. Horsley informed us that the lumber used in its construction was brought from the Thayn saw mill in Soldier Canyon. An eight-room brick building was completed in 1904 and was used for
eleven years. This building was destroyed by fire and replaced by the present Central School. While this school was being constructed, classes were held in the library building, the Carbon County court house, the City Hall, and in the extra rooms at the Carbon County High School, now the Price Junior High. The growth in population necessitated the building of the Harding School in 1923 and an addition to this same building three years later. A four-room elementary building was completed in the south end of the city in 1923. In 1938 the Carbon College was established; at which time a new plan of educational organization was inaugurated. This is known as the 6-4-4 plan. Beginning in 1938, the Price Central, Price Harding and Price Southside schools housed the elementary grades, the old high school building was converted into a junior-high, with the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth grades registered there, and the Carbon College took care of the eleventh and twelfth grades, together with the first two years of college. The buildings in which these students are instructed are owned by the State and the Carbon County School District, the latter being responsible for the gymnasium and the music buildings.
Since 1915, the Carbon schools have operated under the consolidated plan, incident to Utah schools of county or district organization. The Carbon District has no city school systems. All of the communities have elementary schools, but the junior high pupils are usually transported to central locations, in some instances. There are junior highs at Price, Helper, Hiawatha, Dragerton, Wellington and Spring Glen. An attempt has been made to bring the schools to the people.
The transportation system of the Carbon District is one of the most extensive in the State. Buses bring the children to centrally located schools. The bus transportation followed a unique system used between the years 1918-1930 when the District maintained a dormitory system. The pupils who lived too far away from Price were brought here and given food and lodging for a nominal fee in buildings operated by the Board of Education. Miss Floss Ann Turner was the first matron of the dormitories, followed by Mrs. Merrill; who served for a short time only, and was in turn followed by Mrs. M. Camomile. The Carbon County High School dormitories, while in operation, attracted national attention as they were the exception rather than the rule in caring for high school pupils who had to be taken from their homes to complete that goal in their education and for whom transportation to school was not practical. Because of better roads and more adequate bus service, the dormitory idea was finally abandoned. The establishment of the junior high departments throughout the District, also, had its influence in the discontinuance of the dormitories.
Price has one parochial school now in operation. The Notre Dame is a Catholic school operated by the Sisters of Charity. It was established in 1927 and instruction given to elementary and junior high pupils. A bus operates from nearby communities bringing the children to school. The Notre Dame has been a large factor in the educational life of our city, and county, for the past two decades.
Not much authentic information is obtainable regarding another 11 venture of a parochial education nature, which was carried on in Price
for a number of years. (History of Methodism in Utah. Henry Martin Merkel, B. D; The Denton Printing Company, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1938, page 269)
The writer was informed that the Methodist Church operated a school in the buildings which were purchased by the Board of Education in 1918 and converted into the dormitories of which mention has been made. These buildings are still owned by the School District and are used for offices for the Board and the Carbon County Welfare Department.
This brief resume of educational activities in Price and elsewhere in Carbon County would not be complete without mentioning some of the names of our educators. A familiar figure here for many years, first as teacher, then as principal and later superintendent and ultimately president of the Board of Education, was Carl R. Marcusen. His influence continues to be felt in our schools. He worked for more schools, better equipment, more adequately trained teachers, and more money for education. He was President of the Carbon County High School Board when it was organized in 1911. His picture in characteristic pose with a school bell in his hand, occupies a prominent place in the murals; previously mentioned, that adorn the foyer of the Civic Auditorium.
Other prominent characters who have been Superintendents of Schools are J. W. Davis, S. W, Golding, Orson Ryan, Don Carlos Woodward, W. W. Christensen and G. J. Reeves. The present head of our schools is Superintendent Reeves, who was formerly principal of our local high school.
The first President of the Carbon Junior College was Dr. Eldon B. Sessions, who was followed by Dr. Aaron E. Jones, the present head of the institution. Doctor Jones is also principal of the Carbon County Senior High School which, as was stated, operates under the new educational set-up as the Lower Division of the Junior College.
Principals of the Carbon County High School include such prominent educators as LeGrande Wooley, Dr. LeRoy Cowles, Lofter Bjarnason, John G. Gubler, B A Fowler, Dr. N. H. Savage, G. J. Reeves, Melvin Wilson and Dr. Aaron E. Tones.
The list of principals of elementary and junior high school in the Carbon County Schools is too long to name them here. Many of these will be mentioned in the articles about the respective communities where they are serving or have served various superintendents of schools have pointed with pride to the efficient administrators and their corps who have worked under their direction to promote the, cause of education in this section. The list of principals and teachers would include many prominent educators in this western country.
This brief statement regarding education and of educators would not be complete if we should fail to mention the personnel of the Board of Education, who now serve the schools. Earl Durrant is President of the. Board and the following members serve with him: Taylor W. Turner, C. W. Peterson, W. D. Wilson, and Wes L. Shurtz. George E. Ockey is clerk and John E. Pettit, treasurer.
The staff of Superintendent Reeves consists of D. E. Williams, Supervisor of Junior High Schools, Ruth Valentine, Elementary Supervisor, and George A. Rowley, Coordinator.
The preceding account has been largely concerned with Price, the county seat of Carbon County, except for reference to other communities where the problems of all had elements in common. We shall now turn to the several communities of the county and give a brief picture of each. Many of these sketches have been contributed by individuals, living within those communities.
A portion of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in Utah was constructed as a narrow gauge eastward from Salt Lake City when the Utah and Pleasant Valley railway (The Calico Route) extending from Springville to the coal mines in Pleasant Valley, was purchased.
On August 1, 1882, a line was completed from Clear Creek (Tucker) station on the Utah and Pleasant Valley railway, by way of Soldier summit to a point at the junction of Fish Creek with Price River, called the Pleasant Valley Junction (Colton). In October 1882, it was decided to serve the Pleasant Valley from P. V. Junction (Colton) rather than from Clear Creek, and thus avoid the operation of two lines over the Summit of the Wasatch Range. Accordingly, by December 1882, a line was constructed from P. V. Junction following up the course of Fish Creek to a connection with the original Utah and Pleasant Valley Railway about 2 1/2 miles north of Scofield.
The extension from P. V. Junction (Colton) to the Utah-Colorado border was completed April 8, 1883 and a division terminal consisting principally of an eleven-stall brick engine house was constructed at P. V. Junction. At the time of this construction the only station appearing between Farnham and Castle Gate was one called Castle Valley, and it is not clear whether this so-called "Castle Valley" referred the present town of Price or some station in the vicinity of the present town of Helper. In 1887 the station called Castle Valley was between Price and Castle Gate and the station of Price seemed fairly well established. It is quite probable, although not entirely supported by authentic records, that the original "Castle Valley" was some station at least in the vicinity of the present town of Helper. This station occurs in the records as, late as December 31, 1887.
The line was standard gauged in 1890, and the first reference to "Helper Terminal" appears in the annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, during which year a new depot, hotel for trainmen, new coal chute, roundhouse and oil house were constructed. Deeds for the land purchased at Helper are dated 1891, and one of these was a conveyance from Helper Townsite Company. It thus appears that it was originally called "Castle Valley" or if it were an entirely new station, the name "Helper" surely was applied on the location at the time standard gauging was effected, or in 1890.
After the construction of the division terminal at Helper, which evidently occurred in 1891, the use of the terminal previously constructed at P. V. Junction or Colton was abandoned. Subsequent to the original installation of facilities at Helper, almost all were augmented from time to time. The amount of trackage grew rather gradually. The first dwellings for employees were constructed in 1897, and the chapel was constructed by the railroad company in 1899. As the requirements grew, additional dwellings for employees and additions to hotel accommodations were installed. The Y. M. C. A. building was erected in 1906.
Due primarily to the rapid development of the coal industry in Carbon County and the complexity of operation attendant thereto, the division terminal was moved from Helper to Soldier Summit in 1919, and due to subsequently changed conditions, it was returned to Helper in 1929 where railroad facilities were greatly expanded to accommodate its location at that point.
Rumors that the division point at Helper was to be further changed. (April, 1947) were discredited.
From the standpoint of the coming of the railroad and its influence on the development of Carbon County; the foregoing article amalgamates Price and Helper in a way which made it seem opportune to the writer to insert it at this point in the discussion.
Helper, the "Hub of Carbon County" is the railroad center and trading point for many mines lying within a radius of forty miles. The city is located about seven miles northwest of Price on the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. It was so named because at this point a helper engine was always added to the trains being pulled up the heavy grade to Soldier Summit; A settlement in the vicinity of Helper but located slightly to the southeast was called Ewell. With the growth of the railroad, as has already been stated, and the building of additional railroad facilities, it was seen that this city would occupy an important place in the industrial life of this section. Many favored naming the town Welby, in honor of the Superintendent of the Denver and Rio Grande, but Mr. Welby favored Helper for the reason stated in the foregoing—and had his way. In 1892 the town of Helper was created out of the northern part of the Ewell precinct and the Helper School District and the Helper Road District were established by order of the Carbon County commissioners.
This locality was well known in the early days to prospectors, traders and travelers. In 1870, one Teancum Pratt came with his wives, Sarah and Annie, to prospect in the coal veins of Spring Canyon, where Mr. Pratt s father-in-law, Tom Rhodes of Salem, owned property. Teancum Pratt lived for many years in the immediate vicinity of Helper. He eventually owned most of the district now covered by Helper and made the first survey of the town. Titles to Helper townsite property generally end in Pratt's survey. Mr. Pratt sold a right of way to the Denver and Rio Grande Railway in 1883, for the establishment of railroad facilities in this area.
Before the building of the station, a spur was built from the main line, which was "narrow gauge." A box car at first designated "Pratt's Siding," but in 1890 the road became standard gauge and soon other improvements were made. A new depot, a hotel for trainmen, a coal chute, a roundhouse and an oil house were constructed in 1892. The top floor of the depot was used for a library and a billiard hall. These recreational facilities were used until 1906 when the railroad Y. M. C. A. was built. Here quarters for the division officers of the railroad were maintained. For more than twenty years, Julius Sheppard served as secretary of the "Y" and became known and loved by everyone in the system.
Let us go back to beginnings in the establishment of homes in Helper. A family, headed by Taylor Wilson is reputed to have erected the first residence house in the city—Teancum Pratt never built a house but resided in a dugout for many years. Other houses were soon built and the building of a school house was planned.
The first school house, used for six months in 1891, stood until recently near the Helper Central School. The Helper Central School,
a commodious brick structure, was built in 1909. This building housed the eight grades of the elementary school until 1936 when the junior high was built on the upper townsite. More educational facilities are being considered at the present time. (April, 1947)
Let us pause for a moment to consider the early personalities who helped to build Helper. One of the most interesting characters of early Helper history was Tom, the Chinaman. Tradition about town pictures this Oriental as a hero: he is reputed to have saved the town from a dire plot, the nature of which has been lost in the hazy past. Old timers aver that Tom was at one time mayor of Hongkong, where he received great honors and to which place he ultimately returned (about 1918). Other individuals left their impression on Helper in varying ways. We cannot give the contributions nor even list all of these characters. The following names were given the writer by two prominent citizens of Helper. J. Tom Fitch was a permanent fixture at Helper for many years. He came in 1890 as an engineer on the "narrow gauge" and established his home on the lower Helper townsite. He erected, in 1891, the first two-story house. A portion of this building stood until recently. For a long time Mr. Fitch took an active part in community problems and served the city in various ways.
Other interesting characters who stayed to help establish Helper, include James McCoombs and "Grandma" McCoombs, Joe Sitone, Charles Carrera, Ercola Lange, Jim Martell, E. J. Borkenhagen, San Lowenstein, Batiste Flaim, Tony Labori, Pete Bosone, Ed. Jones, J. Henry Vanatta, George Ladd, Pete Smith, Jim Rooney, Cad Thomas, Joe Hogh, Jim McCune, Charley Johnson, J. B. Millburn, John Good, and others.
We have a number of interesting sidelights, incident to early life in Helper. Grandma McCoombs told the story of the visit to her restaurant of "Gunplay" Clarence L. Maxwell, ring leader of the robber trio who held up the Castlegate Mine office and the Wasatch Store. On the morning of the robbery, these men came to her place and ordered breakfast. While waiting to be served they dumped all the silver from their loot on the floor, concerning themselves only with the currency. They left at the close of their meal and were never apprehended. ("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
Mrs. McCoombs relates another story, which if it had ended differently might have changed the picture of Carbon County s future. Plans for the establishment of the county seat in Helper were being considered. J. B. Millburn owned the property on which it was proposed to build the county courthouse. Grandma McCoombs firmly believed that if Mr. Millburn had not asked such an exorbitant price for his holdings that the Carbon County Courthouse would now be in Helper.
The writer was informed by a reliable source that the first commercial building was the "Broken Dollar store. This must have been somewhat of a forerunner of the "five and dime" variety of the present time. It was the first place that customers could spend anything less than a dollar. The "Double Rock" and "Try Me" saloons were former landmarks and the "Zanzibar" made E. T. Borkenhagen "famous".
We have already called attention to the building of the railroad chapel by the Denver and Rio Grande. This was used as an all-purpose community house for many years. Some religious groups used the school buildings for religious worship for a long period. Helper now points with pride to its beautiful chapels. The Catholic Church edifice stands near the main highway, north of the Helper Civic Auditorium, and adds much to the beauty of that section of the city. The Latter-day Saint Church is in the northeast section and is also a "thing of beauty". Father Francis R. Lamothe is the present head of the Catholic Church and Bishop Lynn Broadbent directs the L. D. S. Church activities in Helper. Byron Carter was for many years Bishop of the "Mormon" Church in Helper and President Cecil Broadbent, of the North Carbon Latter-day Saint Stake, served as Bishop prior to his brother Lynn Broadbent.
Before the construction of the present Catholic Church, Father Alfred F. Giovanni, in 1913, headed the Catholics at Helper, in fact he directed the work of that ministry at Helper before coming to Price. At that time, headquarters for the Catholic Church congregations of Carbon County were at Helper.
The history of Helper s town government extends over forty years. During October 1907, Helper Townsite was regularly organized and incorporated: The first officers were T. Tom Fitch, President of the Town Board, with W. C. Broker, J. H. Harrison, Steve Gianotti, and Louis Lowenstein as members of the board. Helper townspeople date the civic awakening of their community to the organization of a town government. At that time main street was widened, telephone poles were moved back off the street and people took greater pride in their residential property. Enthusiasm also arose for a new school—three rooms or departments had been held for some time in the basement of the railroad chapel. ("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
As had been stated in the foregoing, early education was carried on in a log school house at first and later in an adobe building, where heat was supplied by fireplace and stove, and crude benches were used as seats. Here at subsequent intervals, Miss Parrott, Miss Webb, and Miss Corey had guided the educational destiny of the children of the community. In 1909 the Helper Central School had been built but the growing population caused school authorities to establish the Helper Junior High School in 1936. Many people from this community see a need for greater school facilities and are urging that they be established at Helper.
Helper has been guided by two town presidents and several mayors. W. T. Hamilton followed J. Tom Fitch as town president. The first mayor was Joseph Barboglio, followed by Ben Moss, F. R. Slopantky, E. T. Borkenhagen, Al Evansl, Charley Bertolino, Glen Ballinger, Frank R. Porter, Barney Hyde, D. K. Downey and Frank Mullins.
In 1919, Helper was changed from a town to a third class city. The city has evidenced a phenomenal growth, due largely to the moving of the railroad terminal from Soldier Summit to Helper, and to other growth-producing factors. In 1930, the old roundhouse was abandoned
and a modern engine terminal was established in the lower end of Helper. Machine shops were erected, railroad trackage was built and accommodations provided for the handling of through traffic. During the War, Helper was one of the busiest railroad centers of its size in the country; thousands of railroad cars cleared this division point daily.
Social life in the community centers in the Civic Auditorium, where fraternal, social, civic clubs, and other organizations assemble. This imposing structure was sponsored by the city officials as a project during the latter part of the 1930s. This city has no chamber of commerce but the Helper Kiwanis is that in everything but name, as well as being one of the outstanding Kiwanis organizations in the International Organization. Most of the business interests of the city are affiliated with the Carbon County Associated Industries, however, which organization is interested in chamber of commerce functions. This group alternates its meetings between Price and Helper. No more civic-minded people live anywhere than those who claim this growing, industrial-transportation center as their home.
Twenty-six nationalities contribute to the cosmopolitan aspect of Helper s varied population—a population that might be considered "foreign" by some but which has shown its ability to adapt itself to the American ideals of the War and the Post-War periods. American, Scotch; Irish, English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Austrian, French, Italian, Spanish, Assyrian, Greek, Slovakian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Dutch, Ethiopians form the major part of the population of this progressive little city. Helper occupies a prominent place in the varied life of our county. No accurate figures are available regarding the present population of Helper—no census having been taken for six years.
There are two growing agricultural communities in Carbon County of which Wellington is the larger. Before we discuss the mining camps" the purpose of this history will be best served if we center the account on the farming districts, Wellington and Spring Glen.
Wellington is located on the Price River, six miles southeast of Price. Both automobile and train connections are convenient: the Pike Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway and the D. and R. G. W. Railroad pass through the town.
Very little is known of the early history of the territory surrounding Wellington. Tradition has it that the San Rafael country of which this northern part of Castle Valley is a part, was named by the Spanish Catholic Priests. American trappers are reputed to have plied their trade here between 1850 and 1880 and the Spaniards of New Mexico were reported to have trapped for beaver along the Price River, or the White River, as they called it, and to have taken their furs from this river to the Colorado at the "Crossing of the Fathers" and thence to Santa Fe.
Among the later trappers was Nathan Galloway, who visited this territory regularly from 1879 to 1882. He took his furs down the Price River to Green River by boat or raft. He is reputed to be the first white man to navigate the Colorado River. He was later asked to design boats for the government. Mr. Galloway built a dugout on the Price
River, near the place where Wellington now stands, and used it as a storage place for his furs. He sometimes made his headquarters there while trapping. Nathan Galloway s dugout was here when the first settlers arrived and was probably instrumental in causing the new comers to use dugouts as their first means of shelter.
President Brigham Young of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was eager to determine if a branch of the Church could not be founded in this area. He sent out a party of explorers to survey the country east of the Wasatch. An excerpt from their report reads as follows:
"After becoming thoroughly satisfied that all that section of country lying between the Wasatch Mountains and east boundary of the Territory and south of Green River (Wyoming) was valueless excepting for Indian hunters and to hold the earth together, they all returned to Salt Lake City."
This party explored all streams flowing toward the Colorado River from the west.
A brief account by Andrew Jensen, L. D. S. Church Historian, reads as follows:
"The first white settler, which is now included in the Wellington Ward, was Jefferson Tidwell. He was called by Brigham Young in 1877 to explore the country east of the Wasatch Range and ascertain what facilities there were for settlements.
"He was accompanied by Elias Cox, Elam Cheney and others. They explored the headwaters of the San Rafael and this valley and reported favorably to President Brigham Young in Salt Lake City in July, 1877. On the basis of this report the settlements on Price River were started.
"Jefferson Tidwell, being called by President John Taylor to settle on the Price River, crossed the mountains in the fall of 1879 with his son William J. Tidwell, William Averett and three others and located at a point now known as Dead Horse Crossing, four miles below Price station where they put in the first dirt dam across the Price River.
"They returned to their former homes soon after the New Year (1880). Jefferson Tidwell came back in the spring of 1880, together with a dozen other men including Sidney Allred, George Downard, George Blaine Thomas Blaine, William Averett, and others.
"They began digging a canal on the south side of the river. It was two and a half miles long and took in the land on which Thomas Zundel and A. E. McMullin later located. Crops were planted the first year, 1880, but the ditch broke and the crops were lost for lack of water.
"These men had no families with them and they lived in dugouts on the banks of the river. Some of them returned to Sanpete in the fall of 1880 for supplies; others remained and spent the winter of 1880-1881 on the river. All vacated in the spring of 1881.
"In the spring of 1882 some of the brethren returned and became the first permanent settlers of Wellington. Robert A. Snyder and Thomas Zundel brought their families. They arrived on the present site of Wellington May 6, 1882 and were the first settlers in the Wellington Precinct.
"Zundel built the first log house in Wellington. Snyder built the second log house in Wellington.
"In August, 1882 Jefferson Tidwell returned with his family. William James Hill came in March, 1882. He was upon his way to Mexico but Brother Zundel prevailed upon him to stop here. He also let Brother Hill have half of his (Zundel's) farm. Others came in 1883 among whom were Ross Montis, Walt Barney, Joseph Gale, Eph Green, Dick Thomson, Arthur Barney, Hyrum Strong, William Reid.
"June, 1882 a new dam was built to replace the old one washed away. Water was turned into the ditch July 3, 1882 but it broke again and the crops failed for a third time. In the spring of 1883 they built the dam which now stands (1890) and raised the first crops matured on Price River.
"In 1884 many more settlers came and in the fall of that year Jefferson Tidwell was appointed Presiding Elder under the Price Ward.
"In 1885 a meeting was held in Brother Zundel's house and (January 18, 1885) it was decided to build a school house. Next day the Brethern went after cottonwood logs and twelve men built the school house with logs raised on end. It was 18 x 22 feet and was finished January 31, 1885. It was used for all purposes until the spring of 1888 when it was accidentally burned down.
"During 1886 other people arrived, among whom were the Thayns, also E. A. Jones and family. The Y. M. M. I. A. was organized in the fall of 1886. Its first President was John Ellis. A small meeting house was built on the south side of the river in the winter of 1886-1887 on the north east corner of Section 12. For some time meetings were held on both sides of the river, Jefferson Tidwell presiding on the north side until the Ward was organized, meetings being held in private homes after the fire. Sarah Tidwell taught the first Sunday School. It was held in Brother Zundel's home.
"In 1888 the Price Ward consisted of three districts each of which had its own Sabbath Schools and meetings. But all the saints met together once a month at the center. Wellington precinct was one of these districts. About this time William James Hill was appointed to preside over the south side. Brother Tidwell continued to preside over the north side.
"The seventies who resided in the Price Ward, including Wellington and Spring Glen, organized as the 101st Quorum February 21, 1888, William H. Branch senior President.
"The Wellington Ward was organized May 12, 1890, A. E. McMullin Bishop, ordained by Heber J. Grant. This ends the ecclesiastical record until the organization of the ward."
Another account of the foregoing organization seems more complete and is therefore here included. The Wellington Ward was organized May 12, 1890 by Stake President Christian G. Larsen, William Howard and Bishop George Frandsen of Price. George W. Eldridge was first counselor and Robert S. Snyder, second counselor. William J. Hills was made Superintendent of Sunday Schools and Mrs. R. S. Snyder, President of the Relief Society. This information is substantiated by the records of the Price Ward. Severin Grundvig was the leader of the singing after 1888 and was probably the first chorister in Wellington. He was incidentally, the first constable, having been appointed to that position
soon after he came to Wellington, in 1888. His efforts to improve the music of the early settlers was preceded by Sophronia Ellis' work and the work of Fanny Vance, who led the singing by turns.
Vital statistics of an early date contain this information: first child born in the Wellington district was Betty Hill, the first boy was William S. Hill. The first death was a daughter of Walt Barney. The first wedding was that of Wallace Stevens and Olive Strong.
The people of Wellington have always been favorably inclined toward education, even from the beginning. The personnel of the first teaching force seems shrouded. The writer was informed that "Old Man" Barney taught at an early date and that a Miss. Roper held school in the home of William James Hill. Newton Hill is best remembered as one of the very early teachers. William J. Tidwell probably taught the first school on the Wellington townsite. Two old buildings are known to have been used for educational purpose; one was a log cabin built by R. A. Snyder, just east of where the L. D. S. Church now stands. This cabin is owned by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and has been moved on the corner of the Church lot so that it might be preserved as a relic. The other building which was used for school stood on the lot west of the present school building. This lot is owned by Stephen B. Burnett, but was formerly owned by W. A. Thayn. The first Board of Trustees for the schools seems to have been composed of R. A. Swder, Jefferson Tidwell and Ike Roberts.
In 1916, Wellington became a part of the Carbon County Consolidated School District. The first larger school building stood on the hill north of the present Wellington School. In December, 1930, a modern structure was finished and in April, 1942, the gymnasium addition to this building was completed. This community now has a very commodious school building but interested patrons are urging that it b: further enlarged to care for the growing school population.
The. Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, which in Utah was called the Rio Grande Western, was begun in 1881 and completed in May, 1883. It was changed from a narrow to a standard gauge road in May, 1890. In that year Wellington was officially named. However, the settlement had been called "Wellington" from the beginning. The railroad officials wanted to call the town "Jefferson", in honor of Jefferson Tidwell but he insisted that it be named on the railroad as the people had known it, Wellington. This name was in honor of Mrs. Tidwell's father, J., Wellington Seely. Mr. Seely never made his home in Wellington but was highly respected by all the early settlers and exerted a great influence with the people of the community.
We have not attempted to recount all the incidents of early Wellington history nor to mention many of the events connected with the civic and social calendar of the community. At this time, may be pause a moment in retrospect and mention a few of the early characters, not previously named, and a few of the outstanding incidents in the lives of some already listed. LeHigh Jessen came about August, 1899, and Dave Ellis, George Thayn, Ren Smith; Matt Simmons, Wallace Stevens, Sam Moffitt, Thomas Jones, Tom Gail, George Gail, Peter Liddell and their families, soon after. The Liddells recounted their experiences getting into Castle Valley through Soldier Canyon. They had to take their wagons apart and lower them piecemeal from the cliffs into the valley below.
We do not wish to imply that all the hardship in this new country were borne by the men. Among the women who shared the strain of pioneer life were Sarah Tidwell, Lydia Caroline Butler Simmons Avery, Margaret Marie Edwards, and Catherine Alfina Palmer Grundvig. Mrs. Edwards is best remembered as a practical nurse and Mrs. Grundvig as a maker of woven rugs. The following Wellington pioneers are still living (1947) who came before 1890: Hulda Hill Norton; E. H. Thayn; Alfina Grundvig, Eugene E. Branch, Agnes Liddell Branch, David Thayn, George B. Milner, Sr., and Moroni Hansen.
Wellington town was incorporated in 1907. Two of the original town board were George B. Milner, Sr. and Peter Liddell. Information on the personnel of the others was not available. Of course it would be impractical in an account such as this to name all the town officers who have served since the town was incorporated. The present town officials are: Thomas Wells, President, James A. Watt, Jr., Chris Jorgensen, Arthur Wilder, and Isaac Evans, trustees. Dee Thayn is constable and John Allen, justice of the peace.
This town has grown, along with her sister communities as the mines have worked and industries incident thereto have developed. Wellington has had another factor to promote its growth. The community was at first fundamentally agricultural. Now many miners live here and commute to their work at the nearby coal fields. One source estimated that about three-fourths of the population now depends upon coal mining for a livelihood. The dry ice plant gives employment to a few others. This industry was established in Wellington on the Irvin Gerber land in April, 1935, when the operations were transferred from the well to that location. Dry ice is fast becoming of value in the field of refrigeration. The temperature of this product registers about 114 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit.
Wellington has, since 1919, a culinary water supply which is brought from Colton by an extension on the Price-Colton pipeline. Electric lights have been installed since 1929. As recorded in the first part of this article, plans are now under way to build a Records Coal Processing plant near Wellington. They plan to begin production in 1947.
With a population of approximately 700 in Wellington town, as reported at the present time, and with abundant agricultural and other resources, nothing should stand in the way of the rapid growth of this community.
The foregoing information about Wellington was compiled by Mrs. Wanda S. Peterson from the records of the Wellington Camp of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, which history was in turn compiled by Mrs. Hanna T. Barnes. The facts here presented are, in many instances, first-hand information from surviving pioneers.
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 numbers of its citizens to own their homes and garden plots and to drive to and from their work either at the near-by mines or the railroad shops at Helper.
The first settler of Spring Glen was J. G. Gay, a bachelor who
came from Spanish Fork during the winter of 1879. He was attracted by the fertility of the land adjacent to the Price River and located on the west side of the stream, opposite the present town of Spring Glen. Two other bachelors, who followed and settled as near neighbors, were Omer Brimball and Andrew Simmons. The family of Parley P. Pratt came later. Mr., Brimhall sold his claim to F. M. Ewell in 1882.
As other settlers came, many with growing families, the necessity of building a school and a public meeting place came to the fore. The first school was taught by Mrs. Sarah Ewell, in 1883. Religious classes were held the same year.
There were enough settlers by 1886 to consider seriously the building of a town and taking up bench land, an enterprise which would require the making of an expensive canal. In December of this year, a group of public spirited citizens; including among others, F. M. Ewell, T. Pratt; H. J. Stowell, Andrew J. Simons, H. Southworth, Jans Hansen, and W. H. Babcock met and organized a canal company under Utah Territorial Statutes. The actual organization was not effected until January 22, 1887, but work was begun at once on the construction of the canal. This irrigation project continues to serve the community and the lands adjacent to Spring Glen at the present time. The Spring Glen canal was supervised by the Church leaders, in fact much of the community work was done under the direction of ecclesiastical organizations. The canal was finished and water carried to the land in Apr. 1893.
Far-seeing leaders now realized that additional public buildings would be needed. The school had grown to such proportions that the rooms in Ewell s Hall could no longer accommodate the children. The L, D. S. congregation needed a meeting place. A small chapel was completed in 1888. It was used for many years as an all-purpose hall.
T. Pratt and John Biglow took the lead in laying out the Spring Glen townsite. At the first town organization meeting H. J. Stowell presided and Mr. Pratt was elected secretary. The group decided to lay out the town four blocks north and south and three east and west. Edward Davis assisted Mr. Pratt and Mr. Stowell in surveying the townsite. Land was priced at ten dollars per lot, which included the streets.
An attempt was now made to have a post office established. The request was presented on February 20, 1888, but no action was taken because the railroad company objected to stopping trains at this point. John Biglow was chosen as the first postmaster and regular mail service has been maintained most of the time since. The present mail service is a rural free delivery, operating out of Helper.
The Spring Glen Ward was organized on November 24, 1889 with Heber J. Stowell as bishop. The counselors were Edwin Fuller and A. J. Simmons and T. Pratt was ward clerk. Edwin D. Fuller was made bishop of the Spring Glen Ward in 1893. It was under his supervision that the public square was fenced and planted in trees. Subsequently, Thomas Rhodes, J. N. Miller, John T. Rowley, Silas Rowley and Stanley Judd have acted as bishops, the latter holding the position at present.
In 1889, John T. 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 establishing a charcoal business here. Finding the conditions favorable, he built a set of charcoal kilns near the Blue Cut. At that time the narrow gauge railway which ran through the Blue Cut had been changed to a standard gauge line, but it was equipped with a third rail so that 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 was built on the Andrew Simmons homestead, within the Spring Glen precinct. The mercantile business established was named the Blue Cut Charcoal Company. The manufacture of charcoal continued for about fifteen years and was very remunerative to the community.
A new school building was erected in 1904. It was a two-room structure made of local brick, so arranged that a partition could be moved and the building used for school and community purposes. When this building became inadequate, a two-room addition, including an auditorium, was erected in 1912. The two older buildings were amalgamated into a large, up-to-date school, which was built in 1927. In the re-modeling, the older of the two earlier-built structures became the nucleus for the present imposing building.
Residents of this enterprising little community claim that their population now exceeds 1000.
The person who has charge of compiling the historical contributions which compose this history has no thought of starting with the most important coal camp of our county. Rather since all the camps occupy their own niche in this vast Carbon field, may we not speak of them in the order of their alphabetical names?
The town of Castlegate is located 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 and 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 Castlegate is in line with the coal outcrops, which occurs at a convenient height to be screened and loaded into railroad cars. The establishment of Castlegate dates back to the completion of the D. and R. G. W. Railroad, in 1883, for Number 1 mine was opened by the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, now the Utah Fuel Company, soon after this and was in practically continuous operation until closed a few years ago because of a persistent mine fire.
The source material from which much of this record was compiled called attention to the visits of early traders to this area. In the opening statements of this article, we recounted the doubts of many chroniclers that these early fur men had ever set foot on any part of the area, now known as Carbon County. Repeatedly, the source material refers to Jedediah Smith, William Ashley, and Etienne Provost as prob ably visiting this section. Neihardt in "Splendid Wayfaring" recounts the exploits of these men (Ashley-Henry men) in their traversing this western country. The implication is that they passed through this section.
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 little dreamed of the vast wealth of "stored sunshine" underlying the surface. However, here and there, outcroppings of coal appeared, but none thought of commercializing on this carbon until after the railroad showed its faith in this region by building a narrow gauge railroad through the territory.
The Pleasant Valley Coal Company, then operating a mine at Winter Quarters, desired to find a profitable coal bed near the main line of the new route. In 1888, they sent their chief engineer Robert Forrester, with a party of prospectors, to explore this vicinity. A favorable report from the party caused the opening of Number 1 mine. Men were brought in and shelters had to be found for them. A register of these "old timers" would include the names of Harry World, R. S. Robertson, John Young, Thomas Reese, Charles Checketts, William Jones, John Platt, and others.
If the record of vital statistics had been available, it would have contained the name of Glen D. Reese, date of birth, November 11, 1890. He was the first child born at Castlegate.
The first school was held in what was known as house number "47". The original teacher was James B. Crandall. Two years later, because of an increased enrollment, school was held in the L. D. S. Church building. A four-room structure which stood on the hillside near the present hotel building, housed the school children for many years until the present school house was erected in 1920.
The first postmaster was Harry Nelson, who was also clerk for the Pleasant Valley Fuel Company. The first store was located immediately to the south of the place where the Wasatch Store now stands. The Wasatch Store building, which contains offices for the Company was by World and Robertson [the above mentioned Harry World and R. S. Robertson] in 1890. These man built the original Castlegate tipple, just prior to this time.
The opening of the coal fields attracted eastern capitalists who acquired more coal land and changed the name of the corporation the Utah Fuel Company. The output of metal ores in Utah created a demand for a high grade of coking coal, which was being produced from the mine at Winter Quarters, therefore in 1889 coke ovens were built in lower Castlegate and a better grade of coking coal was produced. The increasing demand for high grade stove coal, mined from No. 1 and the knowledge of the large vein adjacent at Kenilworth, caused the Utah Fuel Company to develop another mine in Willow Creek Canyon. They were much disappointed, however, to discover that the vein was only four feet thick. However, this vein was opened and on the main haulage tunnel two feet of the rock was blasted down to give sufficient height for economical operation of the mine. Later, explorations revealed that just below the four-foot vein, there was a twenty-foot layer of the finest coal in this area. Connections between the two mines were made by driving a pair of rock tunnels. This project opened-up one of the richest, greatest deposits of coal in this country.
In 1922, No 3.Mine was opened: It was located on the main line of the D. and R. G. W. Railroad between Castlegate and Rolapp (Royal) and was the only shaft mine in the West until the mine at Salina Canyon was opened a few years ago. Castlegate No. 3 Mine has since been abandoned, and Number 1 has been sealed because of a fire in the coal so the only Castlegate producer at present is the mine at Willow Creek or Number 2.
Castlegate was granted its petition for incorporation as a town, March 4, 1914. The first meeting was held April 1, 1914 with the following
officers presiding: President, Robert Williams; trustees, Andrew Young, Edward Edwards, Levi Davis, and William Edmond; clerk, J. C. Snow; treasurer, Alfred Thorpe; marshall, T. F. Cory; quarantine physician, Dr. E. M. Nehr. We cannot list all the officers who have served this community from 1914 until the present time. The officers of the town are (1947) as follows. President, J. M. Webb; trustees, T. R. Jones, J. A. McDonald, C. F. Petersen, Leonard Larsen; clerk, J. A. Gow; treasurer, L. E. Durrant. These were the officials duly elected at the latest town election. One change will be necessary because of the recent demise of one of the trustees.
Many organizations contribute to the uplift and welfare of the citizens of Castlegate. We cannot mention all of these in this brief article. However, we must give a few lines to the Welfare Association and other groups. The Castlegate Welfare Association was founded by the employees of the Utah Fuel Company and is supported by the workers by deductions from their wages. It has the full cooperation of the Company. The association concerns itself with providing entertainment, caring for the needy, and other projects for the general welfare of the people.
The history of ecclesiastical activities in this camp is intimately associated with the Latter-day Saint Church. The first Bishop of the Castlegate Ward was William T. Lamph, who was set apart in 1893. John T. Armodt served from 1899 to 1903. From 1903 until 1911, the work of the L. D. S. Church was administered under the direction of William M. Evans as presiding Elder. During these years it was a branch of the Spring Glen Ward. From 1911 until 1921, Castlegate was again a "Ward" with Morgan D. Evans as Bishop. Benjamin F. Thomas succeeded Bishop Evans and served until the mine explosion of March 8, 1924, when he lost his life with 172 other workers. William B. Stapley was set apart as Bishop in December, 1924, and remained in that position until June 29, 1941, when Fay E. Thacker was sustained in the position. He was ordained Bishop on October 19, 1941. Late in the administration of Bishop Stapley, a new church building was planned and a site selected on May 14, 1939. Work on the new structure was begun in July 1939, but the building has not yet been finished. The delay was occasioned by the shortages due to the War.
One of the key men in any coal camp is the Superintendent of the mines. On his shoulders rests the ultimate direction of the intricate mechanism of the camp in its several departments. The owners look to the superintendent to produce coal at a profit and to man the mines with a personnel that will insure the smooth operation of the several departments. Castlegate has been fortunate in having a number of outstanding mining men and engineers to conduct the camp. The roster of superintendents at Castlegate includes the names of William Forrester, Thomas Bell, Robert Williams, Jr., W. N. Wetzel, R. M. McGraw, William Littlejohn, William J. Bowns, Zeph Thomas, Thomas Stroup, E. E. Jones, Hodge Burress, H. R. Ellis, William Moorehead, W. N. Wetzel and James Thorpe. All of these men are superintendents of recognized ability who have served or are serving in various mining fields.
We must add a few more items of general interest about this progressive community. One of the latest additions to more completely modernize mining operations at Castlegate has been the installation of a washing plant. Castlegate coal is cleaned and "treated" before being placed on the market. The producers claim an added popularity for "treated Castlegate slack".
Mention was made in the foregoing about the interest of the Company in the welfare of its employees. This interest has been shown in many ways, not the least of which has been the building of a social hall for the entertainment of the miners and their families. While this interest is not peculiar to Castlegate—all the larger camps enjoy such advantages—yet the Utah Fuel Company was among the first to so favor its employees. The general spirit of the camp shows that the people appreciate the advantages provided for them by their Utah Fuel Company.
Inasmuch as one of the most disastrous explosions in the history of coal mining struck this community a vital blow on March 8, 1924, the writer thinks that it would be opportune, at this point; to insert a short discussion entitled "Explosions in Coal Mines".
To get at this subject so that it can be understood, it must be remembered that all coal beds in their natural state contain a very explosive gas known as "methane". This gas is odorless; colorless and tasteless and it will not explode in its pure state. It is necessary to mix free air with it. Any mixture under 5 percent gas and 95 percent air will not explode. Any mixture between 5 percent and 13 percent will explode. Any mixture over 13 percent will not explode.
Most mine explosions are caused by the presence of this methane gas. It is lighter than air and when it escapes from the coal it collects in the holes in the roof of the mine. In order to make the mine safe it is necessary to force a current of air through these places sufficient to dilute it to a mixture that has less than 5 percent gas. It is then safe to move it out through the airways to the outside. If this gas is permitted to remain in the mine and in some way come in contact with an open flame lamp or an electric arc, it will explode and the extent of the explosion will be governed by the amount of gas present. When the gas explodes in a dry and dusty mine the concussion of the gas explosion will throw the coal dust into suspension in the air and it will in turn become ignited and cause a general explosion throughout the mine. In an explosion of this kind very few people escape alive. There are several ways to detect the present of this gas. In places where it is known to exist, the old method was to go in an burn it before there was enough to cause an explosion. The modern method of testing for gas is with a flame safety lamp. This lamp is so constructed that it can be placed in any mixture with safety when it is in the hands of an experienced man. When this is done a snail blue cap will appear on top of the regular flame of the lamp. The explosibility of the mixture can be determined by the size of this blue cap. There are other mechanical devices for the detection of gas in coal mines, but they have not come.
When an explosion takes place in a mine, all the oxygen in the air is burned and this is the cause of another dangerous gas known as carbon monoxide. One breath of this gas is sufficient to kill any person. This gas Makes it practically impossible to recover bodies after an explosion. The breathing of methane by a human being is not dangerous and he suffers no ill effects from it.
A great many things are being done to prevent mine explosions that were not done a few years ago. In mines that give off gas, more care is taken of the ventilating system. Rock dust is being hauled into the mine and mixed with coal dust. The idea of this practice is as follows: the rock dust will not burn and enough of it is used to prevent the flame from traveling, from one particle of coal dust to another. All of the mines in Utah are required by law to sprinkle with water all of the dry places. By so doing the dust is kept wet and will not easily be thrown into suspension. This dust will not explode while piled along the track or in a working place.
Some mines are very safe and others more or less dangerous from the standpoint of gas. One Carbon County mine is pointed to as one that is very safe. It is located high up on the mountain, all the cracks and crevices in the strata over the coal being free from water, and in ages past the gas has escaped through these cracks. In other locations where gat is present, they are usually driven under the rive/ rivers and streams. The water has a tendency to keep the cracks and crevices sealed and the gas cannot escape.
Before discussing the other camps in Carbon County, may we not pause for a moment to give a little resume of the safety measures as applied to our mines in general?
The mining of coal is at present under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior of the United States Government. After the latest major coal mining disaster at Centralia, Illinois, where 111 men lost their lives, the Government ordered 518 mines in the United States closed until "certified as safe". Among these were four from this area.
The CIO Union miners set aside a period of one week to "mourn for their comrades" and as a protest against the unsafe conditions of the coal mines and the hazards to which they were subjected in working in them. Most of the Carbon County mines are now back in full production (April, 1947).
Clear Creek is located six miles southeast of Scofield in a little valley which is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south. In fact, this "depression" from the mountain area surrounding the camp might be more appropriately called an enlargement of the canyon. The town has an altitude of 8,300 feet. The roads leading from the camp follow the natural course of the canyon. The road is passable now for the entire year, but early settlers had difficulty in getting out of the camp in the winter. The improvement in transportation nay be due to a moderation of the winters or it may be the result of better care of the roads. The recently established ski course at Clear Creek will necessitate even greater care of the means of ingress and egress, during the winter season.
In the autumn of 1898, C. K. Jensen and Neils Sanburg, both Americans, came to Clear Creek, which was then known as Mud Creek, for the purpose of getting timber for a Mr. Kimball of Scofield, and also for the Pleasant Valley Coal Company which was later known, as has already been observed, as the Utah Fuel Company.
After considerable prospecting, in 1899, the Utah Fuel Company opened a mine. Other early settlers were Mr. Hursidnen, John Erkila, of Finnish nationality, who came in 1899; Jimmis Mancuzi, came in 1901; and John Cunningham and Charles Sneddon, both Scotch, who came to work immediately after the Winter Quarters mine explosion of May 1, 1900. David Gordon, also of Scotch lineage, left his work at railroading and came to Clear Creek in 1901. These men were engaged in mining and as there were no houses to live in, had to use tents until more substantial shelters could be built.
Because of the high grade of coal which was mined and the convenience of obtaining this coal, Clear Creek grew to be a flourishing camp. Trains made two trips daily, at first, and the people were not much inconvenienced because of the heavy snowfall. Steam power was used to operate the mine until the coming of the Utah Power and Light. The clear water, from which the camp received its name, was an asset for use in the steam boilers. Timber for mine props was abundant on the mountain side near the camp. One drawback, however, was the water which collected in the mine. This had to be pumped out because it was below creek level.
Clear Creek has seen periods of great production and corresponding slumps. The coal has always been in demand because of its good quality. We were informed that the peak employed personnel reached 450 men in 1908. At that time the railroad was carrying out of this camp about 2,000 tons per day. In December, 1931, due to the inauguration of better facilities, more coal per man employed was produced, but the output was not as great. Oldtimers said that "prosperity had declined." Finally, the long underground haulage slowed production.
From all available records, we have not been able to learn that Clear Creek was ever incorporated as a town. A Mr. Hampton was justice of the peace and Tom Marsh was constable: this seems to have been the extent of their officers.
The social life was made by the community, with the exception of the times that "Uncle" Bert Martin brought his traveling picture show to town. Older residents remember when Walter s Theatrical Troupe made semi-annual visits. Then, again, some of the nationalities represented in the varied population, liked amusements and contributed much to the merriment of the community. The Finns were of this number—they built their own amusement hall and entertained extensively.
Many of the older people of the community have retained their native customs and habits, but the younger generation has, through the influence of the schools, adopted American ways. Many prominent people hereabouts claim Clear Creek as their home.
The Saints have been prominent in the Church activities of Clear Creek. Bishop McMillen was selected to preside over the first Ward after serving for some time as Presiding Elder. Bishop Larsen followed as the second bishop, after which we were informed that Richard E. Evans, Myron F. Tucker and George H. Shelley served as Presiding Elders, the latter occupying that position at the present time.
Like some other western mining cities this district is a "ghost city" at the present time. The location of this former city is about nine miles west of Helper. At no time were there more than 100 inhabitants but this place gained much prominence in the early twenties because of its connection with Jack Demsey, the "Utah Mauler". Let us go back for a moment to beginnings.
The present site of Coal City was first settled by Alfred Gramse, who came in 1885 for agricultural purposes. He was a squatter and a trapper. Others who settled in the area a short time later were Wesley Gentry, William Warren, Victor Rambeau, Joe Noujuier, and Joe Vacher, all sheep men and farmers. The place was known as Oak Springs Bench at that time. Later Noe and Edwarde Aubert came and also Shekra Sheya and Nedje Sheya. These men were prospectors and also dealt in real estate, according to our informants. By this time the section was referred to as the 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 the name "Coal City" given in honor of the coal industry. A year later the Andreini store was built and was used as an office for the "Great Western" until 1925 when a mercantile business was started by Eugene Andreini.
During 1923, Jack Demsey, then the world's heavyweight champion boxer, came to Coal City to train. At 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". This was the time that the railroad was extended to the other mines of the Gordon Creek District: Farming continued to progress during these years. Schools were, also, started about this time. The first school was held for about one month in a log cabin in 1925 with Mrs. Henry Snydergaard as teacher. There were twenty-four pupils. At this time Coal City was a "city of tents". Later in 1925, T. M. Miller built a new cement-block school house and school was held here in January, 1926.
The foregoing account is reminiscent of the "days that were". The Coal City boom was soon over.
Columbia is a coal mining town located about 28 miles east of Price and three miles southeast of Sunnyside. The community is modern, with paved streets, lawns and trees, and well-painted modern homes. In the summer, flowers abound everywhere. However, it required much work to make Columbia the town it is. The boulder-strewn mountain side had to be cleared and soil transplanted to make possible this verdure of grass, trees and flowers.
For many years before Columbia was founded, coal had been mined at Sunnyside, approximately five miles to the north and it was only a matter of finding the seam, for it was thought that the Sunnyside coal field continued into the mountains southward as far as Green River.
Columbia Steel Company owns and operates Columbia. They secured enough of this land to assure a coal output for many years. The product is sent to the Columbia Steel Plant at Provo.
Openings for the mine were first made high on the face of the mountain, where the coal seam was exposed, but to reduce the costs and to bring the coal to the surface on a nearly level space, a 1400-foot tunnel was driven to the coal measure. The seam now mined measures about twelve feet. The coal is undercut with mining machines and blasted down with powder. It is loaded into the mine cars by mechanical loaders, the main, but some hand power is employed. Cars are gathered to the main haulage by electric motors from where they are dropped by cable over a tram 3,400 feet to the tipple. Here the coal is crushed to a size suitable for the coke ovens at Provo. The foregoing manner of getting the coal is typical of the modern Carbon County mine.
As the mine was in process of development, the town was being built. Both began in 1922. The first dwellings were mostly tents. Under the able leadership of Superintendent T. C. Harvey, who came in 1923, the improvements, previously began, were given added impetus. It was under the direction of Company officials that the first water system was constructed. The culinary water is pumped from Columbia Dugway, a distance of about 3 miles. A modern sewage system was also built.
The first Columbia school was started on September 7, 1923 in a tent. The new teacher, the tent school, the 29 pupils in a new town, thrilled the children. When the tent became too hot, the teacher took her charges under the cedar trees and held school in the open. Mrs. Amanda Roberts, who still lives in Columbia, was the first teacher. The first janitors were the pupils of the tent school. Our beautiful new brick school was used for the first time in the fall of 1926.
Mr. E. S. O'Connor, the present Superintendent, is a public-spirited citizen, interested in the civic and cultural development of the community. He has surrounded himself with capable help in all departments of camp life. Together they have made Carbon County justly proud of this little mining community.
Columbia's War record is, we believe, unexcelled by any other community of its size in this country—fifty boys entered the service of our country, three of them paid the supreme sacrifice. A combination of small communities, with ideals like those of the citizens of Columbia, make this country a mighty nation.
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 0.5 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, another room was added the next year. These one-room buildings were replaced in the year 1931 by a modern four-room school. This Gordon Creek school still serves a limited school enrollments from this and other near-by camps.
The spiritual problems of the now camp were promoted by a branch of the L. D. S. Church or one of its auxiliary organizations, the Sunday School.
Activities of this camp have been up and down. The tents were ultimately replaced by substantial houses, the first one was built by Jed Alger and was used for a boarding house for a long time.
The new coal company changed the name of the town from Gibson to Consumers, and the company was re-named the Blue Blaze Coal Company.
The assets of the company were ultimately acquired by Terry McGowan, who has operated the mine for several years, as superintendent before the Blue Blaze was discontinued and later as owner of the mine property. Other prominent mining men who were associated with this property were too modest to assert their claims for distinction.
The policy of this sketch of placing the mining towns in alphabetical order as to names brings us next to consideration of the newest town established and the most recent mine opened. We shall place Dragerton first and follow immediately thereafter with the Horse Canyon Mine, since most of the miners who work at this mine, live at Dragerton.
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 land on which the town is located was purchased primarily from the Whitmore family and a few other smaller owners. It was formerly known as the Whitmore Ranch.
The first house was occupied on April, 1943. Other homes were used as fast as they were completed. The main purpose for the creation of the town was to provide living accommodations for the coal miners who were employed at Horse Canyon. Some who worked at Columbia also lived here. There were originally 725 houses built here, but only 604 residences and other buildings now remain. During the spring of 1946, 121 of the units were declared surplus by the War Assets Administration and were sold to veterans of World War II. Most of these houses were moved elsewhere in the State of Utah, but a few found their way into Colorado, Nevada, and Idaho. Some were moved intact, but usually they were sectioned and trucked away.
The town now consists of 104 homes, a hospital, school, church, filling station, general store, barber and beauty shop, shoe repair shop, Utah Power and Light office, drug store, post office, theatre, public health clinic, unused boarding house (which operated from August 1944 to December 1945), and rental office.
Nothing for the convenience and safety of the citizens was left out in planning this community. We were informed that it cost the Government more than five million dollars. The town has gravel streets throughout, with the exception of asphalt paving adjacent to the bus-section. It has a complete water distribution system. All water in town is chlorinated and tested regularly. The town has a completely modern and sanitary sewage system. The water supply cones from the Grassy Trail Creek. Four miles up the Sunnyside Canyon the streams converge into a twenty million-gallon storage reservoir. The lines of steel pipe lead from this reservoir to the town.
The United States post office at Dragerton had its beginning in a tool shack with a slot in the door and a ledge nailed underneath the window. The first mail was brought in on September 23, 1943. The regular post office, located in the business section, began operations in November of this same year. The post office has developed from this humble beginning to a high third-class rating and is now manned by a post mistress and two clerks.
The general store, managed by Carl Jameson, opened its doors on October 14, 1943. This business was purchased by the Price Trading Company, who now operate it as one of their branch stores. In October, 1943, the school building was completed and the pupils began attending here instead of being transported to Sunnyside. The next fall a second portion was added to accommodate junior high pupils. The upper grade and junior high pupils now attend Dragerton from Sunnyside, Sunnydale and Columbia. The building has thirty-five classrooms and is directed by Principal Harold Hansen. Although built of lumber, the sections of the school are separated by steel and ample provision is made to make then safe.
The boarding house, which could accommodate over a hundred men but, as previously observed, is now idle.
Dragerton has an excellent volunteer fire department, equipped with a modern fire engine. The hospital is a sixteen-bed unit, with surgery equipment; obstetrical room, X-Ray facilities and a dental office. Dr. F. V. Colombo has been in charge since its inception,
February, 1944. A new theatre was completed a short time after the hospital and the entertainment of the community was transferred from the school auditorium to this new location. The telephone exchange, a contract office, is in charge of Mrs. Ruth Crosby. Law enforcement is taken care of by a deputy sheriff. There is no incorporated town.
Dragerton was placed on the "for sale" block and the citizens of the community thought to buy their own homes from the Government. However the Geneva Steel Company was adjudged the "highest responsible bidder" and now owns the entire town of Dragerton. The J. W. Galbreath Company has been engaged to manage the steel company s interests in the town. The purchaser has shown its willingness to deed the school building and the church over to a "responsible" party who will maintain each of the structures. The purchase price will be one dollar for each, if so taken.
Although the town has "changed hands" so to speak, the citizens are enthusiastic about its future and eager to continue to live here.
Late in 1941, as the impending war grew nearer, the United States Government realized that the steel-making capacity of the nation would have to be increased. After Pearl Harbor, the policy of establishing steel mills near the raw materials of production and away from threatened bomb areas, was adopted. Pursuant to this policy, Ironton, near Provo, was increased to maximum capacity and a new Utah steel plant was rushed to completion. The building of this $200 million steel plant necessitated the opening of more coal mines. This occasioned Horse Canyon, and brought to the fore an unprecedented development of mining operations and means of getting to and from the property.
The layout of the mine plant and the development is large enough to supply 8,500 tons per day. 6,500 tons per day are needed at Geneva for pig iron and steel production. The surplus during the war was used for railroads, West Coast ships and even the atomic bomb project at Pasco, Washington.
Ground was broken in the spring of 1942 and the initial underground work in the coal seam began in October of that year. The main development openings were driven while the surface plant was still under construction. Coal produced at that time was handled by a temporary tipple of small capacity. A 1,300-foot rock tunnel was driven to the coal seam. A rotary dumping station was installed. There are fourteen blending bins at the mine with a five thousand ton storage capacity in each. The railroad cars can be loaded with coal at the rate of 1,200 tons per hour.
The coal seam at Horse Canyon is fourteen feet in thickness. The incline is eastward at a 12-1/2 per cent grade. Openings are driven at intervals of one-half mile. These "strike entries" are driven horizontally along the strike of the seam. Three sets of such entries have been opened up. Number one level, or first set of entries, was started in October, 1942. The north entries were driven to the boundary of the property—some 2,000 feet distance, by August, 1943. The south entries, through Lila Canyon, were driven a mile and a half through the mountain by 1946. Number two level was completed to the northward a distance of four thousand feet by the fall of 1946. The third level entries consist of openings driven northward only and extend approximately
twelve hundred feet at this writing (April, 1947). Southward development is now in the opening stage.
Two types of mining are employed at the latest Carbon County mine. These are the shaker conveyor or raised type and the mobile loader type. There are thirty-four shaker conveyor crews and four large truck-mounted mobile loaders. The best and safest methods are employed at this ultra-modern mine. Fresh air is supplied by two large Ariodine fans. Each of these exhaust 175,000 cubic feet of air from the mine per minute. All safety regulations and suggestions are followed religiously and inspections are made daily.
This Horse Canyon Geneva Mine is already the largest producing coal mine west of the Mississippi and its coal is produced primarily to make coke for steel production. The mine is located in an enormous reserve coal measure and promises to have continued production with the expansion of the steel industry in the West.
Heiner was located in the heart of the mountains at the mouth of Panther Canyon, on the Price River, mid-way between Helper and Castle-gate and on the main line of the railroad. Its elevation is 6023 feet. Because of the fact that the United States Fuel Company, which owns the Panther mine, could obtain coal more economically in their other properties, the camp at Heiner was abandoned and is now another of our "coal camp memories". Even if the camp has ceased to be and the mine has been sealed, a few statements about its history may not be out of place in this article.
In 1911, Frank N. Cameron, one of the prominent figures in Utah coal mining circles, began prospecting for coal in this region. John Crawford followed Mr. Cameron and later became the first superintendent at Heiner. A. J. Crawford; a brother to John, who before his enlistment in the First World War, was well known hereabouts, was the first Carbon County boy to pay the supreme sacrifice in that war. Other names of prominence in the early development of Heiner are John Cavania, John Ceteria, Andrew Mininie, Joe Ricardi, Pete Milano, Ernest Juicia and George Garavaglia. John E. Pettit, one of the pioneer mining men of this and other Utah areas and who still resides here, was superintendent at Heiner for a number of years and had much to do with the development of the property there.
The history of the development of the Panther mine antedates the first shipment of coal which was on February 13, 1914. Soon after this date, the United States Fuel Company leased the Panther property to Frank Cameron and John Crawford. When the lease expired on April 1, 1918, the property reverted in operation to the U. S. Fuel Company.
School was first taught in 1914 in a small one-room building and was later removed to a two-room structure. In 1923 a commodious four-room brick building was erected. This was the most beautiful and pretentious building in the camp and was used for an all-purpose community gathering place. For many years Ernest L. Miner, whose school career was finished here in Carbon County when he retired at the age of seventy, in 1945, was principal of the Heiner School. His guidance is remembered by many a youth whose life was influenced for good while Mr. Miner was at Heiner.
No town organization was ever effected, the laws being enforced by the company officials and the sheriff s office.
When the camp was abandoned, the Latter-day Saint Church at Helper purchased the school building at Heiner from the Carbon County School District and used the materials for the construction of their new church at Helper.
The cosmopolitan population of this erstwhile mining community, consisting of Americans, Italians, Greeks, Austrians, Yugo-Slavs, Czecho-Slavakians and others were amalgamated into the other communities of the Carbon Coal fields. The camp is now only a memory in the minds and hearts of a few who once called it home.
Hiawatha nestles at the foot of the Gentry Mountain two arms of which seen to reach out and almost encircle the town. Its location is eighteen miles southwest of Price by the highway, but it would not be that distance if we could go across country. The elevation is 7,180 feet.
According to available records and tradition the first settler in Hiawatha was an Austrian by the name of Smith. He located a ranch on the present site of Hiawatha. Traces of his dugouts may still be seen in the wash a few hundred feet from the building that was formerly used as a teachers' dormitory. All other early buildings have long since been torn down and forgotten.
The development of the coal mining industry in the adjoining mountains was the reason for the founding of Hiawatha as a community. In 1908, F. A. Sweet, then owner of the Standardville property, opened a mine on the middle fork of the 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 proper and called the 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, houses west of the present school building were erected. During World War II, apartments were built east of the tracks as an emergency housing measure and thus the town has grown.
The citizens of the Hiawatha circulated a petition in 1911, asking that the town be incorporated. This petition was granted by the County Commissioners and on September 26, the city government was established. Henry E. Lewis was the first President of the town board and George E. Haymond, Dr. J. E. Dowd, Dr. T. R. Fleming, and D. Johnson were the members of the board. At that time there were fewer than five hundred people in Hiawatha.
The United States Fuel Company purchased and consolidated the two mines in 1912. At this time 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.
In 1908, when the mine was opened on Miller Creek, Rueben G. Miller owned all the water rights. It was necessary for the Fuel company to purchase Miller's rights, and the ranch owned by him, in order to get water for the camp. The Smith ranch was purchased as a townsite for Black Hawk.
When the mines were first opened, good judgment was used in laying out and developing the property. The "room and pillar" method was used. The existing conditions necessitated this—it was possibly the best method under the circumstances. When the mines were first opened, all the operations of getting the coal loose and loading it on the mine cars were done by hand. Undercutting machines were later purchased.
These machines operate on a track and can 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 at the face of the coal. These machines are so built that they can dig their way back into the coal for a distance of six or seven feet. The faces are then drilled, shot down, and loaded out by the men or later, by machines.
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, thus mixing it with the coal. Bottom cutters have been used since that time. During 1929 a new type of machine was put in use which would cut the bottom, turn half over and shear the face down the center. This type of mining soon became general. The loading of the coal into the mine cars was done entirely by hand until 1917. At this time several types of mechanical loaders were put on the market. The first two tried out in King No. 1 Mine were unsuccessful. Then the loading reverted to hand operations until 1925, when other types of loaders were purchased, which were more successful. Now, practically all coal mined, here and elsewhere, is mechanically loaded. Since the principle of mechanical loading is essentially the same no matter in which mine it is used, we may be justified at this point in briefly describing it. 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 on to the conveyor. This machine is used in rooms and entries. A scraper conveyor is more adaptable to pillar extraction. 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 it to the mine car.
When the coal is placed in the mine car its journey to market really begins. Motormen bring the mine cars to the place of assembly where the trip is made up. These trips are let down the mountainside by cable along the tracks to the tipple. On the tipple the cars are dumped and the coal is screened, into various grades, and deposited in the railroad cars. Most of the coal is now ground into slack at the mine as commercial users desire the coal in this size for industrial or home use.
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 Castlegate, a distance of 23 miles. The road to Price was abandoned and the steel torn up in 1917.
The visitors first impression of Hiawatha is that they have come to a community of contented property owners. The houses in the camp are kept in a very fine condition and the surroundings are indicative of a splendid interest on the part of the occupants. A profusion of trees, lawns, flowers, and gardens emphasize the pride the miners have in their community. The Company has encouraged this attitude through the years by giving special inducements to promote it. The pretentious school building, the church spires, the recreation hall, the hotel and store buildings are other evidences of community interest. The Fuel Company built the churches and gave their use to the people to encourage worship in the church of the people s choice. One of these was converted during World War II, into a housing unit but the Latter-day Saints, who formerly worshipped in this building, have hopes of obtaining its use again. They meet now in the school building.
Carlos Larsen is the present Bishop of the Latter-day Saint Ward. One other bishop and four presiding elders have led the Hiawatha L. D. S. group since 1920. Seymour Oliphant served from June 20, 1920 until 1927; Stanley Edwards from 1927 until 1931; Clifford Albrechtsen from 1932 until 1939, LeRoy Meacham from 1939 until 1943, and Claude Erickson from 1943 to 1945.
A modern health and sewage disposal system operates under the direction of the Company. However, not all the houses are modern. Pure spring water is supplied to the homes and milk is made available from a dairy, the Millerton, owned and operated by the Company. No effort is spared to promote health and safety from every angle. The town officials are in accord with the measures promoted by their employers for the food of the community. The incumbent town officials L. F. Crogan, President; B. E. Christensen, Dan Garber, T. C. Jackson; and LeRoy Davis, members of the Board of Trustees; with S. H. Sherman, Clerk; J. G. Reese, Jr. Treasurer and James Catterall, Justice of the Peace, are doing everything in their power to promote the interests of the community.
Until 1920, when the present school building was erected, considerable difficulty was experienced in housing the pupils. During one school year schools were held in five different buildings in the town and the teacher could not find 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 encouraged. 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.
Kenilworth residents point with pride to the statement that theirs is "one of the most attractive mining camps in the Carbon County coal fields." The camp is located in the west-central part of the county, near the mountains, and has an elevation of 6,400 feet above sea level. To list the present population would be to hazard a guess, but creditable estimates place the number at "about 700". All the Company houses are occupied and many workers commute back and forth to their work at Kenilworth, so that the number who live at the camp is not a true index of the men employed.
The history of this community dates back to 1904. In the early spring of that year, Heber J. Stowell, a resident of Spring Glen, was hunting horses in the mountains northeast of his home, when he ran across veins of outcropping coal. Mr. Stowell showed samples of this coal to W. H. Lawley of Price, who was favorably impressed, and in 1905 these men began prospecting. Money was scarce and the prospecting difficult. Their financial troubles were relieved when 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 stated that while he was prospecting, he lived in a tent which he pitched where the schoolhouse now stands. An amusing experience was recounted by Mr. Lawley, which happened during the winter they spent there. They neglected to brush the snow from the roof of the tent and during the night it fell in upon the occupants.
Many hardships, as well as dangers, were encountered in prospecting. Mr. Lawley said, "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 meant certain death."
The first development work was done by Mr. Lawley and Mr. Stowell in Bull Hollow, on the northeast side of the mountains. This proved too difficult, so the entry was made on the south side of the mountain, where exposed coal was found on the surface. The south entrance was about halfway up the mountain side, making a sloping entrance to the mine. A very steep tramway led from the tunnel down the hill on the outside. This steep tramway was discontinued in favor of the more accessible rock tunnel, which facilitates trackage. Some interesting stories are told about the steepness of the incline. Many of the men would make improvised sleds of their shovels or some boards and slide down the mountain at a flying rate. They would reach the bottom in what some called, "Nothing flat."
As the work progressed, a railroad track was laid between the new mine and the Denver and Rio Grande Western main line near Helper, a distance of three miles. When this line was completed, coal was shipped to markets both in the State and outside of Utah.
The company was soon named the "Independent" because it was the first company operating in the Carbon County coal fields that was not owned and operated by large corporate interests.
An interesting correlation with old world history gave rise to the none of the community. Three peaks rising above the camp reminded the prospectors of the spires of the Kenilworth Castle in Scotland, so they named the town Kenilworth.
Heber J. Stowell engineered and built the first road to the camp. Obtaining water became a major problem. Clarence Stowelll, a son of Heber J., first hauled culinary water in barrels, by wagon, from the
river. This practice continued until more economical and efficient methods could be used. The Kenilworth water supply comes now from the Price River but in a very different way. Water is diverted from the river into a settling pond and pumped from the "plant," located between Helper and Kenilworth, into two tanks above the camp. This water is chemically treated and is considered a good supply.
The history of the building of shelters at this camp was no different from that of the other mining communities. The first miners lived in tents. Heber J. Stowell was fortunate to be able to construct a "dugout" on the northeast side. The boarding house was considered a "must" by the Company and also by the miners; as soon as possible a large building was erected for this purpose. Three large apartment houses were constructed—one for the colored workmen, one for the Japanese, and one for the other workers. All have now been turned into residences or have been converted for other purposes. Officials had special accommodations at the "Cottage." It still retains that appellation, although it has long since been converted into a dwelling house. Later the hotel was built and soon after, the annex. The Kenilworth hotel has a reputation far and wide as a "good place to stay."
Across the street from the present commodious school house, a residence was at first used for educational purposes. In 1928, the crowded conditions compelled the transportation of seventh and eighth grade children to Spring Glen, where a new and modern building had been finished. Mention has previously been made of this building, under the history of Spring Glen. Our present school building has been made adequate for the elementary grades. The schools here are now a part of the Carbon County Consolidated School District and have so operated since 1916.
The building program of the Company early called for the establishment of a store. This store was managed at first by William H. Brooks. Another store, not owned nor operated by the Independent Coal and Coke Company, was built about one-half mile out of town. The first amusement hall was destroyed by fire, but a new and more modern one took its place soon afterward. The fire was in February, 1926.
Mr. Lawley directed the first stage show ever presented in Kenilworth. It was a comedy entitled, "Rube and His Ma". Needless to say that this effort on the part of the townspeople to entertain themselves was well received. In the new amusement hall; space was provided for a confectionery, for pool rooms and a library, and, of course, for the main auditorium and stage. Like most other such places in Carbon County, the seats in the auditorium could be removed for dancing.
Of late years, there has been somewhat of a "slump" in recreational activities in Kenilworth. This may have been due to the War or to a desire on the part of people to "go places" for their amusement. With good hard-surfaced roads, there is a temptation to spend leisure hours in Price or Helper or elsewhere at nearby resorts or even to go across the mountains to Provo or Salt Lake City. The railroad connections are now better from the camp but few people ride the rails for pleasure nowadays, so the railroad does not influence entertainment facilities here.
The first road built into Kenilworth from the main line was too steep. A second tipple was also constructed, in 1927. This is regarded as modern in every particular.
As was suggested in the opening paragraph of this history of Kenilworth, the camp is a desirable place in which to live. Paved sidewalks, trees lining; the walks, flowers and shrubs, and other civic improvements help to provide "atmosphere".
A Branch of the Latter-day Saint Church has been operating at Kenilworth for many years. The present Presiding Elder is Evan Smith. Neither this faith nor any other has a church edifice in this community but public buildings are utilized for worship.
A welfare association operates here as in other large mining camps. The local miner's union, the CIO, takes the lead in providing worthwhile activities for the members and their families. All social agencies are working toward the end that community life shall be pleasant and profitable.
Our correspondent said, "We are proud of the many fine citizens who live among us. The attitude of all has improved in the latest few years. The record of our young men in World War II pays homage to the patriotism, the American spirit, of all, both native and foreign-born."
Latuda, another coal mining community, is located about seven miles to the west of the mouth of Spring Canyon. It has an elevation of 6,700 feet. Among the first men to prospect in Latuda were Frank Gentry, George Shultz, S. N. Marchetti, and Gus Goddart. Frank Cameron and Frank Latuda organized the coal company in 1917. George Shultz was appointed mine superintendent, a position which he held for many years. S. N. Marchetti built and managed the first mercantile store. Other buildings were slow in coming—the miners lived in tents, for the most part, until January 1918 when twenty new houses were built.
Liberty Mine was the name by which the camp was known until the post office was established and the community was then re-named Latuda, honoring the mine superintendent, Frank Latuda. The first shipment of coal was loaded on the railroad cars from a temporary tipple, in January; 1918. In 1920, the mine office was built of native stone and in 1922, thirty-five more residences were erected. The mine output increased steadily from 1922 for several years, augmented by the erection of the new tipple in 1928. The output was less during the "depression years" and increased again during the recent World War.
Based on a solid hard rock, the seam of the Liberty coal vein varies from six to nine feet in thickness,. It is topped by a 70 foot stratum of rock, which is so close grained that it appears almost like cement. For a "soft" coal, this vein is among the hardest in the country. Because of the natural rock roof, this mine is considered very safe. This inside safety has been offset at times by an outside danger—the danger from snowslides.
On February 16, 1927, Latuda was the victim of a series of disastrous snowslides. The first slide occurred at the "check cabin," near the mouth of the mine, catching the mine foreman, Gus Goodart, just as he entered the cabin. He was buried under twenty feet of snow. His death was a great loss to the company for which he worked as he was considered one of the most capable mining men in the district. Only an hour elapsed when a second slide came down with the same suddenness as the first. This one killed the barn boss, Moroni Mower. He was helping families move their personal effects, families who were considered to be in danger from the treacherous slides, when the second slide took his life.
Others were buried by this slide but managed to escape without serious injury. The property damage, besides the loss of the buildings in the path of the slides, included about a mile of track covered by snow and debris, which tied-up the railroad traffic for several days.
Nestling at the junction of several mountain canyons, the camp is located in a pretty site. The chief disadvantage of living here has been the water supply. For a long time water had to be hauled from Helper. Water is now piped through the mine into the camp but some still haul water for drinking.
A new school building was erected of native stone in 1921. Prior to the completion of the school building, school had been held in one of the homes.
The population of this camp varies according to the demand for coal and the season of the year. Many miners do, as they also do in many other camps, work in the mines in the winter and return to their farms in the near-by valleys for summer work. The complexity of the population varies as in the other Carbon County camps.
National is located in the North Fork of Gordon Creek, eighteen miles from Price and next door "neighbor" to Consumers. Its history dates back to 1908, when an engineer by the name of Williamson purchased some coal lands from the Government and began to prospect for a location. Mr. Williamson met with very little success and the National Coal Company, under the direction of Fred Sweet, was first to develop the property.
Carl Nyman, a prominent engineer and coal mining enthusiast now operates the mine.
Here is another camp that has gone the way of the "played-out" mine and yet there is reported to be abundant coal still available there. The writer was informed that this mine was abandoned because of the difficulty in clearing the workings of gas. The mine was opened up in 1930 by the Thompson brothers, sons of the original owner of the property. The mine was located in Price Canyon about a mile above Royal (Rolapp) and was on a government lease. Robert Howard was the first superintendent.
Two large veins of good-grade domestic coal were available as revealed by a diamond drill bored through the coal measures. The mine had to be opened on an incline driven through the rock. This incline was at a thirty degree pitch and encountered the upper vein of coal at 1900 feet and the lower vein at 2300 feet. Some have expressed the opinion that the nature and position of the mine might account for the reported difficulty in getting rid of the gas, but this, they say, was not the main reason for abandoning the project. They affirm that the financial depression then prevalent in the country was responsible for the shutting down of operations at New Peerless. The modern tipple, which the writer has been told cost in the neighborhood of one half Million dollars, stood intact for several years but has been removed. Mining operations were closed at the camp in 1931. At the present writing (April, 1947) little evidence is to be seen that a valuable coal mine was once in operation here.
This community, so closely allied in name to the foregoing, is located three miles west of Helper. Its elevation is 6,000 feet. Peerless was the first mine developed in the Spring Canyon district.
In the year 1915, and Ogden concern discovered that a small tract of land, 440 acres, high up on the cliffs above Helper, had evidently been overlooked or rejected by the Spring Canyon Coal Company and the Utah Fuel Company, as mining property. The owners did not wish to operate a mine but were eager to obtain a purchaser. Prospective buyers were wary of this property: its location and cover might make it a "white elephant" in the mining game. However, the Sweet brothers, Charles and William, took an option on the property and following developmental work, sold it to two mining men, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Murdock of Salt Lake City.
Development of the mine followed in rapid strides. A tramway was constructed to convey the coal from the steep mountain side to the tipple and shipments of coal were started about 1917. We were informed by a reliable source that during the boom years of coal mining, from 1917 to 1921, that a bonded indebtedness of $400,000 against the property was cleared and that in 1920, it was free from outstanding obligations.
Reports were current in the earlier 1930s that the Peerless coal was practically exhausted, but they are still working the mine. During the years of its greatest activity, under the direction of Superintendent Robert Howard, the Peerless mine employed 150 workers. At that time there were about thirty residences, an office, a post office, a fine club house, and a school at this camp.
Rains precinct, including Mutual, is located at the upper end of Spring Canyon, seven miles west of Helper. The altitude here is 7,000 feet.
This mining property has had several different operators within the history of its development. In 1915, L. F. Rains interested P. T. Quealy, a coal operator from Wyoming, in the coal lands just west of Standardville. This land was purchased from the Government and the Carbon Fuel Company organized, with Mr. Rains as president. Prior to his entering the coal production field, it is reported that Mr. Rains was a grand opera singer. He humorously maintained, however, that his success as a coal mine operator was in no way connected with his former occupation. He was manager of the Standard Coal Company in 1913-1914, so he was not unacquainted with coal mining problems.
The new mining community was named Rains. Little development work was necessary on the property and the first car of coal was shipped in November, 1915: About sixty houses were built for the miners and a school building, a boarding house, and a store were erected. At the peak of production this mine employed 200 men. The mine was closed in 1930, temporarily, due, no doubt; to a slump in the coal business. The mine is again full operation, however.
Other mining properties were opened in this district. Morton No. 1 Mine came into being in 1917. It was operated by Thomas Lamp. Thompson Rains wagon mine was also opened in 1917. Morton No. 2 was opened
by Walter Dake in the fall of 1918. Annis and DeMyer Mine began to produce coal in February, 1921. Frank Hennis was in charge of this mine. Mutual No. 3 was opened in March, 1925 by Albert Shaw. Prominent mining men who operated in this area, besides the ones mentioned, were Man H. Coffin, Jr., W. J. Downs, Oliver Sutch, and others. Comparatively speaking, the Mutual mines have an unlimited supply of coal—a supply large enough to last for a hundred years, according to some estimates.
A school building was built in 1921 at Rains, where the Mutual pupils also attend.
The town of Scofield lies in the bituminous coal fields of Carbon County. Nestled in the tips of the mountains, its location presents a picturesque view as one looks toward the south shore of the Scofield Reservoir, separated as it is from the reservoir by the green fields in summer and the snow-covered level lands in winter. This Pleasant Valley town is completely isolated from the rest of Carbon County towns and lies about fifty miles from the center of population. A visitor might not suspect that Clear Creek, a mining camp only a few miles away, and hidden from view, ever existed.
According to the best available information, the first settlers of this community were not attracted by the coal deposits: they came because large tracts of grazing lands were available for their cattle. Today, the Pleasant Valley, six miles long and about a mile in width, is covered by the Scofield Reservoir, but in those early days luxuriant grasses provided abundant feed for livestock. S. J. Harkness, T. H. Thomas, William Burrows, O. G. Kimball, D. D. Green, J. W. Metcalf, H. McKecheney, and Joseph Castle are reported to have grazed cattle in this vicinity in the late eighties of the last century.
Most people hereabouts credit the name of the Scofield as coming from one "General" Scofield, who was a timber contractor in the early days.
Timber work and sawmill operations were developed early in the mountains adjacent to Pleasant Valley. As early as 1878, John E. Ingles and Stewart Eccles brought from Ogden's Hole in Weber County a shingle mill which they set up in the Mud Creek area. This mill was located approximately six miles south of Scofield. Two other sawmills were in operation when these men arrived, one had been built by Shadrach Holdaway of Provo. David Eccles of Ogden brought another mill into the territory in 1881 and set it up near the Ingles-Eccles mill. Other mills were subsequently built by David Eccles. This lumbering and shingle mill business was lucrative around these parts until Oregon lumber was imported. Local lumber could not be produced (milled) as cheaply as Oregon lumber could be supplied and the local mills could not compete.
Shortly after the coming of the first permanent settlers, coal was discovered. Older residents, whom we consulted, claim that this was about 1875. One coal mining property; later known as the Union Pacific Mine, was worked as early as 1877. Some claim that during the same summer, three miners did preliminary work on the property, later known as the Winter Quarters Number 1 mine. Further work was done in
1878 and after the arrival of the Pleasant Valley Railroad, narrow gauge, connecting with Springville, operations were on in earnest. The records place 1882 as the date when the railroad came to Pleasant Valley and coal shipments were made from the Winter Quarters mine. More will be said of Winter Quarters later in the history. At this point, may we say that four mines were at one time in operation in this immediate vicinity. They were the Utah Mine, the Union Pacific Blue Seal, Winter Quarters and Kinney. However, very little mining is now done in the Scofield area. At the dawn of the century, mining was being carried on extensively, production had reached a high peak, when one of the most disastrous explosions of all mining history took place at the Winter Quarter s mine, on May 1, 1900.
May Day, or Dewey Day, dawned bright and clear, when about two hundred miners left Scofield for the mines in the miner's coach that is run back and forth at the change of shifts, to the mines of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company at Winter Quarters. Every one of the men that was soon to meet death in its most horrible form was feeling in the best of spirits as evidenced by the pleasant joke that was bandied back and forth through the coach. What had they to fear? Were they not working in one of the safest coal mines situated in the coal region? Each one was looking forward to the evening when there was to be a dance in the new Odd Fellow's Hall, and their children were to have a celebration in honor of the Hero of the Battle of Manilla.
Nearly every man was at his post of duty in the mine when from some cause or other, a most terrific explosion took place and all was changed in the twinkling of an eye.
At about fifteen minutes past ten o'clock the surrounding country was startled by an explosion, but as it was "Dewey Day" nearly everyone supposed that the noise was caused by someone setting off a blast in honor of the day.
But soon women were seen hurrying toward the mine and by their blanched faces one could read that there was something amiss at the mine. Reports came from them that Number 4 had exploded, but this was not believed as this mine in particular was considered to be the safest mine of all the Company's mines. But disaster dire and dreadful had overtaken Number 4. The miners were confined with no chance of escape, caught like rats in a trap. No hope to recover anyone alive, no hope to ever look upon the living faces of those entombed.
A relief committee was soon formed and headed by T. J. Parmley, Superintendent of the mine, started for the levels of Number 4 through Number 1, there being inside connections. They were driven back by the terrible after-damp that had by this time reached the levels of No. 1. The route by the way of No. 1 having been found impracticable on account of the after-damp and the committee hurried to the mouth of No. 4 where the attempt was again made to enter the inferno that raged within.
Attempts were made many times before the actual rescue work began. Hope had been entertained that some of the men, especially in No. 1, would be found alive but the farther the rescuers went, the more apparent became the magnitude of the disaster. Men were piled in heaps, burned beyond recognition.
After a time the dead men were brought to the mouth of No. 1 by car load, sometimes as many as twelve bodies being loaded upon one mine car. Then it was that the horror of the situation began to dawn upon the people on the outside of the ill-fated mine. Then it was that the people realized that it was impossible to expect anything but the burned or mangled bodies of the loved ones that had entered the mine so light-hearted that morning.
The boarding house, the meeting house, the school building, and the barn all were cleared out and used as receiving rooms and washing rooms.
A total of 199 men were killed and seven injured seriously. 103 escaped from No. 1 uninjured and only one escaped uninjured from No. 4, most of the men in No. 4 being killed by force and heat while more than 100 men in No. 1 were suffocated by after-damp which swept down from No. 4.
An inquest was held upon the body of John Hunter. The jury found the verdict as follows: That death was caused through an explosion in No. 4 mine while in the employ of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company. The explosion was caused by a heavy shot igniting the dust.
Gomer Thomas, State Mine Inspector, said, "I inspected the mines here on March 8, 1900, and found them in fair condition. The ventilation was good and the mine was free from gas. In my estimation the disaster was caused by a heavy shot of giant powder or loose powder exploding. The giant powder went off, being the result of a dust explosion. I went to a place where it was claimed they had powder stored away, and the place showed that the explosion had started there and showed further by the action of the explosion and
by the body that was found there that it was burned more than the other bodies which we found. In March, at the time of the examination of the mine to check the ventilation, I found the Pleasant Valley Coal Company had complied with the law."
One hundred fifty graves at Scofield cemetery, one hundred twenty-five of them in a compact area about an acre in size, are mute evidence of one of the worst tragedies ever to occur in the coal fields of the West. The other bodies were shipped elsewhere for burial.
Scofield is, today, scarcely more than a "ghost" city, but evidence of its former importance and prosperity may still be seen by the person who is seeking. The records, verified by a few remaining "old timers" state that on March 15, 1893 a petition was filed in the county recorder's office at Castledale, Emery County—a petition signed by 100 persons—asking that Scofield be incorporated under a town government. The following March, after the petition had been granted, a town board was elected; A. H. Earll became the first president of the town board, with Messrs. Kimball, Wright, Lewis, and Krebs as members of the town officials.
The Latter-day Saints Church still stands and is in weekly use. The rock school is another imposing structure. It was erected and opened for school in 1928. The present school was the outcome of two ventures to adequately house the school children of the community. A two-room building once stood near the place now known as the City Hall lot. A nine-room building, erected in 1901, had been destroyed by fire in the month of December, 1927.
Many leaders in civic, educational, and religious activities lived at one time or another at Scofield. To name them all would be impossible in this short history. For many years, the name of Bishop George Ruff was prominently connected with all activities in Scofield and with many projects throughout the county, from 1905 until the time of his death:. John Eccles was an early Bishop and William Hayes, Thomas Biggs, Jr., and William Donaldson have been presiding Elders of the Scofield Branch.
The existence of coal in Spring Canyon, four miles northwest of Helper, was known to the people of this county for many years before any vein of coal was opened for commercial operations.
Coal was hauled with teams by wagon from an opening on the side of the mountain opposite the houses in the upper town and from a seam at the head of Sheya's Canyon, now known as Magazine Canyon, but it was not until the summer of 1912, that the property—1600 acres in all including coal land-and townsite—was acquired by "Uncle" Jesse Knight of Provo. George A. Storrs, an associate of Mr. Knight, directed prospecting in the district where it was known that two workable seams of coal existed. A. E. Gibson was employed in the month of September, 1912, as superintendent and definite plans for the laying out and operation of the mine were established. It was proposed to bring an extension of the railroad from Helper. The Knight interests surveyed this road and began its construction.
Contrary to the usual custom of starting a camp, 60 modern rock houses were constructed for the use of the employees before the operation of the mine was started. The town was called Storrs, so named
in honor of the general manager, George A. Storrs. The Latter-day Saints Ward of this community stills bears this name but the name of the town has been changed to Spring Canyon.
A double tent was used to house the first school but in 1914 a substantial school building was erected. B. H. Stringham was the first principal and Valera Fillmore and Gladys Robinson, two of the teachers, J. Grant Kilfoyle is the present principal at Spring Canyon. As this was the first school built in the Canyon and community buildings were scarce, the people from the Spring Canyon area used the new school.
Among the first families to make their homes in Spring Canyon were the Bennetts who came early in 1913, the Cowleys who came in March of 1913 and the Fletchers who arrived in May.
Several cars of coal, hauled from the mine in wagons, were shipped before the tramway was completed, but it was not until February, 1913, that actual operations began on a large scale. The railroad was sufficiently completed during the summer of 1913 that they could handle large shipments and the mine was sending out 1,000 tons daily, by fall. Coal was conveyed from the mine to the tipple by means of an aerial tramway. This arrangement was not satisfactory and in April, 1919, the surface tramway was completed. Superintendent George A. Murphy was in charge of operations at that time.
Two mines were opened, the one at the lower vein being designated as Number 1 and the one on the upper vein as Number 3. A thin vein was found between these two, but this vein was not worked out because it never showed more than four-foot thickness. A vein of four feet is not considered one of "commercial thickness" in this coal country where veins of twelve to twenty feet are not uncommon. It is generally considered as a principle that a mine cannot be worked commercially unless a man can stand upright and work in it. There is a large reserve of coal in Number 3, which mine is on the same seam as at Castlegate Number 1, "A" seam. The Number 1 mine is on the "sub" seam. This seam is being worked at Standardville and in the Gordon Creek District but does not extend to Castlegate. The lower seam seems to be the harder coal, which theoretically should be true.
The Utah Railway built its line up Spring Canyon as far at Standardville, in 1920. This gave these places a two-railway service. Coal from these mines is shipped to most of our western states, including Idaho, Nevada, California, and the Pacific Northwest. At this writing we have the first forward word of an approaching slump in the coal market—the first "slump" since before World War II. This may not affect the larger mines but some of the smaller mines may feel the "pinch," which would cause the owners to curtail production or to shut down, completely.
Spring Canyon mines boast of top-notch equipment—they have not used a horse underground for many years. It is reported that all operations are electrically controlled.
The Latter-day Saint Church has a complete organization in Spring Canyon (Storrs). Grant D. Jensen is the present Bishop of the Storrs Ward. Bishops, who have preceded him are Sterling Forsyth, Charles A. Carlson, Richard Peterson, Frank Bennett, and D. George Shorten. The ward owns a combined chapel and amusement hall, which is in constant use for church and community functions.
While Standardville is not one of the large coal mining camps of the Carbon area, it is reputed to be one of the most modern. This camp is located in Spring Canyon, five miles northwest of Helper. Its early history dates back to 1912 when F. A. Sweet, who has been previously mentioned in this history, opened a rich seam on the mountainside about a quarter of a mile from the present camp site. The production of this mine was built from 200 tons in 1914 to 1,000 tons the following year. In 1932, the mine was producing 2,000 tons daily, but the daily output has varied through the years, largely depending upon the market.
This camp received its name because it was reputed to be a standard for other camps to follow. Conditions have changed in all the mines: what is standard now may vary from what was so considered then. This statement is not made to disparage this progressive little mining community but merely to show that changes take place—sometimes radical changes occur in a very short time in a mining area. At one time, Standardville had "steam-heated apartments, a hospital, a general merchandise store, a butcher shop, a post office, a barber shop, a recreation hall, tennis courts, and modern dwellings." Many of these are still here, but some have been discontinued.
At that time, four teachers were employed to teach the elementary grades, the junior high pupils were sent to Latuda, but this number has been reduced so that fewer teachers are needed. The reduction in population may be due as much to the fact that many miners live elsewhere and travel back and forth from their homes to the mine. This practice is becoming more and more general in the Carbon mines.
Sunnyside is located in the eastern part of the Book Cliff Mountains at the mouth of Whitmore Canyon, within close proximity to two of the new communities that were founded as a result of the industrial expansion due to World War II. These communities are Sunnydale and Dragerton and have been given consideration elsewhere in this history. Sunnyside is twenty-eight miles southeast of Price and lies at an elevation of 6,716 feet above the sea.
The first settlers were three brothers, John, Jeff and William Tidwell, cattlemen from Wellington, who discovered coal in this vicinity about the year 1898. A short time after this, Robert Forrester came as a representative of the Utah Fuel Company, and purchased, for the sum of $250, the land now owned by the Fuel Company. Mr. Forrester tested a sample of the coal by taking it to Castlegate and found that it had good coking properties. Coke ovens were in operation at Castlegate at that time.
Work in the Sunnyside Number 1 mine began in 1898. These operations brought settlers from Wellington and other places. Among these newcomers were Samuel Naylor and Samuel Dugmore. Mr. Naylor's first service was to supervise the construction of the railroad from Mounds to Sunnyside, which was completed on November 19, 1899.
On November 20, 1899, Sunnyside precinct was cut off the east end of Wellington precinct and a 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 constructed and this, also, was destroyed by fire. In the same year, 1925, the building which now stands was erected. The writer was unable to find out
who directed the first educational work in this community. No account of educational activities would be complete without mentioning the name of R. E. Davidson, who was for many years principal of the Sunnyside School and who exerted such a widespread influence on its people. Frances Fenton also directed the schools for many years. Lee Allred is the present principal and he was preceded by Harold Hansen. Sunnyside has always maintained good schools, both before and after consolidation.
The most troublesome problem at this camp, encountered by the town officials and by the Company was concerned with the culinary water supply. Grassy Trail creek runs through Sunnyside, but those who controlled this stream could not reach an agreement with the Fuel company, so it became necessary to pump water from Range Creek, a distance of seven miles. This water was purchased from Preston Nutter and the pumping began in 1906. At first steam power was used for the pumping but later (1920) electric power was installed.
Sunnyside received its name from Verdi, Utah. In 1898, Verdi was called Sunnyside, but when this new camp was opened, they transferred the name Sunnyside to the new place and renamed old Sunnyside, Verdi.
For several years Sunnyside was very closely related to Castlegate—both are operated by the Utah Fuel Company—and all coal was sent to the Castlegate ovens to be coked. However, during the years 1902-1903, 480 coke ovens were built at Sunnyside. These were increased in 1912 to 550 and two years later 74 more were added. Again in 1917, 89 more were completed. These have not all been in operation at all times since. The first coking shipment was made in April, 1902; and continued to grow in volume until the late twenties. In 1929, coking operations were practically suspended. Coking had been discontinued at Castlegate in 1905.
A slump in mining operations, due to poor markets for coal, caused the population of Sunnyside to reach an all-time low in the late twenties and early thirties. When Sunnyside was at its peak, the Utah Fuel Company had more than eleven hundred men on the payroll. Such widespread activity has been relegated to the past, but Sunnyside saw a new boom during the recent war. The Kaiser Mine was opened at this place, also, and production went on apace at both "camps."
During the slump, many houses had been boarded-up, some had been sold and moved away, but increased markets for coal caused all this to change. The houses which formerly stood in the lower end of Sunnyside were never rebuilt, but just below this location a new community sprang up during the war. This town was named Sunnydale. It is a beautiful modern camp, located between Sunnyside and Dragerton. The population of Sunnydale draws its livelihood from the Sunnyside mines or other properties nearby.
We were informed that the early-day miners regarded it a privilege to work at Sunnyside. They considered the mine safe—it is claimed that the reputation of the Sunnyside mines for safety was unsurpassed and liked to work here. The Utah Fuel properties at this camp have not been without troubles: a disastrous mine fire burned for a long time and more recently an explosion snuffed-out the lives of many men.
Sunnyside was incorporated in 1916 with Walter N. Wetzel as President of the town government, and A. D. Hadley; J. M. Slapp, Samuel Dugmore as trustees. J.C. Moore was town clerk; E. V. Tucker, constable, Nils Nelson, treasurer; and W. J. Emholz, justice of the peace. Dr. A. W. Dowd, who long held the post of physician and surgeon to the Company, was made town physician.
The present town officers are Taylor W. Tut/let, President; James E. Peacock, F. E. Denison, W. C. Walker, and A. G. Heers, trustees. The present clerk is Darel Sworts, the treasurer, J. L. Durrant, and the justice of the peace, Samuel Preston.
Because of the up-swing in coal production during the War and immediately thereafter, a fine community spirit has again taken hold of Sunnyside. East Carbon, of which this community is an integral part, has become a "power to be recognized in all fields of community activities".
The L. D. S. Church has maintained for years a complete Ward organization in this camp. We were informed that in the early camp days, when the religious activities of the L. D. S. Church were administered from the Emery Stake, that John Potter was Bishop at Sunnyside. Samuel Dugmore was Bishop from 1910 to 1915; Taliesin Evans occupied this position from 1915 to 1925; Albert Hopkinson followed from 1925 to 1939 and James Ellis Peacock became Bishop of the Sunnyside Ward on March 9, 1940 and has held this position since that time.
Royal or Rolapp is picturesquely located at the foot of Castle Rock, where the Bear Creek and Price River Canyons form a junction. Royal is on the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, approximately eleven miles northwest of Helper and one mile northwest of Castlegate. The camp has an elevation of 6,259.25 feet. The Pikes Peak Highway, completed in 1931 runs through the center of the town. Thus with rail and highway lines, this community is conveniently connected with other places.
Mr. Frank Cameron was attracted to this district in 1913. He saw its possibilities, after developing the Heiner property. The camp here has been called by various names. It was first known as Bear Canyon, then Cameron, then Rolapp and now goes under the name of Royal.
In 1917, Henry H. Rolapp bought the Cameron interests, after which the Royal Coal Company was the owner, and in 1930, the property was sold to the Spring Canyon Coal Company.
Royal is not an incorporated town and is, therefore, under the supervision or government of the county. The cultural life of the community is centered in the school. There is little social activity, except that which is sponsored by the Local of the Miners' Union. There are no parks, amusement halls, libraries or churches. The population varies during the seasonal operations of the mine—when the mines work to capacity, more people live in the camp. However, the number of men who work at Royal does not always determine the size of the community, as many live elsewhere and travel back and forth to their work.
We were told that the capacity of the Royal mine is about a thousand tons per day. This district also suffered a slump during the decline in markets for coal but the War years wore prosperous. The residents are more or less permanent and the spirit of the community is progressive.
Winter Quarters, another "Ghost City", is located at the foot of the hills in the upper end of Pleasant Valley. Quoting from a reliable source, written in the early thirties, we submit the following:
"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."
It is our understanding that some of these houses have been removed but that others still stand.
According to the most reliable information available, Winter Quarters was the first coal mine to be opened in Utah. The story has it that a Welsh coal miner led a group of twelve men and one woman across the mountains from Fairview in Sanpete County about 1875. They built a road, opened a small mine and began hauling coal to the settlements in Sanpete County. The first winter was very severe and the small band nearly froze to death. Their camp was pitched in Little Gulch, near the place where the Wasatch Store now stands. The town was appropriately named "Winter Quarters."
The building of the railroad became the prime necessity for this new coal region. There was no other way at that time to get the coal to market in large enough amounts to make mining profitable. Where to obtain the money to build the road was the big problem. A large stock of dry goods was purchased in the east. This bankrupt stock was obtained at a nominal cost and used to pay the men who labored on the railroad. Just where they obtained the rails, ties, and other equipment to build this narrow gauge road to connect with Springville, is not common information. Because of the way the road was financed, it was nicknamed the "Calico Road." It was soon afterward purchased by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, which had extended the main line from Springville to Colton. The Winter Quarters branch was connected with the main line at Colton, then known as Pleasant Valley Junction.
The mine at Winter Quarters was leased to Bishop David Williams for about eight years after the completion of the railroad. The Bishop used the same methods of paying his workers as had been used when the railroad was in the process of construction. Modern methods of mining were not employed at this camp until the last few years previous to its abandonment. As was stated in a previous discussion, the mine was considered safe until the explosion of May 1, 1900.
The coal mined was considered inferior in quality to that produced at Castle Gate and was not used except by the railroad company for its locomotives. Then, because of the long haulage underground and the quality of the coal, the tonnage of production decreased after 1920 until the mine was closed in 1928.
The Pleasant Valley Ward at Winter Quarters was one of the early organizations of the Latter-day Saints Church in this area. David Williams was its first Bishop. He served for about seven years under the direction of the Sanpete Stake. According to our informant, Thos. J. Parmley became the Bishop in 1888 and served until 1920. John L. Parry next occupied this position from 1920 until about 1927, when Alfred Newren became the Presiding Elder until the camp was closed.
Because of an oversight in our compilation of notes, Wattis was left until present page, although it, also, is slightly out of order in the placement.
This camp is located in a cove in the mountains, about twenty miles from Price. An opening toward the east enables one to view the surrounding country. From the mine entrance, on the hillside west of the camp, one can see far stretches of the Castle Valley. The elevation is approximately 7,500 feet.
Mining operations began in 1916, when Wattis Brothers and Mr. Browning bought 160 acres from the United States and took steps to open the property for production. Coal was not shipped until the autumn of 1917, at which time the railroad was completed. The camp was named for W. H. Wattis, who sold the Wattis interests to the Lion Coal Company in 1919.
During the time of World War II and immediately thereafter, when the demand for coal was at its peak, the camp increased its output and put many more men to work. Housing accommodations, which had been somewhat inadequate up to this time, were increased by building the "Wattis Villa", apartments to house the miners and their families. The old boarding house, where many of the men stayed in times past has been condemned.
In spite of the heavy grade and the rather long distance to Price, many miners live in the valley and commute to their work, thus increasing the number who work there but not being reflected in the size of the camp. Although Wattis is not considered a large camp, it is a big factor in coal production in the Carbon area.
The chronicle maybe ought to stop here. We have discussed the "birth and evolution of practically all communities in Carbon County. But, due to agricultural possibilities in two other areas, not previously considered, we must give a little space to Kiz and Harper.
"Harper is located in a long canyon, part of which is in Carbon and the remainder in Duchesne County. It is 26 miles from Price to the first cabin owned by Mr. Lund, first settler, 35 miles from Myton in Duchesne County and eighteen miles north of Sunnyside. The canyon winds in an out along the Carbon-Duchasne line, is eighteen or twenty miles long and varies in width from a few hundred feet to half a mile. The mountains are called the Book Cliffs of the Wasatch as in many places they resemble the leaves of a book.
"According to the government maps the name of the settlement is Nine Mile, but according to Hank Stewart, an early rider for Mr. Lund, it was Minnie-Maude, named for two girls who lived there in early days. The creek is still called the Minnie Maude creek. There is a distance of nine miles from Mr. Lund's home to Beaver valley, his summer range, and the district is commonly known as Nine-Mile.
"Alfred Lund came from Nephi, Utah, in the spring of 1885 with his cattle and was the first man to enter the canyon and make a home. Many men went through on their way west but did not linger in the canyon. Mr. Lund's first home, a log cabin, stands in ruins on the southside of the creek. He summered his cattle in and around the canyons and wintered them on the Uintah Desert.
"At this time the government was freighting to Fort Duchesne over a road which passed through the canyon. This road is the lowest in elevation of any road between Price and the Uintah basin, being 1,500 feet lower than the present route up Willow Creek which leads to Duchesne. During the years 1888 to 1895 there were 600 soldiers at Fort Duchesne who hauled their supplies over this route. As nothing of any consequence was raised at the post everything had to be shipped in, thus all hay, grain, and other produce raised in the canyon found a ready market to those engaged in freighting. During these days the canyon was prosperous. The old government telegraph line followed the same route. Poles which still stand are an inch and a half iron pipe with wooden insulation at the top. The Indians also freighted their government rations. The freight was taken from Price and hauled to the reservation in wagons. Many Indians passed through Nine-Mile hunting and fishing, but left the white men unmolested. They brought blankets and baskets with them to trade for horses and cattle.
"Wild animals were common, especially the coyote, bobcat, and lion. Today the first two are still found, enabling residents to profit from trapping in the winter months.
"When the post office was established at what is now the Murray sheep ranch, the town was named Harper. At the present time there is no mail service. In 1890 other people moved in to take up homesteads.
"Until 1916 there were two schools—one in Carbon and one in Duchesne district. From 1916 until 1924 but one school was maintained. This was closed and not opened again until 1931. Cattle and sheep raising and farming are the principal occupations. The Uintah desert, ten miles northeast of Nine Mile, is used for the winter range." ("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
Many pupils from this area have come to more centrally located schools during recent years as no school has been provided at Nine Mile. The foregoing, written by Frank Alger for the discussion previously referred to, is essentially true now, except that the years have depleted the population of Nine Mile. Very few people live there now on the Carbon County side of the canyon.
Clark's Valley, Kiz being the only post office designated in the area, is a broad fertile valley extending from Sunnyside on the east to the borders of Soldier Canyon on the west. This is one of the largest level tracts of land in the county.
No one seems to know who the first settlers were, but it appears that a man named Clark owned a ranch here—a ranch well-stocked with horses and cattle. He had houses, stables, granaries, and a blacksmith shop on the place. Rumor has it that the Clark place was sold for $75,000. The Clark ownership antedated 1898. In that year a man named Fausett owned the ranch and stocked it with a large band of horses. Then a drouth came, water was scarce and the ranch was abandoned. The houses and buildings fell into decay and the fields were again covered with brush.
In June, 1906, Orson Dimick and John Higginson settled on the abandoned ranch. Nephi Perkins, Ephraim Dimick, Orson's father, and his wife, Kiziah, and others joined Dimick and Higginson. They took possession
session of the land under "squatter's rights." Sheep men began to come into the valley to find grazing lands for their flocks. Gratien Etcheborne was the first of record to arrive. He came in 1910 and filed the first claim on the land in 1916. He was very enthusiastic about the future of Clark s Valley and spent much to improve his claim. Here, as elsewhere in our account, we have drawn extensively upon the material in "A Brief History of Carbon County", previously mentioned in several places. The writer had a modest part in the compilation of the former history. Because of the human interest displayed in this account, we quote again.
"A little work was done on the present reservoir in 1910, but did not begin in earnest until George Mead came in July, 1914. In 1916, Francis Dimick came to the valley to homestead, and several years later Lafe M. Norton and his family came to make their home. The Workman, Babcock, and Asay families also moved to Kiz.
"Through the efforts of Mr. Norton and Mr. Etchebarne school was established in the fall of 1924. The first school house was an old log granary with a dirt roof and the owner was Mr. Etchebarne. Mrs. Mary Tidwelll of Wellington, was employed as the teacher at a salary of $40 per month in cash and board and room for her husband. The school district paid $25 of this salary, and the remainder was paid by Mr. Norton and Mr. Etchebarne. As the roof of the granary leaked, the school was moved to Mr. Dinick s granary. When the teacher became discouraged and resigned, Vivian Norton (an eighth grade student) was permitted to finish teaching for the school term. School was next held in a log house owned by Lew Workman. By spring there were 17 children enrolled. The teacher was paid by the transportation allowance for each child.
"By the time school started again, Mr. Etchebarne had completed the building where school was for a long time held and an experienced teacher, Mrs. Elsie Huntsman, was employed. A short time later, Mrs. Huntsman met a tragic death by drowning when the car in which she was riding en route to Price, overturned in the bottom of the wash.
"The people had many thrilling experiences during these times. Once a drunken Mexican held the whole Norton family prisoners at the point of a gun for several hours until Mrs. Norton persuaded him to go home for supper. When he left they sent for help. Jake and Lew Workman came to relieve Mr. Norton in the watch for the Mexican. While Mr. Norton warmed himself in the house, Jake sighted the Mexican creeping stealthily upon the tent from behind, with a loaded revolver in his hand. He fired and shattered the Mexican's arm, the bullet penetrating his side. He was taken to Price for treatment and later ordered out of the county by the sheriff.
"Until 1926 the people had to go to Price or Wellington for their mail. At this time there were quite a number of people residing in Kiz and they were granted a request for a post office. In selecting a suitable name Mr. Mead proposed the name of Kiz, in honor of Kiziah Dimick, the pioneer woman of Clark s Valley, who was always known as "Aunt Kiz". The name was submitted and accepted. The first mail left the Kiz post office November 2, with George Mead as postmaster. And thus the community of Kiz came into being." ("A Brief History of Carbon County." Board of Education, Carbon County School District. Price, Utah. 1930)
At this writing the settlement at Kiz is almost a memory. An irrigation project, with water obtained from the Scofield Reservoir is thought by many to be the solution to a revival of interest in the resettlement of Clark s Valley.###