Centennial Echos From Carbon County

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Centennial Echos From Carbon County (selected pages) (railroads and mines only)

Compiled by Thursey Jessen Reynolds

Published by Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Carbon County, 1948

(Edited by Don Strack for improved readability, and to fix minor editorial errors.)

[page 33]

Opening First Commercial Coal Mine

By A. C. Watts

The late Milan L. Crandall was the director of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, which opened Utah's first commercial mine. George B. Matson dug the first load of coal. The late M. O. Packard was an organizer and leader of enterprise. It was these three men who laid the foundation of important Utah industry. George B. Matson, who resides in Springville, Utah, holds the honor of being one of the pioneers who opened the first commercial coal mine in the state of Utah.

In the spring of 1876 Mr. Matson, then a youth of 21 working on the wagon road, started from Mill Fork, twenty-four miles up Spanish Fork canyon, to connect with the coal deposits in Pleasant Valley, now known as Winter Quarters and recently abandoned by the Utah Fuel Company after more than a half-century of steady production.

The Pleasant Valley Coal Company headed by the late Milan O. Packard of Springville had then been recently organized. Other directors of the company were Martin Crandall of Springville, Warren D. Child of Ogden, Frank Pritchett, Lark Thompson, and John Thompson of Fairview.

The building of the twenty-four miles of road into Pleasant Valley was started in the spring of 1876. One day while Mr. Matson was working on the road, M. O. Packard came along with the surveying party headed by J. Fewson Smith, a Salt Lake engineer and father of the present J. Fewson Smith, mining engineer of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Co.

Starts Old No. 1 Tunnel

"When we arrived at Pleasant Valley, later the site of Winter Quarters," said Mr. Matson, "we started right in to survey the Pleasant Valley township and later we did assessment work on the claims. Phil Beard, John Nelson and I started the No. 1 tunnel and drove the first hundred feet into the hillside. Later, thousands of tons of coal were hauled out of this entry.

[page 34]

"I helped dig from the 'Five-foot vein' the first load of coal ever shipped out of the valley. With a mule I packed the coal in sacks down the hillside, where it could be loaded on the wagons. It was hauled by mule team to Springville by Milan and Myron Crandall, both of whom still live at Springville.

"Pleasant Valley, a beautiful country, had well water and abounded in game. The town was named Winter Quarters because John Nelson and Abram Taylor, who were holding the claims for the owners, wintered there during 1875. We saw plenty of deer and bears. A trap built in Mud Creek furnished us with all the trout we wanted. On one occasion, I shot a deer from the tent doorway. Deer used to come running into the corrals with the calves.

Bear Hunt Proves Disappointment

"One night, as we came along the trail, we saw what we thought was a cub bear in a tree. We thought it would be an excellent idea to get him for a pet, so we built a fire and sat up all night, thinking that in the morning he would be ours. When morning dawned, we found that we had been guarding a tree in which a porcupine had taken lodging and not a bear.

The wagon road was finished early in 1876 and the hauling of coal to Springville by team started in the fall of the same year.. Mr. Matson pays a high tribute to the late Milan O. Packard, the Springville merchant, whose energy and foresight accomplished so much to develop the resources of the Winter Quarters district. Later, Mr. Packard promoted the building of a narrow-gauge railroad to Winter Quarters, which operated until the branch railroad from the Denver & Rio Grande line at Colton was built into Winter Quarters.

"Milan Packard," says Mr. Matson, "was a great leader and a real benefactor to the community. He accomplished much of worth and built up a splendid reputation for himself."

The Utah Fuel Company-The Pioneer Coal Company Of Carbon County

When the request was made of me to write a brief history of the Utah Fuel Company, the pioneer coal mining company of Carbon County, I realized that to do so I must primarily give my article on the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, as today there are literally two companies.

[page 35]

The Pleasant Valley Coal Company owns and operates the Winter Quarters, Castle Gate and Utah mines and the Utah Fuel Company owns the Sunnyside, Clear Creek and Somerset, Colorado mines. The former, or parent company, is a Utah corporation and the Utah Fuel Company is a New Jersey corporation. Both companies are managed and directed by the same force of executive officers and practically one board of directors.

The Pleasant Valley Coal Company was organized about 1876 at the time the Sanpete and Winter Quarters mines were opened; the Utah Fuel Company was organized in 1887. The consolidation of the two companies took place in 1899 or 1900.

In June, 1877, Peter Moran and fourteen other men of Scotch and Welsh nationality came over the hills on foot from Huntington Canyon Mine, later known as the Deseret Mine and now as the New York Mine (Property of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company ), and settled in Pleasant Valley. They commenced opening up what is now known as Winter Quarters Number 1 mine, so named from the fact that the miners had intended to leave before winter, but a joke of the weather man compelled them to remain until February, 1878. When their provisions became exhausted, they left on foot, walking to Tucker.

At that time Pleasant Valley was in Sanpete County, but when Carbon County was formed in 1894, Winter Quarters became a part of it, thus making this the first coal mine opened in Carbon County.

Considerable difficulty and disadvantage was experienced due to poor transportation facilities; and, as a result, development was retarded. For some time two and four horse teams came from Springville and Provo and hauled the coal from Winter Quarters. It sold for from $4.00 to $5.00 per ton. The time occupied in making the round trip was four days and trips could not be made during the winter months.

About the year 1879 a narrow gauge track known as the "Calico Road" was constructed from Tucker to Winter Quarters. The road was built by a Springville merchant who paid the employees in merchandise, chiefly calico. Hence the name "Calico Road" was applied.

The track was laid with twenty pound rails and ties hewn from the hillside. The coal cars were of five tons capacity, and twelve cars constituted a train load. The small engines may still be seen standing in a yard adjacent to the D. & R. G. W. main line at Springville.

[page 36]

The trips were not run on schedule, and when a train arrived in Winter Quarters, the miners went in the mine and loaded the coal into pit cars which were dumped into the railroad cars. While this was being done, the crew took their rest as it was not unusual for trains to arrive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. No matter when the trains came, however, the miners knew it was their signal to go to work. After the railroad cars were loaded, the miners went home until another drag came in.

This method of transportation was kept up until late in the year 1880 when the Rio Grande completed a narrow gauge up through Fish Creek Canyon from Colton to Scofield. Colton was then known as Pleasant Valley Junction and Scofield as Wye, deriving its name from the fact that a wye had been constructed to facilitate the turning of the engines. No houses were built in Scofield until years later.

While twelve cars constituted a train load on the new railroad, the capacity of the cars was from ten to fifteen tons per car, so instead of sixty tons being a load as it had been, it was increased to approximately 145 tons. This was the first sign of improving transportation facilities in Utah.

About the year 1879 the lease of the Winter Quarters mine passed from Peter Moran to Jim Bagely and then in 1880 the lease was taken by Bishop Williams on a five-year term. The Bishop started a commissary inside the mine, but due to pilfering on the part of his workers he soon abandoned the idea.

It might be mentioned that when Winter Quarters was opened, the first experiments made were approximately the same as are being tried at the present time, namely to test the coal as to its coking qualities. Twelve coke ovens of rather an antiquated type were built, and extensive coking tests made. Poor results, however, were obtained from these tests. The coal, after it came from the ovens, was only charred with absolutely no coke structure visible.

No mining machines were on the market and the diggers were requested to do as much picking as possible in order to

produce sufficient slack for the ovens. Experiments were so crude that when coal was crushed for test purposes, it was run through a coffee mill. Presumably the men in charge of the mine realized they were incapable of making coke, so word was sent to a Mormon Missionary in England requesting him to make an effort to get a coke man to come to Utah and take over the coking plant in Pleasant Valley. The marvelous sum of $2.50 per day was offered as an inducement.

[page 37]

Mr. T. J. Parmley, who was then a resident of England, was consulted. He suggested a certain man with coke experience, but as the consideration was not sufficiently attractive, the deal fell through.

The making of coke in Pleasant Valley was a complete failure—not due to lack of knowledge on the part of those in charge, as they then thought—but simply because the coal did not have coking qualities.

In the year 1880 the Pleasant Valley Coal Company opened up Mud Creek Mine now known as Utah Mine. Operations were suspended before development work had greatly extended, but again in 1883 they were resumed under protest from Bishop Williams, lessor of Winter Quarters mine. His assertion was that it was an infringement on his lease and the market could not take care of the production of both mines. By that time the available production of Winter Quarters had increased to from 250 to 300 tons and Bishop Williams argued that his lease was quite capable of supplying the demand.

At the reopening of Utah Mine the company sent in Chinese labor. On their behalf I will say that there is still standing a portion of the mine entry that was driven by them, and it is as beautiful a piece of work as one could wish to see in a coal mine. Evidently no powder was used for blasting. The entry was driven exclusively with pick work. The sides are perfectly straight to a certain height and the roof is semi-arched. Due to the method of working, this entry will stand indefinitely.

A short time after the Chinese were imported into Pleasant Valley, white labor started to come in and naturally resented the presence of the yellow men. When white labor was strong enough they brought the situation to a climax and took the law in their own hands. One day they herded the Chinese into a box car, fastened the doors, and started the car down grade. Fortunately, the car kept the track until it reached a place near Hales where there is an adverse grade. It stopped there, and evidently the "Chinks" traveled the rest of the way on foot. At least they have not been seen in Pleasant Valley from that day to this.

[page 38]

In spite of the asseveration of Bishop Williams the Utah Mine was developed until the year 1885 at which time the Pleasant Valley Coal Company took over the working of Winter Quarters, under the supervision of W. C. Sharp, and again shut down Utah Mine. The production then had reached a normal tonnage of 7,000 to 8,000 tons per month, although this was very materially increased due to labor trouble in Colorado which necessitated the shipping of coal to that state and east of Green River, Utah for railroad engines. The biggest one-day production was 950 tons. It took ninety-five railroad cars to transport this amount. Due to a declining market the production gradually fell to 2,700 tons in 1886.

As time went on and market demands increased, mines numbers two, three, and four were opened up but later abandoned. After working continuously since 1877, Winter Quarters Mine is still capable of producing about 1,700 tons daily.

Winter Quarters mine has some faulty conditions and a poor roof, but despite this, work has progressed very satisfactorily except on May 1, 1900 when the disaster occurred which took the lives of so many men.

Prior to this accident coal dust was not considered dangerous unless in the presence of certain proportions of explosive gas. No explosive gas has ever been found in Pleasant Valley: nevertheless, a disastrous coal dust explosion occurred. This incited the origin of the sprinkling system with the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, as well as with other coal companies all over the United States. In fact, sprinkling is now compulsory by law in this and other states.

In 1882 the then Utah Central opened up what is known as the U.P. Mine and in 1884 the railroad track up through Fish Creek Canyon was standard gauged by the Rio Grande. The Utah Central ran from Ogden to Filmore. This company planned a road into Scofield to haul their own coal; but the project did not mature; and as long as the Utah Central operated the Scofield Mine, the coal was hauled over the Rio Grande to Provo.

It was in this mine on the morning of January 1, 1884 that the McLean man and his son were suffocated by smoke from a fire at the mine portal.

The Company, seeing the absolute necessity of placing on the market a better commercial product, sent some men into Price River Canyon to do some prospecting which resulted in the opening of Castle Gate Number 1 mine in the year 1888. From this mine a grade of coal was furnished that was very acceptable as a domestic fuel in Salt Lake City and surrounding towns.

[page 39]

In the year 1898 Sunnyside and Clear Creek were opened. Number 2 mine at Castle Gate was opened during the year 1912, and we are now sinking the first shaft mine in the state of Utah, which will be known as Castle Gate Number 3.

Castle Gate coal was also extensively tried as a coking coal. About seventy ovens were built; and, although the coke was not very desirable, it was accepted until the opening of Sunnyside Mine which produced what proved to be one of the best coking coals in the West. For a few years the coal was shipped from Sunnyside to Castle Gate and coked in the ovens at that camp.

Today Sunnyside is the largest Bee Hive coking plant in the country under one supervision. It is true that there are coking plants with a much larger production than Sunnyside, but not under one supervisorship.

The demand of the great World War made on our resources necessitated the enlarging of Sunnyside plant. There are now 819 ovens ready to operate, but we all hope that it will not be necessary to use them under the same circumstances that some of them were built for, and all of them operated for during the strenuous times that we in general and you boys in particular experienced during the years 1916, 17, and 18.

[page 40]

Something should be said regarding the progress made in improved mining conditions and safety methods. Our shooting systems of then and now differ greatly. The miners once went to the distributing powder magazine with their gunny sacks and received a twenty-five pound keg of black powder which they packed into their working place and put along the rib until they needed it.

A pick was used to punch a hole through one end of the keg when powder was desired. This hole was plugged with a wad of paper when they were not preparing a shot. After making a cartridge out of newspaper, capable of holding from one to three pounds of powder, they would invariably pour the powder from the keg into the cartridge, with their oil lamp burning on their cap and quite often a lighted pipe in their mouth. This was a real menace to safety as a spark was very likely to fall from either of them into the powder.

Today the miners are using a permissible powder approved by the Bureau of Mines. They still call at the distributing magazine on their way to work, but only receive a specified amount of powder which they must carry to their working place in a nonconductive canvas bag and put in a locked wooden box. During the afternoon the shot inspectors go around and after inspecting the shots deliver to the miner an electric detonator for each shot prepared. The miners connect up the electric wires to their shots before going home after which the inspectors make another examination of the places and throw in the necessary switches to connect the shooting line to the power lines. After all men and inspectors are out of the mine, inspectors shoot all shots simultaneously from the main shooting switch which is located at the side of the mine portal.

In order that it might be definitely known when all men were out of the mine, some method of checking had to be devised. In olden days men went in and out at any hour and the only ones who knew whether a miner was in the mine or not were his family or someone who accidentally saw him enter.

The present day system makes it compulsory for all inside employees to leave a check with his number on it before entering and take it off the board when coming out. The checkman enters each number in a book opposite the name, nationality, and working place. In this way a complete record is kept of each man in the mine. When all checks have been taken off the board, the shot inspectors then proceed with the firing and afterwards they again inspect the places and pull the switches preparatory for the next day's work.

[page 41]

Another item that has improved the sanitary conditions is the introduction of the carbide lamp over the old oil torch. The oil lamp gave off considerable smoke and no matter how good the ventilation, a notable quantity of smoke was present in all working places. Winter Quarters' ventilation was so poor that miners had to burn wax or tallow in a solidified form which melted as it was put in the lamp. This generated less smoke than the lard oil used later.

Sunnyside Number 1 mine has been considered a gaseous mine, and in the year 1908 the Wolf Bennetted Safety Lamps were introduced. These lamps gave a three-quarter candle power light. In 1915 these were replaced by up-to-date Edison Electric Lamps which give a three candle power light.

Another improvement which is a great factor is the ventilation system. In the primary days of mining, even in Utah, air circulation was made by heating the return air. This was usually done by building a chimney or stack on the return side. The top of this stack necessarily had to be higher than the intake opening. At the bottom of the stack a furnace was kept burning. This rarified the air and kept up a circulation which was more or less undependable. This system was known as furnace ventilation.

Today all the Utah Fuel Mines are equipped with a modern steam or electrically driven fan capable of circulating a volume of fresh air through the mine varying from 150,000 to 250,000 cubic feet per minute, depending on the extent of the workings, the number of men and animals in the mine, and the amount of gasses given off.

Mining machines were introduced in Utah in Castle Gate Number 2 mine in the year 1912. The company today has something like sixty-five machines of various build and since 1912 they have rapidly replaced the old time pick miner.

Inspection of mines has also advanced steadily. When coal mining was in its infancy in Utah, men were allowed to go in the mine without any examination of the working places being made; in fact, the miner was supposed to examine his own place before commencing work.

[page 42]

Today we have qualified men, known as gas or roof inspectors, who make a thorough examination for gas, bad roof, and side conditions at a stated time before anyone else is allowed to enter. All miners must see these inspectors and receive a report of the conditions of their working place.

No greater tribute could be given any company than that which has been paid the Utah Fuel Company by the fact that a great number of its employees who started to work when the company commenced operations are still with us.

Mr. F. N. Cameron, who is now executive head of the company, started firing a furnace when a boy in Utah Mine and steadily advanced until in 1903 he was made general superintendent of all operations. True, in 1906 he severed his connections; but the credit and honor of his previous work lived on, since in 1922 he was chosen from among a large number of mining men to guide the destiny of the company.

James Simms and Joe Richards were two of the fourteen men who came from Sanpete County and shared the vicissitudes of that first winter in Pleasant Valley and they are still working there.

The first mine foreman of Winter Quarters, William Angus, is still in the employ of the company and holds an official position in Somerset, Colorado.

Mr. T. J. Parmley has had forty years continuous service at Winter Quarters and is now superintendent at that camp, a position he has satisfactorily filled for at least twenty-five years. I could enumerate quite a number who have practically spent their entire active lives in faithful service for a company that has continually endeavored to live by the golden rule.

From a very humble beginning in the year 1877, the Utah Fuel Company, which term embraces or typifies the Pleasant Valley Coal Company, has developed into one of the largest coal producers in the West. To give a concrete idea of its expansion, permit me to mention some illuminating figures.

In 1877 the lessor of Winter Quarters mine dreamed of the day when he would be able to produce 250 tons. All the coal produced in the district was less than 200 tons at that time, and the market could not accept more than that.

[page 43]

Today Carbon County is capable of producing in a single day approximately 30,000 tons, and of that amount the Utah Fuel Company can produce from 9,000 to 10,000 tons. Their peak production was reached during the year 1918 when the total tonnage from their Utah mines together with the mine at Somerset, Colorado was two and one-half million tons.

When the first taxes were collected in Carbon County in 1894, the Pleasant Valley Coal Company paid into the county treasury $2,452.64, which was approximately 30% of the County's total tax.

For the year 1921 the Utah Fuel Company paid $193,000, which was approximately one-third of the total taxes collected. In 1922 they paid into the treasury $182,000, which was more than one-fourth of all taxes.

Today the Utah Fuel Company is paying county taxes equal to three times as much as our closest competitor and as much as all other coal companies combined.

In addition to being the pioneer coal company, the Utah Fuel Company is literally the organizer of Carbon County. It is questionable if any company has done more toward the upbuilding of the county than this one.

Since operations started in each of their camps, the voting population has steadily increased until they are now such a large factor in Carbon County and its affairs that even aspirants for prominent political offices cannot afford to neglect the camps and give them a cold shoulder.

The company is a living monument to industry, for nothing less than the ceaseless integrity of those who have given so much to the work has made the company what it is. As the world advanced, they advanced with it. I sincerely believe that we shall continue to grow and that we will be able to hold our place in the heart of Carbon County for many years. Although the early growth was hindered by almost unsurmountable obstacles, those at the helm had explicit faith in the ultimate success of the company. This success has again proved the value of Addison's maxim on industry:

"Mankind is more indebted to industry than ingenuity; the gods set up favors at a price, and industry is the purchaser."

Winter Quarters

From History Compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 55) (not part of 1930 histories)

[page 147]

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 weather-worn 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.

[page 148]

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.

(For further information see A. C. Watts report.)


From History Compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 48) (not part of 1930 histories)

[page 149]

The town of Scofield lies in the bituminous coal fields of Carbon County. Nestled in the tops 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.

(The following comes from the remainder of C. H. Madsen's history of Scofield)

Shortly after the coming of the first permanent settlers, coala was discovered. Older residents, when 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 Winter Quarters Number 1 mine. Further work was done in 1878 and after the arrival of the Pleasant Valley railroad, narrow guage, connecting 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. At this time, there were four mines 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 acrried on extensively, production had reached a high peak, when one of the most disastrous explosions of all mining history took place at the Winter Quarters mine, on May 1, 1900.

(Read more about the Scofield mine disaster, from the 1930 history; included as part of Madsen's entry for Scofield)

The Calico Road

By Hannah M. Mendenhall

[page 150]

Milan Packard, one of Springville's pioneer capitalists, was closely identified with the material interests of the city. He worked as a freighter to the Missouri River, to Montana and later to California. He was interested in some of the mining prospects, but later became a successful merchant.

Among other interests he sponsored and financed the building of a narrow gauge railroad from Springville into the coal fields of Carbon County, Utah. Coal had been discovered but there was no way to get the coal into the valley except by wagons which were inadequate to meet the demands. The road was started September 7th, 1878. Mr. Packard was his own contractor. Starting from the tracks of the Union Pacific in Springville it ran through Spanish Fork Canyon, into the mining camp near Scofield.

Mr. Packard employed many men both as sub-contractors and workmen and the men received part of their pay in merchandise from Mr. Packard's store. Calico was the standard cotton material used for clothing at that time. Consequently many of the workers took calico as pay, so the road was christened the "Calico Railroad."

The engineer who laid out the road was a Mr. Geo. Goff. Two later engineers were Faus Smith and Abe Deremus who continued the engineering until the road was within a few miles of Scofield, when a company of Eastern men bought the road. C. U. Scofield was president of this company.

Joseph Vane, a pioneer residing in Springville, now 87 years of age, worked on the road laying and fitting rails as well as helping to build bridges. He served as road master after its completion. James Kirkham and Robert Watson were pile drivers for the bridge work. In this work they were aided by mules. Mr. Vane said, "The mules knew just as soon as the hammer went down, they could back up, nothing could induce them to take a step further."

Martin Crandall had a contract for grade work and the following men helped: Richard L. Mendenhall, Charles M. Bird, Martin Bird, LeRoy Bird, Hyrum B. Perry, Richard Thome, Ted Marshbanks, Bill Sumsion, and Ed Haymon. Among the first engineers were Jack Couly and a Mr. Shroad. Don Huntington was the first conductor.

This narrow gauge road was used until 1883 when the Denver and Rio Grande bought it, changed the grade to make the grade an easier climb and continued the road farther into the coal fields of Carbon County and Emery County. One of the coal miners said, "It didn't matter what time of the day or night the train reached the mine for coal, the miners filled the car and sent it on its way down the canyon, so it would hurry back for more coal."


From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 19-22)

[page 173]

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.

[page 174]

This locality was well known in the early days to prospectors, traders and travelers. In 1880, 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. May we call attention again to the fact that 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 town-site. More educational facilities are being considered at the present time. (April, 1947 )

[page 175]

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 Simone, Charles Carrera, Ercola Lange, Jim Martell, E. J. Borkenhagen, Sam Lowenstein, Batiste Flaim, Tony Labori, Pete Basone, Ed Jones, J. Henry Van Natta, George Ladd, Pete Smith, Jim Rooney, Cad Thomas, Joe Hogh, Jim McCune, Charley Johnson, John Good, and others.

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.

[page 176]

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 J. 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.

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. Slopansky, E. T. Borkenhagen, Al Evans, 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 tenninal 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.

[page 177]

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 nineteen thirties. 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 postwar periods. American, Scotch, Irish, English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Austrian, French, Italian, Spanish, Assyrian, Greek, Slovakian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Dutch, Ethiopian, 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.

Spring Glen

From History compiled by Irene O'Driscoll for the Sally Ann Olsen Camp

[page 178]

Spring Glen, located along the fertile Price River Valley, two miles south of Helper, is known as the "Garden Spot of Carbon County." lts 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 bachelors, who followed and settled as near neighbors, were Omer Brimhall and Andrew Simmons. The family of Teancum 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 lands, an enterprise which would require the making of an expensive canal. In December, 1886, a group of public spirited citizens, including among others, F. M. Ewell, T. Pratt, H. J. Stowell, Andrew J. Simmons, 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 April, 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.

[page 179]

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, 1880, but no action was taken because the raih·oad 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 called the Blue Cut Charcoal Company, in connection with the charcoal business. The manufacture of charcoal continued for about fifteen years and proved to be of much benefit to the community financially.

[page 180]

A new school building was erected in 1904. It consisted of a two-room building constructed of brick made locally, arranged in such a manner that the partition could be moved and the building used for school and community purposes. When this building became inadequate in 1912, another two-room building and auditorium was added. In 1927 the older of the two buildings was removed to make place for an extensive new addition, which serves as grade and junior high school for Spring Glen and Kenilworth.

The population of Spring Glen has shown a steady growth and at the present time approximately 800 people have their homes there.

Castle Gate

From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 28-31)

[page 181]

The town of Castle Gate 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 Castle Gate is in line with the coal outcrops, which occur at a convenient height to be screened and loaded into railroad cars. The establishment of Castle Gate 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 furmen 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 probably 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.

[page 182]

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 Castle Gate.

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 building, which contains offices for the company, was built by World and Robertson in 1890. These men built the original Castle Gate 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 to the Utah Fuel Company. The output of metal ores in Utah created a demand for a high grade of coking coal, therefore in 1889 coke ovens were built in lower Castle Gate.

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.

[page 183]

In 1922, No. 3 Mine was opened. It was located on the main line of the D. and R. G. W. Railroad between Castle Gate and Rolapp (Royal) and was the only shaft mine in the West until the mine at Salina Canyon was opened a few years ago. Castle Gate No. 3 Mine has since been abandoned, and Number 1 has been sealed because of a fire in the coal so the only Castle Gate producer at present is the mine at Willow Creek, or Number 2.

Castle Gate 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. Sn4w; treasurer, Alfred Thorpe; marshal, J. 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. Those 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 Castle Gate. 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 Castle Gate 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

[page 184]

bishop of the Castle Gate 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, Castle Gate 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. Castle Gate has been fortunate in having a number of outstanding mining men and engineers to conduct the camp. The roster of superintendents at Castle Gate includes the names of Wm. Forrester, Thomas Bell, Robert Williams, Jr., W. N. Wetzel, R. M. McGraw, William Littlejohn, Wm. J. Bowns, Zeph Thomas, Thomas Stroup, E. E. Jones, Hodge Burress, H. R. Ellis, William Moorehead and James Thorpe. All of these men are superintendents of recognized ability, who have served or are serving in various mining fields.

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 Castle Gate —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.

[page 192]


From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 43-45)

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

[page 193]

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

[page 194]

the surface. The south entrance was about halfway up the mountain side, making a sloping entrance to 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.

[page 195]

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 name 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 Stowell, 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.

[page 196]

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 thereafter, 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

[page 197]

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.

[page 198]

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 too steep. A second tipple was also constructed, is regarded as modern in every particular.

As was suggested in the opening paragraph of Kenilworth, the camp is a desirable place in main line was in 1927. This of this history which to live.

[page 199]

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 miners' 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 last 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."

[page 200]

Sunnyside Coal Camp

By Thursey J. Reynolds, For the Sarah Jane Powell Camp

(Not included in 1930 history, or the later 1947 history by Madsen.)

The first settlers in the Whitmore Canyon, later called Sunnyside, were John and Jefferson Tidwell and the latter's sons, Joseph R., Hyrum, Frank, and William J., and their families.

Tents were pitched in the spring of 1897.

During this summer Frank and Hyrum Tidwell built a two-room log cabin into which they moved just before Christmas in 1897. Each family took one room of the cabin and spent two years living there. Mrs. Frank Tidwell's son, Delbert, was born there August 8, 1898; and Mrs. Hyrum Tidwell's boy, Clarence, was born October 8, 1898, also in the cabin. Grandma Sarah Tidwell acted as the midwife at the birth of these children, who were the first to be born in what was later named Sunnyside.

[page 201]

Elden Van Wagoner was the first child born in the town after it was named Sunnyside. W. J. Tidwell's son, Leroy, was baptized in the creek there.

In the spring of 1899 the coal company built twenty houses. Up until this time about fifty tents were pitched where the hospital now stands. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Anderson were among those abiding in those tents. Mrs. Anderson was carried from her sick bed into one of the new houses.

The railroad was completed in 1899.

The Leonard orchestra—the first in this region (1903-1904 ) consisted of Leo Leonard at the violin, Charley Leonard at the trumpet, and Miss Workman, a music teacher, at the piano.

Some of the members of the first ball team were Ray Cowley, Tommy Davis, Efe Davis, Mark Carnie, and Leo Leonard, who was the pitcher.

In the year of 1900, W. H. Tidwell moved into the camp. on one of his trips between Sunnyside and Wellington his daughter, Myrtle, rolled off a load of bailed hay and broke her leg. Since it was a compound fracture and they were several miles from help, she came very near losing her life.

In the spring of 1906 the company decided to make more coke ovens. The construction work on these ovens was done by Lee Jessen.

[page 202]

Below town there was one saloon called the White Elephant because it was first operated in a tent. Jack Gentry served as one of the first bartenders. Also below town there were several stores and saloons—among them a store operated by Jack Pesetto for the Glasior Brothers, and a store and saloon operated by Scarpeno and Migliore.

Louis Oliveto took a homestead near Sunnyside and built a three-story rock building, which he later used for a home and store. Delivering merchandise with a horse and wagon for three and one-half years for the Sunnyside Mercantile, he often had to plow through seven feet of snow. He was then transferred' to work for the Utah Fuel Company's Number 2 mine when it caught on fire in 1920. Mr. Oliveto waited on tables in the boarding house put up by the company inside the mine to feed the first-aid rescue team attempting to extinguish the fire. From 1921 until 1928 he operated his own general merchandise store under the firm name of Sunnyside Trading. In 1935 Mr. Oliveto moved to Price from Sunnyside and opened a furniture and hardware store, which he still operates with the help of his children (1947).

A great number of farmers peddled their produce into Sunnyside. Vegetables, butter, chickens, etc., were hauled with team and wagon from the surrounding farming towns such as Woodside, Wellington, Cleveland, Huntington, and Castle Dale. Some of these peddlers were Harvey Pinegar, John Turner, and John Ruggeri.

Following are names of people who have lived in Sunny-side: Joe and Jim Marshall; Nels Johnson; Bert McMullin; Dell VanWagoner; Joe Migliore; Jack Brace; Tom Dilly; Dr. Andrew Dowd; Mr. Hadley; George Hill; Nels Nelson; the Dimick Brothers; Higbees; Albert Barnes; the Davis family; Sam Dug-more; Sam and Joe Naylor family; Claud, Sam, Ray, and Andrew Bird Cowley; A. Livingston; Mr. Matson; the Alger family; Annie Travere; Woodheads; Leamasters; Hutchinsons; Fowlers; Bill, John, and Dave Crawford; Jesse Jessen; Ephraim Bailey; Bishop Hopkinson; Bill Bennett; Leavitts; John Holly; George Richards; Jack Ward; and Lou Asher, and many others.

[page 203]


By Arthur E. Gibson

(Not included in 1930 history, or the later 1947 history by Madsen.)

The writer went to Sunnyside to work for the Utah Fuel Company on the 19th day of November 1899, which was the day coal shipments started; prior to that date the mine was being developed and the railroad was under construction.

How Sunnyside got its name. There was a station on the main line of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, 20 miles east of Price by that name and it was thought by the officials of the railroad and the Utah Fuel Company, that this would be an appropriate name for the new coal mine, therefore a change was made, the new mine being called Sunnvside and the former Sunnyside was called Verdi. Verdi is only a side track now, the junction where the Sunnyside branch leaves the main line is called Mounds.

The Sunnyside mines were opened at the mouth of Whitmore Canyon on Grassy Trail Creek, in Township 14S. Range 14E.

Prior to the opening of the mines the one ranch in the region was owned and operated by George C. Whitmore, who had appropriated most of the water of Grassy Trail Creek and was making use of it on his ranch where he raised wheat, oats, alfalfa, hay, and garden produce.

The Whitmores were cattle men and their cattle ranged in Whitmore Canyon and in the Whitmore Park at the head of the canyon during the summer months and on the desert south of the ranch during the winter months.

Seven miles below the Whitmore ranch was the Big Spring ranch, which at that time was owned and operated by L. A. Scott-Elliott, a sheepman.

Elliott had filed on part of the waters of Grassy Trail Creek and all of the surplus water, if any, after Whitmore got his water. There was a lawsuit pending over the division of this water, between Whitmore and Elliott when the coal mines were being opened in 1899, therefore water was a very essential commodity

[page 204]

and in a way, held the key to the situation. Officials of the coal company made Whitmore a proposition for the ranch and water rights, but it was refused and a counter proposition was made by Whitmore, the price being $90,000. This the company refused, Whitmore then ran a pipe line from a spring up the canyon, putting most of his water in his pipeline, remarking, "We will choke you to death." For use at the mine a well was dug near the creek bed, to a depth of about 20 feet and 12 feet in diameter; this was rocked up and supplied considerable water, later when the First Left Entries in No. I mine passed under the canyon considerable water was developed in these entries and this water together with the water from the well was pumped into a 20,000 gallon tank located on the hill side above the mouth of the mine.

Electric power was produced by the Fuel Company as the Utah Power and Light had not been built into Carbon County and it took considerable water for the boilers, however they managed to get along until about 1906, when a water line was built to Range Creek, a distance of about seven miles and water pumped from there to supply all of the requirements at the mine and camp.

The officials at the new camp of Sunnyside were as follows: Robert Forrester, agent, who would be the same as the general manager; Joseph R. Sharp, superintendent; John Crawford, foreman No. 1 mine; James A. Harrison, foreman No. 2 mine; Amon A. LeRoy, master mechanic; A. E. Gibson, outside foreman; Nils A. Nelson, superintendent of Coke ovens; Emery Roy Gibson (brother of A. E. Gibson) chief clerk.

The company ran a general merchandise store, which was the only store allowed on the company ground; this was known as the Wasatch Store Company and the local manager was John Holly.

There were two or three stores and saloons off the company lands and below the Whitmore ranch, I think Fred Paternoster was one of these and David Monotti was also one, he is still at the same location, which is now at Dragerton.

The first postmaster at the town of Sunnyside was George H. Richards; the first bishop was John Potter; his counselors were a Mr. Sewell and S. N. Alger. The first school teachers were Joseph R. Dorius, principal, with Miss Elizabeth Anderson and Miss Maggie Reynolds, assistants.

[page 205]

The three School Trustees were James A. Harrison, Joseph R. Dorius and A. E. 'Gibson. The first doctor was Dr. Andrew W. Dowd.

The first superintendent of Sunday Schools was George H. Richards; one of his counselors was Sam Naylor.

The first president of the Relief Society was Sarah Tidwell; the first counselor was Ruth Liddell and the second counselor was Mrs. Samuel Naylor; the secretary and treasurer was Mrs. Adella Gibson.

The president of the Mutual Improvement Association was Mrs. Adella Gibson, the first counselor was Millie Burdick and the second counselor was Julia Alger.

Twenty, two story frame houses were just completed when the writer first went to Sunnyside and we occupied No. 8 of the group. About 400 were built in all.

The writer left Sunnyside in 1905 to go to Sumerset, Colorado as superintendent for the Utah Fuel Company at a new mine to be opened there.

[page 206]

Prior to the enactment of the Mineral Leasing Law of February 25, 1920, coal lands had to be purchased from the government and it was unlawful for an individual or company to purchase more than 160 acres, therefore, in order to acquire title to a sufficient number of acres to justify the expenditure required to develop and operate a large coal mine, construct a railroad to the same and build the houses necessary to house the employees, the custom was to have individuals purchase this land from the government in 160 acre tracts and after it was purchased could be operated by an agent of the lessee.

The coal lands in the region where Sunnyside is now located were priced from fifty to three hundred dollars per acre, therefore, a very large investment was required for the purchase of the land, to say nothing of the money required for the development and equipment of the mine, the construction of the railroad and the necessary houses for the employees. A number of individuals, including several members of the Tidwell family made application to purchase such coal lands as it was required at the time, and after such purchase these lands were leased to Robert Forrester, the agent for the lessee, to develop the property.

Mr. Forrester was the geologist for the Utah Fuel Company and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad at the time.

Prior to the opening of the Sunnyside mines, coke had been made by the Utah Fuel Company at its Castle Gate mine, but this coke was not entirely satisfactory for the work required of it and the company had been doing considerable prospecting throughout the entire region, trying to find a coal which would make a satisfactory coke.

Although all of the coal throughout eastern Utah, western Wyoming, western Colorado and northern New Mexico was formed at the same geological period, it was not formed in the same fresh water lakes or swamps, as the case might be. There are a great many different coal seams or veins as they • are now called, but all were formed during the Cretaceous period; each particular vein represents a different fresh water lake or swamp where tropical plant life existed in sufficient quantities to form the coal veins as we now find them.

In the region between Dugout Canyon and Horse Canyon (Sunnyside District) there are two veins which we call the Upper and Lower Sunnyside, both of which have a little more

[page 207]

fixed carbon and a little less volatile than the other veins throughout the region. Also these veins have physical characteristics somewhat different from other veins in the region which cause the coal to cake during the burning process, therefore making a better grade of coke. These characteristics were the prime reason for there being a mine at Sunnyside.

The fact that the coal veins were burned in places had nothing to do with the coking qualities of the coal. In fact, practically every vein in the region has had some burning on the outcrop, due possibly to the coal catching fire from forest fires. These fires could extend underground only as far as the oxygen of the air could penetrate.

There had been 300 beehive coke ovens built at Castle Gate prior to the opening of the Sunnyside mine, therefore the first coal mined and shipped from Sunnyside was coked at Castle Gate. Eventually over 800 beehive ovens were in operation at Sunnyside.

In 1922 the Columbia Steel Company, subsidiary of the U. S. Steel, opened the mine at Columbia, also in the coking area and shipped the coal to Ironton, Utah County to be made into coke in by-product ovens. This coke is used in the making of pig iron and eventually into steel.

In 1943 the same veins were opened at Horse Canyon by the government in order to furnish coke for making steel at the Geneva Steel Plant which is also located in Utah County; the iron ore coming from Iron County, Utah,

After the war, the Horse Canyon mine, together with the Geneva Steel plant, was taken over by the United States Steel Company and will be in continuous operation for the production of steel for industrial purposes throughout the world. In fact, this plant is now producing a million tons of steel pipe to be shipped to Saudi, Arabia for the construction of an oil pipe line. This one operation means the employment of hundreds of men in the production of coal in Carbon County over a period of more than a year.

Prior to 1920 coke was required for smelting the various ores found in the Intermountain region other than iron ore, but since that period, oil and gas have been used and coke is only used in the smelting of the iron ore. Due to the fact that we now have such a plant located at Geneva, there will still be a great demand for coking coal.

[page 208]

Due to the fact that the Utah Fuel Company has no steel operations and all steel producers have coal mines of their own, it makes it hard for the Utah Fuel Company at Sunnyside to keep going as a good coking coal does not make a good domestic coal and therefore the coal produced at No. 1 mine at Sunny-side, operated by the Utah Fuel Company is not in much demand at the present time. It is used by the railroad in their steam locomotives and for other industrial purposes.

During the war, Henry j. Kaiser leased the No. 2 mine at Sunnyside and shipped the coal to his Fontana, California plant and will probably continue to do so as long as his steel plant at Fontana is in operation.

The production of coal throughout the country reflects the general prosperity. When the country is prosperous the coal output is great and when the country is not prosperous the coal output is greatly reduced. This is due to the fact that coal is the greatest producer of power in industry that we have and when industry declines, naturally power requirements decline also.

As to the quantity of coal throughout the region, the writer made a report for the Centennial Committee recently giving a brief description of the quantity of coal in the Eastern Utah District. Therefore, we will just state here that there is an abundance of coal, both of the coking and the non-coking variety, the output depending on the available market.

This area reached its peak of production in 1920. The production for that year being 6,000,000 tons. Due to depressions throughout the country the output declined to as low as 4,000,000 tons annually. However, during the war period, it increased to 5,000,000 tons and is about that at the present time.

The price of coal, as well as the price of wages, has greatly increased since the depression of the thirties and while there has not been as great a production during the last five years, the income from the sale of coal has increased greatly since the high of 1920. With a production of five million tons per year and the price of coal f.o.b., mines around $2.50 per ton. There would be an annual income of $12,500,000.00 new wealth produced from Mother Earth, most of which is spent in Carbon County as wages by the coal miners.

[page 209]

Clear Creek

From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 43-45)

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 may 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 Nils Sandburg, both Americans, came to Clear Creek, which was then known as Mud Creek, for the purpose of getting timber for Mr. O. G. 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. Hurskinen, John Erkila, of Finnish nationality, who came in 1899; Jimmis Mancuzi, Italian, who 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

[page 210]

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 so 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 Latter-day Saints have been prominent in the church activities of Clear Creek. Bishop McMullen 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.

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Arronco Coal Mine

By Arthur E. Gibson

Following is a brief history of what is now known as the Arronco Coal Mine, which is located in Section 15, Township 13 South, Range 10 East, Cordingly Canyon, Carbon County, Utah.

This was one of the-first coal mines opened in the vicinity of Price where coal could be procured for local consumption and hauled by team and wagon. Most of the large mines located on the railroad did not cater to the wagon haul trade, since they were not equipped for loading wagons.

We do not have the exact date of opening, but it was approximately in the year 1890. This mine was owned by John B. Millburn, who ran a saloon in Price and did not operate the mine personally. His brother-in-law, Parley Warren, had charge of it most of the time. The mine was idle, however, for a number of years.

The mine was opened in the bottom of the gulch, and for several years teams would drive into the mine and load their wagons from the working face. In order to get into the mine, it was necessary to drive up the bottom of the gulch at which point there was a depression which was always full of water. Therefore, it was necessary for the driver of the wagon to get down on the doubletrees, hold his head on a level with the horse's back, and enter. After getting inside, there was plenty of room as the vein was about eleven feet thick.

A considerable amount of coal was extracted under these conditions, but in a few years the coal on the upper side of the mine was entirely extracted. Thus the upper side caved in and the water ran in on the lower side filling the mine with mud and water from the gulch. It was therefore necessary to make a new opening on the vein. This was done by going a short distance up the canyon and driving a rock tunnel through the roof of the vein to intersect the coal on its dip.

The mine had been idle for several years before John Arronco took it over. Just how long this was, the writer does not

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know, but a guess would be that the Arronco's took it over about 1939 or 1940.

(John Arronco's obituary says he took over the mine in 1935. He died on January 4, 1946.)

John Arronco died within a year or so after taking over the mine, but it has been operated intermittantly ever since by his family. The coal is a first class domestic coal and very accessible to Price, Helper and Wellington. It usually finds a ready market.

[page 213]


From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 40-42)

Hiawatha nestles at the foot of the Gentry Mountain, two arms of which seem 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. J. 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

[page 214]

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, Reuben 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. (For further information we refer you to the Watt's Report.)

(portion of Madsen on page 41 not included here; detailing underground mining methods)

The first railroad to Hiawatha was built by the Consolidated Fuel Company in 1909. While this road was in operation, the railroad headquarters and shops were located in East Hiawatha. Due to the heavy grades and the impossibility of hauling large trains, a new road was built by the Fuel Company in 1914. This road extended from Castle Gate, a distance of 23 miles. The road to Price was abandoned and the steel torn up in 1917.

The 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 Meecham from 1939 until 1943, and Claude Erickson from 1943 to 1945.

[page 215]

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 good of the community. The incumbent town officials, L. F. Crogan, president; B. E. Christensen, Dan Garber, T. C. Johnson, 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 teachers 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

[page 216]

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.

(portion from Madsen ends)

This history was written by Joe D. Hansen for the Sego Lily Camp. Their president is Elizabeth Frandsen.

Hiawatha, pleasantly situated where Miller Creek enters the valley, is the operating headquarters of the United States Fuel Company.

Of the early history of this locality very little can be recorded since its values were reflected in the limited stands of Douglass Fir and aspen. It was, however, a very good summer grazing area for cattle and horses, and later, sheep, whose owners repeated what took place in Utah generally, overgrazed mountainsides until erosion all but destroyed the vegetation causing destructive "flash floods," which in the fifty years have caused very extensive and costly damage to many localities in Utah and surrounding states.

It is quite probable that Miller Creek may have been visited by some of the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Comany, as it is well known that William Ashley, Henry Jedediah Smith, and others carried on their trapping operations as far south as Salina Canyon, their headquarters for this area being located near Vernal on Ashleys Fork of Green River.

The writer remembers having seen beaver dams in Manti Canyon about the year 1879, and they were also found in nearly all the canyons of the Sanpete and Emery County mountains; the beaver, however, had been entirely exterminated.

In the early 1880's Miller brothers brought a large number of cattle and horses into Castle Valley grazing them on the mountains in the summer and in the valley in the winter, establishing their headquarters where the Millerton Dairy is now located.

[page 217]

Here they built camp houses and corrals and sowed quite a large acreage to alfalfa, utilizing the water flowing down Miller Creek for culinary and irrigation purposes, thereby acquiring title through beneficial use.

The early settlers built sawmills in the forks of the canyon, which gave them much needed lumber for building homes and other necessary buildings.

Coal was discovered about the year 1909 when Mr. Fred Sweet opened Mines No. 1 and No. 2 at West Hiawatha. The coal was brought down the canyon over a gravity tramway a distance of somewhat more than two miles to a wooden constructed tipple where it was prepared for shipment. A railroad was constructed from Price to the tipple which was known as East Hiawatha, a town being built at that place.

Mr. Sweet also developed the Black Hawk Mine, about the year 1912. The coal from this mine was brought down a gravity tramway nearly two miles to a point where the United States project is now located below the present railroad track.

About the year 1914 the United States Fuel Company was organized which company acquired the two Hiawatha mines as well as the Black Hawk mine, also Moreland, and built a modern steel tipple on the site where it is now located. At this time a town was laid out with substantial office rooms, store buildings, material house, and an up to date machine shop. Cottages containing 4, 6, and 8 rooms to the number of 800 were built at Black Hawk and East and West Hiawatha.

One of the first projects to be taken up was the laying out of a water system of sufficient capacity to supply the people with an adequate amount of water, as well as the heating plant and railroad engines; also keeping in mind full fire protection.

The railway system known as the Utah Coal Route was built into the camp about the year 1914, which connected with the main line of the Denver and Rio Grande Western at Martin junction. This road acquired a joint traffic agreement with D&RGW by laying a double track to Provo, Utah.

About the year 1918 a Sunday School was organized by the Carbon Stake Presidency through the effort of Henry E. Taylor and a small group of L.D.S. members. They carried on for sometime under adverse conditions, as there was no meeting house available.

In 1920 the company built an amusement hall which contained a main hall 80 by 40 feet with a stage and scenery for

[page 218]

theatre and picture show room, a banquet room with fully equipped kitchen, and a large reading room.

A branch of the church was organized with Seymour Oliphant, presiding elder, Calvin Tuft first, and Rupert Lindsey second counselors. Sunday school was organized with Ira Oviatt, superintendent, Henry Taylor first, and James McPhie second assistant superintendent.

Relief Society was organized with sister McPhie as president.

All the organizations held their weekly meetings in the reading room but were not very successful as the pool room and bowling alley in the lower room created so much noise that often the meetings were almost a failure.

In the summer of 1924 through the efforts of Moroni Heiner, vice president and general manager of the U. S. Fuel Company, two chapels were built; one for the Community Churches and one for the Latter-day Saints. By November they were finished and the two church groups purchased enough oak pews to seat both churches. The L.D.S. had three extra rooms for classes.

The church members contributed liberally to furnish suitable lockers, rugs, children's chairs, piano and the necessary books. A choir was organized at this time with an active membership of 30. C. L. Christens was president; Sister Oliphant, secretary and treasurer; Joseph Hanson, director; Nellie Faddis and Ruth Oviatt, organists.

This organization continued its activities until October, 1943, with a membership sufficient to fill appointment as they might arise.

Inasmuch as the women's Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to some extent associated with the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and have held an honorable place in esteem of many of the officials of the United States Fuel Company, we have endeavored to record a list of the presidents of that organization which is as follows, remembering that there may be one or more who may be missing due to the loss of a record book.

The following are the presidents whose names are available: Eva Walker, Josephine McPhie, Lacy Duke, Jeanette Lindsey, Mary Behunin, Christine Christensen, Ruby Peay, Myra L. Hanson, Ora Wild, Gertrude Johnson, Elda Anderson, Violet Cook, Estella Curtis, Lindora Draper, who is now president.


[page 219]

From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 56)

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.

[page 220]

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.

[page 221]

Spring Canyon District Coal Mines

By Arthur E. Gibson

The history and economic development of Carbon County is a development of the coal resources; therefore, writing the history of Spring Canyon is rehearsing the story of how and when the coal mines were opened, by whom they were opened, and a general idea of what takes place when our natural resources are developed, which in turn furnishes employment for our citizens and also furnishes a very necessary commodity for the economy and welfare of our nation.

The Spring Canyon District is only one of six coal producing districts in Carbon and Emery Counties in which coal is produced in large quantities. The other districts have been assigned to other writers.

[page 222]

Prior to the advent of the railroad in Spring Canyon, the only activities were two wagon mines, where a small amount of coal was produced to supply local consumption at Helper and Price. One of these was operated by George Sawyer and the other by the Shea Brothers.

Following is a report by Leonard E. Adams who came to the new camp of Storrs (now known as Spring Canyon) as the manager of the mercantile branch of the coal mining company. Mr. Adams has been connected with the company continuously from its inception to the present time, and there is no one better qualified to make this report than he.

"The existance of coal in the Spring Canyon District, four miles northwest of Helper, was known to the people of this county many years before the veins were opened for commercial operations.

[page 223]

"Coal was hauled by wagons and towns 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 Manazine 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 the prospecting in the district where it was known that two workable seams of coal existed. In September, 1912, A. E. Gibson was employed as superintendent, and definite plans were formulated for the laying out of the mine and for the construction of a railroad from Helper. A branch line of the railroad was constructed by the Knight interests.

"Contrary to the usual custom of starting a camp, sixty modern rock houses were constructed for the use of employees, before operation of the mine began. The town was called Storrs, after General Manager George A. Storrs, and went by that name until about 1924, when it was changed to Spring Canyon.

"A double tent was used for school purposes during the first year, with B. H. Stringham the first principal and Valera Fillmore and Gladys Robinson the first teachers. In 1914 a substantial school building and meeting house were completed and the camp rapidly grew in proportion. As this was the first coal mine opened in the Spring Canyon section, providing the first school and church buildings, people from other new camps came to avail themselves of these privileges until their own camps could provide such accommodations. Among the first families to make their homes in Spring Canyon were the Adams, Ben-nets, Bradley, the Cowleys, and the Fletchers who came in 1913.

[page 224]

"Before the tramway was completed, several cars of coal hauled from the mine in wagons were shipped, but it was not until February, 1913, that actual operations began on a large scale. By this time, the main line of the D. & R. G. Railroad was sufficiently completed to handle coal shipments and during the summer of that year development work was pushed so rapidly that the mine was in a position to ship 1000 tons daily by aerial tramway. The volume of coal hauled by this method was insufficient and in April, 1919, the present surface tramway was completed and put into service. George A. Murphy was installed as superintendent at this time.

[page 225]

"Two mines were opened; the one on the lower vein was called No. 1 and the one on the upper vein was known as No. 3. There was a small vein between these two large veins.

"During the years to and including 1946, approximately eleven million tons of coal were mined by the Spring Canyon Coal Company. The mine has worked a total of 7,159 days and has furnished something over seven million man day's work to its employees.

"Leonard E. Adams was the first bishop of the Storrs Ward. Elder Adams was ordained a High Priest and set apart as bishop of the ward by Joseph F. Smith, May 25, 1913. Elder Frank T. Bennett was set apart as first counselor and Christian Bradley, Jr. as second counselor, and Howard Thompson, ward clerk. There were at the end of the year 1913, forty-eight families in the ward with a ward population of 150.


[page 226]

(Leonard E. Adams continues...)

"The second mine to be opened in Spring Canyon was Standardville, which adjoins the Spring Canyon Mine on the west and is now operated under the same management. Mr. Leonard E. Adams, being the president and general manager of the Standard, Spring Canyon and Royal Mines.

"The Standardville mine was opened by the Standard Coal Company in 1913. This company was organized by F. A. Sweet, who had previously organized and operated the Independent Coal and Coke Company at Kenilworth and the Hiawatha Coal Company at Hiawatha.

"The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad extended the Spring Canyon branch to the various mines in the district as they were ready to start operations, but these various extensions were paid for by the coal companies, out of production.

"Coal was produced from two veins at Standardville, a modern tipple was constructed and the mine was ready for operations during the fall and winter of 1913 and has been one of the principal producers of the canyon ever since.

[page 227]

"The camp was well constructed and was kept in good sanitary condition as long as the writer was familiar with the same, however, it has been a number of years since we have visited the locality.

[page 228]

"At one time Standard mine was capable of producing 2,000 tons of coal a day, but due to long underground haulage, this has probably been reduced somewhat. The two veins worked are over eight feet in thickness and the coal is of the usual good quality produced in the district. At the present time we presume this coal would have to be pulled up a 7% grade, the same as it does at the other places in the district where the main haulage goes to the dip on the vein.

McLean Mine (Little Standard)

(Leonard E. Adams continues...)

"This mine was opened in 1919 by the Standard Coal Company operated in conjunction with the same. It is about a mile west of the Standard Mine. The output was about 500 tons a day for a number of years."


The following report was written by Mr. George A. Schultz, who was general superintendent for the Liberty Fuel Company at the Latuda mine for the first 25 years of its operation.

[page 229]

"The mine was opened in 1914 by the Liberty Fuel Company. The prospecting and preliminary work was done that year by Charles Leger, John Forrester and Frank Gentry.

"The mine started with small wooden mine cars and wooden tipple. In 1926 along with Independent Coal & Coke Company the first successful mechanical loading in Utah was introduced. In 1927 a then up-to-date steel tipple was built which has been kept modernized by additions. In 1942 an air sand coal cleaning plant was built, the only one of its kind in the West. The mine produces 1,000 tons per day and has produced over 4,000,000 tons since its start. The coal is all mined and hauled mechanically.

"The first teacher was Mrs. Chidester. The first bishop, Lon Tidwell. School was started in a company house in 1918 and in 1923 the Carbon County School District built the school house which is in use today.

"S. N. Marchetti was the owner and manager of the store.

"George A. Schultz was superintendent and engineer for the first twenty-five years. The average number of men employed is 106. Consistency has been the word for this mine.

[page 230] Photos

[page 231]

"There have been no great ups and downs through the years. The number of men employed and the tonnage mined has been more constant than that of any other mine in Carbon County.


(Leonard E. Adams continues...)

"The Peerless mine adjoins the (Storrs) Spring Canyon mine on the east and was opened in 1916 by the Sweet interests. The veins worked are the same as those in the Spring Canyon mine, but the veins get smaller in going east. They are not over four feet in thickness in any of the workings in the Peerless mine, but the coal is of the usual standard grade and with the use of mechanical conveyors the operation is successful.

Maple Creek Mine

(Leonard E. Adams continues...)

"This mine is located between Standardville and Latuda and as it works the coal on the south side of the canyon, there is a downhill pull for the coal to the tipple which is a help in the cost of production.

[page 232] Photos

[page 233]


(Leonard E. Adams continues...)

"The mine at Rains was opened in 1916 by L. F. Rains; the organization being known as the Carbon Fuel Company. This mine is the termination of the railroad, although there are two wagon mines farther up the canyon. The mine at Rains has produced continuously since it started and at one time was capable of producing from 1800 to 2,000 tons per day. The coal is of the usual high grade and the veins at this locality are thicker than at most of the other mines in the district.

"Albert Shaw has been the superintendent at Rains for many years."

(Arthur E. Gibson continues...)

Some 800 men are employed in the Spring Canyon District, most of whom have been there for many years and have reared families, educated their children and are highly respected citizens.

There has been at least 30,000,000 tons of coal shipped from the district since it was first opened and prospects are

[page 234]

good for that much more. As far as the coal is concerned, there is a continuation of the coal veins throughout eastern Utah, including many thousand square miles; the limit to certain mines is an economical condition. Most of the mines throughout

[page 235]

Carbon and Emery Counties are opened where the vein outcrops, in a canyon, or on the escarpment where the coal is exposed to view, the veins dipping into the mountain, usually at anywhere from a four per cent to a sixteen per cent grade. Thus in bringing the coal from the mine to the tipple it becomes necessary to haul the coal up this grade. This, of course, is done with electric hoists, or belt conveyors. It is obvious that when the slope becomes excessively long, the cost is great and eventually becomes uneconomical.

The only method of overcoming this excessive cost at the present time is the conveyor which moves continuously from the bottom of the slope to the mouth of the mine where the coal is dumped onto another conveyor which takes it to the tipple; this operation is in effect at the Horse Canyon mine of the Geneva Steel Company where a daily output of 8,000 tons of coal is planned for and can be produced when market conditions justify.

[page 236]


From History compiled by Irene O'Driscoll

For the Sally Ann Olsen Camp

(not included in Madsen)

The town of Columbia is located approximately twenty-eight miles east of Price and three miles southeast of Sunnyside. It is a coal mining community and is the property of the Columbia Steel Company which is a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation. The mine is operated for the purpose of supplying coking coal to the company's by-product coking plant and blast furnace, located at Ironton, near Provo, Utah.

Construction of the camp was started in 1922. A year later Thomas C. Harvey took charge as superintendent of operations and through his efforts and foresight the mine and community have gradually improved until today it is one of the outstanding communities of the county. The present population approximates 650 people.

The first school at Columbia was held in a large tent with Mrs. Amanda Roberts as instructor. She taught eight grades with a total enrollment of forty-nine pupils. In the year 1925 a modern six-room brick building was erected, giving the town the best of school accommodations.

The latest type of coal mining equipment has been installed in the Columbia mine, making the production of 2,000 tons or more a day possible, depending upon demands. In 1930 the entire property was purchased by the U. S. Steel Corporation.

Columbia townsite consists of dwelling houses, all of modern construction, and in addition there are bunk-houses for the single employees. A store building, boarding house, confectionery, amusement hall and barber shop supply the community needs. All buildings are connected to a complete sewer system.

The community has been greatly improved since construction first started. Today there are many fine lawns, trees, and flowers, a tennis court, and a swimming pool. One of the beauty spots of the camp is the rock garden belonging to Superintendent Harvey. This is built in a picturesque setting on the side of a cliff near his home. At the foot of the garden is a small greenhouse where fine plants are kept during the winter months.

[page 237]


From History compiled by Irene O'Driscoll

For the Sally Ann Olsen Camp

(taken from Madsen, pages 35-36)

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 timber 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 Gordon Creek District. He obtained analysis of the coal in the district and found that it contained 49 percent fixed carbon, 44 percent volatile matter, 3 percent ash, 3.5 percent moisture, and .5 percent sulphur. His prospecting had begun during the winter of 1921 when he had suffered many hardships; but even the bitter cold and lack of food, sometimes, failed to daunt his purpose. The following spring he located an eight-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, 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

[page 238]

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 Mary Mathis and Miss Ione Coates 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 enrollment, from this and other near-by camps.

The spiritual problems of the new 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 as owner of the mine property, later. Other prominent men who were associated with this property were too modest to assert their claims for distinction.

[page 239]


From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 46)

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 mine 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.

[page 240]

New Peerless

From History Compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 46)

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 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 they 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.

[page 241]

Gordon Creek Coal District

By Arthur E. Gibson

Prior to the enactment of the Mineral Leasing Law in 1920, most of the coal lands in the district had, at various times, been purchased, or application to purchase had been made by various parties and a little prospecting had been done.

A Government Bulletin containing maps of the field had been published, so it was well known just which land contained coal and which land did not. There was no guess work about it. However this district was about nine miles from the Utah Railway which runs from Utah Junction, (just above Helper ) to Hiawatha.

The coal business had been very good during the World War No. 1 and in 1920 the Carbon-Emery coal fields produced over six million tons of coal, but this tonnage started to fall off in 1921 and from that year to 1939 and 1940 the coal business was very poor which resulted in a number of mines being closed entirely.

The big question uppermost in the minds of coal men was a market for the coal. In the early twenties the truck was not considered as economical for hauling coal long distances and in order to work the Gordon Creek mines it would be necessary to construct a branch railroad from Wildcat Siding on the Utah Railway up the North Fork of Gordon Creek.

F. A. Sweet, the promoter of the Kenilworth and Hiawatha mines, had secured a block of land in the Gordon Creek District, which had been purchased before the leasing law went into effect; this block is now known as the National Mine. The writer secured a lease on 1480 acres of land which is known as Consumers; Will Sweet secured a lease on the land where the Sweet Mine is located and George A. Storrs secured a lease on land which is known as the Gordon Creek Mine.

Mr. Storrs also layed out a townsite near the mouth of the canyon which he called Coal City, the idea being to have the miners working at any or all of the Gordon Creek Mines, build homes at Coal City. He then started to sell stock in his coal

[page 242]

property which was known as the Great Western Coal Mines and to sell lots on the townsite.

With money raised in this way he started to construct a railroad from Wildcat siding to the mines. This plan never did materialize, but in 1924, the Utah Railroad suggested that they would build the road, provided each mine operator would contribute their share of the expense.

About that time the Sweet Coal Company, the National Coal Company and the Consumers Mutual Coal Company were organized and put up the necessary cash to build the road. The mines were rapidly developed so that each could produce a tonnage of anywhere from one to two thousand tons a day according to the market for the coal. These camps are all within a mile of each other and all attend the same school and church and together make a very good sized coal mining camp.

[page 243]

Coal City

From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, page 34)

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 Dempsey, the "Utah Mauler." Let us go back for a moment to the beginnings.

The present site of Coal City was first settled by Alfred Grames, 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 Ram-beau, Joe Nounuier, and Joe Vacher, all sheepmen 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 Dempsey, 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 Utah 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, J. M. Miller built a new cement-block school house and school was held here in January 1926.

This foregoing account is reminiscent of the "days that were." The Coal City boom was soon over.

[page 244]


History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 54)

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 five miles northwest of Helper and one mile northwest of Castle Gate. 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.

[page 245]

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 Miner's Union. There are no parks, amusement halls, libraries or churches. The population varies during the seasonal operations of the mine—when 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 were prosperous. The residents are more or less permanent and the spirit of the community is progressive.

[page 246]


History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 39-40)

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 here.

The history of the development of the Panther mine antedates the first shipment of coal which was on February 12, 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

[page 247]

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.

[page 248]


From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 37-38)

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 in 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

[page 249]

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 604 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 business 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 comes 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 or chains. 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

[page 250]

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 them 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 interest 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.

[page 251]

Horse Canyon

From History compiled by C. H. Madsen

(taken from Madsen, pages 38-39)

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 productions 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 $200,000,000 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.

[page 252]

The layout of the mine plant and the development is large enough to supply 8,500 tons per day. Six thousand five hundred 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

[page 253]

dumping station was installed at the mine portal and later another rotary dump was installed 2,000 feet under ground. The tipple has a storage capacity of 5,000 tons. 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 123 per cent grade on the dip of the coal. "Strike entries" are driven horizontally along the strike of the seam. 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

[page 254]

twelve hundred feet at this writing. (April, 1947). Southward development is now in the opening stage.

The coal is all mechanically cut. In parts of the mine, conveyors are used for loading and transporting coal while in other parts the coal is loaded into seven ton mine cars by mechanical loaders. There are thirty-four shaker conveyor crews and four large truck-mounted mobile leaders. The best and safest methods are employed at this ultra-modern mine. Fresh

[page 255]

air is supplied by two large 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.

[photo caption] Miner's Safety Lamp. By the color of its flame the lamp reveals if the atmosphere contains any dangerous gas. Sixty-six of these lamps are carried in the Geneva mine, 33 on the day shift from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and an equal number on the night shift, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Only a skeleton force works from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.

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 at the Geneva Steel

[page 256]

Plant. 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.

[photo caption] Track Mounted Loader. The loader by a conveyor belt system picks up mined coal and dumps it into mine cars each of seven tons capacity. The cars empty the coal onto conveyor belts. They take it to the transfer house, where it is crushed to a 7-inch minus size. It is loaded into railroad cars directly from the tipple. Then it is transported over U. S. Steel's Carbon County Railway a distance of 10 miles to a branch of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad at Columbia Junction.

[page 257]

[photo caption] Track mounted coal cutting machine. Cuts are made only at the bottom of the working face in this mine. The vein of coal is 14 feet thick. Modern mechanical equipment and favorable working conditions make it possible for this mine to average 4,800 tons of coal daily. U. S. Steel's Columbia coal mine, five miles away, averages 1,600 tons a day. They supply coking coal to U. S. Steel's Geneva steel plant, Geneva, Utah, and U. S. Steel's Ironton plant, Ironton, Utah.

Carbon County Railway

By Harry Malaby, General Manager

[page 260]

The Carbon County Railway Company was incorporated under the General Laws of the State of Utah, July 29th, 1922 for the purpose of constructing and operating a standard gauge railway and necessary facilities to handle the movement of coking coal from new mines located at Columbia, Utah to the Sunnyside branch of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. at Columbia Junction, a distance of three miles.

In 1942 the government through Defense Plant Corporation constructed a spur from a point on the Carbon County Railway at Columbia, Utah to newly developed coking coal properties at Horse Canyon, a distance of some six miles. This spur was purchased by the Carbon County Railway on December 31st, 1946 and made a part of their facilities.

The entire road traverses a fairly deep valley, cutting through numerous buttes and intervening gulches of the Wasatch Range in the eastern part of Carbon County.

Kaiser Mine, Sunnyside

By Arthur E. Gibson

[page 261]

At the beginning of World War No. 2, it was decided by the War Department to produce more steel, and, as Henry J. Kaiser was known as one of the country's most progressive industrialists, he was called upon to help along this line.

Iron deposits were known to exist in Southern California, near Fontana, but, as California has no coking coal, the coal which is essential for making the coke necessary for making pig iron and steel, must come from Utah.

Mr. Kaiser therefore secured a lease on what is known as No. 2 mine at Sunnyside. This mine was opened in 1899 and worked by the Utah Fuel Company until 1921, when a disasterous fire occurred in the mine. After extinguishing the fire the mine was closed due to market conditions.

With the advent of the war these conditions changed very materially. Mr. Kaiser, after securing the lease proceeded to put the mine in condition to produce coal and in this connection a pig iron and steel plant was constructed at Fontana, California.

500 bee-hive ovens were built at this time in the vicinity of Columbia by the War Department for additional coke and pig iron capacity. A blast furnace for making pig iron was moved from Illinois to Ironton, but the war was practically over before this furnace was ready for use, therefore both the 500 coke ovens and the pig-iron furnace at Ironton were only operated for a short time.

It was reported that these coke ovens cost $3,000,000 and the blast furnace cost $9,000,000.

The War Assets Administrator recently offered the above mentioned coke ovens and blast furnace for sale to the highest bidder and they were purchased by the Kaiser interest.

World War No. 2 cost the lives of some of our brightest young men, but never-the-less it was the means of developing some of our natural resources which might not have been developed for many years had the war not occurred.

The coal mine at Horse Canyon and the town of Dragerton would not have come into existence had it not been for the war.

[page 262]

The building of the 500 coke ovens mentioned above and the bringing of the blast furnace from Illinois to Utah, would not have occurred had it not been for the war.

The town of Sunnydale would never have been built had it not been for the war; this town was incidental to the opening of the old Utah Fuel mine by Henry J. Kaiser.

It is expected that the Kaiser-Frazer operations in Carbon County will employ at least 500 men; this together with the operations of the Geneva Steel Company in the immediate vicinity, has increased the population of Carbon County at least 1500 people.

The Daughters of the Utah Pioners take this opportunity to welcome this new industry and wish them success and prosperity in all of their undertakings.

The iron deposits of Iron County and the coking coal, for which Carbon County is famous, are now coming into their own, after these many years.

Complete List Of Coal Mines (1948)

Complete List Of Coal Mines Operating In Carbon County At The Time This Publication Goes To Press

[page 265]

Mooney Mine, Scofield

Eccles Canyon Mine, Scofield

McGalpine Mine, Scofield

Utah Fuel Company, Clear Creek

Spring Canyon Coal Company, Royal

Utah Fuel Company, Castle Gate

Hardscrabble Mine, Helper

Peerless Coal Company, Peerless

Spring Canyon Coal Company, Spring Canyon

Spring Canyon Coal Company, Standardville

Pacific Coal Co., Maple Creek, (Standardville PO)

Liberty Fuel Company, Latuda

Utah Carbon Coal Company, Rains

Western Coal Company, (George A. Schultz, Rains )

Days Mutual Coal Company, Rains

Dunkin Mine, Rains

Terry McGowan, Lessee, Consumers

National Coal Company, Carl Nyman, Lessee, National

Sweet Coal Company, Sweets

Utah Coal Company, Sweets

Success Coal Company, (Sheya Bros. ) National

Lion Coal Company, Wattis

U. S. Fuel Company, Hiawatha

Independent Coal and Coke Co., Kenilworth

Arronco Coal Company (Near Kenilworth)

Red Glow Coal Co., (Dugout Canyon, Wm. Engle, Manager)

Dugout Canyon Mine, (Dan Collins, Manager )

Rio Grande Fuel Company, (E. K. Olson, Manager) Deadman Canyon

Sutton Coal Company, Deadman Canyon

Royal Blaze Coal Company, (Grant Powell, Manager), Coal Creek Canyon

Soldier Canyon Mine (Marinini)

Utah Fuel Company, Sunnyside

Kaiser Company, Sunnyside

Columbia Steel Company, Columbia

United States Steel Company, Horse Canyon (Part of this mine is in Emery County, but the employees all live in Carbon County )

The above includes the mines which are operated on the railroads and those where there is no railroad and the coal is hauled by truck. There are 35 in all.