United States Fuel Company
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This page was last updated on January 21, 2019.
Coal Properties of USSR&M
Utah Railway's parent company was United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Company, or USSR&M.
The following comes from the 1937 corporate history of Utah Railway:
"In 1911 and the early part of 1912 the United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Company acquired extensive interests in the coal regions of Carbon and Emery counties, Utah, with a view of opening up the properties and putting them in condition to produce coal on a greatly increased scale; and it being wholly apparent that existing railroad facilities could not render competent service, their plans for new development and increased output necessarily involved new and adequate railroad service. In the minds of the people who were financing the enterprise it was deemed absolutely essential, not only that there must be additional facilities, but these facilities must be in the form of a railroad efficient and up to date in every respect, capable of providing an independent through operation from the coal mines to a point of direct connection with lines over which the product would be distributed to consumers. Upon this basis and with this understanding the railroad and the enlarged coal proposition were financed." (Utah Railway: Manual, page 21)
The mines of what would later become United States Fuel Company, a direct subsidiary of USSR&M:
Consolidated Fuel Company -- Information about the coal company that opened the original Hiawatha coal mine in Miller Creek Canyon.
Castle Valley Coal Company -- Information about the coal company that opened the original Mohrland coal mine in Cedar Creek Canyon.
Black Hawk Coal Company -- Information about the coal company that opened the Black Hawk coal mine, later known as Hiawatha or King Mine.
Panther Coal Company -- Information about the Panther Coal Company and its mine near Castle Gate, served by Utah Railway; opened in 1912, closed in 1937.
The Utah Company was incorporated in Maine on March 26, 1912, as a holding company subsidiary of USSR&M. The Utah Company was shown in 1916 as holding 100 percent of the following companies, except as noted. The Utah Company would later transfer its assets to United States Fuel Company
- Utah Railway Co., incorporated in Utah on January 24, 1912 (100 percent)
- Castle Valley Coal Co., incorporated in Wyoming on July 12, 1909 (52.19 percent)
- Consolidated Coal Co., incorporated in Utah on October 16, 1907 (100 percent)
- Black Hawk Coal Co., incorporated in Nevada on February 13, 1911 (100 percent)
- Panther Coal Co., incorporated in Nevada on July 27, 1912 (100 percent)
- (Poors Manual of Industrials, 1916, page 1237)
Questions about the need for new mines and new railroads had been asked earlier. In early 1910 a local mining engineer of prominence openly wondered, with the "immense profit of the coal carrying trade" (D&RG netted over $1,500,000), and with the fact that the Utah mines were closer to all of the markets than were the Wyoming and Colorado mines, why development "capital can much longer be kept out of so promising an opening" of serving the potential markets, which were seen as Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, northern and southern California, and Arizona. To illustrate the growth of demand, it was pointed out that in 1903, Utah produced 475,000 tons more than the state consumed, while in 1909, Utah consumed 42,000 tons more than it produced. Demand was far outstripping production, forcing the importation of coal from Wyoming and Colorado. The nearest Wyoming mine was seventy miles farther from Salt Lake City (the largest market) than the farthest Utah mine. Indignantly he asked, "Why should Utah send from seventy to a hundred miles farther, or pay out $1,000,000 annually, to get coal which is not a particle superior to its own product, and is inferior to part of it." (Harrington, pages 22,23)
In April 1908, David J. Sharp (brother to W. G. Sharp of USSR&M) sold coal property adjoining the Independent property to United States Smelting, Refining & Mining. A tramway was to be built and the mines producing by June 1908. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, April 23, 1908, page 1)
The Utah Company (1912-1915)
In January 1912, James H. Mays purchased the Orem interests in the Castle Valley Coal Company and the Castle Valley Railroad. (Salt Lake Mining Review, January 15, 1912, page 23)
In February 1912 the United States company began four months of negotiations with the aim of buying control of the Castle Valley Coal Company and the Consolidated Fuel Company.
The United States Smelting Refining and Mining Company was organized in 1906 largely through the efforts of W. G. Sharp and other eastern capitalists. Sharp was familiar with the coal resources in Utah, having organized the Pleasant Valley Coal Company in 1885. He moved east in 1902 when Rio Grande interests purchased control of the Pleasant Valley mines. (Read more about W. G. Sharp)
February 29, 1912
Utah Coal & Coke company was incorporated to own 2000 acres of coal lands in Emery County. The president of this company was J. R. Sharp, brother of W. G. Sharp. W. G. Sharp had already taken all of the stock and bonds of Castle Valley Coal company, Black Hawk Coal company, and an option for Consolidated Fuel company. (Salt Lake Tribune, February 29, 1912)
Utah Coal & Coke Company was incorporated for the purpose of "absorbing" Castle Valley Coal, Black Hawk Coal, and Consolidated Fuel. (The Salt Lake Mining Review, March 15, 1912, page 17, "New Railroads For Eastern Utah Coal Fields")
(This company may have been very short lived, because a very similar company had been organized in October 1900, and two weeks later changed its name to Utah Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Rio Grande Western Railway. It is possible that RGW still held the rights to the name.)
June 1, 1912
United States Smelting Refining and Mining company acquired control of the Consolidated Fuel and Castle Valley Coal companies. The United States company had already acquired control of the Black Hawk Coal Company, and they also owned the former Orem family interests in the Castle Valley Coal Company at Mohrland in Cedar Creek canyon. (Eastern Utah Advocate, June 6, 1912, "last Saturday")
At the time of its purchase by the United States company, the Castle Valley Coal Company consisted of 4,000 acres of coal lands, 1,200 acres of agricultural lands, with water rights, the town of Mohrland, the Castle Valley Railroad, the Mohrland Mercantile store, Western Fuel Company of Salt Lake City, and Western Pacific Fuel Company of San Francisco. The United States company owned 923,000 shares (virtually all shares issued) of the 1.5 million shares authorized. (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 30, 1913, "Carbon County's Mining Interests")
(The two railroads which were owned by the two companies, the jointly operated Southern Utah Railroad and the Castle Valley Railroad, were known to be inadequate for the projected increase in production for the mines, so the United States company had already organized the Utah Coal Railway in January 1912, name changed to Utah Railway in May 1912.)
(RESEARCH: What was the connection between James Mays, W. G. Sharp, David Sharp, and United States Smelting, Refining & Mining?)
United States Smelting, Refining & Mining paid $1.2 million for control of Consolidated Fuel Company. Included in the sale was 5,000 acres of land, 3,600 acres of which had known coal reserves. The sale also included the Panther Coal Company and its mine near Castle Gate, the Hiawatha townsite, and Consolidated Fuel's one-half interest in the Southern Utah Railroad between Price and Castle Junction. Consolidated's Hiawatha mine was producing 2,200 tons of coal per day. (Coal Age, July 20, 1912, page 105)
To finance the acquisition of the coal interests in Carbon County, the United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Company organized a subsidiary called The Utah Company, whose debt was fully guaranteed by the United States company. The Utah Company was organized to purchase the Black Hawk Coal Company, the Consolidated Fuel Company, and two-thirds interest in Castle Valley Coal Company, and to finance the construction of a 80-mile railroad between Spanish Fork and the mines in Carbon County. (Coal Age, July 27, 1912, page 140)
The Utah Company, incorporated in Maine, controlled 11,226 acres of land, 7,526 acres of which was designated specifically as coal land. The combined coal mines were producing 500,000 tons per year. (Coal Age, September 14, 1912, page 383)
To support its financial needs, the Utah Company planned on selling $10 million in notes to raise $5 million in cash. Another alternative was to raise its stock dividend from four percent to six percent to make the stock more attractive to investors. (Coal Age, September 21, 1912, page 416)
(PHOTOGRAPHS: Photos the main opening of the Black Hawk mine and a locomotive and mine trip at Castle Valley Coal were in Coal Age, page 747, and of the Black Hawk tipple, page 749, in Coal Age, November 30, 1912.)
(PHOTOGRAPHS: Photos of the Consolidated Fuel tipple was in Coal Age, Volume 2, number 22, January 25, 1913, page 135)
(PHOTOGRAPHS: Photos of the Black Hawk tipple, powerhouse, and yards were in Coal Age, Volume 5, number 9, February 28, 1914, page 367)
Prior to 1912 and the organization of the Utah (Coal) Railway, the only outlet for the coal mines at Mohrland and Hiawatha was the single track railroads of the Southern Utah Railroad and the Castle Valley Railroad. "These railroads were poorly and inadequately constructed, with impracticable grades, lacking in equipment, and incapable of being put into condition to serve this region and handle the output of the mines, to say nothing of making possible increased output and new development." (Utah Railway: Manual, page 21)
On January 24, 1912 the Utah Coal Railway was incorporated to build, or acquire and operate a standard gauge railroad from coal mines in Carbon and Emery counties, Utah, to a point of connection with the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. Less than five months later, on May 4, 1912 the company name was simplified, from Utah Coal Railway to just Utah Railway. (Utah Railway: Manual, page 21)
Utah Coal Railway was incorporated on January 24, 1912 to build a ninety mile railroad from Provo, south and southeast through Utah, San Pete, and Emery counties. The corporation also showed an intended thirty-five mile route from Nephi, in Juab County, east through Juab and San Pete counties, to a connection with the first route. William M. Bradley of Salt Lake City was shown as president and owner of 1,246 of the authorized 1,250 shares. On May 4, 1912 the name was changed to Utah Railway. On September 10, 1912, an additional route was filed. This route was from the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake line at or near Spanish Fork. (Utah corporation, index number 9369)
July 20, 1912
"Consolidated Fuel Co. -- The United States Smelting, Refining & Mining Co. paid $1,200,000 for control of the Consolidated Fuel Co.'s properties, comprising 6000 acres in Emery County, together with the Hiawatha townsite and a half interest In the Southern Utah Railroad connecting the mine with the Rio Grande R.R. at Price. Eight hundred thousand of the 1,500,000 shares were purchased at $1.50 per share. This mine is considered one of the greatest bituminous coal properties In the West, producing 2200 tons dally, which will be increased to 3000 tons, commencing Oct. 1 of the present year." (Coal Age, July 20, 1912, page 105)
In March 1913, the Utah Coal Sales Agency, also called the Utah Coal Sales Company, was organized and incorporated in Utah to market the coal output of the newly combined Consolidated Fuel, Castle Valley, Black Hawk, and Castle Gate coal companies. James H. Mays was mentioned as one of the directors. (Coal Age, Volume 3, number 10, March 8, 1913, page 390)
Shipments on Utah Railway were made in the name of the Utah Coal Sales Agency, which acted as the selling agent for USSR&M's mines, from 1913 until July 25, 1930, when it was replaced by the United States Fuel Sales Agency. United States Fuel Sales Agency remained as the sales agent until January 1, 1936, when Utah Railway began making shipments directly in the name of United States Fuel Company. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)
United States Smelting also organized the Carbon Purchasing Company to act as the purchasing agent for all equipment and supplies for the Carbon County coal mines. Its officers were the same as the United States company. (Salt Lake Mining Review, July 30, 1914, page 32)
A report dated 1914 showed that under USSR&M ownership, the Black hawk tipple was to be replaced by an all-steel tipple with 3,000 tons per day capacity. The 7,400 feet long incline tram road was to be shortened to 6,000 feet, and made straight, removing a curve near the middle. Also the tipple at Hiawatha (later East Hiawatha) was to be replaced by a steel tipple with a daily capacity of 5,000 tons.
In August 1914, the annual meeting of the Castle Valley Coal Company was held in Evanston, Wyoming. Officers present at the meeting were: J. H. Mays, president; E. L. Carpenter, first vice president; Moroni Heiner, second vice president; J. E. Forrester, secretary-treasurer. D. H. Livingston, W. S. McCornick, H. R. MacMillian were directors. The old board of directors was re-elected. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 6, 1914)
(By August 1914, United States Smelting did not yet own all of Castle Valley stock, a fact that would come up later with the organization of United States Fuel.)
The progress of the war in Europe interfered with the expected growth of United States Smelting's combined mines in 1914. Coal production for the year 1912 for the United States companies was 620,688 tons; in 1913, 869,522 tons, an increase of forty percent. Additional contracts to supply coal were signed in 1914 but the war in Europe intervened with a general curtailment of activity in the region. As a consequence, the production for 1914 was for 703,936 tons, a nineteen percent drop from the 1913 figure. (Salt Lake Mining Review, April 15, 1915, page 21)
Hiawatha and Black Hawk were originally two separate towns. The original Hiawatha, at the Hiawatha mine and stretched out along Consolidated Fuel Company's tramway to the loading tipple at East Hiawatha, was located about a mile up canyon, and west of Black Hawk. The Town of Hiawatha had been incorporated in September 1911. The town government was established on September 26, 1911. (Madsen, page 40)
(Black Hawk was originally located at the mouth of the canyon, south of the location of the loading tipple of the Black Hawk Coal Company, at the lower end of the tramway to the Black Hawk mine. The town of Black Hawk later grew to the west side of the tipple.)
In 1915 the post offices of the two towns were combined (along with the town governments). The new town consolidated all of the homes and businesses in the Miller Creek area under the Hiawatha name. (Madsen, page 40)
August 13, 1915
All coal was being shipped over the Utah Railway, except "what little coal is used in Price and east of here". All local freight, passenger, express and mail business was going out of Price by way of the Southern Utah and Castle Valley roads. (The Sun, August 13, 1915)
Black Hawk changed its name to Hiawatha in about September 1915. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 15, 1915, page 21, "about a month to six weeks ago.")
The entire capital stock of The Utah Company was held by United States Smelting Refining and Mining company. (New York Times, March 23, 1916)
United States Fuel Company
United States Smelting, Refining, & Mining Company consolidated all of its coal mining interests in the state of Utah under the name of a new corporation called United States Fuel Company, incorporated in Nevada. The sale of the coal properties took place on January 3, 1916. These holdings included the Consolidated Fuel Company in Miller Creek; the Castle Valley Coal Company in Cedar Creek; Panther Coal Company near Castle Gate; and the Black Hawk Coal Company at the mouth of Miller Creek. USSR&M had purchased control of the Black Hawk company in about June 1912.
March 19, 1915
"Mammoth Coal Merger -- Four Big Utah Mines to be Consolidated -- Salt Lake City -- It is reported here that four large Utah coal companies will be merged on April 1 into one company, to be known as the United States Fuel Company, with a total capitalization of $10,000,000. The companies whose holdings are to be taken over by the big new company are the Castle Valley Coal company, the Consolidated Fuel company, the Black Hawk Coal company and the Panther Coal company. These four companies are the owners of extensive tracts of coal lands and producing coal mines in Carbon and Emery counties." (Carbon County News, March 19, 1915)
March 30, 1915
United States Fuel Company was incorporated in Nevada on March 30, 1915. (Nevada Secretary of State, entity C208-1915; revoked in December 1991, reinstated in February 1992, still active as of July 2013, offices in Memphis, Tennessee)
April 1, 1915
United States Fuel filed a $6 million mortgage to Columbia Trust on April 1, 1915. (Emery County recorders office, Book F-6, page 472)
April 30, 1915
"Merger May Go Through -- Word comes from Boston that those stockholders of the Castle Valley Coal company who have brought suit to prevent the sale of the property of that company to the United States Fuel company have been placated and that there is now a likelihood of the merger becoming effective May 10th." (Carbon County News, April 30, 1915)
May 7, 1915
U. S. Fuel was operating the Black Hawk and Hiawatha mines; "Word comes from Hiawatha to the effect that R. N. McGraw, late of Castle Gate, has succeeded J. F. Healey as general manager of the United States Fuel company, which absorbed the Consolidated Fuel company and its allied interests at Hiawatha and Black Hawk." (Carbon County News, May 7, 1915)
October 15, 1915
A settlement was made with the minority shareholder of Castle Valley Coal Co., who was blocking the merger that was to form the new United States Fuel Co. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 15, 1915):
The decision to merge the companies was reached about six months ago but owing to a suit being filed in the federal court by R. K. Cobb of Boston, a minority stockholder of the Castle Valley company, an injunction was issued restraining the transfer of the property to the new company. Recently a meeting was arranged in the East between McMillan [attorney for U. S. Fuel interests], Cobb and other interested persons. The negotiations extended over a month and in the end Cobb agreed to a settlement and withdrew his objections to the merger. It was announced by attorney McMillan that the incorporation of the United States Fuel Company will be had this week in Nevada. E. L. Carpenter will be president of the new company. The properties of the companies which are in the merger are located in Carbon and Emery counties and have been producing mines for a number of years.
Moroni Heiner is president of the Castle Valley Coal Company and it was mainly through his efforts that the merger was put through. The United States Smelting Refining and Mining is the principal stockholder in the United States Fuel Company. For several years past there has been an effort put forth to get all of the "independent mines" in the Carbon and Emery district under one head but until recently the plan has failed. The Castle Valley Coal Company which is the principal company in the merger is a Wyoming corporation. A meeting was held at Evanston this week at which the stockholders ratified the merging of the several interests. The Consolidated Fuel Company at Hiawatha also comes into the deal. This property was bought from the Sweets and was the first to be developed of the four in the merger.
During October 1915 the negotiations for the merger of United States Smelting's coal properties under the name of United States Fuel Company were made public. The $10 million merger included Castle Valley Coal Company, Panther Coal Company, Black Hawk Coal Company, and Consolidated Fuel Company. The merger was being blocked by the minority stockholders of Castle Valley Coal Company. (The Sun, October 15, 1915, page 2, "The United States Fuel Company Merger Put Through Down East")
October 15, 1915
At the time of the organization of United States Fuel, there was still a severe car shortage. (The Sun, October 15, 1915)
October 29, 1915
The charter for United States Fuel Company was issued by the state of Nevada. Stockholders will meet soon to elect officers and directors; E. L. Carpenter will be president. (Eastern Utah Advocate, October 29, 1915)
January 3, 1916
United States Fuel Company filed articles of incorporation with Utah secretary of state. Capitalized for $10 million, with incorporators being E. L. Carpenter, Moroni Heiner, E. R. Gibson, G. E. Forrester and H. R. McMillan. the company was to take over the interests of Consolidated Fuel Company, Castle Valley Coal Company, Black Hawk Coal Company, Utah Coal Sales Company, and a number of smaller coal mines in Emery and Carbon counties. United States Fuel Company was organized in Nevada. (News Advocate, January 7, 1916, page 1, "Monday")
January 3, 1916
The property of Consolidated Fuel Company was conveyed to United States Fuel Company on January 3, 1916. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-D, pages 254-259)
The property of Castle Valley Coal Company was conveyed to United States Fuel Company on January 3, 1916. (Emery County Book A-5, pages 315-318; Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-D, pages 254,256)
The mines of United States Fuel Company were in full production, or at least producing coal that could be sold and shipped. At times coal was sitting at the mine tipples waiting for cars to load, and other times the coal was sitting in cars on sidings waiting for locomotives. United States Fuel could see that the D&RG operation of its Utah Railway was unsatisfactory, and not able to keep up with the demand for cars and locomotives to ship the company's coal. To ease the situation the Utah Railway served notice to the Rio Grande that they would take over operation of their line as of November 1917. To accomplish this, Utah Railway purchased half interest in 1,500 coal cars already ordered in May 1917 by the Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad, a Union Pacific subsidiary, adding to the already existing 500 Utah Coal Route cars delivered from Pressed Steel Car Company in 1914 and 1915. These original 500 cars had been purchased by Utah Railway, and LA&SL purchased a half interest in them in February 1917, when the Utah Coal Route marketing concept was agreed on. The additional 1,500 cars were also lettered for the Utah Coal Route. The Utah Railway also purchased six of their own steam locomotives. (Utah Railway: Manual, page 23)
January 7, 1916
A suit charging U. S. Fuel and its USSR&M parent company with anti-competition actions. The suit was filed by minority stockholders in Price claiming that the value of their share had been reduced because of the actions of U. S. Fuel, USSR&M, James Mays and Moroni Heiner, and that these stockholders had been prevented in receiving full value of their stock shares. A similar suit had been filed previously in a federal court, and it was after the dismissal of that case, by a settlement, on Monday January 3rd, that United States Fuel filed its articles of incorporation. (The Sun, January 7, 1916) (After a note on April 2, 1916 that the defendant's motion to dismiss was overruled, there were no further news items about this law suit in available online newspapers, which indicates a probable settlement for what the plaintiffs were paid for their stock in Castle Valley Coal Company.)
November 1, 1916
Utah Railway gave notice to the Denver & Rio Grande that the company would take over the operation of its own trains on November 1, 1917. The one year notice was a requirement of the joint operating agreement signed in 1913. The original agreement between Utah Railway and D&RG contained a stipulation that after two years, Utah Railway could take over the privilege of operation of its own line at the end of the following (third) year. The smelting company was dissatisfied with the service, especially to its U. S. Fuel mines. (News-Advocate, January 18, 1917, page 1)
November 1, 1916
United States Smelting served notice to D&RG that the Utah Railway would take over the operation of its own line on November 1, 1917. (The Sun, January 19, 1917, page 1, "Smelting Company To Take Back Road")
January 18, 1918
During early 1918, the three mines (Hiawatha, Black Hawk, and Mohrland) of United States Fuel were producing 6,000 tons of coal per day. (News-Advocate, January 18, 1918)
February 15, 1918
By mid February 1918, Utah Railway was shipping 600 carloads (30,000 tons) a week, mostly to Pacific Coast markets. (Salt Lake Mining Review, February 15, 1918, page 35)
February 22, 1918
In early 1918, the coal properties of United States Fuel were working five days a week. On one day in mid February 1918, the Black Hawk mine produced 3,343 tons, a record for Utah. (Coal Index: The Sun, February, 22, 1918, page 1)
May 2, 1918
Utah Railway alone was shipping 4,000 tons of coal per day into Provo, using two trains. (News-Advocate, May 2, 1918)
July 25, 1918
United States Smelting, Refining & Mining had been incorporated in Maine. The corporation was moved to Utah in January 1918. The filing fee of $18,758 was one of the largest yet in the state. (Coal Index: The Sun, January 25, 1918, page 3)
July 30, 1918
United States Fuel's customers were in the Northwest, California, Honolulu, and South Africa. The company shipped about 100,000 tons per month. (Salt Lake Mining Review, July 30, 1918, page 30)
The tonnage handled by Utah Railway for the year 1919 was 1,196,314 tons, of which 1,185,818 tons (or about 23,716 carloads, about 65 carloads per day) was coal, leaving just 10,496 tons (or about 210 carloads) of non-coal tonnage handled. (141 ICC 560,564)
March 30, 1923
United States Fuel started a dairy at Hiawatha to furnish fresh milk to the residents of Hiawatha, Mohrland, and West Hiawatha. Fifty Holstein cows arrived at the dairy in early October 1923. (Coal Index: The Sun, March 30, 1923; October 26, 1923)
April 10, 1924
U. S. Fuel contracted with Roberts and Schafer for the installation of a new steel tipple and screen plant at East Hiawatha. (Coal Age magazine, April 10, 1924, page 552)
United States Fuel Company began selling Crescent-brand anthracite fuel from Crested Butte, Colorado. (United States Fuel: Firing Line, Volume 1, number 5, August 1924)
United States Fuel Company completed a new all-steel and concrete, five-track tipple at Hiawatha. The design and construction work took nearly a year. The new tipple included a seven by sixty-four foot long Marcus Horizontal Picking table, along with a slack re-screening plant and loading booms to load the coal into the railroad cars. (United States Fuel: Firing Line, Volume 1, number 8, December 1924, page 1)
(United States Fuel Company published "The Firing Line", a monthly foldout brochure for its retailers and customers. Each issue was 7x10 inches and folded out to 14x20 inches. Volume 1, number 1 was April 1924, with successive issues published monthly, except Volume 1, number 10, which was February-March 1925. This was also the last issue, possibly due to the declining coal market. All ten known issues are available at the Utah State Historical Society, accession numbers 17995 to 18004.)
January 15, 1925
The new steel tipple and screening plant of U. S. Fuel at East Hiawatha was in full operation. (Coal Age magazine, January 15, 1925)
May 9, 1925
The Consolidated Fuel Company's corporation was dissolved because all shares of the company were owned by United States Smelting, Refining & Mining. (Utah corporation, index number 6612)
January 27, 1925
United States Fuel changed the names of it mines. The Black Hawk mine, located at the town of Hiawatha, and at Kingmine Station on Utah Railway, became the King No. 1. The Mohrland mine became the King No. 2 mine. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)
February 27, 1925
To improve screening and preparation of coal, in 1925 United States Fuel built a new coal preparation plant at the original Hiawatha mine, also known as East Hiawatha. Cost was $200,000.00. (Coal Index: The Sun, February 27, 1925, page 8)
March 6, 1925
United States Fuel closed King No. 2 mine at Mohrland due to low demand. Utah coal mines were working at about forty percent capacity, usually only two days per week. (Coal Index: The Sun, March 6, 1925)
September 10, 1926
The mine at Mohrland was reopened in September 1926 after being closed for eighteen months. (Coal Index: The Sun, September 10, 1926, page 4, the article mistakenly says the mine was closed for two years.)
September 11, 1926
The Hiawatha mine (the original Consolidated Fuel mine) was closed on September 11, 1926. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)
The original Consolidated Fuel Hiawatha mine was closed in 1926, after which, United States Fuel's coal production centered on the Mohrland, Black Hawk, and Panther mines. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, page 8)
December 7, 1927
United States Fuel installed a new, 20-inch, 720 Type I Manierre Box Car Loader on track number 1 at King Mine No. 1 on December 7, 1927. The loader was ordered on June 23, 1927, and delivered on October 1, 1927, from the Manierre Engineering & Machinery Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for $6,875.43. (United States Fuel: Mechanical Record, Form 60)
During the year 1929, approximately two-million tons of coal (about 6,600 tons, or about 133 car loads, per day for a 300 day year) originated on the Utah Railway. This figure represented about forty percent total Utah coal production. (Anderson, page 3)
United States Fuel began full mechanization of its mining operations and within a few short years the mines were completely mechanized. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, pages 8,9)
The Black Hawk coal mine was connected to the Black Hawk company's tipple by an incline tram road that was 7,400 feet long, with a drop from mine to tipple of 1,000 feet. (Robert S. Lewis, "The Book Cliffs Coal Field, Utah," AIME Transactions, Volume 50, 1914, page 675)
King Mine No. 1 at Hiawatha (formerly Black Hawk) was shut between June 20th and July 1st to allow all employees to take their vacations. King Mine No. 2 (formerly Mohrland) was shut down between July 7th and July 20th to allow all employees to take their vacations. (Ax-I-Dent-Ax, May 1930, page 24)
September 27, 1930
United States Fuel installed a new Manierre Box Car Loader at King Mine No. 2 (Mohrland) on September 27, 1930. The loader was ordered from the Manierre Engineering & Machinery Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 10, 1930, and delivered on September 5, 1930, at a cost of $5,918.00. (United States Fuel: Mechanical Record, Form 60)
In 1931 the Hiawatha-Wattis-Mohrland area was considered by mining experts to have the most attractive set of conditions of any in the Wasatch Plateau coal field as far as the commercial value of the coal was concerned. It contained the largest number of thick beds and was favorably situated for mining and shipping. It was relatively undisturbed by faults, and structural conditions were considered desirable for mining. (Sun Advocate & Helper Journal, January 2, 1975, page 3)
In 1938 the town of Mohrland was abandoned. (Sun Advocate & Helper Journal, January 2, 1975, page 2)
"United States Fuel Co., Hiawatha, Utah: contract closed with McNally-Pittsburg Mfg. Corporation for preparation plant with a capacity of 300 tons per hour and making eight sizes and mixtures thereof, including a McNally-Norton automatic washer with a capacity of 250 tons per hour for cleaning the 5x0-in. size. The 1-5/8x3/16-in. size will be thermally dried in a McNally-Pittsburg Vissac dryer at a rate of 96 tons per hour and the minus 3/16-in. will be dewatered in two Carpenter centrifugal dryers. The plant is to be completed about Sept. 1." (Coal Age magazine, June 1938, page 72)
Improvements at Hiawatha were to be completed in September 1938. (Coal Index: Sun Advocate, June 23, 1938, page 1)
The preparation plant at Hiawatha was built in 1938. It had a capacity to wash, size and dry 400 tons of coal per hour. Initially, it produced seven different washed coal products. In addition, the slurry discharge from the plant was channeled through a resin recovery process where resin was extracted by cyclone separation technology. After the resin extraction, the slurry was discharged into the slurry ponds where it was allowed to dry and eventually sold. Waste rock or refuse derived from the coal washing process was stored in designated refuse piles and was also used to construct embankments for the slurry ponds. In earlier years, refuse material amounted to as much as 20 to 30 percent of the mine run coal. Later, the percentage of refuse generated was reduced considerably due to better controls on mining underground. Also, and for the same reason, more unwashed coal was marketed directly. (Documents on file with Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
October 22, 1938
"Results of the modernization program have been changing of a two mine and two tipple set-up to a one centralized operation, and building a modern coal preparation plant at the company's mines in carbon county." "The coal is delivered first to a feeder which separates and breaks it into sizes. After going through a shaker, all coal five inches in diameter and less is removed and taken to the washing department. Then it goes to a dewatering and classifying screen. There coal with waste or bony attached is removed, crushed and returned to the washer. After washing, it is moved to a dryer, where hot gases are blown over it while suspended in a dryer screen. then, after screening to separate sizes, the coal is processed by electricity to removed tramp iron.." "The plant has five crushers, a stoker heating plant, push button electric controls, sodium vapor lights to illuminate the trestle and loading tracks, three miles of pipe and 150,000 gallons of clear water for spraying coal." (Salt Lake Telegram, October 22, 1938)
October 29, 1938
King No. 2 mine (at Mohrland) was closed on October 29, 1938, after it was connected via underground tunnels and its production was consolidated with the King No. 1 mine (at Hiawatha). (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)
In 1939 the King No. 1 mine, formerly the Black Hawk mine, and the King No. 2 mine, formerly the Mohrland mine, were connected with a haulage tunnel and the two operations consolidated. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, pages 8,19)
Also in 1939, a new tipple was completed at Hiawatha (formerly Black Hawk). Construction began in 1937. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, pages 8,19)
United States Fuel company completed its new modern coal preparation and tipple plant, at what was called "Kingmine." The steel structure and loading booms were completed in the summer of 1938, but important parts of the processing plant were not completed until the next summer. The new processing plant and loading tipple, with six tracks and 300 tons per hour capacity, were built by McNally-Pittsburgh. The processing plant included an automatic washer, a dryer, an adjustable double-roll primary breaker, a crusher for stoker coal, and a rescreening and blending plant, all made by McNally-Pitsburgh. (Mining Congress Journal magazine, August 1940, page 10)
(The new coal preparation plant of U. S. Fuel at Hiawatha was the subject of a six-page article in Mining Congress Journal magazine, August 1940, pag 10. The article included several photos of the coal preparations, and an ad for McNally-Pittburgh.)
Early in 1944 mining operations were further modernized with the use rubber-tired, self-propelled shuttle cars, which replaced electrified rail haulage in both the mine face and gathering operations. Main haulage remained as electrified rail operations, moving the mined coal out the original Black Hawk opening and down the Black Hawk gravity tramway to the Hiawatha tipple. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, pages 8,9)
Trackless mining went into effect at U. S. Fuel's King mine, producing 5,000 to 6,000 tons per day. The new equipment included rubber-tired drills, cutters, loaders and shuttles, along with conveyor belts and refurbished 15-ton trolley locomotives at the central gathering points. The mined coal continued to be loaded into mine cars on the railroad track system and moved from the gathering points to the main gravity tram, where the loaded cars were lowered down to the coal processing plant and tipple at Hiawatha. (Coal Age magazine, November 1951, page 78)
May 2, 1946
United States Fuel's King No. 1 and King No. 2 mines were producing 4,000 tons per day, with 410 employees. (Coal Index: The Sun, May 2, 1946, page 13)
By 1946 the mines of the United States Fuel Company had produced over 24 million tons of coal, a little over twenty percent of the total commercial production in the State of Utah, which to date and for the same period produced approximately 119 million tons. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, page 7)
U. S. Fuel opened a new King Mine No. 3. The mine was closed in 1975.
(The underground mining methods of U. S. Fuel's King mine were the subject of a six-page article in Coal Age magazine, November 1951. The article included several photos of the underground operations, and several diagrams of the mine workings.)
November 30, 1956
United States Fuel began operating its resin recovery plat at Hiawatha.The plant was the first in the West. Resin is used in such products as chewing gum, printing ink and furniture finishes. (Coal Age magazine, January 1957, page 127)
The former Black Hawk gravity tram, 7,400 feet long, from the original Black Hawk mine (later King Mine No. 1), down to the coal preparation plant at Hiawatha, was abandoned in 1974. (Noted on map dated 1987 on file at Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
However, an aerial photo dated October 6, 1965 apparently shows that the tram was not present along the slope between the former Black Hawk mine and the Hiawatha coal processing plant. The steel trestle structure at Hiawatha was still in place, but no tram tracks are visible extending southwest up the slope from the trestle.
By the mid 1970s, coal in what was known as the "Hiawatha Mines Complex" was mined underground and hauled underground by rail and conveyor through a network of interconnecting tunnels and passage ways to the mine portals. There were two mine portals, both at the head of the middle fork. The King 4 mine portal was on the north side of the canyon, and the mining areas were generally north and west of the portal. The King 5 mine portal was on the south side of the canyon, and the mining areas were generally south and west of the portal. The run-of-mine coal was hauled by truck from the mine portals, down the Middle Fork to the vicinity of the large Hiawatha coal preparation plant, and trans-loaded directly into rail cars.
U. S. Fuel contracted with Nevada Power Company to furnish 6.4 million to 8.1 million tons of coal between 1977 and 1994. The new contract replaced an existing contract for 400,000 tons per year that was to expire in July 1980. The coal was to be shipped to the new Reid-Gardner generating station at Moapa, Nevada. (Coal Age magazine, January 1977, page 31; April 1977, page 53)
November 27, 1979
UV Industries sold the United States Fuel mine at Hiawatha, and the Utah Railway, along with other assets, to Sharon Steel Company in November 1979. UV Industries had been holding talks earlier with Reliance Group, but those talks broke down. A group of railroad employees had hoped to be able to buy the railroad. The announced sale brought those hopes to an end. (Deseret News, November 27, 1979)
January 28, 1981
U. S. Fuel received initial approval to develop King Mine No. 6, pending approval by other agencies. The King 6 mine was planned to mine coal from the top-most 'B' Seam in the Black Hawk formation, above the thicker 'A' and Hiawatha seams.
U. S. Fuel lost $4 million during 1982. The April 1983 Thistle slide forced U. S. Fuel to postpone its call back of 289 workers until July 1st. Survival of the company depended on a production figure of 20 tons per man shift. (Coal Age, Volume 88, number 6, June 1983, page 33, "Coal in Brief, Utah Mudslide")
(It was in 1982 that Utah Railway retired its unique Alco diesel locomotives, and began leasing locomotives from Union Pacific. The leasing of Union Pacific locomotives continued until 1985, when U. S. Fuel got its first contract with Intermountain Power Agency to supply to the the IPP plant near Delta. At that time, Utah Railway bought its equally unique former SP locomotives.)
July 20, 1984
U. S. Fuel received final approval to develop King Mine No. 6.
U. S. Fuel sold 467 acres of coal reserves to Plateau Mining company. These lands were adjacent on the northern boundary of the U. S. Fuel lands.
U. S. Fuel sold 6,500 acres of coal reserves to Intermountain Power Agency. These lands were adjacent on the southern boundary of the U. S. Fuel lands.
By 1989, the coal in 'B' Seam was becoming lower quality, and the veins too thin (less than five feet) for economical recovery.
In 1990, there was a proposal to open new mines, King No. 7 and King No. 8, both located on the south side of Cedar Creek canyon, where the original Mohrland mine had mined the Hiawatha seam to the north. This was in response to the needs of the Intermountain Power Agency's for additional coal resources for the IPP plant at Delta.
Shut Down (1991)
In July 1988, U. S. Fuel's parent company, Sharon Steel, filed for bankruptcy. (Wall Street Journal, July 19, 1988, page 10)
December 30, 1988
United States Fuel Company laid off sixty-six miners because of reduced amounts of coal going to Nevada Power and to the Intermountain Power Plant at Delta. The reduction would shut down King No. 6, leaving King No. 4 as the only operating mine of United States Fuel. Each of the mines used a continuous, longwall mining machine to produce its coal. (Salt Lake Tribune, December 24, 1988)
March 18, 1990
With the shut down of the Hiawatha mine on the horizon, and with only 20 families still living in Hiawatha, the town leaders decided it was time to move the statue commemorating the five workers of United States Fuel who were killed in World War I. The statue had been dedicated on Memorial Day in 1922, at which time there were 1,000 families living in Hiawatha. Of the original $4,000 cost for the statue, the mining company had paid $1,850. The remainder had come from the local American Legion post, and various community events and fund drives. The statue had been sculpted by V. M. Viquesney of Americus, Georgia. On June 6, 1948, a new plaque was added commemorating those who lost their lives in World War II. (Deseret News, March 18, 1990)
Known as the "Doughboy", the statue was moved to College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, and a dedication ceremony was held on Saturday November 1, 1990. (Deseret News, November 14, 1990)
"U.S. Fuel sales increased to $14.4 million in 1990 from $14.0 million in 1989 primarily due to an increase in sales price per ton offset by a decrease in coal shipments. Coal shipments from U.S. Fuel decreased to 636,000 tons from 704,000 tons in 1989, and coal reserves decreased to 22.4 million tons from 23.0 million tons in 1989. Utah Railway carried 3.3 million tons of coal in 1990, a decrease of 0.5 million tons from 1989. Total tonnage of exported coal decreased to 217,000 tons in 1990 from 454,000 tons in 1989." (Mueller Industries 1990 Annual Report)
April 19, 1991
U. S. Fuel laid off all but 18 of its 152 employees, due to "adverse mining conditions and poor coal quality" in its only active mine, the King No. 4. The company said that it would continue to meet its long-term coal contracts by drawing down its large stockpile and using coal produced daily by the remaining miners. Those long-term contracts included steam coal shipped to Nevada Power Co. and 108,000 tons per years shipped to the Intermountain Power Agency. U. S. Fuel recently lost a contract to furnish steam coal to Utah Power and Light's Carbon power plant at Castle Gate due to poor coal quality. The company's costs had risen due to thin coal seams, and customers wanted higher quality coal (lower ash and sulphur content). The company had large coal reserves, but did not have the long-term contracts to justify developing those reserves. The low price of coal on the spot market (under $20 per ton) also did not justify developing those same coal reserves. During 1990, U. S. Fuel produced 700,000 tons of coal. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 11, 1991)
October 22, 1991
The conveyor belt transfer station for the King No. 4 and King No. 5 mines in Middle Fork was removed during September and October 1991.
November 7, 1991
"Mining Operations - The U.S. Fuel Co. is presently mining in their King #4 mine. At the current production rate the King #4 mine will have enough reserves to last between three and four years. The mining method presently being used is room and pillar mining. The U.S. Fuel Co. still has reserves in their King #6 mine. The recovery of reserves in their King #6 is more difficult due to the upper seam being widely mined out. This has caused roof control problems in the past."
June 24, 1992
U. S. Fuel demolished 18 homes in Hiawatha, which had been unoccupied and declared unsafe. Only four homes remained occupied in town. There were no immediate plans to demolish approximately another 20 remaining buildings including homes, the old office building, store and boarding house. The big coal preparation plant and tipple building, no longer used by the 12 miners still working in the mine, was to be torn down by a salvage contractor and materials and equipment salvaged. The tipple was used to prepare coal for shipment to customers in rail cars, but coal was now being shipped direct from the mine. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 24, 1992)
July 30, 1992
The contractor was in place to begin demolition of the Hiawatha coal preparation plant, which was expected to take about a month to complete.
Buildings and structures at Hiawatha that were demolished in 1992: 400 tons per hour Coal Processing Plant; 480 tons per hour Truck Unloading Facility; 100 tons per hour Fine Coal Recovery System; Resin Recovery Plant; Machine Shop; Carpenter Shop.
September 18, 1992
Demolition of the Hiawatha coal preparation plant was about 50 percent completed.
The coal preparation plant and rail car loader at Hiawatha was being demolished. A photo by Warren Johnson in October 1992 shows the job to be about half completed.
By August 1993, all that remained of the Hiawatha coal preparation plant were the concrete foundations. U. S. Fuel continued to re-grade the area and re-seed the area to return it to its supposed original appearance.
February 26, 1993
All employees not engaged in reclamation activities were laid off. Within two months, U. S. Fuel expected to reduce its staff to three union employees and two office workers. All mining operations officially ceased as of February 26, 1993, although some mining operations were continue for another week. Only reclamation of the 292-acre site by contractors was to continue, with oversight by U. S. Fuel staff.
United States Fuel Company stopped producing coal from its Hiawatha mine (King No. 4), the last of its operating coal mines. In 1994 the company completed negotiations to sell its 12,700 acres of coal property (10,000 owned and 2,700 leased), but by 1995 the sale was not yet completed. The sale was completed in 1997. (Mueller Industries, SEC Form 10K, 1995, 1996, and 1997)
April 27, 1993
U. S. Fuel had demolished the buildings at the portal of the King No. 4 mine at the top of Middle Fork, along with sealing and backfilling the adjacent portal of the King No. 5 mine. The belts of the underground conveyor system had been removed. The coal preparation plant at Hiawatha had been demolished and the site graded and reclaimed.
June 29, 1993
U. S. Fuel had sealed and backfilled both the King No. 4 portal at the head of Middle Fork, and the King No. 6 portal at the head of South Fork. All underground equipment and machinery, including conveyor systems had been removed from the No. 4 mine, and would be removed from the No. 6 mine within two months. All surface ventilation fans had been removed, or made permanently non-operational.
November 23, 1994
U. S. Fuel reported that its Hiawatha coal reserves were to be sold to a group of investors, which planned to begin shipping coal from the Mohrland site.
March 14, 1995
The potential buyer was American Fuel Corporation. On March 14, 1995, United States Fuel applied to have its leases transferred to American Fuel. The purchase agreement was signed on September 30, 1994. There were delays in the transfer of the reclamation bond, with U. S. Fuel continuing as the responsible party.
The purchase of the Hiawatha Mines Complex by American Fuel Corporation was the result of a recommendation by Utah Energy Development Company, Inc. (UEDC). UEDC was a private company created by two coal industry consultants. During the course of events in 1993-1996, in January 1994 one of the partners recommended to American Fuel Corporation, the purchase of the Hiawatha Mines Complex from United States Fuel Company. UEDC was formed after that initial recommendation. Through a series of legal suits and court cases, the two partners became employees of American Fuel, but disagreed on fees and fee distribution, delaying the final closing of the Hiawatha sale. The initial suit was filed in late 1994 after American Fuel's purchase in September 1994 of the Hiawatha Mines Complex. The initial decision came in July 1996, and the final appeal suit in favor of UEDC was decided in August 1997.
January 2, 1996
The name of the "operator" of the reclamation site was still United States Fuel but the representative had changed to American Fuel, from U. S. Fuel, since the last inspection on December 4, 1995.
November 15, 1996
U. S. Fuel terminated the purchase agreement with American Fuel Corporation.
Mohrland loadout was still active, loading 200,000 tons per year, destined for the Southwest Portland Cement plant at Victorville, California. (Pacific RailNews, December 1996)
"In 1993, the Utah Railway moved 3.9. million tons of coal. The 1994 record of 4.5. million tons was surpassed in 1995 when the railroad moved 5.5 million tons. According to John West, Utah Railway executive vice president, the corporate goal for 1996 is 6 million tons. As of June 30, 1996, over 3 million tons of this target had been reached. Currently, there are three active load outs on line: Wildcat, Wattis Junction, and Mohrland. Wildcat and Wattis Junction are the busier, with Mohrland loading approximately 200,000 tons of coal per year destined for the Southwest Portland Cement facility in VictorviIle, Calif."
The coal being loaded at Mohrland was coal fines, known as "mine refuse," which is coal dust and similar coal less than 1/2 inch diameter. There were also large areas of coal fines located at the Hiawatha site preparation site, as well as the two mine portals where there had been truck loading stations, with the trucks in-turn hauling coal to the main truck-to-rail transfer point at the Hiawatha preparation plant. As part of its reclamation efforts for the Hiawatha Mine Complex, U. S. Fuel continued to load coal fines at both Hiawatha and Mohrland into rail cars and highway trucks for shipment to customers as the customers were identified.
One company that bought coal fines from the Mohrland and Hiawatha sites was Co-Op Mining, which also operated (and still operates) the Bear Canyon mine, 5 miles as the crow flies, and 21.5 miles by road from Mohrland; and 24 miles by road from Hiawatha. The coal fines from Mohrland and Hiawatha were shipped by Co-Op to Utah Power's Hunter Power plant south of Castle Dale, for which Co-Op had a coal-supply contract. Another buyer of coal fines at Hiawatha was Covol Technologies, which processed the coal fines on the site of the former Wellington coal washing plant, for use at its synthetic fuel plant in Price. Covol bought about 2,100 tons of coal fines from U. S. Fuel throughout 1996. A third buyer was Utah Power itself in 1996, which loaded 4,000 tons of coal fines at Hiawatha into rail cars and shipped them to its Carbon power plant at Castle Gate.
For a brief period in 1996 and 1997, coal from Co-Op Mining's Bear Canyon mine was trucked to Mohrland and loaded into rail cars for shipment out-of-state as part of a special contract.
August 18, 1997
U. S. Fuel sold the patented land and coal leases to Hiawatha Mines Complex to ANR Company, Inc. (the former Arava Natural Resources), on June 20, 1997, and on June 30, 1997 ANR sold the same properties, permits and leases to Hiawatha Coal Company, which had registered to do business in Utah on the same day. The official transfer from U. S. Fuel to ANR, Inc., then from ANR to Hiawatha Coal took place on August 18, 1997. (Documents on file with Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
December 12, 1997
The permits for the Hiawatha Mines Complex was transferred from the U.S. Fuel company, to Hiawatha Coal company on December 12, 1997. Hiawatha Coal company intended to reopen King No. 5 and King No. 6 by December 1999. (Documents on file with Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining)
Hiawatha Coal company was affiliated with ANR Co., Inc., and Co-Op Mining, which later became C. W. Mining, which in-turn went into bankruptcy in 2009. By November 2008, the offices of the Hiawatha Coal company were co-located with those of ANR Co., Inc. at the Bear Canyon mine.
July 1, 1998
The federal Bureau of Land Management approved the transfer of leases and permits from U. S. Fuel to Hiawatha Coal company.
The area under the mining permit held by Hiawatha Coal company, and therefore the reclamation requirement, did not include a coal loading area adjacent to the tracks of Utah Railway. This area was used by Genwal Coal company, Standard Industries, Co-Op Mining company, and Cyprus Plateau mining company to load coal and coal fines owned by those companies into rail cars for movement by Utah Railway, which controlled all of the loading activities. Rail car loading was by use of a front-end loader rented from Hiawatha Coal company.
January 15, 1999
During 1997, Hiawatha Coal sold about 800 tons of coal fines. No coal fines were sold during 1998. Reclamation activities were proceeding successfully.
(The recovery and removal and sale of the coal fines continued throughout 2000 through 2006. During 2007, 40 tons of coal waste was transported from the Bear Canyon mine, resulting from the action to remove one of the mine's longwall machines for sale as part of the mine's bankruptcy.)
October 31, 2002
A permit was denied to Phillips Petroleum for drilling two potential gas wells near the Hiawatha Mines Complex. An access road to the two drilling sites was to be on part of the "disturbed" area of the Hiawatha site.
October 12, 2010
The Hiawatha Coal company officially notified all parties that it had temporarily ceased all mining activities, including removal and sale of coal fines. The cessation was planned to continue at least through 2024. The "temporary" nature of the cessation meant that all reclamation activities in the coal waste and refuse piles, and slurry pond north of the town of Hiawatha would also be under the same cessation notice. This explains why, as this is written in late 2018, the site appears as it does, which defeats the purpose of the mine reclamation program. A loop hole in the law is being exploited by the mining company to save money and to end all reclamation activities. The "temporary" nature also allows the mining company to install gates and to close the area to public access, since dangerous reclamation activities could be restarted at any time.
(Major portions of the following comes from documents on file with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.)
The original Hiawatha No. 1 mine of the Consolidated Fuel company was in Middle Fork of Miller Creek canyon, with its portal at the western end of the canyon. When initially developed in 1907 the Hiawatha No. 1 mine headed into the Hiawatha seam due west from the surface opening.
The Hiawatha No. 1 mine used a surface tram, about 1-3/4 miles long, to bring the coal down to the railroad loadout at East Hiawatha, with the community surrounding the mine opening at the head of Middle Fork known as Hiawatha.
The Hiawatha No. 2 mine was opened within two years, and headed into the Hiawatha seam due south from the surface opening. The Hiawatha No. 2 mine used the same surface tram as the Hiawatha No. 1 mine.
Hiawatha Mine No. 1 and Hiawatha Mine No. 2 were closed in 1928, and all coal was transported from the Black Hawk mine, renamed as King Mine No. 1.
When the later King Mine No. 4 was opened in 1974, and the King Mine No. 5 was opened in 1978, both were located a very short distance up-canyon from the original Hiawatha Mine No. 1 and Hiawatha Mine No. 2 mines.
King Mine 1
(Blackhawk vs. Black Hawk -- the original mining company was the Black Hawk Coal Company (incorporated in 1911), but almost all later references on maps and documents after the company was sold to the United States company in 1912, used the Blackhawk name. The advertising used the "Black Hawk" brand name.)
King No. 1 (the original Black Hawk mine), mined the eastern parts of the Hiawatha Seam, south of the town of Hiawatha. Mining activity later moved into the 'A' Seam, above the Hiawatha Seam (mined out).
The earliest use of the "King Mine" name appears to be in late December 1927, when King Mine No. 1 and King Mine No. 2 were each called out in separate newspaper articles. (Salt Lake Telegram, December 25, 1927; Eastern Utah Advocate, December 27, 1927)
The original Black Hawk mine of the Black Hawk Coal company, later renamed as King Mine No. 1, was in the area south of the town of Hiawatha; the mine used a surface tram to bring the coal down to the preparation plant.
The original surface tram, 8000 feet long from mine portal to the Hiawatha preparation plant, was removed in 1974 after the King 1 mine was connected underground with the new King 4 mine.
King Mine 2
The original Mohrland mine of Castle Valley Coal company, later renamed as King Mine No. 2, was in Cedar Creek canyon, with its portal at the western end. The Mohrland mine used a surface tram, 1-1/2 miles long, to bring the coal down to the railroad loadout at Mohrland.
King No. 2 (the original Mohrland mine) was opened in 1909 and mined the eastern parts of the Hiawatha Seam north of Mohrland (mined out).
The Hiawatha No. 2 mine was closed in 1928 and by 1997 was being used as an underground reservoir for water originating in the King 4, 5 and 6 mines, with plans to drain this underground reservoir as part of final reclamation. The reservoir was constructed by sealing off the mine entries with reinforced concrete bulkheads.
King Mine 3
King No. 3 was opened in 1948 and was located in South Fork and mined the eastern parts of the Hiawatha Seam (mined out).
"In 1948, the King #3 Mine was opened in the South Fork of Miller Creek. The #3 Mine operated until 1975, when it was shut down. Operations at #3, consisted of the portal end vent shaft, showers and office, shop buildings and stock pile. The proposed operation of King #6, is to reopen the King #3 Mine. This will be accomplished by opening a new portal and bypassing the old #3 portal. Many of the existing buildings will be renovated and reused. The conveyor will carry the coal to the new load-out facility. These are the only operations which will be constructed on areas that were not previously disturbed by construction of King #3."
King No. 3 was closed in 1975.
King Mine 4
King No. 4 was opened in 1974 and mined the 'A' Seam, later moved into the 'B' Seam north of Middle Fork, with a portal in the Middle Fork of Miller Creek canyon.
The coal in the 'B' Seam was extracted and hauled up to the haulage tunnels in the 'A' Seam through underground inclined tunnels. There were also matching ventilation tunnels between the two seams.
Portals for the King 4 mine were located on the north side of Middle Fork of Miller Creek. The mine was opened in 1974 when haulage and ventilation entries were driven outward from the northern extension of the King 1 (old Black Hawk) mine to the B seam outcrop in Middle Fork. Once portals for King 4 were established, the King 1 mine was sealed off and abandoned to the south. A set of entries which connect with South Fork were left open and maintained for access and ventilation but are now sealed.
Mining in the King 4 mine was done by the room and pillar method. Production from the B seam was estimated to be 120,000 tons. The amount from the A seam was uncertain. Production from the King 4 Mine ceased in 1993 and the portals have been sealed.
The ventilation portal for the King 4 mine, constructed in 1981, was in North Fork, about 3/4 mile to the north across the ridge from the mine portal in Middle Fork. The portal was constructed in the North Fork drainage to provide the King 4 mine with intake ventilation. Originally, the plan called for return ventilation with a fan and powerline. However, power was not available to the area the portal provided an additional intake airway for the mine. The intake portal sat on approximately one and a half acres. The portal was constructed of arched steel beams, 14-feet in diameter, on 48-inch centers covered with 0.165-inch (8 gauge) preformed liner plates. The portal and the site were sealed and the area regraded and reseeded in Fall 1993. A three-mile jeep road from Hiawatha to the ventilation portal is the only access.
The King 4 and King 5 mines shared the same surface facilities in Middle Fork. The King 4 and King 5 mines have been closed indefinitely. The Middle Fork mine complex contains approximately 12 acres and includes parts of the old Hiawatha No. 1 and No. 2 mines which were closed in 1928.
Coal haulage from the King 4 and King 5 mines was by 750 foot overland conveyor extending from the King 4 and 5 haulage portals to a stacking tower that fed a 13,000-ton storage pile. At the storage pile there was a vibrating feeder which loaded a 60 inch reclaim conveyor. The reclaim conveyor fed a hammermill crusher which discharged on to a 36-inch transfer conveyor to a 100-ton capacity steel truck loading silo. Coal was loaded and transported by bottom dump trucks using a triple-trailer setup, each trailer holding 22 tons, or 66 tons for the entire triple-trailer setup. The trucks transported the coal from the loading facility to the Hiawatha processing plant, a distance of about 2.8 miles. The haul road, built in 1974 and which still exists, is paved and is 24 feet wide with additional width for shoulders, making a road approximately 35 feet wide.
King Mine 5
King No. 5 was opened in 1978 and mined the 'B' Seam (above the 'A' Seam) south of Middle Fork, with a portal in the Middle Fork of Miller Creek canyon. In this part of the coal vein, the 'B' Seam was about 5-1/2 feet thick, requiring the use of low-profile mining equipment.
Approximately 80 feet of sandstone separates the 'A' Seam from the 'B' Seam above it.
Portal for the King 5 mine was located on the south side of Middle Fork of Miller Creek. The King 5 mine was deactivated in 1983 due to poor market conditions and has remained inactive since that time. Conditions within the mine remain good and it would be reactivated if market conditions improve.
King 5 mine workings are located in sections 29, 30, 31, and 32, T.15S., R.8E. An area comprising 900 acres of fee land and 320 acres of Federal lease land could ultimately be mined. The King 5 mine had four portal openings: an exhaust fan portal, belt haulage portal and an intake air/manway portal in Middle Fork and an additional intake air portal in South Fork. Five main development headings were driven due south through the center of the B seam coal reserve block between South and Middle Forks. Room and pillar extraction methods were employed similar to those in the King 4 mine. Coal was combined with coal from the King 4 mine at a transfer point near the portal and then conveyed to the 13,000 ton stockpile.
The King 5 mine is separated from the underlying Hiawatha No. 1 mine by approximately 120 feet of interburden. Mining within that portion of the King 5 mine that overlies the old Hiawatha No. 1 mine has shown that subsidence would not occur above old room and pillar workings within the permit area where the pillars in the old Hiawatha No. 1 mine have been left in place. Most pillars were left in place in the Hiawatha Mine at the completion of mining. Subsequent mining in the overlying King 5 mine has shown none of the compression or tension effects that cause subsidence.
King Mine 6
King No. 6 mined the western parts of the Hiawatha Seam, with a portal in the South Fork of Miller Creek canyon.
The King 6 mine was located in South Fork canyon. It was opened in 1981 and deactivated in December 1988.
"Facilities for the King 6 Mine are located in the South Fork of Miller Creek mine yard. Coal is transported by conveyor approximately 2,400 feet from the mine mouth down South Fork Canyon to a coal stockpile where it is loaded onto trucks and hauled 3 miles to the processing plant."
The South Fork surface facilities were constructed in 1947 for use by the King 3 mine. Beginning in 1981 work was started on upgrading the existing structures and construction of a new haulage portal to serve the King 6 mine. A 42-inch overland conveyor extended from the mine mouth, down-canyon 2,100 feet in South Fork to a 5,000 ton coal stockpile. Coal was then trucked 2-1/2 miles to the processing plant in Hiawatha.
The King 6 mine was opened in 1981 when two portals existing from the abandoned King 3 mine were reopened for ventilation and one additional portal was constructed for access and coal haulage. Mine workings are located in sections 25 and 36 of township 15 south, range 7 east and sections 31 and 32 of township 15 south, range 8 east. The land area of the King 6 mine contains approximately 1,240 acres of which 960 acres are on Federal lease lands and 280 acres are on fee lands. The main development heading was extended to the west in the Hiawatha seam. If economic conditions warrant, two room and pillar continuous miner production sections can be established. One in a westerly direction and one in a due north direction.
From 1948 to 1975, the portals of the King 3 mine at this location supported operations in the King 1 and King 3 mines which were interconnected underground. Beginning in 1981 work was started on upgrading existing structures and construction of a new haulage portal to serve the projected King 6 mine. Old portals of the King 3 mine were rehabilitated and utilized for intake and return air systems. The existing bath house, shop, ventilation fan structure and sewer and water systems were upgraded to support the King 6 mine. A new truck loading facility was also constructed at that time.
Located 18 miles southwest of Price, the community of Hiawatha grew following the opening of the first mine in 1908. Another nearby mine was opened soon after, and for a time there was East and West Hiawatha and Black Hawk. In 1912 the U.S. Fuel Company purchased and consolidated the two mines, and the Hiawatha post office was closed. The town government moved to Black Hawk and the name changed to Hiawatha. Population fluctuated with the boom and bust cycles of mining, but the community had a store, post office, church, amusement hall, doctor and doctor's office, a boardinghouse and dormitory and school through the eighth grade along with rows of neat frame homes.
Ax-I-Dent-X magazine was started with Volume 1, Number 1 ("Chop 1, Chip 1"), dated September 5, 1916. The magazine was published by the United States Metals Refining Company at its offices at East Chicago, Indiana. (Ax-I-Dent-X, July 1931, page 19)
Edgar M. Ledyard was editor of Ax-I-Dent-X magazine from March 1929 until his death on March 6, 1933. The magazine's March 1933 issue was devoted entirely to a tribute.
Consolidated Fuel Company -- Information about the mines in Miller Creek Canyon, including the original Consolidated Fuel mine at East Hiawatha or Old Hiawatha, and Southern Utah Railroad.
Black Hawk Coal Company -- Information about the Black Hawk Coal Co. mine at Black Hawk, later known as Hiawatha or King Mine, sold to United States Fuel Company, served by Utah Railway.
Castle Valley Coal Company -- Information about the parent company of Castle Valley Railroad
Panther Coal Company -- Information about the Panther Coal Company and its mine near Castle Gate, served by Utah Railway; opened in 1912, closed in 1937.
Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining, Permit C0070033, Hiawatha Complex -- An overview of the mining activity at the Hiawatha Complex.
Utah Division of Oil Gas and Mining, Permit files, Hiawatha Complex -- Documents for the Hiawatha Complex going back to August 1978, when DOGM assumed jurisdiction over the site. (Most of the data presented covers environmental and wildlife issues, but there are a few small bits of history of the operation itself.)