Scofield, UT Mine Disaster, May 1900 - The Rescue
"How can we go through the ordeal of picking up the dead shift after shift? Well I've thought of that, too, made up our minds not to give was to our feelings, to stifle them and ignore our thought of everything except the work in hand, otherwise we could not do a thing. Why, when I have gone through there and turned over a man who was a friend and intimate associate, perhaps of year's standing, the sentiments of grief stirred in all my being, but I repressed them. It was either that or else drop down by the side of my chum, take hold of his cold hand, and just cry my heart out, for we have hearts just the same as the rest. But it would not do, we have to stifle and go forward with the work. Some of our men were nervous at first, for the scenes, in spite of all resolution, did excite and move us; but when the death list grew to fifty, then to a hundred, then to a hundred and fifty, and now to away over two hundred, all got over it. But when the last body is out of the mine you will see more of us break down. You have seen us here for two days working as though we were machines, but there is going to be an end to that. Nature is going to assert itself and that very soon."
The terrible disaster that happened at Scofield yesterday morning has brought a heavy gloom to the inhabitants of this town. There are a great many here who are called to mourn the loss of a brother, son or relative of some kind. News was eagerly sought for regarding their safety, but the anxiety became greater than their patience, and a number went upon last evening's train. No one was allowed to go before, only those officials who were sent for, and this morning no one would go into the mines, as the majority of the miners had relatives killed, and had gone to Scofield. When No. 1 passenger train rolled in about 7:30 a. m., the platform of the depot was crowded with people, who, apparently, had not slept through the terrible night, hoping in vain for some ray of hope. At 10 o'clock a. m., a special was chartered, and about fifty more went up. and a number will follow on this evening's train. All the fraternal lodges will be numerously represented, and it seems that only enough will be left in town to look after things in general. One young man, after the explosion here. said he would never work in this mine again, as it was too dangerous; so he left, and had only worked a few days in Number Four mine when he, along with a brother, was killed.
Here are a few incidents that have transpired and are daily transpiring in this town of desolation and misery. A volume larger than the Bible would be required to chronicle them all.
On the day of the explosion, while the turmoil and excitement was at its height, a couple of young men appeared at the mouth of tunnel Number Four, and asked permission to go in and search 'for their brother, Ben Lloyd. At that time it was considered madness to venture on the inside, and the management refused to let the boys go to what seemed certain death. They persevered, however, finally going in under protest After a search of two hours they came upon the place where Ben was last seen alive, and together they dug out his remains.
Einer B. Bearnson related to a family that was wiped out, received a dispatch while working on the railroad in Wyoming, to come home at once. He arrived here Friday evening, to learn -that the dead ones he sought, accompanied by relatives, were on the funeral train, which he had passed on the way. The young man was determined to get down to Sevier in time to see them buried, and first procuring an order for transportation from the company officials, that would carry him from Colton to Richfield, he started at midnight to walk to the junction, a distance of fifteen miles, in order to make an early connection.
History of the Scofield mine disaster : a concise account of the incidents and scenes that took place at Scofield, Utah, May 1, 1900, when Mine Number Four exploded, killing 200 men, 1900.