Scofield, UT Mine Disaster, May 1900 - Instances of Bravery; Offers of Help


The instances of bravery among the boys employed in the mines are remarkable for their number. Young James Naylor was at a door at the Number Six raise in Number One, when a gust of wind, as he supposed, blew it open. He promptly closed it, but the usual performance was repeated. For the third time he shut and braced his shoulder against it, but then came the terrible blast, and he was carried over two cars and landed in the tunnel ditch. He got up, thinking an explosion had occurred in the air shaft, or else there was an earthquake. He felt that hem had remained at his post long enough at any rate, and he made his way through the dark tunnel and out into the open, a distance of 3,000 feet. He was unhurt.

Phil. Thomas came in from Spanish Fork, Friday afternoon, looking for dead relatives. He walked up and down the street making inquiries for them; searched the meeting house and school house for them without result, and had concluded that they were still in the mine, when he heard that they, the four Thomases, his brothers and nephews, had been buried while he was around town in search of them.

One of the six Evans brothers (two of whom are killed) was at work on the face of the new branch of Number One, which spurs off to the right of the tunnel about 1,500 feet. "First I heard a terrible roar," he says, "lasting all of two minutes, and I suspected an earthquake. I called to Owen Rowe, who was work­ing with me, and we run out in time, but my ears are affected so that I can scarcely hear."

The Evans brothers are all professional musicians, and natives of Wales. They have taken prizes at all musical events in this locality, and have the best orchestra.

A telegram came from the Argenta lodge, Masonic, of Salt Lake. It was worded briefly, but told volumes. It said: "What can Argenta lodge do for William Parmley or family?" There were others of like importance from all sections of the country. Parmley was a foreman in one of the mines, and his body was recovered yesterday.

Lodges in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and other States have sent messages of like kind by the hundreds.

Chief Clerk Nelson, of the Coal Company, and manager of the four stores of the Wasatch Store Co., today had messages from Armour & Co., Swift Packing Company, and others, asking if their products would be acceptable. As yet there is no organi­zation for the disposition of these things, but later they will be taken, for distress will undoubtedly increase.

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.