Scofield, UT Mine Disaster, May 1900 - Stories of Survivors and the Dead

Jack Wilson, the Scofield miner who was blown from the mouth of the mine by the explosion and thrown, it is said, eight hundred twenty feet by actual measurement, will be the first man out of the hospital of all the unfortunates who escaped with their lives from the fearful accident. With others of the injured, Mr. Wilson was brought to Salt Lake and placed in St. Marks hos­pital for care and medical attendance. His skull was fractured and a hole was torn in his side that made it seem impossible at first to save his life, to say nothing of the terrible shock caused by the explosion. In spite of all this he was up yesterday and the attendants affirm that he will be the first out of all those who were brought here for attention. Mr. Wilson was rational yes­terday for the first time, but he has no recollection whatever of the accident. From the time of the explosion till his reason return­ed yesterday his mind was an absolute blank. While he will soon be out of the care of the doctors and will be in a condition to be discharged from the hospital if he gets no back-set, be will never be able to do hard manual labor again. His injuries are of such a nature as to render him unfit forever for hard work.

By some chance Miss Daisy Haroon, the professional nurse from Salt Lake, happened to be in Scofield at the time of the ex­plosion, having come down to assist the local physician in some case. Today every woman in Scofield thinks gratefully of how Miss Haroon has worked incessantly in the stricken families since the great disaster and has carried to them comfort as well as healing. There are so few who are not overcome with personal sorrows that Miss Haroon's labor has been unceasing and her strength severely taxed. She has truly been a ministering angel in these dark and trying hours.

What could be more pathetic; and tragic as well; than the death of young Will Clark? He was an employee of the company working outside, and with hundreds of others rushed to the mouth of the tunnel. His father and brother were both inside, and, wild with grief, he joined the first party of rescuers. When the word to enter was given, he dashed recklessly ahead to com­mence the search for his dear ones, when the lurking damp en­veloped him as in a winding sheet and he was dead before aid could reach him. Three men were found by the rescuers near "the mouth of the tunnel alive, but unconscious. They were hur­ried outside and it was hoped all were saved.
This afternoon six of as fine horses as are to be seen in the whole state of Utah came rushing out of the tunnel of Number One, and the mystery of their being alive is one that puzzles every one connected with the mine. They had their harness and trappings peculiar to mine horses intact, and there was not a scar or scratch on one of them. They were turned down the hill and cavorted away in the direction of the stable as if just off for a feed. But there was not a man alive to tell at what point in the mine they had been stationed last.

Here was one of the most pathetic stories of that fatal May day. A lad by the name of William Davis started for the mouth of the tunnel, covering his mouth with his cap, but seeing a miner in distress, the little hero removed his cap to use both hands to assist the man to rise. By doing so he was caught by the fatal after-damp, and both shared the same fate. When found the two were together, with the boy's arms locked around the man's waist. showing that the lad had attempted to rescue his elder.

Tom Pugh, fifteen years old, did not lose his head in the terrible hour. When he heard the detonation he seized his hat in his teeth and kept his nostrils covered while he ran through the tunnel. He was in as far as the fifth raise which is about a mile and a half from the entrance, but he reached the outside in safety while his father, with whom he was working, perished. The boy fainted on reaching the end of his long run. The remarkable part of it is that he had no light.

The esteem in which "Billy" McIntosh is held was demon­strated when a rumor gained credence that he was in Number Four. This was at the very beginning, when to go in was al­most certain death. One of the men who heard the words, "Mc-is in there," threw off his coat in the twinkling of an eye. "Then I'll go in and bring him out," he said. He would have kept his word, too, had not the supposed victim at that moment appeared. He was over at the stable, several rods away, and had been missed.
Here is a sample of hundreds of telegrams that have poured in from all over the country: "Andrew Smith: Answer quick if you are alive." There was usually no answer, but in this case, Andrew Smith was alive.
Zeph Thomas, of Logan, was on his way here to visit his brother, Joseph, Tuesday evening. He had heard rumors at Salt Lake of an accident, but nobody at that time knew anything of its extent. His horror upon going to the Thomas home and find­ing an anguish stricken widow and children, was intensified when he learned that both his brothers and two nephews had perished.