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


The Finn, Nicholas Walkama was also buried today, a number of his countrymen attending, and Gus Luoma officiating at the grave.

Young Rowe's face is badly scratched, and this, with some slight soreness, is the only injury he sustained, his escape being regarded as truly remarkable. Owen Rowe, the uncle of the young man, was working at the end of the main entry in Number One mine, and describes the sensation of the explosion when it came, as that of the drum of the ear falling inward. He describes his first thought as being that of the safety of his nephew, and after running down the main entry toward the mouth of the mine, came upon the young man lying unconscious, and assisted him to the open air. The thing all came so quickly, says Mr. Rowe, that to attempt any description of it would be fruitless. He had nothing to add that is not contained in the interview with his nephew. These two men are among the very few who got out of the mine alive, and in no other part of the two properties did one man es­cape, except the two boys in the sixth raise and the men who were in the main entry proper.


Their bodies swathed in bandages, Thomas Livsay and Wil­liam Livsay were brought to St. Marks hospital from Scofield yesterday morning. Only the charred lips of the injured coal miners were visible and but for their feeble breathing they might have been taken for dead. The wounded miners were made as comfort able as possible at the hospital and the hope is entertained that they will recover. Last midnight all the injured miners at the hospital were reported in slightly better conditions.

Across the street the families of the Evans brothers lived who were among the casualties. In front of one house tonight is a coffin; at the gate of the other lay two coffins. Next door is a poor family who came here two weeks ago from Iowa. The house is a small affair and the door is nailed up. The window serves as a door and has an old piece of carpet suspended over it. There is no carpet on the floor. No food has been in that lone home for several days. Today Samaritans relieved their wants, and so the misery goes, within home after home.

Richfield, Utah, May 3.—A large crowd of people with heavy hearts went to the depot this evening to meet the southbound train in hopes that the reports from Scofield had been exaggerat­ed: They, however, came back with hanging heads. Four bodies were unloaded at Richfield, John Muir, his two sons, and son-in-law. This leaves only the wife of John Muir and two married daughters remaining in the family. Sevier county is generally in mourning. The train had on board one corpse for Elsinore and one for Joseph.


Jeremiah Davis is one of the lucky men who escaped from the mine on May 1. He was about half way in the mine when the explosion occurred, and at once started for the main exit. There were five boys behind him, and they impeded his progress considerably. One of these boys, Evan Williams, was blown through the door of the fourth raise, but came out alright. Davis fell down in the ditch in the mine, and this may have been his salvation. He had received a little of the damp and was about gone when he fell. He took a big swallow of water, and this revived him sufficiently to press on until the pure air was reached. The other boys were Tommy Reese, Gus Hoagland, Harry Knight. Fred Hirst, and Dave Pugh.

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.