Scofield, UT Mine Disaster, May 1900 - Terrible Calamity
The funeral special left Scofield with fifty-one bodies at one o'clock on Friday. Making their first stop at Thistle, the bodies of Dan Williams, of Vermillion, and William Nelson, of Elsinore, were transferred to the Sanpete branch train. At Thistle there was a scarcity of food at the lunch counter and many had to go on the train with nothing to eat. On arriving at Springville the train was met by a big crowd of citizens who donated armfuls of flowers to strew over the coffins. At this place the following bodies were removed from the car: Morgan Miller, William Miller, John Miller, John T. Davis, John O. Davis, George O. Davis. also the bodies of Daniel Pitman, John Pitman Jr., Evan Evans. Lewis Leyshon, and W. K. Douglas of Spanish Fork. Provo was made by 440 where the remains of William Parmley, Thomas Gatherum, James and William Gatherum, D. D. Evans, George Langstaff were escorted up town by a great concourse of people. The next stop was made at American Fork, where the bodies of Samuel and David Padfield were left with their relatives. Lehi was the only town along the whole route that had no one there to assist in taking care of the body of John Kirton, but this can be accounted for from the fact that the deceased had not lived there for so long a time that he had passed from memory.
Salt Lake was reached at 6:30 where a stop of fifteen minutes was made while the eight caskets were being placed in the undertaker's wagons. When the train proceeded on its way it bore the remaining twenty-one bodies, as follows: For Ogden, John Hunter, David. William, Adam and son, John, Robert, and James A. Hunter: also Frank Strang Sr. and Frank Strang Jr. For Coalville, Charles Edwards, Samuel Livsy, Richard Dixon, David Illingsworth, William Clark, Jr. William Ullathorne, John and George James, George, William and Walter Clark. The committee which left Scofield to assist in the distribution of the bodies en-route consisted of James W. Dilley, William Hirst, Pat, Sam and Ed. Wycherly, William Stones, George Crompton and James Walker. In addition to the bodies sent north on the special, the regular train that left Scofield a few moments before the special carried the bodies of Harrison A. Miller, Isaac Miller and V. R. Miller for Helper, Robert Wilstead, William Willrtead, Robert Farrish, Thomas Farrish, W.T. Evans and a man named Franklin.
When the special arrived at Ogden there were pathetic scenes at the Union Depot when the horror of the Scofield accident was brought directly home to the people of Ogden. The funeral train bearing twenty-one bodies arrived at eight o'clock. There were large numbers of the dead miners relatives and friends in the passenger coaches. They were the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who had gone to Scofield at the first news of the disaster and they were bringing home their dead. On the depot platform were the remaining friends and relatives and when they met these on the train all seemed to lose control and there were enough pathetic incidents to fill a book. John Scowcroft and Sons had been telegraphed and asked to prepare a lunch for the people oil the train, and when they arrived there, arrangements had been made at the restaurant to give every one their supper. Those who were not able to leave the coaches were provided fur and a large box of sandwiches and hot coffee was served to them on the train. Eleven of the bodies for Coalville were transferred here to a baggage car on the regular train of the Union Pacific, that had been held for the transfer.
The ten that were left at Ogden were taken in charge by the three undertakers of the city, and conveyed to Lindquist's. These were buried the next day from the tabernacle. President L. W. Shurtliff conducted the funeral services over the ten bodies. The three leading undertakers of Ogden with all their employees assisted at the funeral of the ten brothers of the Hunter family relatives. Mr. Lindquist had general charge, Mr. Larkin attended to the seating of the relatives and other mourners. Mr. Richey, with one set of pall bearers, took the bodies front the conveyances to the door, where Mr. Linguist, marshalling another set, took the caskets inside and placed them in their station. The caskets contained Adam Hunter, John Hunter, Robert Hunter, James A. Hunter, William Hunter, David Hunter, John Hunter, F. Strang, F. F. Stang, and Richard Stewart.
The Rio Grande Western special train bearing the Provo victims of the Scofield disaster arrived at about 5 p. m. An hour or more before the train arrived hundreds of people began to gather at the depot, and when the special came in there were fully 1,000 anxious people on the platform. The Garden city was in deep mourning that afternoon. All business was suspended and an immense crowd of people attended the funeral of William Parmley, D. D. Evans, George L. Langstaff, and the three Gatherum brothers, Thomas, James, and William, all victims of the terrible disaster at Scofield. A great crowd was gathered at the depot when the funeral train arrived, and sadness has deepened in the city since then, as preparations for the funeral were made. Scores of school children were busy all forenoon bringing flowers to the stake tabernacle, where the funeral services were held. The edifice was suitably decorated in white, with flowers everywhere. Young ladies of the fourth ward did the decorating. Although William Parmley and D. D. Evans were members of fraternal societies, it was desired to hold the services together and President Partridge of the stake presidency, took charge. The building was crowded to its fullest capacity at 2 o'clock, when the services were commenced. The tabernacle choir furnished the singing. The opening prayer was offered by Patriarch C. D. Evans: the speakers were: Judge J. E. Booth. Professors George H. Brimhall and J. B. Walton, Mayor T. N. Taylor, Bishop J. B. Keeler, and President Partridge. The cortege was one of the longest ever witnessed in the city. Six light vehicles had been suitably draped all alike in mull, with black bows and garlands of flowers. The pall bearers wore bows alike, the order regalia being dispensed with in order that no distinction might be manifest. The Bishops of the four wards of Provo led the cortege, and following the bodies came the mourners, city officials and the general public.
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; Provo, Utah: Skelton Pub. Co., 1900, pages 47-67.