Scofield, UT Mine Disaster, May 1900 - More on the Disaster

Town Board's Thanks,
The Town Board this evening adopted the following resolu­tions:
"WHEREAS, The town of Scofield has been visited with one of the direst calamities that has ever befallen the State of Utah, wherein nearly 200 of our citizens have lost their lives by an ex­plosion in the Pleasant Valley Coal Company's mine at this place; and,
"WHEREAS, The people of the United States have tendered their labor, means and tenderest of sympathies to the bereaved and grief-stricken friends and relatives of the deceased;
"Resolved, that the Town Board of Scofield Town do hereby, upon behalf of ourselves and the widows and orphans, extend our thanks and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one who hasassisted in this, our hour of need, either by contributions, labor or words of condolence.
(Signed) "H. H. EARLL,
"Town Clerk."

A. party of rescuers dug through a wall of coal and into a room in the Farrish level before daylight this morning, and in addition to recovering the remains of Edwin Street, found traces of the other three bodies supposed to be there. The work today was the most difficult of all that has been done. It was imprac­ticable to clear away the mountain of rock that closed the entrance to the room in which the bodies were, because of the danger of another and larger cave-in. The only course that lay open was to run a drift through the wall. This was done by A. Smith and W. Davis, two other miners carrying away the coal as fast as it was dug out, and these four men in less than five hours. drove through the barrier for a distance of fifteen feet. This is a remarkable record, the men say, especially when it is considered that the coal had to be carried back sixty feet. Once through the wall, the remains of Street, lying under a large pile of rocks, were discovered. He leaves a wife and two children, who were permitted to look at the remains. Street's remains were taken to his mother's home, and will be interred at two o'clock tomorrow with Odd Fellows' rites, from the home of the late Dan Davis. The rescuers found bits of James C. Hunter's clothing near the spot where Street was located, and it is believed that only a short time will elapse before the three are brought out.


Captain Benjamin Tibbey yesterday stated in reference to an interview published in the Herald Thursday morning that he had not "warned" State Mine Inspector Gomer Thomas in regard to the Scofield horror. In speaking of the matter, he said: "It was some thirty-six hours before the explosion at Castle Gate, in March, that I met Mr. Thomas upon the streets of Salt Lake, when I talked the matter regarding that mine. I did not warn him, but simply told him that by firing so many shots at one time it would naturally raise the dust and some blow-out shot make a flame and ignite the dust, thereby causing an explosion equal to that of a gas explosion. Dust explosions occur in mines where gas is never seen and in the best of ventilated mines. It was not my intention to criticise Mr. Thomas for he is one 'of the best posted men on the subject of coal mining that I have met in the west. This conversation was not in any way in reference to the Scofield mine. Referring to the conversation which Captain Tibbey had with certain miners in Scofield. two weeks ago as to the condition of the mine there, he said: "I did not personally visit any of the mines at Winter Quarters, but when talking about the dust in the mines there I told them that an explosion was liable to happen at any time in any mine where there was dust in evidence, and told them about the same thing which I told Mr. Thomas on the previous occasion. They told me that there was no gas in the mine to amount to anything. I told them that if there were it would have the effect of making the explosion so much the worse. as I have known it to happen in mines where no gas was ever seen." In speaking of the use of a crepe veil in the case of an explosion, Captain Tibbey said that when a miner is caught in that predicament the veil, if wet, has the effect of keeping the dust particles out of the lungs of the man and thereby saving his life. and if he is overcome by after-damp that the nozzle of a pair of bellows placed in the nostrils of one overcome by the gas has the effect of expelling the fumes from the lungs and bringing him back to life. He said that he had seen this simple remedy used frequently during his experience, with success.