By Julie Johansen
Emery County Historical Society President Lorie Larsen welcomed members and guests to their March meeting on Thursday.
Following an opening prayer given by Dottie Grimes and the pledge of allegiance, Lorie recited a poem “Have You Heard of the Scofield Disaster?” She then introduced Kathy Hamaker and told of her involvement with the miner’s memorial committee since November of 2013.
Hamaker gave a historical account of major mine disasters in Carbon County. She related how several committee members have worked on documentation of the names, dates, stories and pictures of those miners in Carbon County who gave their all.
A brief outline of the major mine disasters in Carbon County was also given by Hamaker, beginning in 1879 when mining began in Carbon County. She read an article from the Deseret News dated January 1, 1884, stating that two had perished and their bodies could not be recovered. Twelve more miners were killed between 1884 and 1900. In 1900, the Winter Quarters Mine explosion occurred claiming 221 lives. On March 8 1924, 72 miners at Castle Gate #2 lost their lives. In January of 1929, Kenilworth Coal Mine lost 120 men. In 1930 at the Standardville explosion, 23 more miners gave their all. On March 8, 1930, the Peerless Mine disaster occurred and in 1934, the Utah Fuel Company at Castle Gate claimed more lives. Continuing in 1934, the Wattis Coal Mine disaster claimed the lives of 183 miners. Also, Sunnyside Coal Mine claimed 23 miners. In 1963. Carbon Fuel Company claimed 10 more lives.
The guest speaker then recalled the installation of the Miners Memorial in Price. She remembered that people came from all over the United States. Hamaker said these memorials help descendants of the victims feel that the miners had not given their lives in vain. Thursday evening’s presentation set the stage for the Emery County memorial to be placed in Castle Dale in June. Kathy is still looking for pictures, stories and/or names of miners to be memorialized.