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Newspaper account of Provo Funerals

The Provo Enquirer thus describes the scene at the Funeral, in Provo.

One of the saddest and largest funerals ever witnessed in the Garden City was that over the remains of the six victims of the coal mine explosion at Winter Quarters, who were brought to this city for interment. They were William Parmley, D. D. Evans, George Langstaff, Thomas Gatherum, James Gatherum and William Gatherum. When their remains arrived last evening, there was an immense crowd at the R. G. W. depot to receive them, and all places of business are today closed during the funeral. Preparations for the funeral commenced early this morning. It was desired to keep all the remains together, and though William Parmley was buried under I. O. O. F., and D. D. Evans under K. of P. auspices, while the Gatherum brothers, and Langstaff were buried by the Mormon Church, they were all treated alike. In the absence of enough hearses in the city, six buggies were suitably draped in white mull with black bows. Even the pall bearers wore similar bows, the regalia of the orders being omitted in order that no distinction might be shown.

The Tabernacle had been beautifully and impressively decorated in white, while many school children furnished flowers in abundance to be suitably placed in the building.

"The six coffins were placed side by side in front of the stand and covered with rich floral tributes, tenderly placed on them by a committee of young ladies. It was a sight which brought tears to many eyes, and nearly all the vast audience wept with the many mourners.

"President Partridge had charge of the services and the Tabernacle choir, with nearly all members present, furnished the singing. The first hymn was 'Rest, Rest for the Weary Soul," etc.

"Opening prayer was offered by Patriarch C. D. Evans.

"The choir sang, 'Hark From Afar a Funeral Knell,' etc.

"President Partridge announced that there were several speakers named for the occasion but their remarks would have to be brief, and in fact some could not be heard, on account of it being necessary to cut the services somewhat short.

"Bishop Keeler spoke first on the vastness of the calamity, the news of which had spread throughout the civilized world and brought back expressions of sympathy from many States, from the President of the United States, and the head of the great French Republic. The lesson of the sad event show that humanity is coming nearer and nearer to Godlike perfection and have a common interest in each other's welfare. It shows that God is working in the interest of His children. In conclusion he spoke of the hopes of a common resurrection for all mankind. Prof. George H. Brimhall followed in somewhat the same strain. There was a time when the human heart was not so large as at present; when it was more of an animal heart, and one race preyed upon the misfortunes of another. But when one came and gave Himself a sacrifice for others, it taught the message of love. Since then there has been a revolution in the hearts of humanity. Mankind is also learning, as it was eloquently portrayed, that the dead will yet live.

"Mayor Taylor spoke briefly his gratitude for the manner in which the public had responded to aid the afflicted, but it was suggested that the sympathy be continued to the widows and orphans through their lives. The mayor closed with a fervent benediction.

"The Boshard and Pyne Brothers quartette sang, "When the Mists Have Rolled Away in Splendor."

Prof. J. B. Walton and Judge Booth followed, and closing remarks were made by President Partridge, but the report was cut short by the Enquirer having to go to press.

"The cortege, which was one of the longest ever formed in Provo, was headed by the bishops of the four wards, and then followed the bodies, pallbearers, mourners and the general public.

"The train bearing the dead and the sorrowing relatives and friends which came into Provo from the scene of the great disaster yesterday, brought the bodies of the following for Provo:

William Parmley
Thomas Gatherum
James Gatherum
William Gatherum
D. P. Evans
George Langstaff

The remains of the father of the last named, Robert Langstaff, had not been identified when the train left but it is reported that the body will be brought to Provo for interment today.

"Responding to the announcement of the Enquirer bulletin, which appeared upon the board about one o'clock, large crowds of citizens and vehicles gathered at the depot at four o'clock and remained in waiting until the arrival of the train, which slowly steamed in at five o'clock. The scene, on the transfer of the six caskets, bearing the dead, to the platform, and the long procession of widowed women, orphaned and fatherless children, was a harrowing one. Conveyances were on hand, under the direction of the bishops of the respective wards to convey the bodies and the relatives into town. The local organization of I. O. O. F. was represented and took charge of the remains of William Parmley. "The bodies were taken to the undertaking parlors respectively of H. Cluff & Co., Graham & Jones, and O. H. Berg, where they have remained until the hour named for commencing the funeral services at the Tabernacle today."

Index

Source: History of the Scofield Mine Disaster, by J. W. Dilley, The Skelton Pub. Co., Provo, Utah, 1900.

Editors Note: The I.. O. O. F. were very active in raising money for the benefit of the widows and children along with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This information is included for historical value, it does not mean the people of this project support these institutions.

 

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