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Members of the Scofield Town Board

H. H. Earll

Mayor H. H. Earll, who is now serving his third term as Mayor of Scofield, was born at Ogden in 1872, and has lived in Scofield for the past 16 years.

At first news of the explosion, he being in Salt Lake on business, he hurried home and although everything was most orderly, issued a proclamation closing all the saloons in town for one week, fearing on account of so many strangers being in town that they might interfere with the work. He took immediate charge of the preparation of the graves for the many miners that were interred at this place.

His work on the relief committee has been of great aid to the sufferers, who one and all unite in thanking him for his timely call for aid.

Lars Jensen

Lars Jensen was elected to the office of Town Trustee and was then chosen for Treasurer of Scofield.

He was born at Richfield Sanpete Co., Utah, August 15, 1857, and is now in the employee of the R. G. W. Ry. In the handling of the funds of Scofield Town he has shown himself an efficient officer.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith was born in Scotland and has been a resident of Scofield for the last 20 years.

He is now serving his second term on the Scofield Town Board.

He has mined in all the mines situated in the Scofield district and is one of the most efficient practical miners in the state.

He has taken a leading part in the rescuing party that has brought many dead miners from the mine, nearly all of whom were friends of many years standing.

He is much respected by his colleagues on the Town Board for his good sensible advice and for his worth in handling the municipal funds.

James P. Curtin,
Chairman of Quarantine Board, Outside Foreman at No. Four.

Brother James P. Curtin, was born in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, April, 1862, and has served his country in the army for 8 years. At the last election he was elected Trustee for Scofield Town by a handsome majority.

He is also Chairman of the Joint Board of Quarantine. Being a past grand he was the first D. D. G. M. for Scofield, and was one of the charter members. He is much admired by the members of Scofield Lodge No. 32, for his sterling qualities. Having been an Odd Fellow for many years he is able to give good advice in the councils of the lodge.

He served as representative from here at the last session of the Utah, Grand Lodge.

He was outside foreman at Number Four when the explosion occurred and labored night and day with his men, sending material etc., into the mine for the use of the rescuing party.

David B. Laughlin

David B. Laughlin, is the remaining member of the Town Board, he having been selected to take the place of William Forrester, who lately moved to Clear Creek.

Mr. Laughlin is now Chancellor Commander of Rathbone Lodge No. 9, and has proved himself an efficient officer,

He was born in Ireland in the year 1859, and has been a resident of Scofield for ten years, where he has followed the occupation of mining.

He is a thorough Pythian and follows their tenets and teachings in his intercourse with his fellow man.

When the call was made for rescuers he was one of the first and although nearly overcome by his feelings in searching for his dead friends, he heroically assisted in their recovery, and so far as lay in his power comforted and cheered the stricken relatives and friends with whom he was directly and intimately acquainted.

John L. Priece

Mr. John L. Price, Marshal of Scofield Town was born in South Wales, August 7, 1854, and has lived in Scofield for the past 19 years.

Seventeen years ago he worked in Number three, one of the mines of the Pleasant Valley Coal Company adjoining Number one, where so many of the miners were smothered, and was employed in driving a rock tunnel, for the veins of coal known to lie under the mountain.

Bishop Williams

Bishop Williams was superintendent of the mines at that time.

For thirteen years he worked in the Union Pacific mine at this place, which mine is now lying idle on account of freight rates prohibiting the shipment of coal.

In a conversation he related that while working in the Union Pacific mine eight years ago, when James Russel was Foreman, a miner named Buchanan, placed an immense amount of black powder in a hole he had drilled for a shot, at the bottom of the coal vein, intending to blow out all the coal from the bottom of the vein to the top.

When the shot was fired the jar or concussion was felt from one end of the mine to the other. The coal dust flew from the discharge to the mouth of the mine, and the only reason the men were not killed by an explosion of dust at that time, was the fact that the company kept the dust on the floor of the entries sprinkled.

Sixteen years ago last New Years day, when he arose early in the morning, he looked towards the mouth of the U. P. mine and saw that the mine was all lighted up and knew that the mine had caught fire.

John Fife was Foreman in the mine at that time. It appears as though a man, named John Jones was weigh boss at that time and as the cars were coming rather slowly from the inside of the mine, he left the office and went out to haul some dirt from the mine. While thus employed the office took fire from a hot stove that he had left, and the fire was communicated to the timbers in the mine, and from them to the coal, as the air was drawing into the mine. Quite a number of men were at work on the inside of the mine at that time, but all escaped, except John McLain and his Son. Many were the hairbreadth escapes related by the men who were fortunate enough to reach the outside, many of whom are now dead from this explosion in Number Four.

Mr. Price, who has lost a promising son 24 years of age in this disaster, went with the first party of rescuers, and remained at his post until nature asserted herself, and he was forced to retire for rest. His was a sorrowful duty, hunting for his son, while still assisting in carrying out the remains of his intimate associates, many of whom were relatives.

Clarence L. Nix

Clarence L. Nix, formerly of the Auditor's office of the Rio Grande Western Railway was born at Paris, Texas, February, 1877.

He is now Coupon Clerk of the Wasatch Store Company of Scofield.

He being better acquainted with the miners than any other person, the unpleasant duty of identifying the dead miners as they were brought from the mines devolved upon him. As fast as the bodies were recognized he placed tags upon the breast of each, and owing to his care there were no cases wherein any change was made, nor did anyone bury a body not belonging to them. Since the disaster he has visited each home with the paymaster E. L. Carpenter, and has assisted in the payment of the monthly payroll to the widows and parents of the deceased.

The relatives of the deceased speak loud in his praise and he certainly deserves the best wishes and thanks of all.

Bedlington E. Lewis

To Bedlington E. Lewis the Author of this volume is under great obligations for the labor he has taken in getting views and photographs of the mines.

He was born in Wales April 11, 1861, and worked as a miner in the Winter Quarters mine where the explosion occurred, for six years.

He abandoned mining, however, about one year ago and has given his attention to photography, at which profession he is making great success as evidenced by the views herewith presented. 


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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