Mudcat Café message #46355 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7624   Message #46355
Posted By: rich r
21-Nov-98 - 11:02 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Scofield Mine Disaster (Utah Phillips)
Subject: RE: Song Request: Scofield mine explosion of 1900
I don't know if the lyrics above are the same as the Utah Phillips song. However to correct the historical record, The Scofield Mine disaster of May 1, 1900, occurred in the Winter Quarters Number Four mine located west of Scofield, Utah, about 50 miles southeast of Provo. It was a coal dust explosion that killed many miners directly in #4. Miners from #1 also died when they tried to exit through #4 and encountered carbon monoxide. The official death toll was 200, but there was no official record of who was in the mine at the time and some estimates run as high as 246. The dead included 20 young boys and at least 61 Finnish immigrants. It was the most lethal coal mine disaster in the USA up to that time. The death toll of later disasters did surpass Scofield's (Monongah, WV 362 in 1907; Jacobs Creek, PA 239 in 1907; Dawson, NM 263 in 1913). 149 of the victims were buried in Scofield cemetery with 2 services, one Finnish Lutheran and one LDS. The operator of the mine, Pleasant Valley Coal Company (a true oxymoron) paid the burial expenses, gave each man's family $500 and erased several thousand dollars in debt at the company store. This disaster led to a clamor for improved mine safety and treatment of miners, and the beginning of serious union organization efforts in Utah. It was one of the reasons behind a strike in the Scofield area in the winter of 1900-1901 and played a roll in a nationwide strike in 1903-04.

rich r