History of Hiawwatha, Utah

Hiawatha (Carbon) is a former coal mining town 15 miles (24.14 km) southwest of Price on U-122. The town is located at the base of the Gentry Mountains. Hiawatha was an important Mohawk Indian chieftain in the League of the Iroquois Indians. He also was the hero of Longfellow's famous poem of the same name. Hiawatha's name was given to a prominent Pennsylvania coal mine, then transferred to the Utah coal mine, and from the mine to the local community. Initially a vibrant Greek community from the island of Crete worked in the local coal mines. Hiawatha was incorporated in 1911 and in the 1940's had a population of 1,500. Production began to drop, people moved away, and Hiawatha was disincorporated on November 20, 1992. Today it is a ghost town with only a few families residing there. However, the Hiawatha Coal Company is planning to mine again in the near future.

A noted democratic politician, John Emerson Moss (1915-1997) was born here. He championed the Freedom of Information Act.

G. William Wiersdorf

See: John W. Van Cott, Utah Place Names;, Hiawatha.

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