Utah Fuel brought
in experienced Chinese laborers to drive a new tunnel. But shortly after
the white laborers took the law into their own hands. One day they herded
the Chinese into a boxcar, locked the doors and started the car down
the canyon. The boxcar somehow stayed on the tracks until it stopped.
The Chinese never came back.
It was 10:20
AM, 1900 and it was Dewey Day in honor of Admiral George Dewey who had
defeated the Spanish at Manila Harbor in the Philippines two years earlier.
A blast went off that shook the whole town. Many thought it came from
the big celebration and dance which had been planed for that evening
at the Odd Fellows Hall at Scofield. But it was soon determined that
the explosion came from the #4 Mine. It was what they called a coal
dust explosion. A miner accidentally ignited a keg of black powder,
which ignited the coal dust throughout the mine, which in turn ignited
23 other kegs of powder. 100 men in the #4 mine were killed by the force
of the explosion and the intense heat. Carbon monoxide spread to the
#1 mine killing 99 more men. 7 were injured. 103 men escaped the after-damp
in the #1. Jack Wilson and his mule were blown 820 feet across the canyon,
the mule was killed but he recovered. 199 men in all were killed with
more than half of them burned to a crisp. Some families lost two or
three members. 150 were buried in the Scofield Cemetery the rest were
sent to other towns for burial.