Scofield, mile post 15.2 on the Pleasent Valley Sub. The town of Scofield lies in the bituminous coal fields of Carbon County about 19 miles from the main line of the D&RGW with an elevation of 6,675 feet. Nestled among the hills that surround the upper part of Pleasant Valley, the town is completely isolated from the rest of Carbon County.
Pleasant Valley is about six miles long and one mile wide, practically all of which was good wild hay land. With the buildind of Scofield Dam and the resulting reservoir, most of the valley is now under water. The early settlers realized that the luxuriant growth of native grasses would make splendid pastures.
By 1879 and 1890 immense herds of cattle roamed over the hills and valleys. The first settlers who were attracted by these immense ranges were: S. J. Harkness, T. H. Thomas, Williams Burrows, O.G. Kimball, D. D. Green, J. W. Metcalf, H. McKochency, and Joseph Castle. These pioneers had numerous friendly contacts with the Indians. Deer, wild fowl, and beaver were plentiful, while the streams offered excellent opportunities for fishing. The town was named in honor of General Scofield who owned a ranch in the vicinity and was an early timber contractor.
Scofield has always been connected with the early history of coal mining in the State of Utah, and within a radius of three miles there were four mines. They were the Winter Quarters, Utah Mine, Union Pacific Blue Seal, and Kinney.
Shortly after the coming of the settlers, coal was discovered. The hidden treasures of the mountains were not long to lie hidden, and the discoverers soon found out that the supply was inexhaustible - that coal cropped out on every hand where veins were worked. The railway companies, finding that the coal fields were of such magnitude and covered much territory, began to survey for practical routes to reach the coal. The quiet atmosphere of the cattle men was turned into the hustle and activity that attends the opening of any new camp of this kind.
The population grew from the few pioneers to a prosperous community of about 800 inhabitants. In 1882 when the railroad was built to the valley, coal shipments began from Winter Quarters mine. The coal industry thrived and developed into a prosperous enterprise with little difficulty until May 1, 1900, when the Winter Quarters mine exploded taking as toll the lives of 199 men, many of who were living in Scofield at the time.
Last Update 07/22/01
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