Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hiawatha Connection

Joyce Mathie from sewing machines to steam

Joyce Mathie’s friends say she doesn’t know the meaning of mandatory retirement. At age 71, she’s still working at Sargent Steam, the business she founded at age 57, when most of her friends were already anticipating their last day of work.

“My house and car were paid for. My children were raised. In many ways, it was the perfect time. And if something speaks to your spirit, you become good at it.”

The concept of sales first spoke to Mathie’s spirit in 1972. Back then, she taught new Bernina owners how to operate their sewing machines. It was an exciting time for her — an era when many women sewed all of their own clothes along with the outfits their children wore.

But as much as Mathie enjoyed demonstrating blind hems and zigzag stitches, the seeds of her entrepreneurial future were already sprouting in her mind. She saw that while she worked in the Bernina store, teaching the “customer care class” and rearranging fabrics and patterns, men who sold sewing machines on commission made a lot more money than she did.

“I want to sell the machine,” she told her boss. But when he replied, “Housewives can’t sell,” Mathie felt angry. Her boss emphasized that while working in the store, she didn’t really demonstrate salesmanship – she only “got the naturals.” “I learned that he was right,” Mathie admits. “But so was I.”

One day, a salesman brought a series of Tom Hopkins’ sales tapes to the Bernina store. “The way they sold the tapes then was that they dropped them off, saying they would be back for them in a week,” Mathie recalls. After listening to the tapes briefly, she urged her boss to buy them, feeling sure that they would enhance her sales skills.

“People think that pushy salesman are born, but sales is like any other skill – it’s learned,” says Mathie.

From the tapes, she learned how to ask for orders and how to close a sale with a final question that might be, “Are you ready to go ahead today?”

She adds, “After you ask that last closing question, be quiet. People think that to be a salesman, you have to talk a lot. In reality, if you are good at sales, you listen a lot.”

She says that salespeople learn to read whether a prospect is truly engaged in what they are selling. “If you were looking at a Bernina, and hadn’t even made your mind up whether you wanted one, if I started cutting the price, it would mean absolutely nothing unless you wanted it.

“You learn to verbally dance with people when you sell. You can’t win them all.” But when a salesperson closes a sale that she knows is a hard one, she feels elated, and the thrill is great, says Mathie. “ It’s the most fun profession I can think of.”

Today, Mathie’s entrepreneur daughter, Debbie Chidester, is proud that her mother pursued her sales ambition. “She had to buck the owner of the company, but she envisioned that women could sell if they did it differently from the men who were already selling from the store.”

Mathie gathered the information she had learned about sewing and developed the concept of demonstrating sewing machines at home parties. When a client at the store became excited over stitching a beautiful patched pocket or spaghetti strap, Mathie said, “You ought to have a few of your friends come to your home for a demonstration. We’ll also give you $25 to spend in the store like money.”

The home party experience further honed Mathie’s sales skills.

She sold sewing machines at home parties for 10 years. During that time, she also demonstrated the machines at home economics classes in high schools and middle schools.

Meanwhile, a cultural change took place. More and more women who once sewed shelled edges on tricot or serged their children’s T-shirt seams now worked outside the home.

“There was far less time to sew,” she says.

Leaving Bernina in 1984, she completed a “fitting” class in New York and became a home based dressmaker for two years. Then – although she returned to her love of sales in a variety of endeavors – the spark wasn’t the same.

“They just didn’t make my heart sing,” Mathie recalls. “I was kind of lost during the next 10 years. It wasn’t the happiest time of my life.”

The life-changing day that led to starting her own business hardly seemed hopeful. She was standing in a state fair trade show booth. Her feet hurt and her back ached. She didn’t want to be there. But suddenly she caught a glimpse of Peter Foss, the marketing director she’d worked with at Bernina. The cultural change had affected him, too, he wasn’t selling as many knitting machines as before. “People didn’t want to sit home and knit any more,” Mathie says.

Foss asked Mathie to test market a new product he had just brought back from Switzerland. It was the first steam cleaner made available in the United States.

“It turns water into steam, which we found melts away the dirt,” says Mathie. She and her husband, Alex, “took that machine home and played with it. We both love good tools, and we literally fell in love with it.” Because she suffers from fibromyalgia, “getting down on my hands and knees was a joke,” says Mathie.

Because the Sargent Steam machine included extensions that made it possible to clean all surfaces while sitting or standing – even from a wheelchair if necessary – it made it possible for Mathie to clean her home. She shared the machine with her friends and relatives, and gave each of her children one for Christmas.

She began selling the machine from her home. In three years, she hired an assistant and doubled her sales staff. In 1998, she officially started her own business. She kept the name, Sargent Steam, because it was the same as the toll-free number Foss had originated. In 2000, she leased a building.

In August 2001, she bought her own building, doubling her space. That same year, she generated 1.3 million in sales. Mountain West Venture Group named her company as the 31st fastest growing company in Utah.

How did she repeat the earlier success she had enjoyed with Bernina? “Joyce is 71, but she keeps going like a 41-year-old businesswoman, which gives meaning to her life,” says Dian Thomas, TV personality and author who has coached Mathie about public relations. “One thing I admire about Joyce is that she is willing to learn anything and find new answers and new ways to do things. The computer world may challenge her, but she’s taking seminars and learning and growing.”

“Joyce has the vision, passion and energy that it takes to be a true entrepreneur – she’s an example of the American dream,” says Foss, who is now adjunct professor in strategy for MBA students at Westminster College and executive director of International for Urana. “If America had a lot of Joyces, our country wouldn’t be lagging behind, and we could really get America to the next level rather than waiting for China or India to move ahead of us. She has a clear purpose, clear mission and her vision and values are in place.”

Thomas further admires Mathie’s attitude and her confidence in becoming an entrepreneur “before women did that.” Mathie adds, “I’ve always admired strong women.” As a girl, her favorite book characters were strong women, such as Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz.” Part of the appeal of her current business was that it could empower women both inside and outside the home.

Today, two of Mathie’s four daughters own their own businesses, and one works for her. “Both my parents were very strong and taught us there was nothing we couldn’t do,” says Debbie Chidester, who owns a specialty food company. And Mathie partially attributes her success to her own parents who instilled self-confidence and taught her to follow her own path.

“I’m also grateful to my boss at Bernina. I turned his negative attitude into my positive action and learned valuable skills that prepared me to take risks. That job provided me the experience that became the foundation I used to create my own company.”

Sunday, February 24, 2008

King Coal Logo

Finley Funeral

Vera Elizabeth Finley
Vera Elizabeth Finley 1921 ~ 2008 PRICE- Vera Elizabeth Finley, our loving wife, mom, grandmother, sister, and wonderful friend to all who knew her, passed away due to complications of pneumonia, after a very courageous battle on February 22, 2008. Vera was born on February 27, 1921 in Brigham City, Utah to John and Dora Rolph, where her mother taught school for several years. Prior to that time, her mother taught school in Star Valley, Wyoming. Vera, along with her mother moved from Brigham City to Emery County and settled in Castle Dale, Utah where her mother taught school again. Vera attended grade school and high school there before she accepted a scholarship to Snow College. There, she studied hard, learned shorthand and became a legal secretary. She was employed by the law firm of Romney and Nelson in Salt Lake and later, the law office of Frandsen and Jensen in Price, Utah. She married her sweetheart, Max Finley on October 17, 1942, just a few months before Max was inducted to the Army during World War II and was sent to the battlefields of France and Germany. After nearly two and a half years, he returned to his cherished love and they made their home in Hiawatha and then in Price. Vera was passionate about the beauty in life, especially that beauty created by Mother Nature in the nearby Alpine areas, where she loved to spend her free hours studying the beautiful landscapes. Remembering the beauty she found there, she painted oil landscapes which now bless the homes of her family. She loved flowers, both wild and tame. They were her treasures. She studied each variety carefully and could name many with their Latin names. With this enthusiasm, she and her husband produced a wonderful wildflower book that has become well known and is placed in hundreds of homes and used often in schools. "Wildflowers of Castle Country," has been a great success for her. Her gift to all of us was the beautifulroses she grew in her several flower gardens. We believe she loved roses more than any other wild or tame flower. Above all else, she loved raising her cherished children. Her life was complete, she often said, when she became the mother of twins, Stanton and Shannon, and then later, Randall. She raised them to love life, as she did, to be energetic, hard working, and kind, loving persons. She was always so involved with the many activities that her children and grandchildren were involved in and loved to be part of the important things in their lives. She loved her church work, including, working and teaching in Relief Society and teaching Primary. She belonged to the Carbon County Historical Society and the Utah Historical Society because of her love of local history. She lived through a Great and Remarkable Generation. She was the "Lady of the Greatest Generation," selling World War II bonds. She sold a great number of these. She was also a great comfort to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the war. Vera was a wonderful friend to many people and was devoted to helping them any way she could. Vera's work here on earth is complete and she has gone to join Heavenly Father and prepare a way for her family. She is survived by her sweetheart, Max R. Finley; three children, Stanton Finley, Shannon (Gail) Hamilton, and Randall (Jill) Finley; a sister, Helen (Kirk) Snow; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. The family wishes to thank our family doctor and his staff for their help and the nurses and attendants at the hospital and Parkdale Care Center. This poem expresses her heartfelt thoughts, which she knows to be true: "Across the years I will walk with you in deep green forests; on shores of sand, and when our time on earth is through in Heaven too, you will have my hand." Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 11 a.m. at the Price LDS 4th Ward Chapel (545 East 400 North Price, Utah.) A viewing will be Tuesday, February 26, 2008 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Fausett Mortuary in Price with a viewing one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the Cliffview Cemetery. Services are in the care of Fausett Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Utah Historical Society (801-533-3500 / 300 South Rio Grande Street Salt Lake City, Utah 84101).
Published in the Salt Lake Tribune on 2/24/2008.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hiawatha & Memories

                    BACK HOME

He was returning home on that bright spring day

To that small coal town where he used to play.

Stories he had heard of its slow demise,

But what he found was a shock to his eyes!


As he drove up the road the houses were gone.

There were now tumble weeds where there used to be lawn.

The trees, mostly dead, stood stark and bare.

That the town was gone just did not seem fair.


The few buildings that were left were stark and alone

The wind whistling through did cause them to moan.

The windows were broken and doors hung askew.

He almost wept in anguish at the dastardly view.


The town was Hiawatha, where he had spent his youth,

What he would call it now would be something uncouth.

He thought to himself, as up the road he did drive

This place now dead was once very much alive.


The kids used to run and play on Silk-Stocking Row

Now on the dead grass stood a buck and a doe.

String Town he traveled in his car much to fast

He had wonderful memories of things from the past.


He drove by the store, post office and hall

They were about to fall down—everything—all.

He traveled down Main Street to see the demise

Went by the bathhouse with tears in his eyes.


He drove to West Hiawatha, on up to the mine

The year etched on the portal was 1909.

The gate hung askew on hinges of rust

Because of the condition he almost cussed.


He thought to himself as down the canyon he ran,

This trip for me, brought childhood memories to a man.

This town makes me ill, it is gone, it is dead.

He loved so much the past that was in the back of his head!


It all looks so decrepit, and worn out and so small

It was not what he remembered, no, not even at all.

He hurriedly went by where the school used to stand.

Where he learned many things and he played in the band.


He passed the spot where the tipple once ground

The black “King Coal” that was dug from the ground.

The tipple was gone now and its place looked bleak

He stepped on the gas and left like a streak.


As he drove through the cedars, his mind wandered back

To the tipple, the school, mine office and track.

He thought as he traveled the road from the town

He could never, no never, go back to his hometown.


Written by:

Wallace R, Baldwin

After a trip to Hiawatha, Utah

25 April 2002

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bill Burgess

Hi Wally,  You are doing a great service by keeping us all posted via e-mail.  I don't get down to my computer often, but when I do and look at my e-mail I"m always pleased to see the mail from you.  I don't have Shirley Burgess' address.  Can you get it for me.  I was unable to attend the funeral and feel badly about that.  I'd like to contact her though and would appreciate any help you may be able to give to me.  All the best, and keep up the great work you are doing.  Your friend and Hiawatha Brother,  Eldon

Hiawatha--Deseret News Article

Remembering Hiawatha[0]

Little Carbon County coal town lives on in many hearts

By Carma Wadley
Deseret News senior writer

    From start to finish, Hiawatha[0] was a company town. From top to bottom, it was owned and operated by U.S. Fuel Co. Hiawatha[0] was a coal town; and like so many of the little towns of the early 20th century, its fortunes rose and fell with the vagaries of the energy market.

Dan[0] Miller, left, and Wally Baldwin explore the post office, where magazines and papers still lie scattered.

Chuck Wing, Deseret News
   "I'm sure it was not the Utopian small town that I like to remember," says Wally Baldwin, who spent his adolescence in the Carbon County town.
   And yet, it seems, something about Hiawatha[0] burrowed itself into the hearts and souls of nearly everyone who lived there. Once a Hiawathan, always a Hiawathan. Once a member of that small, tight-knit community, you could never, ever entirely leave it.    The town was shut down in the early 1990s, when the last of the coal mines ceased operation. By then, only a handful of homes and buildings remained, and in 1992, 18 of those — deemed unsafe by the company — were bulldozed.
   Eventually the area was sold by U.S. Fuels to the Hiawatha[0] Coal Co., which has other holdings in Carbon County. A few scattered buildings and offices still stand. A gate across the road announces that this is a "closed industrial facility," private property unaccessible to the public without permission.
   "What they say, about you can't go home again — that's sure true of Hiawatha[0]," says Baldwin. "Everyone who goes up there comes back crying at what's been done."
   And yet — even as he looks out over the weed-choked fields and empty hollows — he remembers the good times.
   He's not alone.
   Twice a month, a couple dozen or so men who used to live in Hiawatha[0] meet at the Grecian Gardens restaurant in Salt Lake, to have breakfast and reminisce about the time they spent in the little coal town.
Former residents of Hiawatha meet twice a month at a restaurant in Salt Lake City to have breakfast and reminisce.

Paul Barker, Deseret News
   "Hiawatha[0] is a town that won't die," says Baldwin. "We just can't seem to let it go."
   The memories are like bits of brightly colored glass that fit together to form a kaleidoscopic design. As one man starts talking, the others chip in, adding details and richness to the story.
   The men range in age from their mid-60s to their early-80s. Some are related, by blood or by marriage. They have divergent interests, yet they all share common bonds.
   For one thing, they all have nicknames: Whitey (a k a Harold Mason), Blackie (Merlin Blackburn), Punjab (Clarence Allred), Touch (that was Baldwin's). "Somehow, everyone got a nickname while they were growing up," says Dan "Kiabab" Miller. "And they stuck. That's still how we know each other."
   They talk of growing up in a town that was divided by ethnic and other boundaries, yet had a cohesiveness that was unequalled elsewhere.
   "We had Swede Town and Greek Town," says Mike "Spudnut" Orphanakis. "There was String Road and Silk Stocking Row — that was where all the bigwigs lived. East Hiawatha[0] was actually north of West Hiawatha[0]. There was Tram Town and Flat Town and Railroad Town and others." Everyone was identified by where they came from, he says, but it didn't make any difference where that was.
   "We had every nationality in the book," adds Pete "Petroff" Petrutakis. "But nobody felt segregated. All the kids just wanted to be buddies. That attitude is what built America, and we grew up in that atmosphere in this small town."
Railroad-crossing signal is a reminder of days not long ago when coal was regularly shipped out of Hiawatha[0].

Chuck Wing, Deseret News
   They talk of times when people made their own entertainment. Tom "Muggsy" Neilson remembers running the movie projector every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night while he was in the eighth through the 12th grades. Orphanakis had a little dance band, with trumpet, sax and clarinet.
   Every summer, remembers Glenn "Coogie" Davis, the kids would get together and build a swimming hole up the canyon, diverting water into the foundation of an old building and damming it off. "Every year the company would come along and blow it up, and every year we'd build it back. That water was so cold, but we sure had fun there."
   Holidays had their special traditions, as well. "Some houses had indoor plumbing, but a lot still had outhouses," explains Don "Bud" Reaveley. "That made Halloween a lot of fun," interjects Neilson. "Say," asks Reaveley, "who was in that outhouse the last time we rolled it down the hill?"
   Nothing, however, created quite the interest that baseball did. Norman "Tucker" Lowe actually came to Hiawatha[0] specifically to play baseball. "My brother came out first from Arkansas (he had seven brothers; practically had their own team in Coalhill, Ark.) and he told me Hiawatha[0] has the best team. I came two weeks later."
   He got a job "picking bony," which meant sorting the rocks out of the coal. But he loved Hiawatha[0], he says. "I was only there for five years, but they were the best five years. I met some of the finest people in the world there."
   All the little coal towns has a baseball team, and they played against each other. "We won the championship almost every year," says Lowe. "Everyone in town wore black and orange baseball caps," remembers Blackburn.
Weeds encroach upon the old company store, one of only a few buildings in the town that have not been razed.

Chuck Wing, Deseret News
   "That Tucker could play," says Orphanakis. "He was a catcher, and he could throw people out from the crouch."
   "Yeah," laughs Lowe. "I was a catcher. That meant I had a good arm and a bad head."
   But Orphanakis wasn't too bad, either. In fact, he signed a contract with the New York Giants — and broke his leg two weeks before he was supposed to report to camp.
   But, he says, even if he didn't go on to fame and fortune, a lot of prominent people did come out of Hiawatha[0]. Doctors, lawyers, educators. One Hiawathan won the Medal of Honor as a Navy pilot in World War II; another flew with the Air Force Thunderbirds.
   Archie "Arch" McCarrie became a school principal. "I was a hellion when I was in school there. I went back one time after I got appointed principal. I saw my fourth-grade teacher, and told him I was now a principal in the Granite district. He pointed his bony finger at me. 'God is punishing you for how you acted,' he said."
   Baldwin has established a Web site, and he gets e-mails from all over the country from people who lived there or whose parents or grandparents lived there.
   Every August, Price holds a "Hiawatha[0] Day" reunion. "But there are about more people that live here than there now," says Lowe.
   Dan Miller looks out over today's Hiawatha[0] during a recent visit. "It's like MacArthur's old soldiers," he says "It's just fading away."
Dan Miller wanders through the cemetery in Hiawatha. He said the town is just "fading away."

Chuck Wing, Deseret News
   "It looks so decrepit, worn out, small," adds Baldwin.
   To the outsider, it's hard to believe that so much activity, so many houses and buildings once filled the narrow valley. Nothing remains of String Row, where Baldwin used to live. Nothing is left of East Hiawatha[0], where Miller grew up.
   The buildings that do remain evoke rich memories:
   The Amusement Hall: "where we did everything," says Baldwin. One night, a dance; the next night a movie. "That's where we played basketball. The rafters were so low, we all had to learn to shoot straight. Other teams would come in and try to loft the ball and they'd hit the rafters. Gave us an advantage, I guess."
   The post office: still filled with scattered magazines and canceled checks. "Mail was kind of self-service in those days. Anyone who was going to Price would pick up the mail for everyone," remembers Miller.
   The old jail: "The rumor was that the guy who built the jail got paid off and got in a fight and ended up being the first prisoner," laughs Miller "Sure couldn't put anyone in here now; the ACLU would be on you," adds Baldwin.
   The old mine entries, labeled 1909 and 1914: As a boy, Baldwin worked a day-and-a-half in the mine. "I couldn't stand the claustrophobia. They gave me a tipple job instead."
   The tipple, where coal was sorted, once a major landmark in the town, is now gone. As is the old school. "We went to school through the ninth grade here, then we got bused to Price," explains Baldwin. "We'd always ride the bus in the morning, but we'd hitch a ride home after school. We always beat the bus."

   There are a few houses left along Silk Stocking Row. The teachers dormitory still stands, as does the old bathhouse. That was where the men coming from the mines could wash off the coal dust before going home. "For some reason, my dad didn't ever use it," says Baldwin. "I remember him coming home covered in black, everywhere but his eyes."
   Coal dust was a fact of life. One of the things Baldwin remembers most vividly was the contrast between the black dust and the white snow in the winter. "It, of course, transferred to your car, your clothes, your feet and your house. It was impossible to keep it out or off, but not many complained, because 'Coal was King.' "
   Baldwin was actually born in Mohrland, but when that mine closed in 1938 his family moved to Hiawatha[0]. His dad had a teaching degree, "but he couldn't make enough to live on, so he got a job at the weigh shack. . . . He'd come home and tell us that a hundred coal cars left town on that day. Each car held 40 to 50 tons."
   The men remember how everyone took their vacation at the same time. "The mine shut down for two weeks, usually in July, and the whole town went camping. It was called a 'miner's vacation.' And we also used to all go picnicking down on Hamburger Flats," says Miller.
   Tumbleweeds play there now.
   "I can't believe how all the vegetation has moved in" he says. "You'd hardly know there was a town here."
   The twice-monthly breakfasts started last September. Miller called up Lowe and invited him out for a cup of coffee. "Then Pete retired, and we invited him. Then we just kept adding others." Somebody knew somebody else. They all wanted to come talk about old times.
Miller, left, and Baldwin pass by the old school, which students attended through ninth grade[0].

Chuck Wing, Deseret News
   They started out at Dee's on Highland Drive, but they soon outgrew their booth. "They offered to give us a special room here, and we've been coming here ever since."
   At a recent breakfast, the men voted to have a luncheon and invite the wives — many of whom are from the area. "A lot of us married 'swamp angels.' That's what we called girls from the other towns," says Davis.
   But mostly the men just want to share the camaraderie with each other.
   "Remember deer hunting?" asks Clyde "Dopey" Reaveley. "Everyone went hunting. The whole town shut down. It was the biggest thing in town, like a national holiday."
   "Remember when a lone car came down the tramway?" asks Neilson. "That was the terror of the town. You knew someone had been hurt or killed. The whole town would panic and run out to see what happened."
   "I made that trip once," says Lowe. "Luckily I wasn't hurt bad. Quite a few got killed."
   "My dad was on the rescue team at Castle Gate," adds Neilson. "He never liked to talk about it much though."
   Life, death, love, sport. Ordinary topics that take on extraordinary meaning to the group.
   "I loved that place," says Mason. "If it was still going, I'd move back."
   "Everyone knew everyone; everyone took care of everyone," says Arthur "Ken" Allred.
   "We're not living the past," says Davis, "but you can tell we all have happy memories."
   "It keeps us young," says Orphanakis. "It was the funnest little town. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it."

E-mail: carma@desnews.com


u r quite the computer wiz now aren't you? ---Tammi


I tried it and it worked!  Great job, thanks for doing all the work so we can all enjoy and participate.
Thanks for coming Wednesday, it was good to see you and Donie again. That's the beauty of being from our little piece of history, we still keep in touch!  Myrna

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hiawatha Fire

Inferno at Hiawatha cultural hall burns as firefighters scramble for water

Firefighters from Price, Helper, Wellington and Huntington responded to a fire at the old cultural hall in Hiawatha last Thursday evening. Two fire trucks from each municipality, three ambulances and two water trucks from the county responded to the call.

Chief Kent Boyack of the Price City fire department said the fire started when a chimney from a furnace overheated. The surrounding insulation ignited and the blaze spread from there.

With no working fire hydrants in the community, the only water available was in the fire trucks. Firefighters refilled some of the trucks by pumping water from a shallow creek east of town. When tanker trucks from the county arrived, responders refilled the trucks. But with the building already engulfed in flames, attention turned to two neighboring buildings, the old post office and the old United States Fuel Company administration offices. The post office was reported to be vacant, but there were people living in the office building.

Firefighters let the cultural hall burn, but saved the two adjacent buildings, which suffered smoke and heat damage.

Boyack said that four minors allegedly were in the cultural hall. The parents had reportedly left for Florida that morning and left a 16-year-old in charge of three younger children. Carbon County Sheriff Lt. Roy Robinson said the Division of Child and Family Services was called to handle the case.

One firefighter suffered from smoke inhalation, but there were no other injuries or fatalities reported.

Boyack said that the actual cost of damages is unknown because the department has been unable to contact the occupants to determine what was in the building. He estimated damages to be around $100,000.

Hiawatha Soldier

Carbon veteran organizations dedicate new marker at grave of World War I soldier

Mario DiCaro, Gary Latour, Bill Gigliotti and Sandy Diamanti fold an American flag during ceremonies dedicating a new marker at the Price City Cemetery for Elmer Louis Wilson, a World War I veteran who died in January 1931. Apparently, the family from Hiawatha was not able to make arrangements for a marker when Wilson died. But in the last few months, with the assistance of local military groups, the family members were able to secure a government veteran gravestone for Wilson. The ceremony took place on Veterans Day. The dedication took place after the yearly program honoring veterans and people presently serving in the military at the Peace Garden in downtown Price.

Hiawatha Picture

Short Story

The following story was written in 1930 by the Teachers, Pupils and Patrons of the Carbon District. Please, read the foreword about this project. If anyone knows the names of the writers of these stories please notify Kathy Hamaker so credit can be given to those that deserve the credit.


Hiawatha nestles at the foot of Gentry Mountain, two arms of which seem to reach out and almost encircle the town. It is located eighteen miles southwest of Price and ten miles off the State Highway, which passes from Price through Emery County to Salina in Sevier County. The elevation of Hiawatha is 7,180 feet.

The first settler was an Austrian by the name of Smith. He located a ranch on the present site of Hiawatha and the traces of some of his dugouts may still be seen in the wash a few hundred feet from the present teachers' dormitory. All other buildings which he may have erected have long since been torn down and forgotten.

The development of the mining industry in the mountains adjoining was the reason for the founding of Hiawatha as a community. In 1908 F.E. Sweet, present owner of Standardville property, opened a mine on the middle fork of Miller Creek. He called this camp Hiawatha. Later two other mining men, Browning and Eccles by name, opened a mine in what is now Hiawatha property and called that camp Black Hawk.

The first houses in the community were erected in what is now known as Greek town. In 1911 sixteen houses were built east of the railroad tracks. The houses along the tramway were built in 1912 and 1913. A year later the houses west of the present school house were erected.

In 1911 the citizens of Hiawatha circulated a petition, which was signed by 70 voters, asking that the town be incorporated. This was granted, and on Sept. 26, of that year, the city government was established. Henry E. Lewis was the first president of the town board and Geo. E. Haymond, Dr. J.E. Dowd, Dr. J. R. Fleming and D. Johnson were the members of the Board. There were 435 people in Hiawatha, eighty-nine being voters.

The U.S. Fuel Company purchased and consolidated the two mines in 1912. The headquarters of the company were established in Black Hawk. Both towns, Hiawatha and Black Hawk, had post offices. In 1915 the post office at Hiawatha was closed and the town government was moved to Black Hawk following the consolidation. The name of the entire community was changed to Hiawatha. This is still the trade name of the coal shipped from the West Hiawatha mine.

In 1908 when the mine was opened on Miller Creek, Ruben G. Miller owned all of the water rights. It was necessary for the consolidated Fuel Company to purchase Miller's water rights, and the ranch owned by him, in order to get water for the camp. The Smith ranch was purchased as a town site for Black Hawk. When the mines were first opened good judgment was used in the laying out and development of the property. The room and pillar method was used and on account of existing conditions it was the best method. When the mines were first opened all the mining was done by hand. Shortly after this time undercutting machines were purchased. These machines travel on a truck and can thus be taken to any part of the mine which has a track. When a place is to be cut the machine is unloaded from the truck and set to the face of the coal. The machines are so constructed that they can dig their way back under the coal for a distance of six or seven feet. The faces are then drilled, shot down, and loaded out by men.

In 1917 a machine was procured which would cut the coal on the top. The coal was drilled and shot up from the bottom. This method did not prove to be successful because the bottom shots would break slate loose from the floor and mix it with the coal. Bottom cutters have been used since that time. During 1929 a new type of machine was put on the market which would cut the bottom, turn half over and shear the face down the center. One of those machines is now operating in King No. 1 mine.

The loading of the coal in the mine cars was done entirely by hand until 1917. At this time several types of mechanical loaders were put on the market. Two of these loaders were tried out in King No. 1 mine. Both proved to be failures. From then until 1925 all the coal was loaded by man power. At this time other types of loading machines were purchased which proved to be successful and for the past four years over 50% of all the coal mined has been loaded mechanically. The loading machine is nothing more than a conveyor which carries the coal from the face to the car. The rotating arms on the front of the machine drag the coal onto the conveyor. This machine is used in rooms and entries. A scraper conveyor is more adaptable to pillar extraction. Two such machines are in use in the King No. 1 mine at the present time. A scraper is a large bucket which is pulled up and down the face of the coal by a hoist and a rope. The coal is pulled into a hopper from which a conveyor carries the coal to the mine car.

From the following figures one can readily see the growth in the coal production of the Black Hawk mine. During the year 1912, 78,769 tons were produced. In 1929 the production had grown to 428,347 tons. King No. 1 mine is very safe from a gas standpoint. It is located high up on the mountain, all the cracks and crevices in the strata over the coal are free from water and in ages past the gas has escaped through these cracks. Gas is usually found in mines which are driven under rivers where the water pressure keeps the cracks sealed.

The first railroad to Hiawatha was built by the Consolidated Fuel Company in 1909. While this road was in operation the railroad headquarters and shops were located in East Hiawatha. Due to the heavy grades and the impossibility of hauling large trains, a new road was built by the Fuel Company in 1914. This road extended from Castle Gate, a distance of 23 miles. The road to Price was abandoned and the steel torn up in 1917.

The town is prosperous and within its limits can be seen the splendid school building, church spires, recreation hall, hotel and store buildings. The profusion of trees, lawns, flowers, and gardens emphasize the pride of the people in their attractive homes. Two hundred twenty-five dollars is given away each year to the owners of the best kept lawns and gardens. The company dairy farms, located at the old Miller ranch insures the employees of a plentiful supply of pure milk and cream. Water from mountain springs is carried to every home in the town through a well installed water system. A modern sewer system aids in sanitation. The town is governed by a Board, with the following members at present: J.P. Russell, President, F. E. Gleason, L.F. Crogan, D.V. Garber and E. E. Wright, trustees. Merrit Brady is Justice of the Peace and Wm. Steckleman is Town Marshall.

Until 1920 when the present school building was erected, considerable difficulty was experienced in housing the pupils. During one year school was held in five different buildings in the town. The teachers had much trouble in finding a places to live or board. The commodious teachers' dormitory solved this problem for the time being but there has been a tendency for many of the more recent teachers to live else where while teaching here or to be recruited during the teacher shortage from local people whose homes are already in Hiawatha.

Information was not available regarding all the names of the school principals, who have directed the local schools. H. A. Dahlsrud was principal for many years but resigned at the close of the year 1945-1946. He was succeeded by R.S. Williams, who is the present principal. Hiawatha has always taken pride in the quality of its schools and community interest and support has been given the Board of Education and its employees.

Possibly one of the greatest needs of a community like Hiawatha is adequate entertainment for its people. The company, realizing this built the amusement hall in 1917 and turned it over to the Y.M.C.A. to operate. This organization had charge of the hall until 1924, when the Hiawatha Welfare Association was organized and given charge of its management. The policy has always been to use this building for the civic improvement and entertainment of the people of the town. Picture shows are operated, dances conducted, road shows encouraged to "make" Hiawatha, and all other types of wholesome entertainment are encourage. At various times during the history of the community, the town has supported baseball and other clubs to occupy the leisure time of its people. Hiawatha has a fine Scout organization and enthusiastic leaders who sponsor it.

Reliable data was not submitted regarding the personnel of the mining Superintendents who have served Hiawatha since the establishment of the camp. James McKim is the present head of the United States Fuel Company properties at Hiawatha.


You have done a lot of work putting all this info together. I certainly appreciate all you have done to keep Hiawatha alive.  It's a town that will not die.  I have looked at most of your new blogger page and I must say now everything can be looked at and enjoyed.  Good job Wally, I salute you.
Don Reaveley.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hiawatha Day-- 2007



These Pictures were from Hiawatha Day in Price in August 2007. Does anyone know who they are. I know most of them but not all of them?


Monday, February 18, 2008

Bill Burgess Obit notice

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William Garth Burgess
William Garth Burgess "Loving Husband and Father" William Garth Burgess, age 81, returned home to his Heavenly Father on February 15, 2008, due to injuries sustained from an accidental fall. William (Bill) was born January 12, 1927, in Tooele, Utah, to William and Nellie Jones Burgess. Bill served his country honorably during World War II from March 1945 to December 1946, and again during the Korean War from July 1950 to July 1953. He was proud to have grown up in Hiawatha, Utah, where he married the love of his life, Shirley Dean Gentry, on January 28, 1954; their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. They later moved to the Avenues in Salt Lake City, where they made their home for many years. Bill worked at Hill Air Force Base for 34 years and retired in May of 1988. Bill and Shirley were constant companions who enjoyed traveling on their motorcycle or in their trailer, spending many winters in Arizona. However, what Bill enjoyed most in life was spending time with his wife and family. He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley; devoted daughter, VaLair Burgess Rupp; and her husband, Laurie Rupp; three grandchildren: Burkeley (Shawna) Rupp, Carson (Brian) Stott, Brooklyn (Taylor) Laybourne; four great grandchildren: Connor Rupp, Parker, Reagan and Boston Stott; his sister, Myrna (Don) Wallace; brother-in-law Jay Martino; sister-in-law, Ruth Burgess. Preceded in death by his parents, William and Nellie Burgess; brother, Harold; sister VaLair. Funeral services will be Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 12:00 noon at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road where a viewing will be held from 10:30-11:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment, Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Published in the Deseret News on 2/17/2008.
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Hiawatha guys breakfast

We had a good turn out at Breakfast this morning. there were 16 of us. Several brought old pics to look at. A lot of pictures of Hiawatha (in its run-down state now). Those that were there were: Mike Manosakis, Dean Petrulas, Tony Kourianos,Don Reaveley, Clyde Reaveley, Glen Davis, Tucker Lowe, Mike Orphanakis, Ken Allred, Tom Neilson, Jay Wilson, Jim Bearnson, Darrell Bearnson, Wally Baldwin, Jim Garber, Bob Wilde.  We had a good visit and looked forward to the next time on 3 March 2008.


New Blog???

I am not sure I am going to like this but I am going to give it a try for a little while?


New Journal

I am considering going to a blog to replace my Web Pages. I am just experimenting at the present but may change in the future. I would appreciate anf feed back from all of my Hiawatha friends.