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Old Carbon Cemetery

Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1245986638000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Larsen, Larson and Nelson
I'm trying to find out if there is a listing of burials at the Old Carbon Cemetery. Also, any list of burials in the Elk Mountain cemetery. I'm looking for Larsen (or Larson) and Nelson families.

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1308637291000
Classification: Query
Old Carbon Cemetery
Replies: 0
Old Carbon Cemetery New
joan_mayden (View posts) Posted: 28 Jun 2009 8:09PM
Classification: Query
With Cheyenne's Genealogy Dept. Located at the Cheyenne City Library is a lady named Sharon Lass-Field who has researched and cataloged all of the Cemeteries in the state-many on family ranches. She is extremely knowledgable and most likely would be able to help. She possibly even has written a list, or book. I do know the catholic cemetery in Rawlins at one time was on line. Her email is She is usually at the City Library in the Genealogy Dept on Wed.

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1309060820000
Classification: Query

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1309920130000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1309920317000
Your Welcome
Not sure what yrs your looking at...
My Great Grand-Father was the first white male born in region....He started in mines at age 10 and later became Mine Super-Intendant......My grandfather got out of mines and went to work for Union Pacific...

So we have a lot of info or point of contact in those areas.

We have seen pic(s) of mine workers posing together for different mines...usually they list the mine, yr, and name of each miner in photo...i've even seen them list miners not present for photos...

please be aware that most occupations in those communities....were either mines or building Union Pacific Railroad heading west

There were (2) major mine explosions!!!
1) on July 1, 1903 - 235 Killed
They ended sealing the Hanna Mine #1
Bodies never recovered
(I copied Newspaper Articles)

2) another in 1908
Some bodies never recovered

There are Memorial Walls with names of all miners and rescue workers that died. I know one of them is at the Hanna Cemetery with names on all four sides of memorial

********* 1903 Newspaper Articles*************

Hanna, Wyo., July 1. 1903


According to the best information obtainable this morning, 235 men out of 282 who were in the mine were killed in the explosion here yesterday. The majority of the victims are Finlanders and negroes. A small army of rescuers, spurred on by the frantic appeals of wives, mothers and children who gathered at the mine, worked with desperate energy all night. They tell of pitiful scenes at the seventeenth level, the lowest point reached during the night.
Fought the Rescuers: Some of the survivors were driven insane and fought furiously against the rescuers. Dazed, listless survivors were found sitting on cars or lying on the floor, careless of whether they lived or died. Near the seventeenth level twenty bodies were found strewn over a pile of debris which the men had striven to surmount before they were overcome by the deadly fumes. Some were seared and blackened by flames, but all had died crawling toward fresh air. The eleven rescuers who penetrated thus far were too weak to bring out a body.
For hours the scene at the mouth of the level was heart moving. With clothes and hair awry, mothers, wives, sweethearts and children huddled together, weeping and wringing their hands. Many sat on shattered timbers blown from the mine's mouth insensible to their surroundings.
Tried to enter the mine: The most frantic pushed to the edge of the gap and tried to force a way into the slope. An expert who went almost to the seventeenth level says the mine cannot possibly be cleared for a month. It is feared that men in the lower levels were torn to pieces by the explosion, which hurled great timbers high over the town and 1,700 feet beyond the mouth of the slope. Among the dead is Alfred Hapgood, who turned the first shovel of dirt in starting the slope. The fire bosses who had reported all safe before working time yesterday met death while making a second inspection.
01 July 1903
The Fort Wayne Sentinel
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Omaha, Nebraska., July 1. -- An order for 150 coffins in which to bury victims of the mine horror at Hanna, Wyo., was received here today.
01 July 1903
The New York Times, New York
Hanna, Wyoming, June 30. -- Hanna was the scene of a terrible disaster at 10:30 today when an explosion of fire damp in Mine No. 1 of the Union Pacific Coal Company snuffed out the lives of 234 men, injured scores of others and caused the destruction of a vast amount of property.
The mine was not fired, as was stated in the earlier reports, but the explosion was terrific and completely shattered the timbers of the main shaft and numerous entrances, filling the working with debris, and those of the miners that were not killed outright by the explosion were buried alive.
The explosion was heard for many miles around and attracted people from the adjoining settlements. Huge timbers and railroad iron were hurled 300 feet from the shaft.
Forty-Six Men Rescued: Superintendent E. S. Brooks and a large force of men began the work of removing debris from the shaft that they might reach the entombed miners. Their progress into the mine was blocked by the foul gases and several times they were forced to return to the surface.
All day the rescuing party worked, the force being increased from time to time by the arrival of ranchmen and others from near-by settlements and by that of a relief train sent out from Rawlins, which arrived at 2 o'clock this afternoon.
About 1 o'clock this afternoon four men were taken out alive and a half hour later they were followed by forty-two others. Many were unconscious and had to be carried from the workings. Several are in a serious condition, but it is believed all will recover.
Rescuers Unable to Go Further: Two hundred and eighty-two men went down in the mine at 7 o'clock this morning, and up to a late hour tonight only forty-eight have been accounted for. Of this number two are dead. It was some time after the explosion occurred that the first man was brought to the surface. He was followed by others until 1 o'clock, when the last of the forty-eight was brought out. The rescuers were unable to penetrate further into the mine, as it was necessary to make another opening to permit fresh air to reach the lower levels.
Horses and scrapers were put at work hauling debris from the shaft. The work is progressing slowly, owing to the narrow space in which the rescuers are compelled to operate, but by day-light the mine should be opened sufficiently to permit of deep explorations and the rescue of the dead bodies.
Late tonight a party of rescuers reached four mules that were alive, and this caused renewed hope. It is a faint hope, however, for experienced mine bosses and miners say that when the imprisoned men are reached all will be found dead.
Too Frightened To Escape: Some of the miners who escaped say they saw twenty dead bodies in entry No. 17. They reported that many of the men were crazed by the explosion and ran hither and tither in the mine. Many of these could have escaped, but they lay down, buried their faces in their hands and gave up the fight.
Of the 234 dead about 175 were married and leave large families. About 100 were Finlanders, 50 were colored, and the rest were Americans.
The Hanna mines are the best on the Union Pacific system, having been established in 1878. The town was named for Senator Mark Hanna, when he was a member of the Union Pacific Company.
Mine No. 1 is practically a new property. It has twenty-six entries, fifteen miles of workings, and a main incline shaft of one and one-half miles in length. The mine has been recognized as a dangerous property for some time on account of the large amount of gas, but the system of ventilation has been so good that an accident was not anticipated.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------

1) James Watson Jr. is the nephew of William Richardson. William worked in the mines at Carbon prior to his Double 8 Ranch homestead at nearby Elk Mountain. James was the son of James Abbot Watson and Elizabeth Richardson, sister of William. His mother died in England. His father immigrated to Carbon with all of their children to work in the mines at Carbon. All of the daughters married local miners in Carbon. In 1902 the UP abandon the mines at Carbon and re-routed the railroad tracks 12 miles further north through Hanna. Most of the old Carbon miners followed the mines to Hanna.
William was one of the "arriving ranchers" mentioned in the news article that came to help search for the lost miners. He had worked with many of them and knew them personally. He also was a veteran miner with much expertise in mining issues.
2) The design of the No. 1 coal mine included a 1.5 mile (2.5km) long main shaft that followed the incline of the coal deposit, then 26 smaller side shafts, each culminating in a "room" at the main shaft, to allow for cross ventilation. The wind is a steady fact in Hanna, Wyoming and blows almost every day, especially in the fall, winter, and spring, only a few days in the summer are found calm days. It was probably during a rare period of several days of calm weather that allowed gasses to build up to the level required for this massive explosion.
3) The No. 1 mine at Hanna was located on the south side of the UPRR tracks, as was "One Town", the company owned housing project that all of the No. 1 miners lived in. On the north side of the tracks were "Two Town" and No. 2 mine, "Three Town" and No. 3 mine, "Sampo" and the Sampo mine, "Elmo" and the Elmo mine. Over time the entire area eventually became Hanna and Elmo.
4) Most of the original miners in Carbon came from England. At one point when a dispute over working conditions and child labor broke out, the Union Pacific brought in Finlanders to work. This was an attempt to "break" the demands of the English miners as the Finnish miners were eager to work long hours for low wages. According to family oral history passed down by Elise Ollikkala, daughter of Finnish miner Matts Ollikkala, when the Russian "Fin Landers" first arrived the English mistakenly thought the Finns originated from Mongolians because northern Finns were nomadic raindeer herders. The Fin Land Russians kept their own community, many failed to learn English, and were not considered "Americans". Over the course of a generation the differences were eventually overcome.
5) The official Office of the State Coal Mine Inspector Report filed 01 June 1904 lists 169 victims recovered and two never recovered. The remains of James Watson were found 23 July 1903, three weeks after the incident, on the entrance 20 shaft room 13. His remains were interred at the Old Carbon cemetery next to his brother John W Watson who was drug to death by a horse on June 14, 1891 at age 17.
6) The power of this explosion is hard to imagine as it ejected much debris up to 300 feet from the main shaft and "great timbers were hurled high over the town" and up to 1700 feet out of the main shaft.
7) The caskets were ordered from Omaha Nebraska, as that is the home office of the Union Pacific, owner of the mine.
8) The Alfred Hapgood mentioned in the article was a good family friend of the Richardsons. His son, Alfred Jr. "Shorty" Hapgood, was also a longtime friend of the Richardsons and fishing buddy of Albert Richardson. Shorty lived to be over 100 years old.

Editors: Marylin Richardson and Dwain Romsa
Submitter to cobnmlinn
added this on 15 Mar 2011

Re: Old Carbon

Posted: 1309920968000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1309929212000
Their is a book listing all the coal miners in wyoming
It has index of prominent people
Alpha Index of mine workers
It has photos of people from that area with stories

I also has a layout of Town of Old Carbon
shows streets and bldgs and houses
they r numbered
at the bottom....explanations of each bldg

I've been there....not much left standing
Dad took us around to them....He remembers (as a small boy) visiting relatives, places

... the saloon had bar and stools they would let them sit and have a soda. The barber shop was in back...they would have them sit on the stools and wasn't allowed in some areas because of liquor and ladies...

There was the General Store

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1309926820000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1309926894000
Yes the old carbon cemetery is still there.

It was very difficult to find....looked like dirt road...easy to miss.

The Hanna Historical Society has projects for the cemeteries.

I have been to Old Carbon Cemetery with my parents.
we actually drove their motor home in and stayed the night camped right next to the fences of the cemetery.

Graves are primarily in family plots. Some have cement curbing or fences that help you distinguish the boundaries.

Some graves are not marked.

We in fact have additional members buried in our families plot but do not know who is buried in them. the graves have a marker stone and some foot stones marking head and foot of grave.

some headstones will tell you family history
we have one that has large pillar with names on every side.

Their are Memorials for the Hanna Mine Explosions. Their were two major ones....One in 1903 and another on March 28, 1908

Their are also other memorials at other cemeteries
Hanna Cemetery
Old Carbon Cemetery
Carbon Cemetery

I recently found link to newspaper articles of 1903 mine explosion.
Please be aware...1903 mine explosion was so bad that most of the bodies were never recovered. The Mine is Sealed ever since.

The Memorials are quite large wall with all names of those killed in mines or trying to rescue those in mines.

The town is a ghost town...some bricks and sign markers are still there.
We have a book "History of Union Pacific Coal Mines"
1868 - 1940
Publ By: The Colonial Press
Reprint By: Wyoming Centinnial
Sponsored By: Sweetwater County Historical Society

It shows mine images, town, has photos of people, an index of miners, etc.

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1322053873000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hopkins
would it be possible to tell me how to get a copy of any of this information?
several of my ancestors were miners , my mom was a Hopkins and she even did bookkeeping and counted coal cars in the mines at one time tho I believe that was in Rock Springs later on. Thank You in advance for any information.

Re: History Of Union Pacific Coal Mines

Posted: 1331180672000
Classification: Query
Hi, I have several ways for you to possibly look...
you could try a library, or even try inter-library loan, or look at a Family History Center near you.
Here are titles of books for you to look in and places you should contact to find your families in areas of Carbon, Hanna, Elk Mountain (all are in Carbon County)---also look in Rocksprings (in Sweetwater County)...(Note: Some areas contain surrounding info as dont rule any of them out...Cheyenne has listings for whole be sure to check there as well
Topic: Wyoming, Coal Mines, history of towns and
people...contains photographs of prominent people,
founders, etc,; mine operations and mine crews -
as well as diagram of town of Old Carbon with it's
identifying information: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resource Type: Book ---

Title: "Images of America, Superior and South Superior" ---
Call # ______ ---
ISBN # 978-0-7385-8189-7 --
Library of Congress - Control Number: 2010934471 --
Publ By: Frank Prevedel --
Sweetwater County Historical Museum--
Copyright: 2011 --
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing;
Charleston, South Carolina --

Phone: (843) 853-2070 --
Fax: (843) 853-0044 --
Customer Service: 1-888-313-2665 --
Email: --


Topic: Wyoming, History of Coal Mines, History of towns
and people...contains photographs of mine
operations and mine crews, as well as indexes -----------

Resource Type: Book ----

Title: "History of Union Pacific Coal Mines" --
1868 - 1940 ----
Publ By: The Colonial Press ----
Reprint By: Wyoming Centinnial ----
Sponsored By: Sweetwater County Historical Society ----

Topic: Towns of Carbon and Hanna, Carbon County----
Point of Contact: The Hanna Basin Historical Society
Front Street
Hanna, Wyoming 82327

Topic: Carbon Cemetery Restoration Project and Photos...

Point of Contact:
The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office ---

Website: ---------
Then go to "What's New for an overview of
Carbon Cemetery Restoration Project and Photos


Re: Finding relatives in Wyoming

Posted: 1331181105000
Classification: Query
With Cheyenne's Genealogy Dept.
Located at the Cheyenne City Library
Point of Contact: Sharon Lass-Field
Email is
She is usually at the City Library in the Genealogy Dept on Wed.

Researched and cataloged all of the Cemeteries in the state-many on family ranches.
She is extremely knowledgable and most likely would be able to help. She possibly even has written a list, or book.
I do know the catholic cemetery in Rawlins at one time was on line.

Also check Greenhills Cemetery in Laramie...
Mt View Cemetery (Believe Rocksprings)
Old Carbon Cemetery
Hanna Cemetery
Elk Mtn Cemetery

Dont remember without more checking...if there is a cemetery in Reliance.

Re: Old Carbon Cemetery

Posted: 1331185476000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1331186174000
google in "Hanna Basin Museum Carbon Wyoming" to get to the Hanna Basin Museum. Once there you can find a complete list and records of known burials at the Old Carbon Cemetery. There is not yet anything on line for Elk Mountain Cemetery. I will be there at Memorial day for special requests. E-mail me at with requests for Elk Mountain.
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