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Newspapers important history tool

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Dear Editor,
For the past two and a half years, I have been involved with the Miner’s Memorial Committee. This group began with two men, who, together, spent more than eighty years in Eastern Utah coal mines. They formed a committee of past and present miners, miner’s families and community leaders to raise funds, design monuments and complete the research necessary to create two memorials that honor those who lost their lives in Emery and Carbon County coal mines.
The Carbon County Miner’s Memorial, which is located at the Peace Gardens in Price, was dedicated on Labor Day, September 6, 2015. The Emery County Miner’s Memorial, which will be placed in front of the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale, will be dedicated on June 11, 2016. In addition, four satellite monuments will be placed in Huntington, Scofield, East Carbon and Helper during the summer.
I am writing at this time to express my thanks to all of the local newspapers in both Emery and Carbon Counties for the support they have given us during this project. We would have never been able to reach the public without newspaper advertising. However, I would also like to convey my utmost appreciation for newspaper reporting in general.
When this project began, I had recently attended a presentation sponsored by the Emery County Historical Society on the Winter Quarter’s Mine Explosion. Because of my interest in that disaster, when I attended the very first Miner’s Memorial Committee Meeting on January 4, 2014, I volunteered to research the names of the victims of that tragedy. At that time, I began researching every newspaper article I could find to seek out names to be placed on the monument. Many of the older newspapers are archived online, which helped tremendously with this endeavor.
Our committee has worked diligently to ensure that the list of names and dates that will be placed on these monuments is accurate and complete. Because of that, extensive research has been conducted to verify this information. We have examined every State Mine Inspector Report, Labor Commission Report, Bureau of Mines Report and Mine Safety and Health Administration report available to us. Along with that, a great deal of research has been done through newspapers, past and present.
After reading every official document available, we were able to discover several names that would have been missed if we had not found an obscure article listing a miner’s name as accidents were reported in various newspapers around the state. If not for newspaper reporting, these miner’s would not have been included on the monuments and they wouldn’t have received the recognition they deserve. This finding has brought to light how very important newspaper articles are. Not just to report current events, but to leave a written record that will stand the test of time for those who will be conducting research in the future.
Thank you so much, to you and your entire staff, for your efforts. You can be found at events all over the county, at all times of the day or night, reporting about a variety of happenings in our communities. The records you create will have historical significance in the years to come and the work you do is very much appreciated.
Lori Ann Larsen

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