UtahRails.net UtahRails.net

(This page printed from UtahRails.net, Copyright 2000-2014 Don Strack)

Panther Coal Mine

Index For This Page

This page was last updated on July 2, 2013.

(Return To Utah Coal Index Page)

(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

The coal mine near Castle Gate served by Utah Railway. (This location is not at Panther Canyon, which is about 3/4 mile further south.)

Timeline

January 21, 1909
Frank N. Cameron, formerly of Utah Fuel, and Sam C. Sherrell, a building contractor, are to open a new coal mine in Panther Canyon. The two men purchased the Pessetto and Ferguson ranches on the west side of the Price River. The coal lands were known as the David J. Sharp holdings and comprise about 350 acres. They intend to build a tramway four miles in length. The mine's planned output was to be 500 tons daily. (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 21, 1909, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

April 1, 1909
Development work using 30 men began in late March 1909. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 1, 1909, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

April 29, 1909
Cameron paid the U. S. government $12,000 for the lease on 161 acres in Panther Canyon. The capacity of the mine was said to be 500-1000 tons per day. Cameron took over the old Ferguson ranch, and was to build a town to be named Panther. The coal mine was to be operated by the newly incorporated Panther Fuel Company. The tramway was planned to be two miles in length. Each tramway car would carry 3 tons of coal. The first output was said to be by the first of September. (Eastern Utah Advocate, April 29, 1909, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

July 29, 1909
Development work stopped in July 1909, possibly due to the loss of the coal vein. (Eastern Utah Advocate, July 29, 1909, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

September 16, 1909
Work had resumed by September 1909, but with fewer men. (Eastern Utah Advocate, September 16, 1909, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

August 11, 1910
Cameron was working six to eight men at the Panther mine. No coal would be shipped in time to furnish the needs of the coming fall or winter. (Eastern Utah Advocate, August 11, 1910, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

Marcxh 9, 1911
Cameron was working six men, with the mine tunnel being 800 feet in depth. Cameron thought that the mine would be shipping coal by summer 1911. (Eastern Utah Advocate, March 9, 1911, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

During late 1911 Cameron was working 30 men at the Panther mine and expected to open the mine soon. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, January 4, 1912)

May 30, 1912
Cameron was working 20 men at the Panther mine, where the development work was providing about four cars of coal per week. The coal was hauled to the D&RG cars by wagon. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, May 30, 1912, p. 5)

The Panther mine was located only about a half mile south of the Castle Gate rock formation. (USGS: "Castlegate", 1 to 62,500, 1916)

July 11, 1912
In July 1912 Cameron sold his mines at Panther and Castle Gate to the W. G. Sharp interests. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, July 11, 1912, p. 1)

Castle Gate Coal & Coke Co., corporation was dissolved in July 1912. The coal lands of the Castle Gate Coal & Coke Co., consisted of about 700 acres, and were sold to the W. G. Sharp interests. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, July 18, 1912, p. 4)

The "Willow Creek" and "Castle Gate" properties of F. N. Cameron were taken over by the W. G. Sharp interests. (Coal Index: Eastern Utah Advocate, July 18, 1912, p. 6)

The Castle Gate Coal Company was incorporated on August 5, 1912. (Utah corporation, index number 9704) The Castle Gate Coal Company became the Panther Coal Company on September 8, 1913. (Utah corporation, index number 10280)

(This was the second of three companies with the Castle Gate Coal Company name, and may have been the corporate vehicle used by United States Smelting to purchase Cameron's Panther coal mine.)

(A third company with the same Castle Gate Coal Company name was actually incorporated as the Castle Gate Coal, Coke & Fuel Company on September 8, 1913. This third company became the Castle Gate Coal Company on July 29, 1948, which was sold to the Bamberger Coal Company (incorporated on June 30, 1939) on January 17, 1949. This was the third of three companies with this name, and may have been a retail coal dealer.) (Utah corporation, index number 10281)

Panther mine was incorporated on August 5, 1912 by the Castle Gate Coal Company. Succeeded by the Panther Coal Company on September 8, 1913. The Panther mine began operation in 1914. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

The Panther mine was owned by the Castle Gate Coal Company. The coal was being hauled by wagon to the mouth of Willow Creek and loaded into rail cars. (Eastern Utah Advocate, January 2, 1913, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

The new mine expected to begin regular coal shipments in early 1914. The surface tramway between the mine and the "tipple" had a incline of 28 percent, or 28 feet of rise for every 100 feet of length. (Carbon County News, November 27, 1913, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

First coal shipment from the Panther mine was on February 12, 1914. The Panther mine was leased by W. G. Sharp to Frank Cameron and John Crawford, the mine's first superintendent. Improvements at the Panther mine during 1914 included a new mine opening into the Castle Gate coal vein, along with a cable operated tramway between the mine and the tipple, located on a spur of the D&RG. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 30, 1914, p. 21)

Sale To U. S. Fuel

March 30, 1915
United States Fuel Company was incorporated in Nevada on March 30, 1915. (Nevada Secretary of State, entity C208-1915; revoked in December 1991, reinstated in February 1992, still active as of July 2013, offices in Memphis, Tennessee)

April 1, 1915
Panther Coal Company was included in the merger on April 1, 1915 that created United States Fuel Company. Also included were Castle Gate Coal Company, Consolidated Fuel Company, and Black Hawk Coal Company. (Carbon County News, March 19, 1915, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

January 3, 1916
The property of Consolidated Fuel Company was conveyed to United States Fuel Company on January 3, 1916. (Carbon County Miscellaneous Records Book 3-D, pages 254-259)

The Utah Company was incorporated in Maine on March 26, 1912, as a holding company subsidiary of USSR&M. The Utah Company was shown in 1916 as holding 100 percent of the following companies, except as noted.

January 3, 1916
United States Fuel Company filed articles of incorporation with Utah secretary of state. Capitalized for $10 million, with incorporators being E. L. Carpenter, Moroni Heiner, E. R. Gibson, G. E. Forrester and H. R. Mcmillan. the company was to take over the interests of Consolidated Fuel Company, Castle Valley Coal Company, Black Hawk Coal Company, Utah Coal Sales Company, and a number of smaller coal mines in Emery and Carbon counties. United States Fuel Company was organized in Nevada. (News Advocate, January 7, 1916, page 1, "Monday")

The Panther mine was served by D&RG until Utah Railway began their own operations in December 1917, then the Panther mine was served by Utah Railway. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

The Panther spur was shown in 1919 map of Utah Railway as being the property of the United States Fuel, and was located about a half mile north of Utah Railway Junction. (map of Utah Railway, as of January 1, 1919)

The lease to Cameron and Crawford expired on April 1, 1918 and United States Fuel, who had taken over all of the Sharp coal interests, took over the operation of the mine. (Madsen, p. 39)

The Panther mine was established by the United States Fuel, which operated a cable tramway from the coal mine down to the tipple and the railroad. (Clark, p. 109)

An upgrade to the tipple at the Panther mine was completed in October 1924 to include better screening and a loading boom for Panther-brand nut and 3-inch by 8-inch lump coals. (United States Fuel: Firing Line, Volume 1, number 7, November 1924, p. 2)

In 1931 the Panther mine was leased to another operator and eventually closed in 1937. (United States Fuel: Thirty Years, p. 8)

The Panther mine only worked what was called the B seam throughout the 23 years of its operation. After that seam was exhausted in 1937, the Panther mine was closed. (Sun Advocate & Helper Journal Special Edition, January 2, 1975, p. 3)

The Panther mine was closed because United States Fuel Company could obtain coal more economically from their other properties. (Madsen, p. 39)

The Panther mine was closed on April 17, 1937 due to depletion, and the Utah Railway's spur line was removed. (Utah Railway: Coal Mines)

The buildings at Heiner were demolished during March 1938. (Salt Lake Telegram, March 17, 1938)

A Town Named Panther

A town for the mine workers was built in a flat area located at the mouth of Panther Canyon, about one mile south of the mine, along the Price River and the mainline of the D&RG. The town was known as Panther, served by the Carbon post office, a branch of the Helper post office (USGS: "Castlegate", 1 to 62,500, 1916)

The Sun-Advocate & Helper Journal, January 2, 1975, page 3, states that the exact reason Panther wasn't chosen for the town's name is unclear, but that early newspaper accounts state that the U. S. Post Office would not accept the name of Panther because it was the name of a wild animal. The 1916 USGS map shows the town as "Panther, Carbon PO".

The town was first known as Carbon. (Carbon County News, November 27, 1913, Utah Digital Newspaper Project)

At first, Frank Cameron named the town at the mouth of Panther Canyon as Panther, after the canyon. Later the name was changed to Carbon for short period of time. Finally the town was known as Heiner. (Zehnder, p. 14)

A post office was established at Panther in October 1918. At that time, the name was changed to Heiner, named for Moroni Heiner, vice president of United States Fuel Company. (Coal Index: The Sun, October 18, 1918, p. 6)

More Information

***

Creative Commons License Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict Valid CSS!