Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

Castle Gate Relief Fund Committee

On March 8, 1924, explosions within a Castle Gate coal mine changed the lives of over one hundred families in Carbon County, Utah. A headlamp ignited methane gas, which in turn incinerated airborne coal dust and caused an explosive chain reaction killing 172 men. There were no survivors.

The disaster left 110 widows with 264 dependant children. Governor Charles Mabey realized the crippled community needed additional relief and called for public subscription of a relief fund for these widows and children. Governor Mabey appointed nine prominent businessmen and citizens of Carbon County to oversee the distribution of the relief fund. They monitored the financial needs of the families, maintained the funds, and administered relief from 1924 to 1936.

The Utah State Archives holds the records of this Castle Gate Relief Fund Committee. The following exhibit displays examples of the minutes, correspondence, photographs, and reports.