1889 - 1934: The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 2 Mine at Hanna, Wyoming
Notes by Bob Leathers
The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 2 underground mine in Hanna, like the No. 1 mine, was developed in 1889 and 1890. In 1891 the mine produced 38,507 tons of coal for outside use. The mine itself used all the coal produced prior to 1891. The mine was then idle for 3 years, 1892 through 1894. In 1895, the No. 1 mine caught fire and was forced to temporarily close. The shutdown of No. 1 forced the No. 2 mine back into production. When the No. 1 mine recovered from the fire late in 1895 the No. 2 mine when back to idle status. The No. 2 mine went idle for the next nine years, 1896 through 1904. The No. 2 produced 31,131 tons of coal in 1895. In 1904, the mine was forced back into production because of the June 30, 1903 explosion of the No. 1 mine. The No. 2 mine was closed permanently on April 20, 1934 when all the coal had been removed. The No. 2 mine produced 6,206,201 tons of coal over 31 years of production. During the mine’s lifetime, the highest number of workers was 633 in 1918 and the low number of workers was 280 in 1930. The Hanna Basin mines (Hanna, Elmo, Carbon, Sampo and Dana) experienced a total of 372 miner deaths. The No. 2 mine in Hanna was responsible for 27 of the 372 deaths.
Union Pacific Coal Company's Hanna No. 2 Mine Fatalities
View the names of the 27 men killed in the No. 2 mine.
Union Pacific Coal Company's Hanna No. 2 Town and Mine
No. 2 Mine Hanna Abandoned
By T.H. Butler
The closing of No. 2 Mine, Hanna, on April 20, 1934, removed the last of the early day operations in the Hanna district.
No. 2 mine was opened in the spring of 1889, under the direction of Mr. L.R. Meyer, then Mine Superintendent of the Carbon mines, and Mr. Joseph Cox, Mine Foreman, supervised the work underground.
It continued in operation until May 1, 1891, at which time it was closed down on account of No. 1 Mine supplying all the needs of the Railroad and commercial trade. In February, 1895, it was reopened to provide railroad fuel for a short time owing to No. 1 Mine being closed temporarily on account of mine fire. The reopening of the mine was under supervision of Mr. E. S. Brooks, Mine Superintendent, and Mr. John Battle, Mine Foreman. In April, 1895, during the shutdown period, the tipple at No. 1 Mine was burned down, making it necessary to build a temporary tipple to operate the mine until a permanent tipple was completed.
Work being resumed in No. 1 Mine the latter part of April, 1895, No. 2 Mine was again closed down and all material and track removed and the mine entrances sealed, the mine allowed to fill up with water.
In the spring of 1905, the dewatering of No. 2 Mine was commenced. Heavy steel was laid on slopes and entries, and 42-inch gauge cars with a capacity of 2 1/2 tons were installed, and the mine again resumed operation under the direction of Mr. Brooks, with Mr. Alfred Dodds as Mine Foreman.
From the year 1905 until April 20, 1934, this mine has been continuously in operation, producing 6,256,157 tons of coal. During the period of heavy demand, it produced 2,200 tons daily.
June 9, 1922, the tipple, boiler house and old power house were completely destroyed by fire. A new tipple was put into operation November 13, 1922.
In opening this mine, it was operated under the room and pillar system, but, owing to the heavy pitch and the desirability of undercutting the coal, the system was changed during 1912 to the panel system, electric mining machines and drills were installed, and prior to that time electric locomotives had been placed in service. Permissible power and electric cap lamps were put in service, as safety measures, because in the lower entries of this mine a great deal of explosive gas was given off and the coal was subject to spontaneous combustion.
During the operation of No. 2 Mine, the following Superintendents were in charge: Mr. L.R. Meyer, Mr. E.S. Brooks, Mr. Alexander Briggs, Mr. T.H. Butler, Mr. William Hartman, Mr. William Cowdrey and Mr. O.G. Sharrer. The first three named are now deceased. The following Foremen have been in charge of the mine: Mr. Joseph Cox, Mr. John Battle, Mr. James While, Mr. Alfred Dodds, Mr. Thomas Wakely, Mr. W.B. Rae, Mr. Charles Higgins, Mr. Edward Brooks, Mr. John Kinghorn, Mr. William Hughes, Mr. J.G. Crawford, Mr. Herbert Chadwick, and Mr. J.V. McClelland. Of these, Messrs, Cox, Battle, While, Dodds and Rae died several years ago.
The residents of Hanna, particularly those who grew up with the mine and the town, will regret the passing of this land mark.
Following the policy of The Union Pacific Coal Company when mines are shut down, twenty-five of the men displaced in this mine were transferred to No. 4 mine, Hanna, and twenty-five men were transferred to other operations of the Company in the Rock Springs field. (UPCCEM, June 1934)