Life Story Facts
1887: The Union Pacific coal mines at Carbon were operating, but the mineable coal was diminishing. A new source of coal was needed. A new source was found at Chimney Springs, which would later become Hanna.
1888: The Hanna town site at Chimney Springs was surveyed and the area explored for coal mine locations. Mark Hanna, at the request of the Union Pacific Railroad, toured the Wyoming coal mines. On his trip he visited the newly discovered coal fields at Chimney Springs for possible expansion. He recommended the coal field be developed. When the decision to move the coal operation from Carbon to Hanna was made, the coal site at Chimney Springs was named Hanna after Mark Hanna.
1889 January 30: The United States Post Office Department established a Post Office at Hanna and appointed George F. Doane as postmaster.
1889 September 30: Wyoming approved the first state constitution to grant women in Hanna the right to vote.
1889: Workers spent their time in Hanna developing the Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine, No. 2 mine and building the town. Living conditions in Hanna during the winter of 1889 were difficult. The workers lived in tents and were exposed to the winter weather with little protection from Wyoming's cold and windy conditions.
1889: The Union Pacific Coal Company’s No. 1 Mine in Dana was opened for production. It produced 16,058 tons of coal in its first year.
1890: The first Hanna School was built.
1890: The original Hanna Methodist Church was built.
1890 July 10: Wyoming was admitted to the union. President Benjamin Harrison signed the Wyoming statehood bill, making Wyoming the 44th state in the union. The new town of Hanna celebrated.
1890 June 19: A fierce fire broke out in Carbon and burned most of the business district to the ground. A few reports indicate the fire started in the Scranton House hotel where a guest knocked over a kerosene lamp. The fire fighters even tried dynamiting a few buildings in hopes of stopping the fire from spreading, but their efforts were not successful. Immediately after the fire, the people and businesses started rebuilding the town and new laws and ordinances were passed to help avoid such a thing from happening again.
1890: The Union Pacific Coal Company was organized as a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad to oversee Wyoming coal mining.
1891 September: The new Hanna School had its first class of students.
1892 January 1: Ellis Island opened as a place to process immigrants coming into the United States. Some of those immigrants were headed to Hanna, Wyoming.
1892: The Hanna State and Savings Bank was established.
1892: The mine foreman in charge of developing the first Union Pacific Coal Company mines in Hanna, Joseph "Joe" Cox, was transferred from Hanna to Gray Creek, Colorado, as superintendent of the mines located there. He later became a private owner of two coal mines in Aguilar, Colorado.
1893 October 13: The Union Pacific Railroad went into bankruptcy.
1894: Labor Day became a federal holiday to be observed the first Monday in September. It was created to pay tribute to the contribution and achievements of American workers. Labor Day in Hanna was one of the most celebrated holidays.
1900: The two-story Finn Hall was moved from Carbon to Hanna. The Finnish miners moved the hall by hand seven miles from Carbon to the Hanna. The hall was originally placed near the first school.
1902: The Union Pacific Coal Company towns of Carbon and Hanna overlapped coal production for 13 years from 1889 to 1902.
1903 June 30: The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 Mine Exploded killing 169 men.
1903 August 8: The Coroner's Inquest was published for the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's Hanna mine No. 1, which killed 169 men. The report consisted of questions and answers from the miners that survived the explosion.
1905 June 13: Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 3 mine in Hanna opened for development. The mine started production of coal in 1906.
1907: The Union Pacific Coal Company formally recognized the United Mine Workers of America as the union representing the Hanna miners. The Hanna local 2335 was established. All the union members were employees of the Union Pacific Coal Company. William “Bill” Pascoe was the first president.
1908 March 28: The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna exploded twice in the same day killing 59 men.
1908 July 27: Noah Young, Wyoming State Mine Inspector reported to Governor B.B. Brooks the details of the March 28, 1908 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's Number 1 mine in Hanna.
1909: The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna was abandoned. It was the first mine opened for coal production in Hanna. The mine was developed in 1889 and 1890. The mine started outside coal production in 1891 when it produced 133,283 tons of coal. It stayed in operation until it was abandoned in 1909 after an explosion in the mine killing 59 workers in 1908. Over the mine’s 17 years of coal production, it produced 4,291,860 tons of coal with a yearly average of 300 workers. The No. 1 mine experienced a series of explosions that severely hampered coal production. The Hanna Basin mines (Hanna, Elmo, Sampo, Carbon, Dana and Wagon mines) experienced a total of 371 miner deaths. The No. 1 mine in Hanna was responsible for 249 of the 371 deaths.
1910: The underground stables at Hanna were removed from the mines. The livestock was now kept outside at the Mule Barn. The mules and horses were taken to the mine each morning and returned to the barn each evening. This move eliminated the need for flammable materials in the mine. The underground stables that caught fire during the 1903 and 1908 explosions significantly affected the No. 1 mine, adding to the raging inferno.
1910: Construction of the Union Pacific Railroad's second main line started through Wyoming.
1911: The Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 4 mine in Hanna was under development. The mine would start production of coal in 1912.
1911: The United Mine Workers of America organized a Hospital Commission in Hanna. The Commission obtained the old school, which had been turned into a boarding house, and created the Hanna Hospital to take care of the Hanna miners and their families.
1911: The Lincoln Highway was established.
1911: The Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow, built by August Grimm, was opened for business.
1912: The Union Pacific Coal Company No. 3.5 mine in Hanna opened for coal production.
1912: The last residents of Carbon left for other places for housing and employment. The town was now abandoned.
1912: Union Pacific Coal Company’s No. 3.5 and No. 4 mines were opened and completed their first year of production.
1912: The Union Pacific Coal Company's Hanna mines moved from the room and pillar system of mining to the panel system of mining. Modern mining equipment, such as undercutting machines started taking over the mining process.
1914 April 20: The Ludlow Massacre of Colorado coal miners occurred. It was an attack by the Colorado National Guard and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owned by John D. Rockefeller on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow Colorado. It had a profound effect on Hanna miners.