Wasatch Wave Newspaper Friday September 17, 1909
Seriously Injured At Mountain Lake Mine
One of those unavoidable accidents which occurs so often in mines, happened in the main tunnel of the Mountain Lake Mine last Saturday night about 10:30 in which Heber Murdock of this place, son of John H. Murdock sustained serious injuries, his lower jaw being broken and his eyes so seriously injured that it is yet uncertain as to the result.
He was working in the main tunnel clearing away the “muck pile”, the loose rock and earth after a round of shots had been fired. He was raking down a pile of stuff with his pick when an explosion occurred, throwing rock and gravel directly into his face. Three other men were working with him at the time but neither of them was seriously injured. One of them Peter Sims was slightly injured about the head by flying rock. The unfortunate young man was brought to Heber at once, reaching here about 1:30 Sunday morning. Dr. Wherritt did what he could to make the sufferer’s ride to Provo as easy as possible, and his father and William Witt started to Provo with him at 4 o’ clock. He was taken to the general hospital where the rocks were dug out of his face and throat and his jawbone which was fractured at the chin and part of the chin bone gone, was drawn together and fastened with silver wire. At last accounts he was resting well and the doctors have hopes of saving both eyes.
EXCERPT FROM LETTER WRITTEN BY EFFIE MURDOCK TO HER CHILDREN DATED APRIL 1, 1977 RECALLING HER MEMORY OF EVENTS OF THE ACCIDENT
“they had only been in the mine a short time when your father picked into part of a missed hole. The dynamite exploded and blew dirt, rock and gravel in your father’s face and hands. They telephoned the livery stable to send up a white top with a bed in to come up the canyon as far as they could and they would meet them. After they put him on the bed he had to lie on his stomach with his arms under his head. He had a big sharp granite rock against his wind pipe that choked him when he turned on his back.
They took him to Provo to the Aird Hospital. When they started to clean him up and took the rock away from his throat, Dr. Aird said if it had gone a sixteenth of an inch farther it would have cut his windpipe and killed him.
When I saw your father I nearly fainted. His head and hands were swathed in bandages, his head was completely covered. The Dr. told us he was sure that he would loose his eyesight. He thought we had better know what to expect. He said as badly as he was hurt, with the rocks and gravel and concussion he could not give us any hope that he would ever see again.
I stayed with him while he was at the hospital, it seemed like quite a while. I went in the morning and stayed until night. He had a private room. The mine paid the doctors and hospital.
I was pretty sick, I was afraid to have the bandages taken off, I was afraid not to have them off. The morning when the Dr. darkened the room and took the bandages off and your father told him he could see I could hardly believe it. The doctor said it was a miracle.
His jaw was wired together with a silver wire. He had a deep scar on his chin for the rest of his life.
Mtn. Lake Mine, located above Midway in Snake Creek Canyon 1909 Left Rear: Hugh Jacobs, Will Witt, Clark Bronson, ?, Front Left: Archie Sellers, Heber Murdock, Fred Sondregger