Relief Mine Chapter 10

2002-10-1 06:19:00

I will have the next chapter in the Immortal shortly. Meanwhile here is another chapter of the Relief Mine.

The Relief Mine
By Ogden Kraut
First Published 1978

Chapter 10

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalms 121:1-2)

(Photo of The mill building)

[126] Travelers driving down Highway 89 or Interstate 15 near Salem, Utah, are often curious, if not impressed, with the large white mill resting against the Loafer Mountain. It stands silent and lonely, but majestic in a modern form of architecture, as it cascades down the contour of the mountain. Spectators often wonder or inquire as to what it is. It has an interesting history that goes all the way back to the stock market crash of 1929.

During that great depression, the country suffered because money was so difficult to find. The years of 1930 and 1931 were hard ones for everyone everywhere. In May of 1931 the Dream Mine stockholders celebrated the 37th year since work commenced on the mine by attending their annual outing at the grove. William A. Jones, the mine secretary, spoke to the little group gathered there, and related some of the numerous prophecies of Bishop Koyle that were being fulfilled. A few that were mentioned were:

1. Cars and trucks were now the size of boxcars traveling on the highways. 2. Property was now mortgaged to the limit. 3. The mining industry was paralyzed. 4. The Utah Lake was at its lowest known level. 5. And four years of draught were already partially fulfilled.

The stockholders expressed gratitude for being a part of such an inspired work. They were happy to know that God was mindful enough of them that He informed them of many major events before they came to pass. But the Bishop warned them that these were times that would be only a trifle compared to the famines, shortages and the financial collapse that was yet to come. The chaos of the early 30's was merely a taste of what should take place in America's future. These Saints were being warned to prepare for those difficult days that were ahead.

[127] But the conditions at that time were bad enough, as the following quotation will verify:

Nobody had a nickel. Nobody would invest. Mining was particularly hard hit. World famous mines in the district were closing down or on the verge of it. Mining stock could hardly be given away. Things looked black for the Dream Mine. For seven weeks Koyle couldn't meet the payroll. Dreamers wanted returns. They wanted cash instead of promises. Koyle explained there was plenty of ore, but it was this special ore, with all these metals mixed up in it. You heat it and a black smoke comes off, all those metals burning up. There was no plant in existence that could handle it. "We've got to build our own plant," Koyle told his directors. They threw up their hands in horror. Koyle saw it was no use talking with them. "I was afraid to tell'em," he admits. ("Time and the Dream Mine," Samuel W. Taylor, Esquire, Nov. 1943)

But the Bishop had to make a special announcement to the stockholders. They were told that a huge processing mill would be built on the mountain. But since they were in the depths of a depression, such a project seemed impossible. Undertaking such a massive piece of construction seemed almost incredible even to the Bishop.

In a dream John was shown the mill that was to be built and where it was to be located. But more interesting, he was shown how it was to be constructed. The total concept of the project was not explained to the stockholders all at once. So, section by section, the mill was drafted and then work was commenced on it.

Money was difficult to obtain, yet it seemed to come with a miraculous but continuous flow. As a new section or part of the construction was started, money came in to meet the needs for its completion.

[128] The mill, declared the Bishop, would someday contain a new process that would revolutionize the milling and refining industry. He described how a man would someday come to the mine, just at the right time, with a discovery of a new process for milling ore that would be more efficient, yet much more simple, than any other previously known processing system. The Dream Mine would be the first to put this new discovery to use. The Bishop said that with this new process even the dump pile would prove valuable enough to run through the mill. Stockholders rallied together with money and labor to build this new edifice at the mine.

Alexander Pope, architect for the Hawaiian Temple, was given the contract to make blueprints for the mill, but he soon learned, to his astonishment, that every major portion of the mill he designed was a]ready under construction by the time he arrived with the blueprints. Samuel Taylor said:

He built the mill in typical Koyle fashion. When construction was underway and things were too far along to recall, the directors demanded an architect. The builder refused to do another tap without blueprints. "I didn't need no blueprints," Koyle says. "I knowed what I wanted." But he did compromise. He hired an architect. The builder, meanwhile, agreed to go on while awaiting finished specifications. "By the time the first section was done, the architect came around with the blueprints for it," Koyle says, grinning. He, meanwhile, had started on the next section, and the architect hastened to catch up. How much influence the architect actually had might be impossible to say, but the finished mill is truly magnificent. It looks like no other flotation mill in the world. Gleaming white, with modernistic horizontal window lines, it appears to be an apartment house, a rich man's castle or a skyscraper built against the mountain. Koyle is [129] justly proud of it. ("Time and the Dream Mine," Taylor, Esquire, Nov. 1943)

Work continued and an electric power line was added which was connected to the Spanish Fork power plant. Also a roadway was built with a total length of over four miles carved out of the side of the mountain. This roadway was also connected up with Water Canyon.

The mill was built near the mouth of the mine tunnel, which was ideally located for the ore that would be taken out of the mountain. Its construction was placed on the side of the mountain where it gently flowed with the contour of the mountain. Its symmetrical beauty and form were accented in white. No one looks upon it without acknowledging that it has an elegant style. It is a complimentary achievement to the industry and foresight of Bishop Koyle and the men who labored on it. It was built during the nation's worst epic in its history.

Estimated cost of the mill was $100,000, which is probably close to the actual value. However, the State Securities Commission estimated the cost of the mill at $20,000. But several factors had to be considered--first that their estimation was reported in December of 1932--even before the mill had been completed. Also, that many workers took stock in payment for their labor on the mill rather than a cash outlay from the treasury.

Processing ore from the mine never reached a production basis; however, some ore was milled and sold. Several men on different occasions came to the mine with claims of a new discovery for processing ore.

One significant part of the mill's history was the construction of an improved "sluce machine" or riffle jig by William Howard of Salt Lake City. His invention was this: ore was crushed to an 80 or 100 mesh size and then placed in the jig and treated with a watery solution. This would form a scum in which the metal concentrates would [130] be separated from the rock. Howard was placed under a contract to install a crusher and two units of his sluce machine. He declared that his machine was capable of processing 50 tons of ore every 24 hours. Rumors coupled with hope and Howard's speculation soon took hold of many stockholders and created a milling fever.

Declared assay estimates of over $1,200 per ton did much to encourage the fever. In announcing these estimates, however, the informants neglected to state that the "per ton" referred to was in the terms of concentrates and not raw ore. Howard stated that he did not know how many tons of ore it would take to make a ton of concentrates. (An Historical Study of the Koyle Relief Mine, 1894-1962, Christianson, p. 34)

A model of Howard's reduction machine was placed in the Murphy Boiler and Iron Works in Salt Lake City where many of the stockholders and investigators went to examine it.

Soon estimates of the mine's potential values and expected production grew out of proportion. J. O. Christensen, in his report to the State Securities Commission, related the results of his investigation into these claims and rumors that were being circulated. He determined that many of these reports and stories were ridiculous and were possibly started by Howard or his associates in an effort to sell their machine.

Before the year of 1933 ended, it was evident that Howard's invention was not the process which was to "revolutionize" the milling and smelting industry.

High hopes were again raised in the hearts of the stockholders in 1937, when the Glissmeyer brothers introduced three strangers from Colorado, who had what they claimed was a new and revolutionary process for extracting metals from [131] ores by the use of chemicals. A special demonstration was arranged at the mine by the inventor, John Harper, and his two associates, Gus Englehardt anal Jake Brakhage, to prove their claims. Although the process demonstrated unusual merit, it is alleged that in order to make a greater impression on company officials and the stockholders, a certain amount of selenium was planted in these chemicals while processing a half ton of ore that was brought from the upper workings on the mountain. The chemicals used seemed to have the remarkable quality of dissolving just about everything except wood, rubber and silica; and then, after the load was precipitated, the solution actually could be reactivated and used over again simply by adding certain chemicals. Having thoroughly demonstrated this amazing process to the complete satisfaction and knowledge of the mine's chemist, the inventory convinced Bishop Koyle and the directors of the need to set up a large scale process in the mill, which seemed to be designed perfectly for this process, and there the values in the present ore could be processed on a commercial scale. Using only makeshift equipment with the first half-ton of ore, they produced some 12 pounds of selenium and 32 pounds of iron hydroxide, while other values were left still unrecovered. The selenium and iron hydroxide were shipped to the Harrison Co. of Chicago, and a check for $103.03 was promptly returned in payment for the two metals. It was the first actual money ever received for a shipment from the Dream Mine, and strangely enough, the check was dated Sept. 7, 1937, on the 43rd anniversary of the day when the first claims were staked out on this mountain. In a small way it was a fulfillment of the prediction that the first small shipment would come from the upper workings on the mountain. [132] The selenium may have been planted by designing men, but the iron hydroxide was genuine, since it may be seen in visible abundance in several diggings in Water Canyon. Further testing later on by Willard Fuller, the mine's own chemist, using this same process for testing, revealed values in gold, cobalt, nickel, tin, titanium, osmium, chromium, iridium, vanadium, uranium, barium, zinc, bismuth, manganese, aluminum and traces of still other metals--but of selenium, there was no trace at all. If it was planted, they picked the wrong metal to plant, for it did not show up again. But while the new process was being established, a wave of new hope and encouragement swept over the stockholders. A great mass meeting was called, which filled the Spanish Fork High School auditorium to overflowing. A three-car Orem train out of Salt Lake City pulled up in front of the high school to unload these special passengers, while others came from far and near by automobile and on foot to hear the good news. Upon hearing the startling claims made by the inventor, and the high praise given him and his process by various ones of importance in the Koyle Mining Company, the stockholders then scraped the bottom of their depression-worn pockets to raise the money needed to buy the equipment necessary for a large scale installation of this revolutionary process that would fit so nicely into their beautiful mill--a mill that so far had been nothing more than an idle monument to their faith. Now here was the key that would supposedly unlock the values. A series of graduated crushers, a pulverizer, a line of wooden tanks with rubberized electric agitators, a special rubberized rotary filter, precipitation tanks, pumps, and other equipment went into the development of a large scale process, as the stockholders' hopes soared to new heights of great expectations. [133] A large scale process presented many engineering bugs that had to be solved, and the inventor promised to remain and solve them, and reap his reward in stock and from production returns; but the progress was slow--very, very slow--and the ore was of such poor quality that, rather than remain and try to succeed in this manner, John Harper and his associates became disgruntled and decided to abandon this project and seek quicker results elsewhere. However, death took a hand as John Harper suddenly died from a heart ailment. All that remained in the mill now was the abandoned equipment and a few crocks of half-processed ore, mostly lime or calcium, and but little desire on the part of anyone to try to complete this process until there was some worthwhile ore to justify it. One thing that was accomplished was the attraction of a large new group of stockholders to the company. (The Dream Mine Story, Pierce, pp. 72-74)

An electric ore furnace was later added to the mill to further implement ore reductions. Also another kind of "flotation" process was installed in the mill.

The mill was finally completed about 1936--at least as far as it was supposed to be for the present time. The Bishop explained that someday more sections would be added to the mill both from the southwest side and to the bottom of the canyon.

The humble living conditions of John Koyle are difficult for the modern saint to comprehend. For many, many years he lived in a small rented adobe house without plumbing, which was located on the outskirts of Spanish Fork. From here each day he would make his trek by horseback up to the mountain, and then return again at night. The stockholders decided to make a building project of their own.

[134] In the year 1939 the stockholders unitedly contributed their time and money to help build a home for Bishop Koyle. It was time that he should have a decent house to live in, and one that he could call his own. With the labor of love, the house project developed quickly. A host of workmen framed the house in one day. It was built on the mountain, near the mill, where the Bishop could be close to the mine and enjoy a beautiful view of the valley below.

[135] Since the home had a large full basement, it was a good place to hold stockholders' meetings. They had previously been held annually on Labor Day at the Grove, but now it was decided to have meetings once a week on each Thursday night. These were not religious nor any type of church meetings, but rather a legal and lawful stockholders' meeting. It was in these meetings that people came to hear the latest developments at the mine or perhaps to hear the story of how the mine first began. The meetings were usually started with prayer and song, as any worthy gathering should be conducted. Many of the stockholders expressed their reasons for purchasing stock, while others felt they had been converted to it by Divine guidance. The meetings usually resembled a "testimony" meeting as many speakers appeared to be filled with the spirit and power of God. The Bishop was frequently the last to speak, and most of the time he expressed words that seemed to be flavored with the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Little wonder that so many stockholders would travel a great distance to attend those Thursday night meetings!

Bishop Koyle saw that two banks would eventually be established--one in Spanish Fork and the other at the mine:

As early as 1911, his prediction about the economic decline and collapse was recorded by Carter Grant. At that time he told about how he saw the Dream Mine establish a bank on a certain corner in Spanish Fork, and later he spoke of another one at the mine in White City. He saw groups of people coming to this bank with long, sad faces, their pleas for help having gone unheeded by other banks; but they left with happy faces because here they had found relief, and their homes and farms were saved from foreclosure. [136] The other banks seemed to be useless and, although filled with money, they would lend hardly any of it for fear that it could not be paid back. And when they did lend any of it, they were after high interest rates of around eight and ten percent. Unemployment was widespread, and many people were losing their farms and homes because most of them would be heavily mortgaged at this time. The other banks, he said, would complain against our bank, demanding that we cease letting money out at four percent with little or no security. But since we had plenty of gold back of us, there was little or nothing they could do about it. * * * He said that people would bless this company for what we were doing because their burden of distress was so great that nowhere could they find relief except here. (The Dream Mine Story, Pierce, p. 66)

The first ore that would come from the mine would be sent somewhere to a smelter. But the second would be processed at home at the mine's own mill. The first major production of gold from the mine would be valuable enough to pay for all of the work that had ever been done on that mountain.

In 1930 the Bishop directed the workmen to level off ten large terraces along the side of the hill near the mine. There, he said, would be the location of some of the huge storage bins that would be built to store grain for the famine of the future. He also told them that those terraces would remain free from any oak brush growing back on them, which always happened on other clearings they had made. For nearly 50 years this prediction has been verified by the flat barren spot which those men scraped off the mountainside.

[137] Carter Grant recorded some of his conversations with Bishop Koyle on these important matters:

Wednesday, March 4, 1931: Last night Brothers William A. Jones, Clyde Hood, Philip Tadje, Richard Sonntag, and I went to Brother Koyle's, arriving at 8:00 p.m. After asking each one of us about the hard times, getting what we knew, Brother Koyle opened declaring that they would grow worse and worse each week; that even the Church would become so hard pressed that the cry of the needy could not be satisfied.

March 14, 1931: Now as to storing wheat! Since this subject has been upon Brother Koyle's mind for some time, he stated to us that on Friday, March 13th, while coming out the tunnel, inspiration came to [138] him like a voice speaking, telling him to build double cement bins on the side hill near the powder magazine, one below the other, so that he could let the grain from the first bin run down into the next and then down into the third and fourth. These long cement tanks or bins were to begin at the upper road and stretch down the hill, so that with the gates open between the bins, grain that was dropped into the top one would easily find its way down the incline to the lowest level. * * * Then, too, this plan, says Bishop Koyle, "will put the grain upon our property where no one can molest it, where we can make distribution as we see fit. All eyes are to look toward us for relief." (Journal of Carter Grant)

The angel who took John Koyle through the mine and the nine large caverns led him through a large tunnel that came out into Water Canyon on the opposite side of the mountain. The angel told him that this tunnel had been built by the Nephites and was still there. From the mouth of the tunnel they built a roadway, that led south across the valley bending down past Payson. From the air, or high on the mountain, this ancient roadway can easily be seen. It is built up on both sides, leveling across the top; and in places where it has been cut into, there can be seen large stones placed at the bottom, and smaller stones at the top, as the roads of today are constructed.

Men who have seen this tunnel at Water Canyon have described its walls being about ten feet apart and about the same height.

Across the mountain, on the other side of the canyon, can be seen many ancient hieroglyphics. Although in recent years people have caused much marring and defacing of these writings in stone, they have not been completely destroyed. (See illustrations on page 140.)

[139] (Photo of Ancient road-bed leaving Water Canyon)

[140] Ancient hieroglyphics in Water Canyon.

[141] The Bishop was shown that about 175 feet below the capstone they would break into the vast body of ore that had previously been mined by the ancient Nephites. But, because of their wickedness, they were destroyed. The mute testimony of their artifacts and ornaments extol the rich empire they once developed. In one corner of the caverns there were vases standing three feet high, filled with gold coins of the money they used. (Alma 11:4-19) When these are uncovered, there will be sufficient evidence to the Book of Mormon that will be irrefutable, even for the worst skeptic. Many ancient records shall also be uncovered and translated for the understanding of the Saints. (D & C 6:26) Such precious records will prove to be a much richer blessing to men than gold, for they will contain values of an eternal nature for their salvation.

For nearly 2,000 years these huge rooms in this vastly rich ore body, have been concealed. But they shall once again become a vast source of wealth and power for a people who shall prove themselves worthy of such a blessing. Most men are unaware of the temporal and eternal riches that the Lord has in store for them, and in their ignorance they are rejecting those things the Lord has revealed to them.

When the Lord releases these riches, then the White Sentinel will become like an ensign to the nations for a place of relief, safety and peace.

You can buy Ogden's books by going to: