Well after the explosion



Wednesday,   March 6, 1935


All were killed instantly except for Lea Cottam who died at the hospital early Thursday morning.
Five bodies were mangled almost beyond recognition and were only identified with great difficulty.
No traces of Charles Alsop, Joseph Empey, Billy Maloney, and Cail Nicholson were ever found.

Charles Dana Alsop

Age 48; of St. George. General Manager of the Arrowhead Petroleum Corporation.
For more information about Charles, click here.

Mabel Clarissa Alsop

Age 46; of St. George. Wife of the company general manager, Charles D. Alsop
For more information about Mabel, click here.

Lea Cottam

Age 24; of St. George. She worked as a secretary at Arrowhead Petroleum.
Miss Cottam was daughter of Heber & Asineth Cottam of St. George.
For more information about Lea, click here.

Joseph Lamoni Empey, Jr.

Age 47; of St. George. He was an electrician with the Southern Utah Power Company in Cedar City.
For more information about Joseph, click here.

Chester M. "C.M." Flickinger

Age 50; of Virgin. Was the oil well driller and powder man in charge of the shooting of the well.
For more information about Mr. Flickinger, click here.

Joseph Franklin Kitterman

Age 47; of St. George and Salt Lake City.
For more information about Joseph, click here.

William "Billy" Maloney

Age 20, of St. George.
For more information about Billy, click here.

Ray B. Nelson

Age 22; of St. George.
For more information about Ray, click here.

Cail Adolph Nicholson

Age 22; of St. George. He was an assistant electrician on the project and the son-in-law of Joseph Empey.
For more information about Cail, click here.

Olive Bleak Snow

Age 62; of St. George. She was the wife of a local attorney and former state legislator, Joseph Snow.
For more information about Olive, click here.


Bert L. Covington

Age 30; of St. George. He had bruises & laceratons and both eardrums blown out, but was otherwise okay.
He was treated at the hospital and released.

Elmer "Swede" Erickson

Age 30 or 32; of Cedar City; brother-in-law of Clarence Miller of Cedar City.
His chest was badly crushed and a piece of steel passed through his body.
He was in critical condition when taken to the hospital.
A 2 inch piece of steel was removed from his body and he was given blood transfusions.
A piece of steel pierced his right lung.

A. Sampson

Age 50. Had minor cuts and bruises.
He was treated at the hospital and released.

Rosamond Snow

Age 28; of St. George; daughter of Joseph & Olive Snow.
She had both eyes damaged and a 5 inch piece of steel imbedded in her hip.
At first, she was not expected to live. But after a time in the hospital, she was improving
and they thought they might save some vision in one eye.
She married Ralph Westover in 1939 and died in 1971.


Ten People Dead In Oil Well Explosion
Washington County News,   March 7, 1935,   Page 1

St. George, UT Oil Well Explosion, Mar 1935
Mansfield News Journal Ohio (AP),   March 7, 1935

Instant Death to Ten People in Dixie Oil Well Explosion
Iron County Record,   March 7, 1935

Various Salt Lake Tribune Articles,   March 7, 1935
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Various Salt Lake Tribune Articles,   March 8, 1935
Page 1
Page 2

Probers Seeking Cause of Blast Which Killed 10
Chicago Daily Tribune,   March 8, 1035,   Page 18

Fights for Life
Salt Lake Tribune

St. George Pays Tribute to Blast Dead
Salt Lake Tribune,   March 11, 1935

Funeral Services Held for Victims of Oil Well Blast Sunday; 2000 People Attend
Washington County News,   March 14, 1935,   Page 1

Ellen Raye Cottam Brown,
"The Wrong Car Came: an account of the oil well explosion south of St. George, [Utah]
    which occurred on March 7, 1935"     [Actually occured on March 6]
A 19-page book privately printed in 2003.
[Included in Pages 26-45 of Biographies and Autobiographies of Heber Charles
    and Asineth Jarvis Cottam and Their Ancestors
[Also included as Part I, pp. 9-28, of the Nelson document below]

Dixie's Darkest Day: March 6, 1935, the day that rocked southern Utah
St. George Magazine, March/April 1992, pp. 65-67

My World Exploded: One man remembers the great oil well disaster of 1935
by Grant Harris
St. George Magazine, March/April 1992, pp. 68-70

The Escalante Well Incident March 6, 1935
by Clark N. Nelson, Sr.
An overview and notes about the incident and its location