By AARON HUFF
Each year as the seasons change, 95-year-old Spanish Fork resident Homer Harwood quietly wonders what will become of his father-in-law’s prophecy.
In 1894, Harwood’s father-in-law, John Hyrum Koyle, had a dream in which an angel escorted him through a nearby mountain, showing him large deposits of valuable ore and gold. The angel told Koyle the riches would save The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in times of need, according to a 1953 research paper by BYU professor James Christensen.
After Koyle’s death in 1949, several people in Utah County, including members of the LDS Church, continue to believe that one day the “dream mine,” will fulfill its destiny.
“One day he was telling me what would happen. I asked him if I’d still be around when the mine re-opened. He looked at me and nodded ‘yes,'” Harwood said.
“He told me that when that mine comes out, there’ll be a dry winter and dry summer. He said that the US would be bankrupt and we’d have to take a load of gold to Washington to stabilize the government,” he said.
Harwood married Koyle’s youngest daughter in 1975 after his first wife died. But his relationship with John Koyle began much earlier.
While the mine was operating in the early 20th century, Harwood said he remembers taking his future father-in-law to California to buy machinery for the mine.
Harwood was paid in stock rather than cash for hauling gravel to the mine to be used for a new processing plant. Through his labors, Harwood obtained around 9,000 shares of stock, and was on the board of directors, he said.
To this day, Harwood said he hasn’t sold any of his stock shares.
“It’s gotta come out. The rest of the things have happened that he said would,” he said.
When asked, Harwood will freely reminisce about the “dream mine,” but left the impression that these days he doesn’t spend much time worrying about it.
A lot of time has passed since the “dream mine” controversy was at full steam.
In the early 20th century, John Koyle and the “dream mine” were at the center of a controversy with LDS Church leaders. At its peak in 1929, nearly 7,000 LDS families owned stock in the mine, according to Christensen’s paper.
In 1914, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought down pressure on Koyle and other church members to discontinue the mine. The controversy between Koyle and the church continued through Koyle’s excommunication in 1948, until his death in 1949, Christensen said in his paper.
“He cried like a baby and said they’d be sorry they did that,” Harwood said.
Today several church members continue to hold their stock and believe that someday the mine will open up again, in fulfillment of Koyle’s predictions.
As a whole, the “dream mine” stockholders are very reluctant to speak about their belief in Koyle’s dream and predictions.
“There are a lot of hostile people toward it,” said Verl Adams, a resident in Spanish Fork who retired from the mine eleven years ago.
“I don’t talk about it in church,” he said.
Adams said that he worked at the mine as a security officer. He also performed some maintenance duties. During his 10 years at the mine, Adams said that mineworkers did not dig in the tunnels Koyle started.
Adams said he believes the mine will open up in the future when the time is right.
Another stockholder, who wished to remain anonymous, said that stockholders still meet once a month to sell stock and discuss other business matters.
“There are some bitter feelings toward it. It’s taboo,” he said.