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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Pennsylvania: Clarion County

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Re: Boiler Explosion, Strattanville, Ferguson, Pierce, Lore, Crawford
Posted by: Sherrie Smith (ID *****1458) Date: October 22, 2009 at 16:29:01
In Reply to: Boiler Explosion, Strattanville, Ferguson, Pierce, Lore, Crawford by Sherrie Smith of 1143

Clarion Democrat 2/4/1897 reads: Fatal Boiler Explosion Near Strattanville - Another frightful casualty, causing loss of human life, occurred in our county this week, the scene of the accident being the old Clover farm, about half a mile south of Strattanville, which is now owned by A. G. Corbett, of this place. The timber on the land had been sold to Alexander Billmyer, of Washingtonville, Montour Co., Pa, who has the contract for furnishing building material for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The mill located on the land and owned by Mr. Billmyer, was in charge of Glenn Crawford, as forman, Pierce Taylor, sawyer, and Thomas Lore, all of Columbia County, this state, and several other employees of this county, all of whom boarded by B.B. Ferguson's, some distance from the location of the mill. On Wednesday the mill shut down for dinner as usual, the men eating in the shanty near by. Crawford, Taylor and Lore had finished the meal and returned to the mill. Taylor had just sat down to file his saw and Crawford and Lore were in the act of tightening the belt when a terrific explosion took place. Taylor was struck on the back of the head and instantly killed. The back of his head was fearfully crushed and both legs were broken. Lore was struck on the breast by a piece of the flying pulley of the belt tightner, inflicting a serious injury, as well as bruises and cuts about the head and face, which may prove fatal. Mr. Crawford escaped with slight injuries, while Mack Boyton and a Mr. Potter, two other employees from Columbia County, had not returned from the shanty to the mill and therefore escaped injury. Joseph Sowers, of Strattanville, Curtis Stewart, of Frogtown and Thomas Williams, who makes his home with Mr. Ferguson, all of this county, are employees of the mill and at the time of the explosion wer sitting upon a pile of lumber not more than ten feet from the side of the boiler. Mr. Stewart was badly burned about the back of the head and on his arms, and Williams was severely burned on the back and also received a bad injury on the head by a piece of flying timber, while Sowers escaped with but slight injuries. Both Stewart and Williams were blown quite a distance and alighted upon a pile of slabs. Two valuable teams owned by Mr. Ferguson were feeding from the box of a sled near by when the explosion occurred. A piece of flying timber struck one the animals on the neck, about eight inches back of the ears cutting a clean gash through the neck and stripping every particle of harness from its body. One of the horses in the other team was struck on the hip and slightly injured by a flying stick of timber. Drs. Dillenbeck, of Strattanville, and Rimer, of Clarion, were summoned, and rendered such aid and relief as was possible, after which the injured were taken to the home of Mr. Ferguson, where they are all in a fair way to recover unless it be Mr. Lore, the extent of whose injuries still in doubt. On being apprised of the accident, J.D. Smith, Esq., of Strattanville, empaneled a Coroner's jury and held an inquest upon the body of Mr. Taylor, the result of which investigation has not yet been learned. The boiler is said to have been carrying 80 pounds of steam at the time of the explosion, but no definite information as to the cause of the fearful catastropy seems to be obtainable. The dead man was a widower with two children, living at Bloomsburg, Pa., to which place his remains will be taken for interment.

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