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Lockridge Twp. sawmill boiler explodes, kills three - 1893


Posted By: Doris Challis (email)
Date: 12/24/2003 at 20:06:25

"The Fairfield Ledger"
March 22, 1893
Page 3, Column 4

Terrible Accident in a Lockridge Township Steam Saw Mill.

A frightful catastrophe occurred at a saw mill in Lockridge township, located about 2½ miles northeast of Four Corners, about 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon. The boiler exploded while half a dozen or more persons were gathered about the mill, and three of them were killed and as many more seriously injured. The survivors of the accident say that a runaway team had attracted their attention and called them away from the mill. As they were returning they heard a deafening report and saw an immense column of steam ascend into the air. They hastened to the mill and found the entire plant utterly demolished. John W. ADAMS, the sawyer, had just pulled the throttle to start the saw when the accident occurred. The engine bounded forward with the explosion and he stood directly in its path. He was thrown backward, head foremost, against a huge log, and then onto the carrier, a distance of perhaps ten feet. His skull was fractured, a leg broken, and the body otherwise mangled and torn, and life was already extinct when he was found.

Alfred ESHELMAN, Townsley BALDOZIER and Theodore LILLYBLADE, three boys aged 12 or 14 years, were playing about the engine when the accident occurred. ESHELMAN’s neck was broken by the concussion, and his body was wedged in among a pile of railroad ties; his death was also instantaneous. BALDOZIER was hurled a distance of perhaps 30 feet and against a pile of logs. His skull was fractured and the scalp partially torn off, a leg was broken and breastbone and ribs crushed. The exposed portions of his body were also severely scalded by escaping steam..... Death ended his sufferings about 11 o’clock Saturday night.

....Mr. ADAMS was a man of middle age, and he had been employed about saw mills nearly all his life. He leaves a wife and five children, the youngest about five years of age. His remains were interred at Lockridge Monday afternoon.

Alfred (sic - Alven) ESHELMAN was a son of A. H. ESHELMAN, a well known farmer, and was about 14 years of age; he was a brother of Doc. ESHELMAN, who escaped uninjured. His body was interred in the Smith cemetery near Germanville Sunday afternoon (sic - Germanville Union Free Cemetery).

The BALDOZIER boy was a son of John BALDOZIER, a farmer living in the neighborhood, and had accompanied other boys to the mill. His remains interred in the Mt. Ayr. Cemetery.

A correspondent in writing about the sad affair says that it was not an “unexpected accident.” If reports which reach the Ledger are true, but we hope they are not, the operation of such a plant was almost criminal carelessness.... The force of the explosion was terrific. The engine was thrown a distance of about 60 paces. Both ends and one side were blown out.... A necktie which was torn off young Baldozier was found among some tree tops some distance from the body...

( Also in the "Tribune", March 22, 1893, Page 7, col. 3.)

Transcribed by Doris Challis from Jefferson County Records, Vol. 3. Not related to the subject.


Jefferson Documents maintained by Joey Stark.
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