Moweaqua, IL Saw Mill Boiler Explosion, Jan 1888

The boiler in M.F. Hollis’ saw mill about three miles west of Moawequa, [sic] exploded yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock, instantly killing the engineer, Joe Henderson. His head was blown off from his body. A large part of the boiler was thrown a distance of 100 feet. The mill and shed was completely torn up. Several of the mill hands who were at some distance from the boiler were more or less seriously injured, none fatally hurt. Henderson was a married man, and leaves a wife and several children. Coroner Brunt, of Taylorsville, was notified of the death of Henderson and will arrive in Moawequa to-day [sic] to hold the inquest.

The loss on the mill is about $800. The mill was burned down recently and was rebuilt less than three weeks ago. The boiler was of 20 horse power. The cause of the explosion is unknown, but it is supposed that the engineer let the water in the boiler get too low and then pumped cold water in. There is no means of knowing the cause because the engineer is dead and he is the only one who could tell anything. The mill will probably be rebuilt.

Saturday Herald, Decatur, IL 7 Jan 1888