Skip to Content

Seymour, IN Fatal Cave In, Sept 1888

Seymour Daily Democrat newspaper, Seymour, IN
Saturday 15 September 1888; Page 2, Column 4

SMOTHERED INSTANTLY

----'- Death of ARTHUR ORRELL

William Von Dehren Seriously Hurt and
Others Narrowly Escape

Yesterday forenoon, William Von Dehren, foreman for George M. Ehaugh, was at work in the excavation for the sewer extension, at a point about 100 feet from the bank of White River, with six assistants. They were at the bottom of a cut about nine feet in depth, working in quicksand, when, without warning, the sides of the excavation cave in, filling the trench.

ARTHUR ORRELL, who was nearest the point where the caving began, was caught at the bottom of the ditch under eight feet of sand and earth. He died of suffocation before he could be extricated.

William Von Dehren, the foreman, was also buried under three feet of sand. He was rescued alive, but his left shoulder blade and his left breast were crushed and he was otherwise severely injured. His physician, Dr. John T. Shields, believes that he will recover.

The other workmen had a very narrow escape with their lives. Several of the regular force were absent, attending the fair. If all had been at work the loss of life would probably have been much greater.

ARTHUR ORRELL was 20 years of age, an honest, industrious and honorable young man. His mother and a number of relatives reside near Conlogue. His remains were brought to his boardinghouse, the residence of Mrs. Mary Burkardt, from whence they were taken, this afternoon, to the Glasson Cemetery for burial.
----------
*The Evening Star newspaper, Washington, D. C.
Saturday 15 September 1888; Front Page, Column 8

Buried By A Cave-In

ONE MAN TAKEN OUT DEAD AND ANOTHER LIKELY TO DIE FROM HIS INJURIES

Seymour, IN, Sept. 15 - While Wm. Vondehren and a number of assistants were at work last evening in the bottom of a sewer excavation 9 feet deep, the quicksand gave away, and the sides of the ditch fell in, burying Vondehren and one of his assistants, ARTHUR ORRELL, under about 8 feet of clay.

Vondehren was extricated, but is terribly injured and is dying. ORRELL was suffocated before he could be rescued. The others escaped with slight injuries.
----------
Aberdeen Daily News newspaper, Aberdeen, SD
Tuesday 16 Sept 1888

Death In A Sewer.

Two Men Killed by the Caving in of the Walls of a Sewer.

Seymour, IN, Sept. 15 - While William Vohdehren and a number of assistants were at work in the bottom of a sewer excavation seven feet deep, the quicksand gave way and the sides of the ditch fell in, burying Vondehren and one of his assistants, ARTHUR ORRELL, under eight feet of sand and clay.

Vondehren was extricated alive, but terribly injured internally on his breast and shoulders and is dying. ORRELL was suffocated before he could be rescued. The others escaped with slight injuries.
----------
*The Evening Bulletin newspaper, Maysville, KY
Monday 17 September 1888; Front Page, Column 3

Buried in Quicksand

Seymour, IN, Sept. 17 - Friday evening a number of laborers, who were making an excavation for a sewer, were at work at the bottom of a trench nine feet deep, in quicksand, when, without warning, the sides of the cut caved in, and ARTHUR ORRELL, aged twenty years and single, was caught at the bottom of the excavation and buried under eight feet of sand. He died of suffocation before he could be extricated.

William Von Dehren, the foreman, married, and the father of a family, was also buried under about three feet of sand. He was rescued alive, but terribly injured about the shoulders and internally. He will probably die. The others barely escaped with their lives.
----------
*Cambria Freeman newspaper, Ebensburg, PA
Friday 21 September 1888; Page 2, Column 6

While William Vondeheren and a number of assistants were at work on Saturday in Seymour, IN, in the bottom of a sewer excavation nine feet deep, the quicksand gave way and the sides of the ditch caved in, burying Vondeheren and one of his assistants - ARTHUR ORRELL - under about eight feet of sand and clay.

Vondeheren was extricated alive, but terribly injured internally, and on his breast and shoulders, and is dying. ORRELL was suffocated before he could be rescued. The others escaped with slight injuries.
----------
*These newspapers were available from: This free, keyword searchable database, Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

Arthur ORRILL - this name is the correct spelling
Find A Grave Memorial# 124839317



article | by Dr. Radut