Clay County, IN Dynamite Explosion, May 1893

A triple fatality from the explosion of both powder and dynamite occurred on the John Nees place, in the southeast part of Perry township, at an early hour of the forenoon, Wednesday, May 3, 1893 William Nees, a son, William Irwin, a son-in-law, of John Nees, and Roy Gard, young men, were at work sinking a coal shaft. In a small shop on the ground, in which was a forge, where they sharpened their tools, there was a keg of powder and a quantity of dynamite for blasting use. The keg of powder had been previously opened. One of the party was at the forge working on the tools, when, as believed (there being no other way to account for it), a spark thrown off from the forge or from the iron in pounding, dropped into the keg, igniting the powder. Of the three men named, Irwin and Gard were instantly killed, and Nees fatally injured, dying about three weeks later. There were several others on the ground and about the shop, who escaped injury.

A history of Clay County, Indiana : closing of the first century's history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth, New York: Lewis Pub. Co., 1909, page 382