West Dubuque, IA Boiler Explosion, Feb 1868




In the Monday morning edition of the Herald we gave a very full report of a boiler explosion at the brewery of Tschirgi & Schwind, known as the Western Brewery, at West Dubuque, on Sunday.
We republish the article with corrections of inaccuracies in some of the names and additional facts elicited by Coroner's inquest.
On Sunday afternoon, at about two o'clock, the boiler in the brewery of Tschirgi & Schwind, at West Dubuque, collapsed its flues, killing one man outright, and severely scalding four others.
As is the custom, steam was being got up Sunday afternoon to run the brewery. It was supposed that sufficient steam was on, and the men were just on the point of putting on the belts when the explosion occurred.
MR. TSCHIRGI was standing near the front of the boiler, but a few feet from it, with several of the men employed about the brewery. His son, a youth of about 15 years of age, had just gone out of the door at the rear of the boiler, and turned to the right, when he heard the explosion and saw the boiler, and engine attached, tear through the doorway, taking with it a portion of the solid wall of masonry. He immediately rushed into the brewery and there witnessed a terrible sight. His father, who as we have said was standing near the front end of the boiler, was badly scalded in the face and about the body. One of the workmen who had been at his side was lying dead, with a ghastly hole in his temple and another in his thigh. He was also terribly scalded.
The name of this man was JOHN GROPPE. He was a young man twenty-three years of age, and has a father living near the city on a farm. He has been employed about the brewery for some time, partly in the capacity of engineer, yet doing other work, the engine not requiring all of his time.
FRANK FURNER, aged 20 years, was also terribly scalded. From head to foot he was parboiled, his flesh dropping in many portions of his body from the bones. He lived till nearly seven o'clock in the morning when death came to relieve him.
DOMINICK SCHMIT, another workman, was also badly scalded, chiefly about the head and breast. He was still alive yesterday afternoon, but with slight hope of surviving through the night.
MR. TSCHIRGI received painful injuries, being severely scalded in the face, but will probably soon recover.
ADAM BURKER, a workman, was slightly scalded.
Drs. Finley and Sprague were called at once, and Drs. Lay and Staples were also in attendance, and everything possible was done to relieve the sufferers.

Dubuque Daily Herald Iowa 1868-02-04