Stryker, OH Boiler Explosion, June 1884

BOILER EXPLOSION.

ELEVEN PEOPLE INJURED IN AN OHIO FLOUR MILL.

FIVE REPORTED DEAD AND OTHERS MORTALLY WOUNDED -- A PIECE OF BOILER CARRIED A QUARTER OF A MILE.

Bryan, O., June 28. -- At Stryker, eight miles from this place, the boiler in Von Behren & Shaffer's flour mill exploded at 4 o'clock Friday, severely, and it is supposed fatally, injuring eleven men.
The explosion was a terrific one, some forty men being employed in the mill at the time. The scene of the disaster beggars description. The mill, one of the largest of its kind, was blown almost to atoms, and among its debris some thirty men were buried, eleven of whom were recovered in a dying condition. All were heads of families. The explosion was of such force that pieces of the boiler, machinery, and building were thrown a distance of half a mile. One piece of the boiler, some three feet square, was thrown against a dwelling house a quarter of a mile distant, taking almost the entire roof away and seriously injuring two occupants of the dwelling. The cause of the explosion is unknown.
ED FOSTER, the engineer, was blown 200 feet and thrown against a lumber pile. He died at 9 o'clock.
E. R. AYRES was blown through the roof, striking the ground 200 feet away. He is yet alive, but cannot live, every limb being broken.
W. ROOP was taken out after several hours of chopping through debris, from under a heavy lathe, in a dying condition.
It was not until 10 o'clock that the last victim was taken out of the debris.
The partial list of the dead and wounded is as follows:
ED FOSTER.
E. R. AYERS.
ROBERT SHILL.
W. ROOP.
J. HENRY BRUMAN.
FRANK DOUGLAS.
J. RAMSEY.
JAS. KELLER.
The explosion was heard fifteen miles away. People five miles from the scene thought it was an earthquake.
Within three minutes of the explosion over 100 strong men were at the scene, and the work of recovering the dead and wounded began and for five hours cries for help came from beneath the debris. Women whose husbands were working at the mill rushed to the scene filling the air with their lamentations.

Later -- A report has reached here that five of the victims are dead, and the death of others is looked for before morning.

Daily Iowa Capital Des Moines 1884-06-30