Los Angeles, CA Times Building Explosion and Fire, Oct 1910
The Times got out its regular issue today printed on its auxiliary plant, provided, its management says, as a safeguard against just such a disaster as has befallen it. In this issue it charged the labor unions, against which it has waged bitter warfare for twenty years, for the destruction of its plant and the consequent loss of life and property. Officials of the various unions disavow responsibility and offer their assistance in detection of the perpetrators.
The city had hardly awakened to a knowledge of the fullness of the disaster when the news that a dynamite bomb had been found under the house of FELIX ZEEHANDELAAR swelled the excitement. The bomb, one of the clock-work kind, had been timed to do its work at the exact moment that the explosion occurred in the Times building, but through some flaw in its mechanism, had failed to explode on time. The finding of this bomb was succeeded by the discovery of another under the window of the Wilkshire boulevard residence of General HARRISON GRAY OTIS, president of the Times-Mirror Company and editor-in-chief of the Times. This bomb was concealed in a valise and hidden under some bushes. It was discovered, thrown into the street and exploded, tearing up the ground and doing other minor damage.
DIG FOR BODIES.
One hundred men were put at work today digging for the dozen or more bodies believed to be buried in the ruins of the Times building. Late in the afternoon the first body was recovered. It was that of J. WESLEY REAVES, private secretary to Assistant General Manager HARRY CHANDLER, and was found where CHANDLER had left him a few minutes before the explosion.
Only the unusual circumstance that his wife had called for MR. CHANDLER to take him home before his usual hour had saved him from a life fate.
As soon as they could be reached the mayor called the city council into extraordinary session and $25,000 was appropriated to be used for the purpose of finding the alleged dynamiters. A conference was also held between the labor leaders and the chief of police, and it was mutually decided to call off a labor demonstration that had been planned for Monday against an anti-picketing ordinance recently passed by the council and under which a large number of arrests have been made and men sent to jail.
GET FIRST CLUE.
The first step taken in the direction of ascertaining who are the guilty parties was the appointment of an investigating committee of five. One of this committee is WILLIAM MULHOLLAND, superintendent of the Los Angeles aqueduct, the big municipal water project. MULHOLLAND has identified one of the sticks of dynamite found in the ZEEHANDELAAR bunch by its wrapping as part of a shipment for the aqueduct made from Giant, Cal., September 20, This is the only clue thus far found.
General OTIS reached the city from Mexico at 3:30 this afternoon and was met at the depot by some 200 members of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association, who greeted him with cheers.
FRED P. BAKER, president of the BAKER Iron Works, says that a number of employes, including himself, involved in the iron workers strike, now on in this city, have received since the inception of the strike many letters threatening them with dynamite.
Only one among those first reported missing has been found. This is V. B. GLACIER, a watchman for the Times. The rest have perished, it is believed, almost beyond a doubt.
The building of the BAUMGARDT Publishing Company, adjoining the Times, was also completely destroyed, together with the plant of the Weekly Graphic.
AFTER OTHER PLANT.
Assistant General Manager CHANDLER is authority for the statement that a similar attempt to blow up and destroy the Times' auxiliary plant at College and San Fernando streets a few minutes before the explosion occurred which destroyed the Times' main office at First and Broadway. MR. CHANDLER said that one of his men had reported that a few minutes before 1 o'clock this morning, two men were observed by a special officer placing a ladder at the rear of their branch building and climbing to the roof. He watched the men while they were at work trying to affect an entrance through the sky-light. He fired at them twice with his revolver, and the men fled. MR. CHANDLER interprets this second attempt as further proof that a carefully planned effort was made last night to destroy both the Times' main and branch offices.
HARVEY C. ELDER, the assistant city editor, who was injured by the flames and by leaping from a third story window to the street pavement, died at the hospital at 7:20 o'clock. He suffered terrible agony from the time he escaped from the building until his death.
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