Vincennes, IN Housing Project Explosion, Jan 1950


Vincennes, Ind., Jan. 12 (AP) -- Two young mothers and three small children were killed today in an explosion at Bowman Terrace, a Federal housing project.
The dead were identified as MRS. WANDA M. COOPER, 23, wife of Granville F. Cooper; her two children, CHARLES WAYNE COOPER, 5, and BARBARA JO COOPER, 3; MRS. ROSE OVERFELT, 21, wife of William H. Overfelt, and her daughter, VICKIE JUNE OVERFELT, 18 months.
The bodies were torn to pieces by the terrific concussion of the explosion. Two hundred soldiers from Fort Knox, Ky., who are here on flood duty, dug the remains out of the shattered concrete block structure which housed the two families.
It was feared at first that six persons had been killed, because of an erroneous report that there were three children in the COOPER family.
Capt. James Compton and Lt. Paul Keene of Fort Knox said the explosion apparently occurred in a utility room housing a gas furnace. The room was between the two apartments.
OVERFELT was at work at the Pomeroy Manufacturing Company plant. COOPER, a driver for the Bringwald Freight Lines, was believed to be somewhere in the Calumet area of northwestern Indiana. His employer was trying to locate him tonight to tell him of the tragedy.
The walls were shattered on three adjacent houses, but no one was injured.

News Frederick Maryland 1950-01-13


Bowman Terrace explosion in Vincennes, IN

This was my memory of Vincennes as we left to move to Texas. It was just before my 8th birthday. I have been back to visit in the years since, but that memory will be with me. We lived there when I was 3 or 4 years old.