Ellendale, MN Feed Mill Accident Leaves One Dead and Two Injured, Dec 1901


William Steele Loses His Life By the
Bursting of a Feed Burr-His Son George
and Mr. Pochel Seriously injured.

Special to The People's Press

Ellendale, December 24. - William Steele was killed, his son, George Steele and helper, Mr. Pochel, were badly bruised and lacerated by the bursting of the large revolving stone of the feed grinder last Saturday afternoon.
The scene of the terrible tragedy was the Steele Bros. feed mill located mid way between the Burlington depot and Frank Randall's livery barn, south of the lumber yards of the Ellendale Lumber Co. At the time of the bursting of the large revolving stone, Mr. Steele was emptying a sack of feed into the hopper of the machine. His assistant Mr. Pochel was standing on the platform level with the top of thwe machine. George Steele was at work in another part of the room. The large stone bursted with a loud report, pieces of steel and stone flying in all directions. Several flying pieces struck William Steele, breaking his jaw, knocking out his teeth and horribly cutting and bruising him. Mr. Pochel had his legs all cut and lacerated, and falling to the floor was unable to raise himself. George Steele had his nose broken and his face badly cut and lacerated.
Within a few minutes after the accident help arriving, the injured men were taken away. Mr. Steele to the office of Dr. Andrist, Mr. Pochel to the office in Frank Randall's livery barn and George Steele to M. E. Johnson's restaurant. Dr. A. B. Stewart, of Owatonna was summoned to assist Dr. Andrist in caring for the unfortunate men. William Steele passed away about 6 o'clock, two hours after the accident. George Steele and Mr. Pochet are away recovering at M. E. Johnson's restaurant where they are under medical care.
The Ellendale feed mill was built by Frank and William Steele, who opened the mill for business about three weeks ago. A set of burr flint stones about 4 feet in diameter were used for grinding the feed. A heavy steel tire was around each stone. The great rush of trade overtaxed the grinding capacity and to hurry the work, the speed of the machine was increased. The centrifugal force caused the stone to burst. Broken pieces of the large stones which crashed through and wrecked th building, were picked up over a block distant from the mill. The accident caused great exitement in Ellendale. William Steele was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Steele. He was born in Berlin township and in the neighborhood grew to manhood. He married Miss Bettschen about eighteen years ago. To them were born nine children. Mr. Steele was a hard working man. He is well known in this part of Steele County. The funeral services were held from the house last Monday. Rev. W. Moore officiating. The remains were laid to rest in the cemetery one mile north of this village. The grief stricken wife and nine children, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Steele, two brothers, Frank and Elmer and Sister, Mrs. Frank Bonnel have the sympathy of all in their terrible sorrow.

"Peoples Press - Dec. 24, 1901"


William Steele

This was my Great Grandfather. I don't know who the George they are refering to is. The newspaper article says it is his son. He did have 7 sons and 3 daughters. One of his sons was born not quite 2 months after his death. None of his sons are named George.