Newark, OH July 4th Cannon Explosion, Jul 1868


Mrs. B. F. Milligan, of Newcomertown, Ohio, is in the city visiting his brother Zach Milligan, at his home on Buckingham street, for a few days. Although Mr. Milligan has been away from the city since 1872, he is still remembered by many of his old friends and is receiving a hearty greeting.

Mr. Milligan called at the Advocate office on Thursday for the purpose of looking over the old files of the paper, desiring to find the account of the terrible accident that happened here on the Fourth of July about 1808, when Lafe Pickard had one of his arms shot off at the barbeque held in Jone's grove. The particulars of that accident are still fresh in the memory of many of Newark's older citizens.

An immense crowd has assembled in the Jones grove, which was then located about where the Mill street school house now stands, for the purpose of celebrating the Fourth of July, and among the features of the day was a roast ox. There were several brass bands on the grounds and to make the occasion interesting a small cannon that went by the name of "Mad Anthony" was fired off every few minutes. The cannon was in charge of Mr. Milligan, an old artilleryman, and the main gunner was Mr. Lafe Pickard. After the cannon had been fired oft a number of times. Mr. Pickard was ramming home a fresh charge in the heated gun, when the powder caught fire and there was a premature explosion. Mr. Pickard had hold of the rammer at the time and one of his arms was torn off below the elbow. The injured man, with great nerve, walked across the grounds, entered a hack and was driven to the city, where the injured member was amputated and cared for.

It was a sight that will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. -----Newark Advocate.

The Coshocton Age, Coshocton, OH 10 Oct 1907