William Frederick AUSTIN

"An awful boiler explosion took place on 28 Dec at 7:30 in the cooper [barrel-making] shop of ELLIS & HOLMES in Wakeman, OH resulting in the death of four persons instantly & injuring three others as follows: Engineer HUNT, formerly from Perry, a boy by the name of "Mundy" - AUSTIN's boy & Johnny LUCE.  The engineer was cut right in two.  One of the others had one leg torn entirely off & the other horribly mangled.  It was the most sickening sight we ever saw.  The killed would scarcely be recognized.

The boiler was carrying sixty pounds of steam. The gauges had just been tried but from a defect in the boiler the terrible catastrophe has happened. The boiler, after running a while, showed signs of weakness & much complaint was made in regard to its safety by those not connected with the shop.  The blistered piece was taken out & a piece put in.   Since the repairs, they had run a day and a half.  Pieces of the befler were found forty rods from the scene.  The engine house, which was of brick, & all the northeast corner of the shop were blown entirely out. The building took fire & it was with great effort that the fire was put out."

 Note: William Frederick AUSTIN was born at E. Townsend, Huron Co., OH on 24 Oct 1861, the son of Agnes Rowland & Julius AUSTIN of Wakeman, OH.  He died at the age of 10 years in the explosion on 28 Dec 1871.  Burial at the Wakeman Township Cemetery.


Source: The Norwalk Reflector Newspaper, Norwalk, OH  1 Jan 1871