This article was sent to me by Joan Benner, a good friend and a fellow genealogy researcher in Adams, Juneau, Waushara and Wood County - and occasionally Bayfield and Ashland Counties. To contact Joan, email email@example.com.
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From the Wood County Reporter
February 5, 1874, Page 4 Column 2
Grand Rapids, Wood Co., WI
Gray's Mill Blown Up
At noon today our city was thrown into intense excitement, caused by the
report that GRAY's Mill, situated 11 miles southeast of this city, in the
town of Weston, had blown up. Every available team to be had was soon on
the road, loaded with people hastening to the scene of the calamity. We
availed ourselves of a proffered seat, and were soon at the place. Here we
found quite a crowd of our citizens ahead of us, among which was Dr.s
SMITH, WYLIE and FROST, who were busily engaged in dressing the wounded.
The mill presents a frightful wreck, portions of the boiler (locomotive)
were scattered several rods from the mill. One piece about 150 yards
distance from where it stood, dropped on the blacksmith shop roof, directly
over the smith's head, while he was at work at the anvil. From Mr. J. GRAY,
the owner of the mill, we gather the following: The explosion took place
about 10 o'clock, there were nine men at work at the mill at the time. The
names of those killed are as follows:
KILLED: Henry LYNN, engineer; Edward ERICKSON, tail sawyer, and Oscar
ISAAC's, wood cutter.
WOUNDED: George HARNEY, sawyer, severely on the head; Alex JOHNSON, skull
fracture, breast and back severely bruised; B. DICKEY, head slightly bruised.
Mr. LYNN was a married man having his wife at the mill. He was about forty
years of age, and came to the mill from Stevens Point. ERICKSON and ISAAC's
were aged 22 and 24 respectively; they are both Swedes, who came from
Illinois to work through the winter in the pinery.
Mr. GRAY estimates his loss at about $10,000. This is the second explosion
that has attended this milling. About six years ago an accident of this
kind occurred two miles distant from the present catastrophe in which two
men lost their lives and several wounded.
---Wisconsin Pilot, Extra, January 31st, 1874