Wurtsboro, New York Explosion
July 4, 1872
A Sad Fourth of July at Wurtsboro
One Man Killed Instantly by an Explosion
Two frightful accidents occurred at
Wurtsboro, Sullivan county, Thursday - one man
meeting his death by a
railroad accident and
another being instantly killed by and explosion.
The latter was
Alexander Gumaer, son of
the well known stage proprietor, of this
section. He was engaged in firing salutes
in a manner peculiar to that vicinity, which is
called "firing an anvil". A large iron
ring or band, in this case the band off a wagon
hub, is placed on an anvil, and packed full of
powder. Another anvil is then set on the
top of the ring, and the powder ignited, when it
explodes with a terrible concussion. Mr.
Gumaer had been engaged in discharging salutes
in this way for some time, and after having
"loaded the anvil" the last time, walked off
some distance, [illegible] shed near his
father's hotel, to wait the discharge. It
was a heavy charge, and when it went off the
iron band was torn to pieces, one of which,
weighing four pounds, struck Mr. Gamaer in the
brest, passing clear through him and coming out
of one side, killing him instantly. The
wound made by the iron was four inches across. A
large crowd of people were standing on the
piazza of the hotel, and if the flying piece of
iron had went in their midst the consequences
would have been still more terrible. Mr.
Gumaer was 28 years old, an estimable young man,
and leaves a wife and two children. The
accident cast a gloom over the whole
neighborhood, and what was a scene of hilarity
was in an instant changed to one of mourning.
While the town was yet all excitement on the
tragic death of young Gumaer,
a fearful tornado
swept over the village...
Evening Gazette, Port Jervis, NY 6 Jul
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