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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 Sam. Gumaer, 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 1872


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