Wilmington, DE Powder Mill Explosion, Aug 1855


Philadelphia, Friday, Aug. 3.
Three of Gareshe's powder mills, near Wilmington, Del., exploded this morning, about 8 o'clock, with most disastrous consequences, six persons having been killed and five wounded.

Wilmington, Friday, Aug. 3.
The drying house of Gareshe's powder works at Eden Park, which exploded this morning, contained about one and a half tons of powder, and the force of the explosion was tremendous. The house had been in operation for forty years without accident, and was considered the safest house in the works. All the men connected with its operations were killed at once, being blown to atoms and found at various distances from 50 to 200 yards from the scene of the disaster.
The names of the persons killed are:
EUGENE PERIE, all three Frenchmen by birth, who were in the drying house when the explosion occurred.
A 14-year-old boy named JOHN PUGH, who was riding past, was also among the killed.
The explosion of the drying house caused a mill, situated about 300 yards distant, also to explode. In this mill six men were dangerously hurt. One of them, PETER McGINLEY was thrown a distance of 40 feet, and it is feared will not recover, while PATRICK BUSHE, who was running from the mill, had his skull fractured by a piece of lightning rod, and his recovery is also doubtful. THOMAS MULLEN had his collar bone broken, by a piece of timber. WILLIAM MITCHELL, the engineer, escaped with some slight bruises.
Another man, whose name could not be ascertained, was running beside PATRICK BUSHE when the latter was knocked down. He stooped to pick up his fellow workman and escaped injury.
The engineer, WILLIAM MITCHELL, was seated at his post reading a newspaper when the explosion took place. He saw a barrel of powder explode and started to secure his safety behind the chimney stack, when a second exploded which blow down a brick wall over his head. His head was caught by some portion of the wall and bruised, and he also received some slight scratches on his cheek.
PATRICK GUTHRIE and MICHAEL GUTHRIE, who were on the outside of the mill, escaped with slight injuries.
The engineer says there were three separate explosions in the mill. To those at a distance it seemed like a single prolonged explosion.
Drs. Ashew, Bush, White, Wilson and Draper, from Wilmington, were at the scene soon after the occurrence, rendering all the professional aid in their power.
There were about fourteen hundred pounds of powder in the mill, which was less than usual. The trees around the drying house were torn up by the roots, and one or two horses were killed. One other man is said to have been killed, but this seems doubtful. MR. GARESCHE says the explosion must have been caused by one of the Frenchmen, who was addicted to smoking his pipe, although he had been forbidden to do so.

The New York Times New York 1855-08-04