Chicago, IL Lightning and Powder Explosion, Aug 1886



Lightning Supposed to be the Cause of the Disaster -- The Shock Felt For Many Miles -- Property Damaged Six Miles From the Scene.

CHICAGO, Aug. 30. -- A severe shock, like that of an earthquake, was felt in every portion of the city yesterday morning. The cause was the explosion of the Laflin & Rand Powder company's magazine, on the Archer road, near the McCormick Reaper works. It is supposed that a bolt of lightning struck the magazine and the concussion set off the dynamite and the gunpowder stored there.

The shock caved in the two magazines of the Oriental Powder company and those belonging to the Warren Powder company, the Hazard, the Dupont and the Forcite dynamite companies' storehouses. The Aetna, which stood about three-quarters of a mile distant, was unharmed. The Laflin & Rand company's magazine was the only one which exploded. The house of JOHN GUHL, a driver for the Oriental Powder company, was flattened out upon the ground a mass of kindling wood. GUHL and his wife were fatally injured, and CARRIE ERNWORTH, their servant girl, was instantly killed. The residence of MRS. DEVINE was demolished in the same way. MRS. DEVINE had her leg broken and her body bruised, but suffered no other injuries. She was dragged out of the ragged heap of splinters and taken to the hospital. A farmer, whose name could not be learned, was driving past toward the city when the explosion occurred. His skull was fractured and his neck badly lacerated by blocks of stone. He cannot live. The horse he was driving was instantly killed and the wagon smashed to bits. The whole side of Justice MICHAEL TEARNEY'S house, near the Oriental magazine was ripped off and the roof caved in, but not one of the household was injured. Little TOM TEARNEY, 9 years old, was lifted bodily from the back stoop onto an outhouse about ten feet from the dwelling. The outhouse collapsed, but the boy came out unhurt. Several people

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