Dorner, IN Powder Mill Explosion, May 1904


May 4, 1904, at noon the powder mill at Dorner, two miles southeast of Newport, was blown up. Four men were killed and many more were injured. The scene of the disaster was in a little hollow leading off from the main hollow which runs east and west. There were at the time 400 kegs of powder, of 25 pounds each, amounting to 10,000 pounds of damp blasting powder. Henry Griffin and De Soto Biggs, two of the unlucky men, were literally blown to atoms. The other two men who were killed were George and Berkley Mayhew. The woods caught fire from the terrible explosion and it took much hard fighting upon the part of men present to extinguish the flames before they reached the other side of the hill, where there were stored 250,000 pounds of powder in the magazine of the DuPont Powder Works.

Only two of the buildings were destroyed. They were not rebuilt. The explosion was heard at Clinton. John Potts who was on his father's farm a mile distan{sic}, was knocked down by the explosion.

Alice Wright, Clinton, Indiana; reference: The History of Parke and Vermillion Counties, Indiana, 1913