East Jordan, MI Boiler Explosion, Mar 1892



CHARLEVOIX, Mich., March 21. - A terrible explosion took place at East Jordan, this county, at an early hour this morning. The big mill of the East Jordan Lumber Company was shattered, six men killed, and several others fatally injured by the explosion of the boilers.

The mill had been running but ten minutes when there was an awful shock, and the roof and all but one end of the mill were rent asunder. The inside of the big building is a complete wreck. The noise of the explosion was heard here, fourteen miles distant, and several carloads of people and a physician started at once for the scene of the accident. The six men who were killed outright or died in a few minutes are:

WILLIAM BEACH, aged eighteen.
SIMON CARNEY, aged twenty-six.
PETER SHELDON, aged twenty-two.
JOHN BROWN, aged twenty.
BERT COOK, aged thirty.
EMANUEL HUNT, aged forty.

All were single except Hunt, who had no children.

A. Christy, the head sawyer, who was stationed directly over the boiler, was horribly mangled and has since died. S. Pearson, who ran the engine and was only a few feet from Christy, escaped uninjured. The engineer in charge of both mills was James Potts. He had gone to breakfast, leaving the fireman, John Ringle, in charge. Ringle was in the engine room at the moment of the explosion and is dangerously injured, too much so to give information as to the cause of the explosion. The other injured men are:


All three are in a critical condition.

It is impossible to say what caused the explosion. Pearson, the only man in the mill who came out unhurt, says it was prbably due to low ater or too high pressure, but blames no one for the accident.

A boiler maker from this place did some repairing on the boiler last week, and it is said that he told the proprietors that he was hardly satisfield with the job, but owing to the peculiar situation could not get at the work to fix it as he desired.

Several men were working in the yard and the smokestack fell on the horse of one teamster, smashing the cart and killing the horse.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Mar 1892