Beverly, OH Steamer BUCKEYE BELLE Explosion, Nov 1852


We take the following letter, giving additional particulars of the explosion of the steamer BUCKEYE BELLE, from the Ohio State Journal:
Beverly, Nov. 12 -- 10 o'clock, P.M.

MR. BASCOM: I hasten to inform you of one of the most awful catastrophes that has ever been the lot of any one to witness -- the explosion of the boilers of the BUCKEYE BELLE, this afternoon about 4 o'clock, at the Guard Lock, just above the town, in the canal. The boat is the most complete wreck that was ever seen. Even the lower deck and hull are so completely torn to fragments that there hardly remains a whole plank forward of the wheel-house, and the cabin, pilot-house, and everything back of the wheel-house shivered to atoms, and strewn to the four winds, covering the ground and water for a great distance around with kindling wood, furniture, trunks, and baggage, limbs and bodies of men, in the most awful manner that the imagination could possible conceive.
There were about forty passengers on board, (besides the boat's crew,) among whom were seven or eight ladies from this town, some with their children, every one of whom escaped with their lives, and with only one or two slight injuries, which was most remarkable, as the ladies' cabin was completely broken up -- even the floorfell almost to the lower deck; but, as fortune would have it, the cabin deck did not fall to crush them -- they remained on the stern of the boat (outside of the cabin) until they were rescued by their friends in skiffs. From among the passengers and crew, seven were killed outright, and two have since died, and probably one or two more will die before morning. Their names could not be ascertained, except, MR. BARBOUR, from Pittsburg. Among the wounded is your friend LELAND MURRAY, who is badly scalded, and somewhat bruised, but I think not dangerously; MR. C. C. COVEY, formerly of McConnellsville, right leg broken below the knee; MR. OKEY, Representative from Monroe County, badly scalded; MR. BARTLETT, Representative from Washington County, do.; MR. WHISSON, Clerk, leg badly broken; CALVIN STULL, Pilot, leg broken; MR. EVANS, do.; MR. DANIELS, Engineer, badly scalded; MR. _______, Mate, are broken; Capt. HAHN, scalded inwardly, and arm injured, and five or six more that have broken limbs, or are scalded more or less. And there are from six to ten or twelve that are missing, who are probably among the ruins of the wreck, or in the water, which cannot be told until tomorrow, when the wreck is cleared out.
The boilers were completely blown to pieces. The largest piece (about one half) was thrown more than fifty yards over the boat, down the canal, (the boat was going up,) another piece upon the guard lock, and other pieces more or less in size strewn in every direction -- one large piece alighting near the top of the hill some three or four hundred yards from the wreck, and some of the bricks of the flue were found in the lot on the top of the highest hill above town.
The people have shown all the sympathy that such a scene is calculated to call out in taking care of the dead and wounded, and doing all that humanity could prompt in relieving the distresses of their fellow men.
But the attempt to describe the scene that presented itself at the boat when we arrived, would be impotent and futile. Imagination is hardly lively or prolific enough for the task. The scene was too horrid for description. We almost doubted the sense of sight, so like a dream it seems.
The explosion was undoubtedly occasioned by carelessness of the Engineer in letting the water get too low, and the moment the engine was stopped to let the boat pass the guard lock, it exploded with such a shock as to shake the houses all over town. E. H. S.

The New York Times New York 1852-11-19

List of Killed (in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer West Virginia on December 10, 1852)
GEORGE C. MILLER, Cincinnati.
LEVI WHEELER, Portsmouth.
JAMES KENNEDY, (Irishman) residence unknown.
WM. C. ENTLER, Hampshire Co., Va.
JOHN V. SELLERS, Hampshire Co., Va.
FRANKLIN HAMERIE, Duncan's Falls, Muskingum Co., Ohio.
HENRY MITCHELL, M'Connelsville.
BENJ. JOHNSON, Morgan Co., Ohio.
JOHN BARBER, Pittsburg, Pa.
WM. STULL, 2d Clerk, Zanesville, Ohio.
C. BUTLER, (colored) Steward, Marietta.
E. F. ATHERTON, (white) barber -- not found -- recently from Beverly.
EZRA BUZZARD, Frederick Co., Md.
WM. DENNIS, Indiana.
ALEX. SHOEMAN, Noble Co., Ohio.
JOHN N. WEST, Coal Run, Washington Co., Ohio.
Five men found, names unknown; making twenty one killed.
Names of persons who have since died.
MR. EVANS, Hampshire Co., Va.
MILTON E. WHISSEN, 1st Clerk, M'Connelsville.
C. C. COVEY, Senator, Marietta.
Names of persons who were injured more or less.
CAPT. JAMES HAHN, slightly bruised, Zanesville.
Pilot, CALVIN STULL, leg broken and otherwise injured, Zanesville.
Mate, SAMUEL SULLIVAN, arm broken, (amputated.)
Striker, EDWARD BLACKMAR, scalded, Beverly, O.
WM. GROOMS, 2d cook, scalded.
JAMES OKEY, representative, Monroe Co., Ohio, scalded.
LEVI BARTLETT, representative, Washington Co., O., scalded.
T. F. NEVETT, Zanesville, scalded and bruised.
PIOUS RAGETT, Zanesville, scalded.
SEALAND MURRAY, Beverly, Ohio, scalded.
JOSEPH DANIELS, 2d Engineer, Marietta, scalded.
GIDEON BUZZARD, Frederick Co., Md.
GEO. G. PICKEREL, 2d Steward, M'Connelsville, slightly scalded.