Sheffield, PA Oilfield Accident, May 1899


James O. Blair Struck on the Head by a Falling Sucker Rod.

A terrible accident occurred Monday evening on the Blair and Hawkey lease, near lower Sheffield, which has cast a gloom of sorrow over this community, whereby James Orbin Blair, eldest son of J. C. Blair, telegraph operator and engineer for the National Transit Co., at the Tiona station, met almost instant death.

Young Blair accompanied by Henry Duck left here Monday at noon for the oil lease for the purpose of doing some rod pulling. Everything went alright until they were putting back the rods into a well about six o'clock (they handled the rods known in leasemens parlance as double rods) The upper rod became unscrewed and fell out of the elevator, striking Blair on the head and rendering him utterly unconscious, a condition he remained in until death claimed him for its own two hours later.

Drs. Gass and Pryor, of Sheffield, were hastily summoned and on making an examination of the ghastly wound, pronounced his case entirely hopeless, his skull having been fractured.

Deceased was 19 years of age and was a young mad of exemplary habits, ambitious energetic and industrious. He leaves behind his parents, a brother and sister to mourn his untimely end.

The funeral took place Wednesday, the interment being in Oakland cemetery Warren.

The Evening Democrat, Warren, PA 31 May 1899