New Hope, WV Grist Mill Boiler Explosion, Jan 1889

FIVE MEN KILLED.

A MILL BOILER EXPLODES WITH APPALLING RESULTS.

A terrible accident took place at New Hope, Mercer County, W. Va., on Saturday last. The farmers of the neighborhood had congregated at W. CARTER'S steam grist-mill to obtain their usual supply of flour. WILLIAM JEROME and THOMAS CARTER, JOSEPH E. FRENCH, WADE SHOFFLEBARGER, JOHN WIMMER and LEVI and ELI SHIELDS were sitting in the mill talking when a terrible explosion occurred. The boiler had burst. The mill was totally wrecked.
JOSEPH E. FRENCH, THOMAS CARTER, LEVI SHIELDS and JOHN WIMMER were instantly killed. ELI SHIELDS was horribly scalded and shortly afterward died. WADE SHUFFLEBARGER was badly burned about the face and body, but will probably recover. JEROME CARTER was injured about the head and face. His collarbone was broken, and he was considerably burned. WM. CARTER was seriously bruised and injured internally.
The explosion was of terrific force. The heavy mill beams were rent and broken into splinters, terribly mangling the bodies of the dead men. Pieces of the boiler weighing at least 200 pounds were blown over 300 yards away. No one present can assign any cause for the accident, but it is thought it was due to the negligence of the engineer, WADE SHUFFLEBARGER, who allowed the water in the boilers to run too low.

Indiana Progress Pennsylvania 1889-01-09

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BLOWN INTO ETERNITY.

SIX LIVES LOST BY THE EXPLOSION OF A WEST VIRGINIA GRIST MILL -- FRIGHTFUL MUTILATION OF THE VICTIMS.

Pittsburgh, Penn., Jan. 6. -- A frightful accident occurred Saturday afternoon at New Hope, Mercer County, W. Va. A number of farmers had gathered at WILLIAM PORTER'S grist mill, as is their custom on Saturdays, to get their supplies of flour. They were talking in the boiler-house, when the boiler exploded, completely wrecking the mill.
JOSEPH E. FRENCH.
THOMAS CARTER.
LEVI SHIELDS.
JOHN WIMMER, were all instantly killed, their bodies being blown into shreds.
ELI SHIELDS died from his injuries today.
Pieces of flesh have dropped from the arms of WADE SHUFFELBARGER, exposing the bones, and his death will come soon.
JEROME CARTER and WILLIAM CARTER were also seriously injured.
The explosion is said to be due to the carelessness of the engineer in allowing the water in the boiler to run low.

Boston Daily Globe Massachusetts 1889-01-07

Comments

Eli and Levi Shields

Eli and Levi Shields were twin brothers and brothers to my great great grandmother, Nancy Ellen Shields. We hear the story of their deaths often from my granny.

Children of Joseph W. Shields and Henrietta Aldridge:

Taken From Joseph W. Shields Bible:
Births
Joseph W. Shields born Stokes Co., North Carolina March 31, 1820
Henrita Shields born March 9, 1826
William Shields born February 18, 1850
Harper L. Shields born Aug 29, 1852
Alexander Shields born October 6, 1854
Amanda Shields born March 28, 1856
Mary Shields born July 18, 1860
Nancy Ellen Shields born May 16, 1862
Joseph Shields born October 16, 1864
Levy and Ely Shields born January 15, 1869

Deaths
Levi Shields died December 29, 1888
Aged 20 years 11 months 14 days
Ely Shields died December 31, 1888
Aged 20 years, 11 months, 16 days
Joseph W. Shields died August 20, 1891

8. Eli Shields was born on 15 January 1869 in Grayson County, Virginia and died on 31 December 1888 in a boiler explosion at a saw mill in Sandlick, Mercer County, West Virginia. (From West VA Births and Christenings-Familysearch.org) Written in Joseph W. Shields Bible: Ely Shields Died December 31, 1888
Age 20 years 11 months 16 days (Betty Croy)

9. Levi Shields was born on 15 January 1869 in Grayson County, Virginia and died on 29 December 1888 in a boiler explosion at a sawmill in Sandlick, Mercer County, West Virginia (From West VA Births and Christenings-Familysearch.org) Written in Joseph W. Shields Bible: Levi died December 29, 1888 Age 20 years 11 months 14 days (Betty Croy)

Posted by Joe Mode-Knoxville