Barksdale, WI Explosion, Oct 1907



The explosion at the dynamite plant of the Dupont Powder Company near Ashland at 6:45 yesterday morning created great excitement. The shock broke windows in both Ashland and Washburn and was felt at Odanah over twelve miles away. Passengers from Ashland to Eau Claire yesterday spoke of the terrific shock. Conductor S. Enockson of the Omaha road was seated at breakfast in the Knight hotel in Ashland. When the explosion came he thought the house was about to fall. Afterwards he noted broken windows and heard a good deal of the damage done, as well as the killing of three men. The plant is located at a place called Barksdale, between Ashland and Washburn, and work trains went out with the men. At the time of explosion the shifts of night and day crews were being changed. This perhaps accounted for the small number of fatalities. As a rule, however, the employes are scattered as much as possible. Some months ago there was a similar accident when several were killed.

Yesterday's explosion killed at least four: Arnold Hustland, aged 33; Ole Wicks, aged 19' Peter Wicks, aged 17.

A fourth man was torn to pieces so badly that he cannot be identified.

The cause of the explosion is not known - probably occurred in what is known as the mixing house, where dynamite is manufactured.

The Eau Claire Leader, Eau Claire, WI, Oct 25 1907