Evadale, TX Paper Mill Explosion, Sep 1959


Evadale, Tex. (AP) -- The toll of two explosions at a paper mill here Monday rose to five dead today. Nine others suffered injuries.
The explosions tore through a boiler unit of the East Texas Pulp and Paper Mill.
Of the nine injured, seven were in serious conditions.
I. D. RASH, 23, of Silsbee, died at 9 a.m. today in Beaumont's Baptist Hospital.
The other victims were:
BILLY SIMMONS, 19, of Buna.
J. L. WILKERSON, 43, of Evadale.
A. C. ALLEN, 33, of Silsbee.
RAYMOND McNABB, 21, of Silsbee.
The 27 1/2-million-dollar plant is owned by Time, Inc., and is 20 miles north of Beaumont in deep Southeast Texas. Besides producing paper for the Henry Luce publications, the plant also produced milk cartons.
State police said the first explosion occurred when workers fired a boiler to refine chemicals used in paper making. The second blast, police said, followed when hot water from the bursted boiler mixed with an acid used in the papermaking.
Damage to the 7-story building which housed the boiler unit was not estimated immediately. The plant employs about 450 men.

Big Spring Daily Herald Texas 1959-09-15


Evadale paper mill explosion 1959

I remember that event so well. I was at recess and Evadale Elementary, heard a great explosion and say a huge amount of smoke rise up. We all looked at it, but couldn't see the mill because of the intervening forest, so had no idea what it was about. Turned out my Dad Leonard P Bundy, chief electrical engineer at the mill, had just left the boiler control room when the explosion happened, and so our family was pone of the lucky ones. Later, I saw blueprints showing the explosion damage, and Dad was involved in designing and implementing repairs. I remember at the company picnic afterwards and announcement was made of another painter (painting on the outside of the boiler) had passed away. That picnic was a solemn one.


My Grandfather was also killed in the boiler explosion on Sept 14, 1959. His name was Drewey Cleveland Beard, dob: 3/11/1920, Maintenance Dept (Painter) [See TEXAS DEATH CERTIFICATE: 51122]