Houston, TX Dynamite Explosion, Sep 1959

Poe Elementary School Houston Texas.jpg


Houston (AP) -- Police searched for more dynamite today after a tile contractor triggered a suitcase of explosive and killed his son, himself, two adults and two other children Tuesday.
PAUL HAROLD ORGERON, 47, pressed a detonator button minutes after enrolling his red-haired son, DUSTY PAUL, 7, in the second grade.
Police Capt. Weldon Waycott said it is possible ORGERON left the dynamite in a room he rented Monday. He appealed to the public to help them locate the room.
Two children of the 18 persons hhospitalized after the blast on the playground of Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School remained in critical condition. Two children suffered leg amputations.
MRS. R. E. DOTY, 64, school principal, was hospitalized.
Waycott said the suitcase ORGERON exploded did not contain "nearly the amount of dynamite purchased" in Grants, N.M., presumably by ORGERON.
The school opened this morning.
"A man walks across the street with a bomb and kills children," cried W. S. Hawes after identifying the body of his only son, WILLIAM S. HAWES, JR., 7, shortly after the explosion.
In addition to young HAWES, the blast killed ORGERON, DUSTY, another pupil, a teacher and a custodian.
The 18 persons hospitalized included the principal, MRS. R. E. DOTY, 64. Four children remain in critical condition. Several are in serious condition with leg amputations and internal injuries.
WILLIAM HAWES and JOHN CECIL FITCH, JR., 8, died as they ran ahead of the class when they were released for recess.
JENNIE KOLTER, 54, a second grade teacher, and JAMES MONTGOMERY, 56, school custodian, died while aiding MRS. DOTY in trying to persuade ORGERON to leave the school grounds.
Two incoherent notes were found on the playground but police and the FBI could find no specific reason why ORGERON, a former convict, set off the explosion.
ORGERON and DUSTY entered the school and stopped MRS. DOTY in a hall to inquire about the son enrolling. MRS. DOTY sent them to the office to talk with a clerk, JUANITA WEIDNER.
He told MRS. WEIDNER he had just moved into the area from New Mexico, that he was a tile contractor.
"He did not appear to be angry at all," MRS. WEIDNER said, "but he did talk rather fast and loud."
A few minutes later, the father and son appeared on the playground where about 100 pupils were playing.

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