From Our Early Files

Terrible Explosion

The Lebanon Weekly Standard

December 24, 1879

We are grateful to the Editor of The Lebanon Enterprise
newspaper for granting permission to reprint this story. It was
sent in by James O ‘Daniel, Route 1, Lebanon, Kentucky

About 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, December 16, the boiler
of the sawmill of Messrs. Gabbert & Curry, about four miles
north of Willisburg, Washington County, exploded with extraordinary
violence. It is thought that the water was very low in the boiler,
and a large quantity of cold water was added, thus causing the

There were eleven men on the premises at the time the accident
occurred, nine of whom were killed or wounded. Four others were
more or less injured. The wreck created by the explosion testified
of its extraordinary violence. The boiler was torn to fragments,
and the flues were blown many yards away, and some of them imbedded
in and twisted about a stump. The shed over the mill was torn to
pieces and fragments hurled about promiscuously. Report says that
some of the fragments of the wreck were blown half a mile, but we
have not been able to verify the report as to the distance. All
accounts, however, agree that the explosion was extraordinarily
violent and destructive.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment