Rt. 1, Mexico, Missouri
The article ‘Tragedy’ on page 41 of the March-April 1966
issue of the Album happened a year before my time but I heard it
differently so I thought I would give you the version I know.
About 20 years ago, Clem Stoker, Olney, Missouri, was a
thresherman then and still lives at Olney, told me he stopped by
and went up to the engine on Saturday before the explosion the
following Monday. The machine was shut down at the time and he said
he noticed at the time the sound you hear from a boiler didn’t
sound right. He said the engine was shipped in here from Kansas and
believed the boiler had alkali water used in it. I understand they
were getting into longer and tougher straw and the pop valve was
reset to carry 25 lbs. more pressure. As the story goes, on Monday
morning the boiler let go.
Freddie Fink of Middletown told me there was a place along the
steam of the barrel about a yard long and about the thickness of a
My father-in-law told me last Sunday that he saw the boiler
after the explosion. The metal along the barrel seam was badly
pitted and it looked to him as if the barrel let go just below the
cylinder, ripped to the back toward the firebox, then up and
forward toward the smokebox.
I’m not trying to start an argument, just writing about the
way I heard it.