A Terrible Disaster in Rutherfordton
From The Charlotte Observer, 1893
A special of the 13th to the Charlotte Observer, from Forest City, Rutherfordton county, says the boiler of the Florence Cotton Mills exploded there that morning at 7 o’clock, dealing death and disaster. The boiler, engine and piping were totally demolished, some of the piping and fragments of the boiler and machinery flying hundreds of yards in every direction. Bricks and timbers were thrown high in the air and fell on and damaged nearly every house in the neighborhood, and the windows in the mill were shattered and the water works and machinery damaged. The boiler and engine rooms are in ruins. A second boiler, weighing several tons, was thrown some thirty yards. The windows in many houses in town were completely shattered.
The operatives had just gone to work when the explosion took place, and those that were not killed or injured were terribly stunned. People in the neighborhood were thrown to the ground by the shock.
The sufferers are Homer Harrill, fireman, killed instantly; Julius Dean, dangerously hurt; Ollie Rabb, seriously injured by falling timbers; I.L. Sanders, engineer, injured internally, considered dangerously. Several others were slightly hurt by falling bricks and timbers. W. P. Hurt, supertendent, was painfully though not seriously hurt by the falling of the roof in the engine room.
The shock was felt at Rutherfordton, six miles distant, the people there thinking it was an earthquake. The windows of Dr. Harris’ house of that place, were shattered.
Clipping provided by Ron Arrowood