Hampton's Grist Mill Explodes


Thos. Hampton's saw and grist mill, in the Caney precinct, this county, was the cause of great excitement and injury to life last Saturday.  The boiler exploded, and the country around felt the earth quaking, like that accompanying an earthquake. The people rushed to the place of disaster and found a condition of things painful to behold.  There were thirteen people in the mill, and only one escaped injury.  The boiler passed out through the roof and fell seventy-five yards from its fastenings.  The escaping steam and boiling water scalded those near the explosion.  A Mr. Taylor had his clothing blown from his person, and all the skin on the front of his body will drop off.  A son of George Smith, aged 12 years, sustained fatal injuries.  The others will recover.  After the boiler passed through the roof, the roof fell in on the unconscious and almost lifeless bodies and inflicted additional injuries.  An inexperienced hand was running the engine, and he allowed the water to become exhausted in the boiler and turned a supply of fresh water into the red-hot boiler with the above results.


from the Owen County Democrat, December 3, 1886