Random Notes


While initial estimates were $1 to $2 million in damage, the final estimate was nearer $500,000 - still a lot of money in those days.

An article in the Kentucky Post 2 years after the blast said that the final count of houses effected was “18 homes destroyed, disheveled 50, and damaged all but a few of 400.”  Virtually all homes were insured.

People said the blast caused a 10 foot wave on the river.

Five transoms and 2 light fixtures blew out at the Court House.

Two windows were damaged at the Christian Church.

The lens in Stringy Henry's glasses were blown out.

At least one window was blown out of the Florence, Indiana Church.

Mr. Forrest Ashcraft had suffered a stroke in prior years and lost the use of his right arm and hand.  After the blast his arm and fingers were O.K.

The day after the blast found a huge traffic jam in Warsaw as “thousands of autos” converged on the town to rubberneck. (Post, 12-28-1959)

Jack Smith's employees had given him a cashmere sweater for Christmas, and he told the ambulance crew that picking up the sweater was the last thing he remembered.  People speculated that a static electricity spark from the sweater set off gas from a leaky service, but a final determination was never made.

A December 29, 1959 article in the Post listed the homes as destroyed as those of: James E. Perkins, Otto Scudder.  On the north side of the highway: Warren Taylor, Mary G. Flora, Charles Duncan, Mrs. Pearl Brown, Mrs. Pearl Connely, Miss Nancy LaVelle, a house trailer owned by Leonard OBrien, John Sims, Floyd Donnelly, Eddie Craig and Gilbert Hill.  On Morton Street: Mrs. Mabel Davis, Clarence Wheeler, John Beagle, and Ailene Chipman.  “Borderline” damage was listed at homes of Charles Payne, James Boaz, Jesse Davis, Effie Kennedy, Dr. J. O. Tyson, home beside Mr. O'Brien's trailer, grocery and living quarters of Ella Mae Allen on US 42.  On Morton street, the home of Alberta Craig.