After having a wonderful day with the Marsches yesterday, I left their house this morning and headed for Clarion, Pennsylvania. My Lee ancestors: father Addison, and children including my great-grandfather Ira Lee moved from Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, sometime after 1876 (record of a deed in Huntingdon) and before 1880 (census in Clarion County). I know that my great-grandfather Ira Lee is buried in Kane, McKean County, PA, where my dad was born, but I didn't know what had happened to Addison. Today I found out. I was in the courthouse reading orphans' court records and found guardianship papers where guardians were requested for the children because Addison had been killed in a boiler explosion in the previous month of December 1880, and there was insurance money to be managed. Because I had that information, I knew when to look for possible newspaper accounts and went over to the library where old newspapers on microfilm are available. A transcription of the newspaper article follows. The newspaper is dated 16 December 1880 and is the Clarion Democrat. The left margin of this particular edition appears to have been damaged prior to microfilming so the first few letters of each line may not be correct if I guessed wrong. (warning-- the contents may be too graphic for young children)
[Hor or Ter]rible Boiler Explosion at Curllsville -- One Man Instantly Killed.
[O]n Friday morning, the 10th inst., about 7 1/2
[A]M., the boiler in Turney's flour mill, at Curllsville,
exploded with terrific force, instantly
[kill]ing Mr. Ad. H. Lee, the miller. He was
[cru]shed against the stone wall in front of the
???ler, literally crushing him to a jelly. His
[he]ad was split open, his brains dashed out, and
[hi]s face scalded and driven so full of ashes and
[??]uler, as to be almost beyond recognition.
The entire south side, or nearly one-half of the mill,
[is a] complete wreck, except the roof. The stone
[wa]lls are blown out and shattered, timbers two
??? square broken and splintered, floors torn up,
?? So far as is known the accident was caused
[by] the water being too low in the boiler. The
[re]mains of Mr. Lee were taken charge of by
[Cur]llville Lodge, I.O.O.F., of which he was a
[m]ember, and were consigned to the tomb in the
[M]ethodist cemetery at Curllsville, on Sunday,
?th inst. They were escorted by Millville
[Lo]dge, I.O.O.F., 30 members present; A.O.
?, W., No 176 of Rimmersburg, of which he was
[al]so a member, 35 members; and Sligo Lodge,
[N]o. 387, I.O.O.F., 20 members, followed by
? loaded vehicles, besides horsemen and a large
[n]umber on foot. He was aged 44 years, and
[le]aves a wife and 4 children to mourn their loss.
???? be with him. It is said that a highly in-
[te]lligent christian gentleman, upon viewing the
???ling, blackened, mangled remains of Ad.
[Lee] before they were scarcely cold, said, "There
is no use making any fuss with him. Sew him
[up] in a sack and bury him," thus denying the
??? mangled wreck of humanity the privilege
???ing prepared by tender hands and loving
[h]earts christian burial. When the shadow
[of] the dark angel's wing shadows this gentle
[m]an in eternal night, may God in his mercy not
[de]ny to him tender hands and loving hearts to
[pr]epare him for the tomb.