Galveston Daily News, November 15, 1893, pg. 5





The Mill of the Hooks Lumber Company
near Beaumont, Blown to Atoms.
Some Narrow Escapes.


    Beaumont, Tex., Nov. 14. -- A terrific boiler explosion occurred this morning at 10:30 o'clock at the saw mill of the Hooks lumber company at Hooks Switch, fourteen miles north of here on the Sabine and East Texas railroad, killing three men and seriously wounding six others.  The list of the dead is as follows:
    J. W. Kirksey, engineer.
    Willie Wiess, log scaler.
    Bob McKinney, colored, scalded to death by the steam and water.
    Injured as follows:  George Whittington, collar bone broken; E. B. Baird, arm broken, John Holley, a stranger, hurt in the head and leg; Mack Armstrong, colored, blown forty yards and internally injured; Jack McKinney, colored, hit in the head; Geo. Payne, colored, also hit in the head.  Several others were slightly injured.
    The boiler room is completely blown away and the mill will have to be entirely rebuilt to be of use.
    The Hooks lumber company had been shut down for about two months and had just started up yesterday morning.  Had the explosion occurred ten minutes sooner the death list would have been a great deal heavier as there were then about twenty men near the boilers warming.  Willie Wiess and Bob McKinney were warming when the accident occurred.  Mr. L. R. McGregor, the saw filer, but who was taking the sawyer's place for a minute, was completely covered with the debris but escaped with only a few bruises.
    One piece of the boiler was found 150 yards from the mill.
    The cause of the explosion could not be learned.
    Kirksey leaves a wife; Willie Wiess a wife and three children and the negro McKinney leaves one child to mourn their loss.


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