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 Jefferson County Illinois
Fires, Factory Accidents, Train Wrecks
and other Calamities


Sawmill Boiler Explodes; 1 Killed; 2 Hurt
Three More Escape With No Injuries
Cause Unexplained thus far. Probably will not be determined until coroner’s investigation tomorrow.
McKinney is in grave condition. Force of explosion scattered parts of machinery 300 feet : Sawmill located in E. Salem neighborhood.
Orla Lisenby, 50, was killed and Louis McKinney, 23, was injured seriously in the explosion of a boiler in use at a sawmill seven and a half miles northeast of Mt. Vernon at 8:45 a.m. today.
McKinney, brought to a local physician’s office and later taken to Mt. Vernon hospital, suffered a fracture at the base of the skull. His condition was described as “very serious.” S. C. Jordan, acting coroner during the illness of Coroner Hardy Manner, gave permission for the removal of Lisenby’s body to an undertaking establishment and said that he would conduct an investigation tomorrow.
Willie Lisenby, said to be a cousin of the fatally injured man, received a painful leg injury, but his condition was not regarded as serious. He received first aid treatment at the scene of the explosion.
The sawmill was located in the East Salem neighborhood four and a half miles north of State Route 15 on the County Farm road. The equipment was owned by Stephen Laur and a Mr. Crain. The farm on which the timber was being cut is said to be the property of Frank Keen of near Benton.
The cause of the explosion had not been determined this morning and probably will not be known until the acting coroner makes his investigation.. He visited the sawmill this morning and notified all witnesses to report to him tomorrow.
Six men were employed at the sawmill, but three escaped without injury.
The force of the explosion scattered parts of the machinery as far as 300 feet. The entire engine was moved approximately 30 feet and only the wheels and firebox were left entirely intact. Lisenby, who was believed to have been standing nearest the boiler, was crushed beneath it, a heavy wheel striking his head and shoulders. McKinney was felled by a heavy timber which had been piled near the boiler. Several of the timbers were thrown 30 feet across a nearby road.
The equipment being used at the sawmill included a regular threshing machine engine operated by a steam boiler.
[Mt. Vernon Register News Saturday, February 15, 1936. Submitted By: Lori Lisenby Leonard]

Only Four Killed at Jefferson City
Mt. Vernon, Ills., June 1 - Investigation shows that only Mrs. Margaret Correll, her son, Charles, and Charles King and Robert Foster were killed in Jefferson City.  The damage to property is worse than first reported, about 75 buildings being destroyed. [The Madisonian. (Virginia City, Mont.), 06 June 1896]

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