Newspaper account of James L. Ervin's (1835-1887) Death

in Obituary

James was the son of Alexander Brandon Ervin and Lydia Leamon

Sawmill Boiler Expodes, Killing Two Men and Demolishing the Mill.

Jackson, O., Oct 13. -At about 11 o'clock yesterday the boiler of a portable sawmill exploded, with fatal results. The engineer, Kent Evans, and the owner, James Ervin, were instantly killed. Evans' body was mangled, considered,[considerably?] but Ervin's was literally torn to pieces.

At the time of tho explosion nine men were about, the mill. None of them were injured, except as above stated. William Pratt was standing very near Ervin at the time or the explosion. One end of the boiler struck Ervin, carried him against a log lying near, and ground him to pieces. The only injury Pratt sustained was from one of Ervin's hands, which, when blown off, struck him, almost knocking him down. A cane that Pratt was leaning on was broken in two pieces by the boiler. This section of tho boiler passed on about fifty yard's, where it struck a tree eighteen inches in diameter, cutting it off as if it was a weed.

The engineer, Evans, was standing at the other end of the boiler, and was thrown quite a distance.He was about twenty-four years of age, and unmarried. His father has been dead a number of years, and he lived with his mother. He lived near the place where the explosion occurred, which is in Scioto township, about eight miles from here. Ervin is a resident of this town and has been connected with the Jackson Mill and Lumber company, of this place. He leaves a wife and seven children. The remains of his body wore brought here this evening by the undertaker.

The wreck of the mill is complete. A part of the engine was caught under the carriage and shoved it with lumber, slabs, logs and everything in its way, several yards distant. The spokes and shaft of the fly wheel are driven into the ground under where it stood, but the rim was carried fifty yards distant. No vestige of the engine, boiler or shed remains. Taken altogether it was one of tho worst explosion that over occurred in this county.

- Piqua Daily Call, 13 Oct 1887, p. 1

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