Fatal Explosion near Geneva Boiler Blew Up, Killing John Stevens – Injuring Five others – It is Feared Many More of the Injured Will Die
A traction engine which supplied the power to run a threshing machine on a farm owned by Otto Gard, one mile east of Geneva, exploded Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 2, and killed one man and injured about ten others. Gard had been thrashing for the last two days and was just finishing up when the fatal explosion occurred. John Stevens, a farm hand aged 21, employed in running the engine and was at work on the machine oiling it when the head of the boiler blew out and a piece of metal stuck him, instantly killing him. Before the other thrashers who were standing nearby could escape, the rear end of the boiler blew out, sending the steam out of both ends at a terrific speed. Frank Updyke was struck in the hip by a piece of the boiler and was knocked down and badly scalded; his injuries are such an extent that he can not live. Edward Jacob and Fred Kautz, Otto Gard and his son Edward were also badly injured by being burned about the head and body by the escaping steam. The news of the terrible accident was hurriedly sent to Geneva and all of the physicians in the county seat hurried to the scene to care for the injured. The cause of the explosion is attributed to the crusting of the boiler as it was left out during the season and allowed to rust, which weakened it. It is believed that on account of the fact that the threshing was about to be completed that the, the man running the engine allowed it to run the limit and caused a heavy pressure on the weak boiler. THE DEAD John Stevens THE INJURED Frank Updyke, seriously Edward Kautz Fred Kautz Jacob Kautz Otto and Edward Gard --------- I am not related to nor researching this family and have no further information.