"The Breeding Mill Explosion"

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The Bristol Herald Courier

Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, Monday Morning, February 13, 1933

Move Blast Victims To Lebanon Hospital; Praise Nurse’s Work

Woman Worker Treated Dozen Injured Men Throughout The Night


Grist Mill Owner Unable to Advance Cause for Blast That Killed 3 Saturday Afterno

Special to the Herald Courier
LEBANON, Va. Feb. 12, Brought here on trucks today after a school bus failed to get over the slippery road, six men injured in the boiler explosion that took three lives at Dump Creek, 14 miles north of here, yesterday, were under treatment tonight at Lebanon General Hospital. Five others, less severely injured, were left in care of relatives and nurses.

Those here and their injuries:
Cummings Musick, compound fracture of the jaw, burns and cuts, possibly the worst injured of the survivors.
Layman Musick, arm broken in two places.
Arnold Rasnick, severe compound fracture of the left leg.
Lester Breeding, deep burns on face, chest, and the back.
Ernest Breeding, burns and cuts on the head.
John Bail, general burns.

All except Bail, who lives in Buchanan County, were residents of the section. They were members of a crowd of fifteen men who came to Earl Breeding’s grist mill and sawmill yesterday afternoon to have their weekend corn grinding done and were present when the boiler suddenly exploded at 4:30 p.m.

Zeke Kelly, 55, and George Johnson, 55, married men who leave wives and families, and Sam Musick, 22, single, were killed, the first two instantly.
It was thought that all the injured, with the possible exception of Cummings Musick, would recover, although doctors said some might lose one or both eyes.

Parts of Boiler Were Blown Eighty Feet
Earl Breeding, whose head injury was the least hurt with which any at the mill escaped, today gave this account of the accident:

"I had used the boiler about 11 years, on the sawmill and grist mill and was running the corn grinding part of the outfit yesterday. I was operating it myself.
"I had just leaned over to turn a valve and was leaning against the boiler when it exploded. The crown sheet of the boiler was blown down and the top of the boiler went through the shed roof. The boiler went up ten feet, over my head, and parts went eighty feet.
"My boy, Lester, was sitting on a board on top of the boiler to keep warm. He had just started to get down. The explosion blew Lester 50 feet to a pile of lumber. I don’t know what made the boiler blow up."

Others injured were Irvin and Marvin Musick, chest and face burns; Brayton and Lecherd Musick, severe burns of the face and eyes; Abel Breeding, general burns and back injury.

Cummings Musick was a brother of Sam Musick. Abel Breeding is the father of Earl Breeding, Lester and Ernest Breeding are sons of Earl, and the other Musicks were first cousins of Sam Musick.

Doctors had planned to bring the three worst injured here last night, fearing to leave them in the hands of untrained attendants, but upon the arrival of Miss Elizabeth Lowry, Russell county Red Cross nurse, decided it was best for them to stay, because of the danger of catching pneumonia in the cold.

Breeding Mill main page | song | newspaper clippings

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