Early SE Oklahoma Explosive

Between mining disasters, gas line breaks, industrial accidents and oil field happenings, Southeastern Oklahoma was pretty explosive.

In the 1920's alone there were numerous reports of explosions related to one, all, or a combination of the elements in a minimum of six locations and the pages of newspapers were filled with similar accidents from other states.

In Poteau in Sept. of 1929 an explosion rocked a mine jetting workers out the opening and horribly mangling those who remained inside. Those killed included  Jeff Shelton, William Cates. Seven others were listed as missing, a Herman Cureton, Willoughby Wells, Bob Hanson (Jenny Lind, Ark), --Howard, -- Smith, and two unidentified miners.  In 1906 this same area had been devastated by a similar incident.

In Tulsa, an explosion at a plant, rocked the entire city and frayed nerves. Several oil derricks exploded usually with no loss of life. 

In Bristow, in March an explosion killed  Patrick James Hurley (or James Patrick Hurley) in the 28 Mar 1929 Coalgate Record Register reported:  "James Patrick Harley, formerly of Lehigh, was killed in an explosion at Bristow, Oklahoma, last Friday night and the body shipped to Lehigh for burial. Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon and interment in the Lehigh cemetery. No particulars of the tragic accident are available."   He was the son of Scottish immigrant Patrick Hurley who owned the Shamrock Mine in LeHigh.   

Also in Bristow, but that August, Jess Hudson, (38) \, an employ of the Southwest Pipeline company was working on a Sunday on a city gas line near the entrance to city park at  West 8th street. The line exploded sending a piece of steel into him and knocked him some fifteen feet.  He died shortly after being taken to the Bristow Hospital. He left a widow, two sons, and a step-son (who was also a member of the crew that day and saw the accident). (Bursting Gas Main Kills Jess Hudson, Tulsa World, 12 August 1929, pg. 2)

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