An Unexplained Explosion

SHACK NEAR DAYTON IS DESTROYED
Charge of Dynamite Resulted in Injury to Two

Two men were injured, and the lives of two others endangered when the three room shack of William Hibbard located along the banks of the old feeder and just outside of Dayton, was dynamited by an unknown assailant early Tuesday morning. The injured, William Hibbard and Albert Charlery are now confined to the Hibbard home and are being attended by an Ottawa physician. Neither of the other two men, Frank Davis and Arthur Gosney, were badly injured and they did not need medical attention.

The matter has not been reported to the authorities, but it was learned that Hibbard and his three friends who are employed at the James Funk coal beds near Dayton had entered the house, a little three room shack, located on the trestle road from Dayton and the north bank of the feeder late in the evening. According to their own story, it is said they became engaged in a card game and did not hear or see anyone about the place.

Shortly after midnight there came a deafening crash that could be heard for some distance from the house. Every one of the quartet was knocked from his chair and onto the floor, Hibbard being rendered unconscious while his three companions were dazed.

So great was the force of the explosion that every bit of glass in the house was shattered. The stove was blown clear across the room, pictures were knocked from the wall and all of the furniture damaged as well as the exterior of the house.

The alleged charge of dynamite from all appearances was dropped along the side of the house where Albert Charlery was sitting. When the explosion came he was hurled clear across the room.

While the explosion occurred between midnight Sunday and 1 o’clock Monday authorities have not received any notification of the mysterious occurrence. Residents of Dayton are unable to throw any light on the affair and all they can tell is of the mute evidence of the happenings of the night and the roar of the explosion.

The Hibbard shack was built by Hibbard after his other house had been destroyed by fire and was used as a kind of hang-out by men working in the coal beds and clay pits near Dayton. Why anyone would attempt to blow up the house and murder or injure the occupants is a question that the residents of Dayton are asking one another.

from the Streator Times, 22 November 1923

[It’s frustrating that there is never a follow-up to stories like these. Who blew up William Hibbard’s shack? and why?]

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