Shelby  County  Indiana
Newspaper  Articles


The  Shelby  Democrat
May 11, 1911
Page 2   column 1
Explosion of Oil Can on Incubator
Proved Fatal to Mrs. Elizabeth Strahl,
of Near Marietta -- Was Trying to Fill
Oil Can When Accident Occurred --
Lived Only Twelve Hours, Dying at
Nine O'clock This Morning.
(From Thursday's Daily.)
          As the result of a terrible accident that occurred at her home near Marietta,  Mrs. Elizabeth Strahl,  a prominent and wealthy resident of Hendricks township, died at nine o'clock this morning just twelve hours after the accident occurred.  Mrs. Strahl's body was burned almost to a crisp from her head to her feet by the explosion of the oil can in an incubator.  The incubator was in a shed some distance from the house and Mrs. Strahl had gone to give it the necessary attention before retiring for the night.  She did not put out the flame when she opened the can to fill it and there was a terrific explosion on the instant, the burning fluid being hurled all over Mrs. Strahl, as both the top and bottom were blown out of the can.  The results were terrible considering that there was less than a pint of oil in the can.
          Mrs. Strahl ran screaming toward the house, a veritable human torch in the darkness.  She fell at the steps leading up to one of the rear doors of her home.  Her aged mother,  Mrs. Mary McFerran,  who makes her home with her and Mrs. Strahl's four children came hurrying from the house, and  William Fately,  the hired man at the Strahl farm, came from the barn, whre he had gone to look after some of the the live stock.  Seeing the condition of affairs he seized a bucket of dirty water that happened to be near the tortured woman and succeeded in quenching the flames.  Mrs. Strahl was carried in the house by Mr. Fately and her children, and  Dr. C. H. Perry,  of Lewis Creek, was summoned.  He stated as soon as he arrived that there was no chance of saving the woman's life, as there was hardly a square-inch of unburned skin left on her body.
          Many of the neighbors hurried to the home as soon as they heard of the accident and Dr. Perry was assisted in administering to the sufferer by  Dr. and Mrs. Edgar Money,  Mrs. Charles Werner,  Miss Ollie Slagle  and several other persons.  Mrs. Strahl retained consciousness for several hours following the accident, but her sufferings really ended before the dawn of day as she lapsed into unconsciousness and remained so till her death at nine o'clock.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

Newspaper Index       Main Page

To contact researchers listed above, use the  Surname Index