This article is from the Sept. 15, 1921 edition of the Waterville Empire-Press. This article attracted my attention because it shows just how quickly life can change. I see this as especially fitting as we just marked the 20th anniversary of the events of Sept.11, 2001. Fortunately, in the incident 100 years ago, in which four sticks of dynamite were found mixed in with harvested grain, disaster was averted by mere moments. Fortunately, a worker was aware of his surroundings and chose to alert others of something that looked like it did not belong. The other intriguing part is the mystery of how the dynamite came to be there. The article said it looked like it was added to the stack of grain, but nobody seemed to be able to figure out how or why the dynamite was put there. The police investigation looked like it quickly fizzled out and I could find no other mention of the incident in the paper for at least the next month. If something pops up related to this incident in my research for future articles for this section, I will share it and hopefully we will all get an answer to the mystery of whether this was attempted murder or simply an accident.
Dynamite found in grain stack
Some real excitement was created at the Louise August ranch, northeast of here, last Friday forenoon. Clay Beard’s threshing outfit was at work, and when about to finish a setting, the forker discovered a paper wrapped parcel just as it dropped on the derrick table. He shouted to the hoedown who threw it out just as it was about to go into the machine. Upon examination it was discovered that the bag contained four sticks of dynamite, and a quantity of fuse.
Had these sticks been allowed to get to the cylinders of the machine, the entire crew would in all probability have been blown to pieces. The separator tender was standing on the machine, and it is not hard to imagine what would have happened to him. It is thought from the position in the stack that the package containing this highly explosive stuff was put there after the grain was stacked.
The thing that is puzzling everyone is why was the dynamite placed in the stack? Mr. August states that he had none of this stuff on his place for seven or eight years. Mr. Beard has had no trouble with his help, the same crew that started with him at the beginning of the season is still on the job, and he can figure no reason for such action on the part of any one.
Sheriff Davis was summoned to the scene as soon as it was discovered, and he has been working to find how it came to be there, but up to date there is little evidence to encourage a further investigation.