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Los Angeles herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1900-1911, October 03, 1910, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042462/1910-10-03/ed-1/seq-3/

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Heap of Bodies Found in Times' Ruins
Error Names Linotype Operator
in Casualty Roll of Times
Survivors Tell Stories of Minutes
Following Explosion and
Burst of Flames
Noticing his name In tho published
lists of the missing In the Times dis
aster, Henry Lees, a linotype operator,
made, the rounds of the newspapers
yesterday evening to rectify tho error,
and In tho checking that followed it
developod that Harry Flynn, linotype
operator, instead of Lees, is one of
the missing.
Whero this news, as It spread,
brought Joy to tho friends and ac
(luaintancea of Lees, who did not know
of his survival, It cast gloom over the
relatives and friends of Flynn, who
had been hoping against hope that
somehow he might turn up uninjured,
as newspapers had not published his
name In the list of the missing. Flynn
Is survived by a wife.
Lees' description of the incidents
that followed in such quick succession
after tho deafening roar of the first
explosion, when all Bought avenues of
escape, pictured a scene terrible in
swiftness of destruction of life and
"It was terribly audden," said Lees.
"There came a flash and an awful
roar like the report of an Immense
cannon, tho floor rlslnff several feet,
while the flames seemed to shoot up
ward where the main force of tho ex
plosion centered.
"Followii.g this awful roar and
blinding flash, which clearly showed
human beings hurled to destruction,
there was darkness and the clatter of
falling glass, above which could be
heard the cries of the men In the com
posing room.
"As I rushed for tho door, which
could now be seen by the rapidly In
creasing flames, I distinctly heard the
calls for help from men evidently
pinned beneath their overturned lino
type machines. When but a few feet
from the door, several of us hesitated,
thinking to rush back and search for
the Injured, but the smoke and flames
wero coming so quickly by that time
that it was Impossible to do so, and
the only thing we could do under the
circumstances was to seek our own
mifety, which some of us succeeded in
•'By the utmost haste many of us
reached the First street entrance
Chnrles Gulliver, who Is among the
missing, is believed to have been hit
by a missile hurled by the explosion.
He was working- In the composing
room, some distance from where the
explosion centered, which rendered
him physically unable to escape. Such
Is the story of a fellow worker, Hocke,
who endeavored to have Gulliver ac
company him.
According to Hocko's story, he
grabbed Gulliver by the shoulders and
attempted to pull him along, but Gul
liver jerked himself free and drew
away. He seemed to be dazed.
As Hocke hurried on with his fel
low.s In tho rush for the entrance he
glanced bark and saw Gulliver circling
about. Hocke accounted for this
strange action by Gulliver having
teen hit by a missile from the explo
sion, which rendered him dazed.
Linotype Operator Shanahan, It is
understood, had just returned from
the copy hook with a "tako of copy"
anil a composing stick in his hand,
and was about to place the composing
stick in position on the linotype ma
chine when the explosion occurred.
As he rushed for the elevator he
heard many cries of entrapped opera
tors, evidently pinned beneath their
overturned, machines. He and several
others halted momentarily, thinking
to return and rescue the pinned down
operators who were calling for help.
The rescue work was made Impossible
by the rush of the flames, and each
had to scramble as fast as possible to
the street.
With bandages swathed over burns
on head and hands received in tho
disaster, S. W. Crablll, composing
room foreman, who was in charge of
that department when the explosion
occurred, was a conspicuous figure for
a few moments yesterday among the
vast throng that silently gazed upon
the many laborers removing the
From the story that he tells of his
escape after the sudden explosion, it
is a miracle that he ever lived to tell
it. Mr. Crabill related his story of
the awfirt moments that followed the
shock of the explosion, of his desper
ate struggle for life against the odds
of smoke and flame.
"I had my back turned to the sec
tion of the composing room where the
strength of the explosion seemed to
have centered," said Crablll, "a/id as
I quickly turned with the sound the
awful roar and itghtnlnur flash, I saw
the floor, with men and machines, rise
in the air.
"After the first thundering roar,
darkness settled momentarily, then
the flames flashed forth. Though
■lightly daiedi I started for where
I know the elevator to be, toward
•which man- of the others Had already
started, and In the Jam and the rush
I fell Into the elevator shaft after
desperately grasping for the elevator
"Upon picking myself up, with sev
eral others, at the bottom of the shaft,
I was still more dnzed, but I had the
presence of mind to know that sec
onds counted In getting safely out
of the trap.
"I started for the entrance which
leads Into the adjoining, building on
the north, but could not find the exit
in the darkness and blinding .smoke.
Suddenly the flames burst through the
floor abovo, lighting up the basement.
By this lipht I could see the entrance
to the mailing room and I Immediately
rushed for that room, knowing that
there was a chance to get out by the
sidewalk elevators.
"There aro two chutes to the side
walks In the mailing room, paper lifts
as they are generally called. The
first chute which I made for was sud
denly cut off by a wall of flame and
smoke. I had to give this up and ran
to the other.
"By strength which I did not know
(Continued on luge fire)
(Continued from Pace One)
was prosecuted with more than usual vigor all clay .yesterday. While
the workmen were taking out the charred trunks of three human
beings in the forenoon clergymen throughout the entire city were
preaching sermons on the dastardly crime that hurled innocent men
to their death and left weepirjg widows, orphans and parents.
The anxious watchers at the ropes that are stretched around the
wrecked building to keep back the people remained at their posts
during the entire day. The throng dwindled down to several hun
dred at a late hour. Those who remained were the mothers, broth
ers, fathers, sisters and widows of the men who were sent to an awful
death without a moment's warning. Many remained on watch since
they first learned of the terrible disaster. With tear-stained faces
and dimmed eyes they eagerly awaited tidings from the policemen
who passed back and forth from the wrecked building to the ropes.
When a body would be removed and the news was passed that the
features were unrecognizable many would bow their heads in silent
Find Important Clew
It was learned by the police last night that a man giving his
name as Robert Leonard went to the plant of the Giant Powder
company at Giant, Cal., twenty miles north of Oakland, September
19, and asked for 500 pounds of 100% nitro-glyccrine in sticks. The
company refused to sell it to him until he explained for what pur
pose the stuff was to be used. The man stated that he was clearing
some land near Auburn and wanted the explosive for use in blasting
stumps and boulders. The salesman of the powder company then
explained that such high-grade powder was not needed for such pur
posef and stated that a much lower grade explosive would be the
proper explosive.
The man then asked for 80% nitro powder, declaring that the
nature of the ground was such as to require a' heavy explosive in
order to do the work in a proper manner. The agent then explained
that an 80% grade would blow a hole through a stump without tear
ing it out of the ground. The man still insisted and said he must
have that grade or none at all.
After considerable argument the powder representative stated
that they did not keep 80% grade in stock and that it would have to
be made to order.
Leonard then wanted to know how soon the stuff could be made.
He declared that he was anxious to get the powder in order to begin
work at once. The agent then stated that it could be manufactured
within four days. The order then was placed and Leonard left, after
stating that he would send a man to get the stuff.
Goes After Explosive
September 22, a man giving the name of William Morris ap
peared at the powder plant and presented a note from Leonard ask
ing for the powder. He was told that the order was not ready but
would be made up and packed on the following day. The agent of
the Giant company asked Morris how he intended to ship the pow
der. The latter stated he would ship it by boat from San Francisco
to Sacramento. When he was told there was no powder train leav
ing the powder plant on that day Morris declared he wanted to get
away at once and would haul it by team.
The following day Morris reappeared at the powder factory,
paid $85 and received the 500 pounds of 80% nitro powder. The ex
plosive was packed in ten cases. The stuff was inspected by the
purchaser, who hauled it away and later loaded it on a 45-foot sea
going fishing boat which was tied up at the powder company's wharf
at San Pablo.
The police, it is understood, have traced the shipment to this
city. They say it was packed in suit cases shortly before the coast
of Southern California was reached and when the boat anchored off
one of the beach towns it was conveyed to Los Arfgeles and stored
somewhere in the city.
150 Pounds Powder Used
The officers believe that only 150 pounds of powder was used
in the bombs used here and that if the stuff purchased at Giant was
that used 350 pounds of the high-grade explosive are still concealed
here. The detectives now are working on this clew.
The detectives are reticent concerning the matter. Detectives
Jones and Boyd left the detective bureau late yesterday afternoon
and it is understood they have information that probably will result
in the arrest of one man.
The powder found in the time bomb which was placed at the
Zeehandelaar home is 80 per cent nitro glycerine. It was made by
the Giant Powder company and bore the date of September 20. The
detectives say this might be ome of the stuff that was sold to Leon
ard and Morris. It is understood that the order manufactured for
the two men is the only powder of that grade made for more than a
Goes North to Investigate
A representative of the Times, Attorney Earl Rogers and a
powder expert have gone north to make a thorough investigation.
A gold watch in an excellent state of
preservation was found in the ruins
near the elevator shaft where most of
the men are supposed to have lost their
lives. The initials "P. C. I>." are en
graved on the back and a picture of a
woman was found in the cover. It
was identified as the property of Fred
C. LJewellyn, a linotype operator, who
lost his life when the floors gave way.
The dial showed that the watch stop
ped at 1:18 o'clock—ll minutes after the
explosion occurred.
The watch was taken out of a small
pocket of a piece of burned trousers.
After the tlnding of the watch Dep"
uty Coroner Fred Williams made an
inspection of the wrecked building and
stated that ho has but little hopes of
getting out another body. He said that
the fire was so intense at the part of
the building where most of the men
fell, that the bodies were probably de
"We may get out small pieces of
bones and charred flesh, but not enough
to say that we have found an entire
body," said Williams.
Shortly after 6 o'clock a nickel watch
with a gold chain attached was found
near the center of the building. It was
blackened and melted out of shape. No
one could identify it as belonging to_
any of the men whose bodies still are'
The last three bodies recovered yes
terday Were taken from beneath a
mass of twisted Iron where the eleva
tor shaft once was. All were churred,
and little remained except the torso.
In order to facilitate matters, the
coroner ordered all bodies taken to
the undertaking establishment of Bre
see Bros. When this was announced
to the crowds gathered at the ropes
those who were seeking the missing
left for the morgue in h"°pes of iden
tifying the dead.
The only bodies positively Identified
were those of J. Wesley Reaves and
Harry L. Crane. The other bod es are
turned buyond recognition, and the
identity of the others probably will
never bo known.
The police believe that five men
are responsible for the pacing of the
bomb that wreckijri the Tlmea build
ing, that constructed the time bomb
found under the Zeehandelaar home
and who made the infernal machine
found under the home of Gen. Otis.
According to the detectives, five!
men were seen loitering mar the home
of Zeehandelaar Friday afternoon.
Two men, it Is alleged, appeared and
casually lnsrecti d the piemi^es. Later
they were joined by three others, and
the five held a short conversation and
left, going in different directions.
The police are positive that these men
are the persons responsible for the
placing of the explosives.
A person living In the neighborhood
is said to have noticed the men, and
later when the bomb was found notified
the officers.
It is understood that the police have
a fair description of the men, and
every effort is being made to trace their
movements from the Zeehandelaar
home Friday afternoon.
It is believed by the police that the
men planted the explosives within a
period of an hour Friday night. It was
hinted that the conspirators probably
rode motorcycles or drove from Uie
places in an automobile.
The entire polico force is working
twelve hours a day and will be worked
on this schedule until conditions be
come normal.
Patrolmen are kept In reserve at the
central police station, and two motor
cycle officers are held on duty to an
swer emergency calls. Everything is
being done to maintain order and pro
tect property.
General Otis Inspected the wrecked
Times building last night. He was ac
companied by two officers in plain
clothes, who kept close to him. After
viewing the ruins, General Otis en
tered his auto and left.
Becausj of the mass of twisted steel
in the basement of the wrecked build-
Ing the laborers wero unable to make
much headway lnst night. At 12:30
o'clock this morning they were or
dered to quit woik and return at 7
o'clock. When they report for duty
a steam crane will have been put in
place to lift the mass of iron that
prevents the workmen from getting
at the mass of brick and charred tim
bers beneath.
Detectives Jones, and Boyd still are
(Continued on l'a«e *Iv*> '
Police Declare Improbable for the
Perpetrators to Have Used
Regular Entrance Ways
Messenger Youth Overhears
Three Men Talking Near
Building Before Explosion
The searchlight of police Investiga
tion played fiercely yesterday on the
dark little alleyway which ran oft
Broadway north of First street to the
rear of the Times building. The police
strongly incline to the theory that the
bomb which blew up the newspaper
structure was placed either in this al
leyway or else was in some way got
into the building from the alley. By a
careful process of elimination the de
tectives believe it impossible for any
person to have entered the building by
one of the regular entrances to place
the bomb. Every person known to
have entered the office by the regular
entrances on the night of the explosion
is' believed to have been accounted for
and to be free of all suspicion of having
caused the disaster.
The direction of the explosion and
the place where its force was most
severely felt and several other circum
stances all tend to strengthen the
theory of the police that the bomb was
either exploded from without or was
placed in the Times building through
one of its windows which might have
been entered from the alleyway or from
adjoining buildings.
One of the startling developments of
the case yesterday was the statement
of Lee Tigh, a messenger employed by
a local paper, that he was in the alley
way at 12:15 o'clock on the morning
of the explosion, three quarters of an
hour before it occurred, and that at
that time there were three men on the
balcony of a hotel adjoining the Time 3
building engaged in whispered conver
sation. Tigh tells his story as follows:
"I had been sent to the Times build
ing to get some matrices about 12:15
o'clock in the morning. While on m^
way there I stopped in at a drug store
at First and Broadway to get a bot
tle of soda pop. Then, as I did not
waift to drink the soda in the public
street, I Stepped into the Time's alley
and walked back to near the end be
hind the building. Back there I heard
low voices that seemed to come from
above me. I looked up and saw three
men on a balcony Jutting from the
side of a hotel which adjoined the
Times building toward Spring street.
The balcony faced down the alley.
The men up there seemed to be bend
ing over and were talking in very low
tonei almost whispers. I could not
make out what they were saying and
could *>t distinguish their faces in
the dark. It seemed so strange to see
them in that place at that hoar of the
night that I watched them for a little
while and then went away. When 1
left they were still there. That was
about 12:15 o'clock. The explosion
took place about three-quarters of an
hour later."
It was stated among Times employes
yesterday that at the time of the ex
plosion one of the composing room
force of the paper was in the alley.
This man is said to be positive that
the explosion did not occur in the al
leyway, but was within the building.
He is said to cite the fact, that he
survived as conclusive proof that the
explosion did not take place in the
San Diego Typographical Organi
zation Reaffirms Opposition
v to Violent Deeds
\ —————
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 2.— Members of
San Diego Typographical union No.
221, at their meeting this afternoon,
adopted these resolutions, which say:
"Knowing that the nation today is
filled with horror at the recent calam
ity which has befallen the workers on
the Los Angeles Times, and realizing
also that the responsibility for such
accident or crime, whichever it may
be, is laid at the door of union labor
generally because the Times manage
ment is bitterly opposed to the prin
ciples which are so dear to the arts
of every good union labor man, we,
as union laboring men, members of an
honorable profession, and professing
to be honorable men, wish to reaffirm
what has often been stated in Tha past.
"That we are unalterably opposed to
any violent or dishonorable act against
the enemies of organized labor. We
are absolutely cert .in in our own
minds that the alleged crime In Los
Angeles was not committed with the
knowledge or sanction of any union,
their officials or any good union man
in his right mind."
The resolutions deplore the crime,
and add: "We denounce Governor
Gillett for his published statement
that union labor stands guilty of this
act until it proves itself innocent. We
have always believed it was a man's
constitutional right to be considered
innocent until he was proved guilty."
9 ' •
LONG BEACH, Oct. 2.—ln view of
the Times catastrophe and the finding
of Infernal machines at Los Angeles
homes, the guard at the Craig ship
yard was doubled lust night and the
increased force will be kept on indef
lnltsly. The Craig company has built
up its working force since the recent
metal tradesmen's walkout and General
Manager John F. Craig has refused
to consider practically all the union
men's demands. He doesn't anticipate
any show of violence, but wishes to
protect the plant against possible dam
age by irresponsible Individuals.
Democratic Nominee for Gover
nor Comments on the Motives
Behind Dynamite Outrage
Californians, He Declares, Should
Stand Together in Exacting
Terrible Justice
Theodore Bell, Democratic nominee
for governor, accompanied by Timothy
Spellacy, candidate for lieutenant gov
ernor on the same ticket, were in Los
Angeles yesterday and left at 9:20 last
night for liaker.sHeld, where they will
start an automobile campaign through
the oil districts. During his stay here
Mr. Bell held a conference with some
of the local Democratic leaders.
Mr. Bell is accompanied by Frank
E. Hering of Indiana, former grand
national president of the Fraternal
Order of Eagies, of which order the
Democratic standard bearer is a prom
inent member. The gubernatorial can
didate will return to Los Angeles from
his northern tour about October 20,
and will then start a series of trips j
by trolley to districts adjoining Los
When asked for an expression of
opinion regarding the explosion at the
Times building, Mr. Bell said:
I was in the interior of San Ber
nardino county when I heard tho
report of the terrible outrage com
mitted in Los Angeles. The details
betokened fiendishness so revolting
that at first I could not give them
credence. As corroborative evi
dence has accumulated, however,
the hope that natutal causes may
have occasioned the loss of life and
property has gone. The sinister
mind of man planned the outrages;
his cruel hand executed them.
Civilization rests above all else
on the belief that life is sacred and
property is secure. Any attack on
this fundamental is sheer anarchy,
and in its defense all men must
stand as one. Every effort shou'd
be made to bring those responsible
for this awful calamity to a speedy
*> and complete accounting. And to
this end there should be no consid
eration of time, of effort or of
In the face of so much suffering
words are barren to express what
each of us feels. Let us, in action,
show the depth to which we are
stirred. The fair name of Los An
geles and California has been
stained. Let u"s stand as one peo
ple in exacting a terrible Justice.
Indications That Bodies Still in
Ruins Are Burned Be
yond Recognition
W. M. Humphreys member of the
board of public works, who Is in charge
of the work of excavating at the Times
building, -believes that with one ex
ception it will be impossible to identify
any of the bodies In the debris that
have not been recovered. The one body
he does expect to have identified lies
in a cavity buried deep under a
labryrinth of debris under the press
"I base my opinion," he said, "on the
finding of a suit of clothes and a pair
of shoes, literally torn to shreds by the
force of the explosion, in the vicinity
of the elevator shaft. We found them"
early in the evening. Piece by piece
we picked them out of the ruins until
we were satisfied that they were what
I have named. Not a particle of flesh
was visible, or bone either. I think
that the fiesh was entirely obliterated
by the force of heat and scalding
water. The fact that the clothes were
so completely torn to pieces has led me
to believe, that they were expanded
when they met the force of the ex
plosion and that the hot water prac
tically ate into the flesh. Had they
been bundled up or hanging on a wall
I don't think they would have been so
completely separated."
The evidence of a cavity, predicted
by employes of the Times before the
excavation work began, was first dis
covered at a few minutes after 9 o'clock
last night. A huge tank forms the
cavity's roof. Piles of brick, twisted
steel and mortar are banked at its sides.
A workman laboring at its base dis
covered an opening scarcely large
enough to permit the insertion of the
point of his pick. Enough light could
not be brought to play on the inside of
the cavity to actually ascertain
whether or not a body was harbored
there. But Humphreys, together with
his workmen, declare they can distin
guish something reasonably like the
form of a human being. Statements
among the men conflict, some of them
avowing that they can see the figure of
a human being lying inside.
The evidence was so strong that a
gang of workmen were at once put to
work to clear away the debris. It will
be morning before they will succeed
in making an opening large enough to
safely remove a body.
Humphreys and Street Inspector
Prank Kendall drew oft their force of
150 men this morning at 12:30 o'clock.
They will resume work on the ruins at
6 o'clock this morning. The workmen
were given hot coffee and sandwiches
at intervals of every other hour last
night. Water was passed among them
every half hour.
The manner in which tho city street
employes, under the direction of
Humphreys and Kendall, cleared away
the mass of wreckage was a source of
wonder to many of the persons who
watched-them work.
Early last night their shovels
scraped the cement floor of the base
ment in the south end of tha building.
A crane will be put in operation this
morning over tha debris at the north
<tnd of the rulna.
*& rj 4fr When
l/llf: ~ Kingsbury
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fAOS SKIdIMAUK toll' lUINU tAUii^l I
Delegates to the eleventh convention
of the California State Federation of
Labor which opens at the Labor temple
In this city this morning at 10 o'clock,
though reticent as to possible resolu
tions which may be passed by the con
vention regarding the Times disaster,
resent the accusations which h;ive con
nected union labor with the disaster.
I*. W. Butler, secretary of the labor
council, speaking of the general feel
ing expressed by the delegates, said:
"They all express surprise at the way
union labor ia being censured before it
has been proven that any one con
nected with any union committed the
act. If any act was committed,
"The general opinion among tho dele
gate and among local union men is
that gas, and not dynamite caused the
t xplosion.
"We have investigated the matter to
the beat of our ability and from stiite
rrents of men who witnessed the disas
ter, we feel almost certain develop
ments will show that it was caused by
a gas explosion. Of course we ad-nlt
the possibility of the dynamiting the
ory, but wo do not believe that investi
gation will prove it."
Tho State Federation convention
which opens this morning at 10 o'clock
at the Labor temple, will be well at
tended. Many delegates arrived yes
terday and many more are expected to
day. D. D. Sullivan, of Sacramento,
who is president of the organization,
will call the convention to order, which
will be in soaslou throughout the week.

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