A man meets death by caving of a bank.

This article was taken from the Ottumwa Weekly Courier, Thursday Evening, May 10th 1894.


A Man Meets Death by Caving of a Bank.

Andrew Dickey, A Worthy Laborer, is Killed While at Work in Padden’s Gorge.


From Wednesday’s Daily.

Yesterday Afternoon, at approximately 4 o’clock, Andrew Dickey was instantly killed by the caving of a bank in the rear of C. E. Norton’s lot which faced on Marion Street.It seems that Mr. Dickey, along with three other men, were digging under a bank intending to cave it off, and thus make a start grading the lot of Mr. Norton, which is some 20 feet above the alley at that point. The bank was made of what is called joint clay with an under strata of sandy soil. When the sandy strata had been partially mined away, the entire top of the bank had caved in, burying the four men working below it, under several tons of dirt. They were engaged in loading a wagon, and three of the men were covered with dirt but so forced under the wagon that their heads were uninjured and they escaped with a few bruises. Mr. Dickey was not so fortunate, and his head was struck on the hub of the front wheel,fracturing the skull, and probably breaking his neck. He was a member of the Odd Fellows and was an industrious and hard working man. He had lived at Fairview and had been employed in the mines during the winter. He leaves a wife and two children who are wild with grief. Mr. Dickey was 45 years of age. No blame can be attached to the contractor, as the men dug under the bank in his absence. The bank which caved in, is the last survivor of the walls of the famous Paddon gorge and it is to be hoped to be the last trouble which is to  result of that rash piece of idiocy.



Andrew Dickey

A horrible death



Andrew Dickey Crushed by Tons of Earth.


(Ottumwa Daily Republican)


Ottumwa, May 9th,1894. Yesterday afternoon at 4:30 o’clock while a gang of men were at work grading a lot for Chas. Norton between Fifth and Sixth street near the O.D Wray residence, a bank of earth caved in and three men were caught beneath its weight. They were Andrew Dickey, Charley Van Neas and C.E Penuberton. Dickey was killed and the others painfully, if not seriously injured.

The place where the men were working was in a narrow alley in the rear of Norton’s lot. The alley had been cut down to grade and the lot was being cut down to conform. The rear end of the lot was 13 0r 14 feet above grade. Wagons were driven through the alley and the dirt which was loosened

from the bank was shoveled into them by the workmen. The space between the wagon and the perpendicular bank was not more than 3 or 4 feet, and it was here where Dickey and his companions were at work.

All at once and without warning a section of this huge bank 3 or 4 feet in thickness broke away and swayed towards the wagon. The workmen could not escape, and were caught before they realized what was taking place.

Andrew Dickey, the most unfortunate of the trio was struck on the head and shoulders by the mass and was quickly forced forward and down under this immense weight. In his fall his head came in contact with the hub of the wagon which was being loaded. The result was indeed horrible.

The four of the five men who were working on the job quickly went to work and uncovered their companions, when it was found that Dickey was dead. His skull was laid open from just above the eyes to the rear part of his head. Blood and brains were oozing out and the sight is one which will never be forgotten by those who had witnessed it. The features were not in the least recognizable.

The remains were taken to the undertaking establishment of John W McIntyre, where they were prepared for burial. The skill of T.C. Sullivan the managing undertaker, after several hours of work, had the face arranged so it was in a degree that of Andrew Dickey.

Deceased was born September 25th, 1860., in Knox County, IL. In 1872 the family moved to near Hayesville, Keokuk County, this state, where several years ago Andrew was married. Last September he and his family of wife and two sweet little girls moved to this city., where they have since resided. The place of residence was near the corner of Second and Grave streets in the west part of the city.

Deceased has worked at the Adams&Blakely mine, and also for the Construction Co. he had been working for his present employer, Ed Gunder, only for a short time.


G.W. Dickey, father of the deceased, whose home is three miles south of Hayesville, was notified immediately after the accident and left for once for the city. He was first allowed to view the body of his son this morning as it lay on the table at the undertaker’s.

A Republican reporter was present and was a witness to the heart broken father’s intense grief. Tears trickled down the furrowed cheeks and the aged form fairly shook with throbs of sorrow. It was indeed sad to contemplate his having parted with his son only a short time ago, the latter a perfect picture of health and manhood, and then to observer him cold in death, so cruelly mangled and disfigured.

The wife is beside herself with grief and cannot be consoled. The affair was so sudden that she has not had time to reason over it.

The remains will be taken to Delta at6:10 this evening via the Milwaukee. At 10 tomorrow the funeral will take place at Bethel church near Delta. It will be conducted by the I.O.O.P lodge of that place of which organization the deceased was a member in good standing.

William Knowles Last Will and Testament

Another view from New Milford,Ct.

“…I give to my wife for the term of her life the South part of the house in which I now live, also the use of a low(?) warming pan and two herbs gathered, with one-third part of my real estate and after her death to be divided in the same manner as I hereafter direct for the rest of my estate to be namely: I give to my only son Arthur two-thirds of the remainder of all my estate Whether Lands or Moveables to him and his assigns for ever and the remaining part of my estate I give to my only daughter Elizabeth and to her assigns for ever and I so constitute my son, Arthur, Executor of this my Last Will and Testament and trustee for my aged wife, in witness whereof I have here unto put my name and seal this 20th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four.”

Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, Probate Files Collection, Early to 1880; Author: Connecticut State Library (Hartford, Connecticut); Case Number: 1457; Item Description: Probate Packets, Keeler, Stephen-Loveridge, A, 1787-1880, Probate Place: Hartford, Connecticut; Source Information: Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts.