Another life cut short.
W. H. Lauver Is Killed
An Employee at the Soda Ash Plant Crushed to Death
from Tuesday's dailey.
Will H. Lauver, aged 18 years, a laborer employed at the Kansas Chemical Manufacturing company plant, was instantly killed at 10:49 this forenoon, while working under a rotary furnace. The furnance is being dismantled to be replaced by another, and Lauver was engaged in shoveling away brick underneath the huge long rotary. Standing against the end of the furnance and just in front of where he was seated, working, picking up the brick, was an iron plate, seven feet wide and five feet high, a part of the furnance which had been removed. This plate, weighing over a ton was propped up and standing against the furnance in such a way that Lauver undermined it while removing brick and it toppled over on him.
Was without warning
The heavy plate fell without warning, crushing Lauver's head against the furnance, crushing the skull and instantly killing him. He had no warning; he did not have time to scream. Workmen nearby who saw it shouted, but not until it had fallen, and with a full, sickening thud crushed the life from their fellow workman. Quickly the heavy plate was pried up, but Lauver was dead. Surgeons were summoned, and Dr. J. E. Foltz, the first to arrive reached the scene in his automobile making the run of three miles in less than seven minutes. Dr. C. A. Mann arrived a little later. But there was nothing they could do. The body was removed to the morgue of Johnson & Son in an ambulance. Some of the working men went to the home of the deceased to notify his sister, with whom he lived, Mrs. Ethel Whittle, 15 Fifth avenue west.
First serious accident
"This is the first serious accident that has occured at the plant since it was first built", said on of the foreman." With all of this heavy machinery which has been handled, not a man has been hurt. And now a comparatively small plate of iron has killed a man." Willie Lauver was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Lauver, of Nickerson. He was one of a family of nine children. The father is a letter carrier in the rural free delivery service. His brother, D. S. Lauver, is a school teacher at Turon. He will arrive tonight. He has been staying with his sister, Mrs. Ethel Whittle, who lives at 15 Fifth west. Young Lauver came to Hutchinson two weeks ago and had been working at the soda ash plant about a week.
Hutchinson News, Tuesday, March 23, 1911
On my next visit to the library I will look for an obituary.
Nickerson is 10 miles NW from Hutchinson, the county seat, and Turon is approximately 30 miles SW.
Will was buried at Wildmead Cemetery in Nickerson.