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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Don't Take Your Dynamite to Church, Boys

LAWRENCEVILLE ILLINOIS JANUARY 25, 1900

The Devils Work: A Terrific Explosion of Dynamite and Falling Plaster, Rattling Windows And Swaying Walls Tell the Devil's Side of the Revival at May Chapel


THREE BOYS ARRESTED AND ACQUITTED

Last Thursday evening, during the opening prayers, the explosion of a half-stick of dynamite almost precipitated a panic at the May Chapel Church. That church had been having a glorious revival. For five weeks night and day, large and interested audiences have gathered there to worship.


These feelings were suddenly strained Thursday evening. While the congregation was kneeling for the opening prayer, a terrible explosion took place outside. The plastering fell in small pieces all over the room. The windows rattled as though breaking into pieces. The entire building seemed to shake as though about to collapse and the dust from the floor and carpet filled the room.

 

After the close of prayer, a large portion of the audience went out to see the cause of the commotion. Nothing could be seen, but frightened horses and the smell of exploded dynamite told of the devilish work of someone. The congregation was aroused and a sharp lookout established to catch the guilty ones.


On Friday, warrants were issued for Sam Strange, Frank Davis and James Davis, three young men of the community, each about 20 years of age. The complaint was made for disturbing a religious gathering. On Saturday afternoon about 2 o’clock, before the police magistrate, these boys were tried by a jury. The evidence was submitted but no one was found who saw the explosion or was outside when it took place.


The boys said they were outside looking in the windows. They heard the explosion and ran to care for their horses. James Davis lives with his brother who has sixty pounds of dynamite for the purpose of blowing up stumps. A half stick of dynamite was found by the church. The half stick found is of the same brand that is used by Davis.

From the evidence, it is supposed that the person who did this was only attempting to play a practical joke. The explosion evidently took place in the air but a small mark was found on the ground. The jury was unable to fix the guilt from the evidence and returned a verdict of not guilty.

 

 



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