Narrow Escape from Serious Injury

Although today’s article contains only one surname (Hesing) perhaps the incident appears as a story in your family history.

From the front page of the 30 April 1894 issue of the Chicago Daily News:

“CLERKS NARROWLY ESCAPE.

Ten-Pound Piece of Plaster Falls in the Postoffice.

A ten-pound piece of cement, as hard as iron, fell from a cornice in the mailing department of the postoffice about 10 o’clock this morning. It made a descent of thirty-five feet and struck the floor with a crash which caused many of the clerks to leave their desks in the fear that at last the old building was coming down.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, but that there was not was due to the fact that the cornice, like Vesuvius before an eruption, gave notice that it was meditating mischief. On Saturday a small piece fell from the same place and struck a chair which a clerk has vacated a moment before. For fear that more of the cornice might come down all the desks were then removed to a safe distance.

But for that somebody would likely have been killed to-day. Postmaster Hesing said this morning that he would send the ten-pound piece to the committee on buildings at Washington as an exhibit.

An employee of the government, who has been working for several weeks in the reading-room of the public library, collecting statistics of strikes in Chicago since 1875, had a narrow escape from serious injury, if no worse, this morning. He was passing through the corridor on the top floor of the city building when a huge piece of plaster, weighing many pounds, became detached from the ceiling and fell to the floor, a distance of fully twenty feet. The gentleman just escaped being hit. An inspection of the ceiling shows that the plaster was detached along a huge crack which runs clear across the ceiling and through which water drips when it rains.”

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