J. H. Brown and Peter Slavens, both colored men, were killed last evening about 5 o'clock when the boiler of Frisco engine No. 225 blew up. Brown was killed outright and Slavens died an hour later at Mercy hospital, to which place he had been taken in the Cheney ambulance. The engine was completely wrecked by the explosion, which was heard all over town.
Both men had been in the employ of the Frisco for ten years past. Brown was a stationary fireman and Slavens was known as a cinder pit man. At the time of the explosion Brown was firing engine 225, which had been taken out of road service to use for making steam for a blower line. It was stationed about twenty feet west of the car shop. Slavens was cleaning up about the engine. Just what caused the explosion is not known, but it is the opinion that the water had been allowed to get too low in the boiler. Both men were blown about fifteen feet west of the engine.
Brown, who was killed instantly, had both legs and both arms broken, as was his neck and back. His head and chest were both badly crushed and his legs scalded.
Slavens, when picked up, had a large gash over the right eye that penetrated the skull. His ribs were broken and his legs scalded. It was very evident he would not live, as his injuries were too serious.
Some damage was done to the west end of the car shop by the explosion. The window frames and glass were blown out on this side, while the glass in the windows on the opposite side ot the building were blown out.
J. H. Brown wrould have been 55 years old tomorrow. He lived at 816 South Little,, and was a married man. He is survived by a wife and three children, Annie, Myrtle and Howard. Also a stepson Lowell, a mother, Mrs. Maria Brown of Mound City, Kas., two sisters, Bessie Brown of Mound City, and Mrs. Mary Collins of this city, and two brothers, Raymond Brown of this city and Wilbur Brown of Kansas City.
Peter Slavens was 57 years of age. He lived at 116 South Hansom street. He is said to have been the first colored child born in Fort Scott. He was unmarried and is survived by a sister, Mrs. Irena Walker of 103 Buchanan street.
The two bodies are at the Cheney morgue. Coroner E. B. Payne viewed them last evening and stated that an inquest would not be necessary.
The funeral services for Peter Slavens will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock, from the C.M.E. church. Burial will be made in Evergreen cemetery.
Services for J. H. Brown will probably be held Tuesday afternoon, but a more definite announcement will be made later.
Fort Scott (Kansas) Daily Tribune and Fort Scott Daily Monitor, January 4, 1919.