Robert Ernest Elder

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Saturday, March 28, 1908

Was Killed In A Blast

Ernest Elder Dead, Louis Chermak, Jr., Injured

It Occurred Near Gifford

Well Known Young Men Were Engaged in Road Work and Thawing Out Powder.

James Pearce, the Gifford merchant, who arrived in the city yesterday afternoon, brought the news of the sad death Wednesday near Gifford of Earnest Elder, who was killed as the result of a giant powder explosion, and the serious injury of Louis Chermak, Jr. Young Elder is the son of D. O. Elder, well known in the Gifford section, and Chermak is the son of Louis Chermak, Sr., also a prominent Gifford resident. Elder was 24 years of age and Chermak 22, both being highly respected young men.

The men were employed on new road work about a mile north and west of Gifford Wednesday afternoon when the accident happened. Elder and Chermak were thawing out several sticks of giant powder when the explosion occurred. Elder was so badly maimed that he lived but two hours after the accident happened. [graphic details removed] His (Chermak's) condition is critical, although the attending physicians feel he has a chance of recovery.

When the accident occurred, Charles Davis and Henry Berraman were working in a field about two hundred yard distant. They heard the explosion and rushed to the scene. Elder was placed in a wagon and taken to his home, while Chermak, though so frightfully injured and nearly crazed with pain, walked the distance. Drs. Herrington and Watts were summoned to care for the injured men.

The funeral of young Elder will be held this afternoon. The sad accident has cast a gloom over the entire Gifford section.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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