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William Earl "Bill" Selves
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Birth: Feb. 13, 1885
Clark County
Wisconsin, USA
Death: Apr. 17, 1914
Beltrami County
Minnesota, USA


Earl Selves of Baudette is dead, his three-year old son was slightly injured and Matt Sylvskar of Spooner was severely bruised, and the Selves home was badly wrecked as a result of a dynamite explosion that occurred this morning. Selves received terrible injuries, one leg being smashed to pieces and a gash on the other one. A thumb was broken and he was also injured internally. There was never a chance to save his life.

The accident happened shortly after seven this morning. Sylv[s]kar was boring for a well on the lot occupied by Selves. He had placed four sticks of dynamite in a can and placed it in the pipe. The can became lodged and when Sylvskar attempted to push it down the explosion, which could be heard all over town, occurred. The flying pipe missed Sylvskar, but a piece came in contact with one of the legs of Selves, who happened to be coming around the corner of the house[.] It shattered the bone to pieces and the doctors had to use only scissors in severing the injured member. He was rushed to the hospital, where Drs. Osburn and Stuart immediately operated upon him.

The explosion bruised up Sylvskar pretty badly but his condition is not serious. The little son of Mr. Selves was in the house about eight feet from a window and his injuries were caused by flying glass.

The force of the explosion may be imagined by the fact that pieces of the pipe were blown through the house consisting of three thicknesses of board. Mud was also forced through inch boards, and fences fifty feet away were wrecked.

The windows of the Selves house were broken, and the building presents a battered appearance, even the walls on the inside being torn. Mrs[.] Selves was in the house and had the baby in her arms but luck[i]ly they escaped injury.

She had been at the back window looking at the work just a moment before and had gone to the front door to meet a neighbor when the explosion occurred.

Mr. Selves was about thirty years of age, and was a hard working steady man who had many friends in town. He leaves a wife and three children. He remained at home from work to-day for the first time in months, having to take off the storm windows and to do chores around the house.

He came from Wisconsin several years ago and had been employed in the mills in Baudette and Spooner. His people in Wisconsin have been notified, and the funeral arrangements are being held until their arrival.

On 17 April 1914 the following story was printed in the The Northern News which was published in Spooner, Beltrami County, Minnesota:

Dynamite Victim.

Earl Selles [Selves] of Baudette, died this afternoon from the effects of a dynamite explosion in the rear of his home. Matt Sylskar of this village who was drilling a well in the rear of the Selles lot was endeavoring to put some dynamite to blow out some boulders, that were encountered while digging the well.

It is said that nine sticks of sixty per cent dynamite blew up inside of the galvanized iron pipe which was being placed in the well for curbing. The accident happened about eight o'clock this morning. The pipe was blown into bits, pieces being sent through three walls of the house, as cleanly as a bullet might have been shot. Matt Sylskar who was drilling the well miraculously escaped with his life and no serous injuries. A little son of Earl Selles, who was inside the house was quite badly cut by flying glasses. Earl Selles had just stepped out of the house and was about forty feet from the well at the time of the explosion. The flying pieces of iron cut him in several places and he was at once taken to the Northern Minnesota Hospital, where it was found neccessary, to at once amputate his right leg, above the knee. He was also suffering from various other wounds. Everything possible was done for him, but death claimed him about two o'clock this afternoon. He has been employed a[s] a setter at the local mill the past year and was to have handled the levers of one of the saws this year. He leaves to mourn his untimely departure a wife and three small children. It is one of the saddest accidents that has happened in this district for some time and a gloom is on the community today because of it. Funeral arrangements have not been completed at this time.

On 23 April 1914 the following funeral notice was printed in the Baudette Region published in Baudette:

Sel[v]es Funeral In Wisconsin

The body of Earl Selves, who was killed in the dynamite explosion last week, was taken to the home of his people at Fond du Lac [should be Lac du Flambeau] Wis[consin], Sunday night for burial[.] His father and brother, and Mrs. Selves' father and brother arrived in town Sunday and accompanied her to the Wisconsin city. She will return later to pack her furniture and will then go to reside with her people. Mr. Selves was a member of the Thief River Falls camp of Modern Woodmen and carried a policy of a thousand dollars. Funeral services were conducted in the Lutheran Church Sunday afternoon, and they were of a most impressive nature. The tragedy that broke up a happy little home has been the subject of general regret in town.

On the same date in the same paper, the following noticed was published:

Dynamite Victim Is Recovering

Matt Sylvskar, who was injured last week in the dynamite explosion that killed Earl Selves, has almost entirely recovered.

On 24 April 1914 the funeral was also noted in the The Northern News published in Spooner:

Funeral on Sunday

The funeral of Earl Selles [Selves] took place from the Lutheran church last Sunday afternoon. Reverends C. W. Aanestad and F. D. White officiated. A large number of people were in attendance. The floral offerings were profuse and beautiful. The body was shipped to his former home in Wisconsin for interment. 
Family links: 
  Amelia Ovidia Johnson Goulette (1885 - 1973)*
  Gena Loretta Selves Leonard (1909 - 2003)*
  Donald Earl Selves (1911 - 1958)*
  Glen William Selves (1913 - 1963)*
*Calculated relationship
Memorial Cemetery
Lac du Flambeau
Vilas County
Wisconsin, USA
Created by: Tom
Record added: May 08, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 89773781
William Earl Bill Selves
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Grave Walker(L Kopet)
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