Floor Gives Way to Many Injured

January 9, 1909


Second floor of Easton Hall in Maryland gives away during a trial of a black defendant, leaving over thirty-six injured men and children.


Baltimore, December 30-The upper floor of Easton hall, a two story frame building at Ellicott City, twelve miles west of Baltimore, collapsed during a magistrate’s hearing being given. William Hatwood, colored, charged with murderous assault. About 100 men and boys were carried down, and while no ones was killed outright, thirty-six persons, including several of the most prominent cities of the town, were more or less seriously injured. Among the worst victims is William Hall, a reporter for the Baltimore American, who had both legs and his jaw broken, besides sustaining other painful injuries. It is believed he will recover, but he will be badly disfigured for life. The remaining injured sustained sprains, cuts, and bruises and all the victims were severely shaken up. The overcrowded condition of the room of the room was the cause of the accident. There was no warning of the accident; with a creaking sound the floor suddenly gave away. The people in the room were thrown into a struggling mass to a cement floor twenty feet below. Those who were on the outskirts jumped through windows to the ground or clutched remaining uprights to support themselves. Hatwood, the prisoner, was unhurt. Feeling against him, which ran high when he was apprehended for a murderous attack on Charles E. Hill, was reawakened by the accident and talk of lynching was indulged in. The fact that the entire police force of the place had been disabled was commented upon, and used as an argument that it would be easy to rush the jail and hurry Hatwood to a convenient tree. But sober counsel prevailed for a time at least, although there was a restless undercurrent of feeling in the evidence around town.
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Upper Left Quadrant

Contributed By

Alan Banuchi


“Floor Gives Way to Many Injured,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1849.