Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding Day Heartbreak

Merl G.  Eldridge, age 21, worked in the National Powder Company plant, a dynamite factory, located in Eldred, PA, just over the New York border. An explosion took place at about 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, 1939, in a stone building used as a mixing plant where nitroglycerin was made.

He was the son of Everett Eldridge publisher of the Eagle Tribune, and Beatrice Hatch, nephew of my great grandmother, Elsie Eldridge Sterling.

The Monday morning before he was to be married he didn't want to go to work.  His mother, Bea, told him you might as well go to work - you're getting married soon - so he went to work.
The explosion that killed five blew the men to bits. Only a lock of Merles' hair was found. 

Merl was to be married to Clarice Preston of Syracuse, NY. the following Sunday.  His funeral took place in the church and on the day on that his wedding was to take place. His fiance showed up for the funeral wearing her wedding dress.


  1. This is a truly heartbreaking story. When his bride came to his funeral in her wedding dress - oh my!

  2. So sad, but it took a lot of courage for his fiance to show up in her dress. That was the strength of the love she carried for him. God bless and peace to her.


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