Merle 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.
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.
Merle was to be married 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.