John O'Hearn of Hemingray dies in outhouse of C. H. Over Glass Company


Publication: The Muncie Daily News

Muncie, IN, United States
vol. 14, no. 23, p. 1, col. 2,3




John O'Hearn Tortured for Eight

Long Hours.






A Steady Workman of the

Hemingray Glass House Found by His

Fellow Laborers Almost Dead.



One of the most horrible and revolting deaths that can be suffered by human kind occurred in this city in the early hours of Sunday morning.

There worked at Hemingray's glass factory, John O'Hearn, a young man esteemed by all who knew him; when a friend, no one could ask a stauncher friend. On last Saturday night he came up to the city with several companions to spend the evening as is customary with the boys of the factories. His companions left him during the evening and he started for his boarding house, operated by Wm. Wolford on the corner of Meriweather and Lincoln avenues, and when seen by Noah Bird about 11:30 p.m. was in the eastern part of the city just before the storm commenced he stepped into the factory outhouse of Over's window glass house, presumably to obtain shelter from the storm, and walked into the open vault where he remained until found at 7:30 o'clock in the morning by several of the employees of Over's works, they being attracted to the spot by hearing groans coming from that direction.

The building in question is perhaps ten feet long and unprovided with seats, the vault being left open without anything whatever to prevent an individual from walking off into the open vault. At this time it was filled to within three feet of the top and such a nature that it precluded all efforts to escape. Here the poor unfortunate was compelled to pass the long hours of the night, knowing full well that if assistance did not arrive that the most horrible of deaths was staring him in the face. What could have been his thoughts while consciousness yet remained with him as he struggled vainly to extract himself from his dangerous situation will never be known, suffice it to say that only a very faint idea can be obtained by simply perusing these lines. When found only his face could be seen protruding, and when taken out of it was found that life was not yet extinct, but on being brought into the open air, he gave a few convulsive gasps and a merciful Providence relieved his sufferings.

John Hamilton O'Hearn, better known as Hamilton Tweede, came to Muncie when the first fires were started in Hemingray's glass factory, having been an employee in their works in Covington, Ky. He was at the time of his death 29 years of age and unmarried, the only known relative of the deceased is a half brother who it is thought is employed in a factory in Pittsburg, Pa., as a blower although nothing definite could be ascertained as to his exact whereabouts.

He was an honored member of the American Flint Glass Workers Union which body will take charge of the remains. The deceased was also a devout Catholic and was buried from that church this row morning between 9:30 and 10:00 o'clock, at high mass.

He was said to have been drinking to a certain extent on Saturday evening, but no one saw him in an intoxicated condition up to the hour of his disappearance, so that the theory put forward by some that he was under the influence of liquor and fell into the vault is hardly probable. The very character of the place in which he met such an untimely death is such that should a person fall therein, drunk or sober, the chances would be very much against his getting out without assistance and the trap should be condemned in no measured manner, for a trap it is and a trap it will remain until removed or so repaired as to make it safe. There are several of these places in the city which if not fixed may at any time furnish another case of like nature so let this matter be attended to at once.

The funeral of John O'Hearn, the poor unfortunate, took place today under the auspices of the A. F. G. W. U.


Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Bob Stahr
Date completed:January 28, 2010 by: David Wiecek;