Photos courtesy of Jimmy and Carmen Shane
Photos courtesy of Jimmy and Carmen Shane

Niobrara County Library - Ralph C. Crelly (December 18, 1899 - January 21, 1937)

Ralph C. Crelly (December 18, 1899 - January 21, 1937)

The Lusk Herald
January 28, 1937

Ralph Crelly, Former Lusk Man, Blown to Pieces in Explosion at Hutchinson, Kansas


An Associated Press dispatch on January 28, gives the news of a boiler explosion at a wildcat drilling outfit near Hutchinson, which killed Ralph Crelly, formerly resident of Niobrara County, and three other men.

The victims of the explosion were Jack Stone and C. S. Lemon of Sterling, Kansas; J. G. Calame of Lyons, Kans., and Ralph Crelly, who only recently moved to Lyons, Kans., from Lusk.

According to the dispatch, portions of the bodies of the four men were found a distance of 600 feet from the scene of the explosion.

The four men were changing clothing preparatory to going home when the explosion occurred.

Funeral services for Ralph Crelly were held from St. Leo's Catholic Church in Lusk Tuesday morning, with Father Miller of Douglas officiating.

The deceased was 36 years old and was formerly employed at the Lance Creek oil fields. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nick Crelly, and one sister, Mrs. Florence Grimms, all residing here, and a cousin, Mrs. L. P. McKenna of Douglas, who, in company with her husband, attended the funeral services.

The remains were shipped here from Kansas and the funeral arrangements were in charge of the Peet Mortuary, with burial being made in the Van Tassell Cemetery, that being the former home of the Crelly family.

Ralph C. Crelly was born in Benton County, Iowa, December 18, 1899. He moved to Lusk, Wyo., with his parents and brothers and sisters, and in 1923 moved to Portland, where he was married to Edith Glad on September 25, 1926. In 1935 he returned to Lusk, where he has made his home until December 21, 1936, when he moved to Sterling, Kans., where he met his death in a boiler explosion, January 21, 1937. He was preceded in death by a brother, who died December 15, 1918. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Edith Crelly of Bakersfield, Cal., his parents, Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Crelly of Lusk, Wyo.; two brothers, Tom of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Phillip of Bakersfield, Cal.; three sisters, Mrs. Grimm of Lusk, Wyo., Mrs. Ed Slattery of Spencer, South Dakota; Mrs. Emmett Mulers, Spencer, South Dakota. Out of town relatives attending the funeral were Miss Ellen Glad and Perry Skiver of Elk Mountain, Wyo.; Miss Vera O'Conner and Frank O'Connor, Jr., and Luke McKenna of Douglas, Wyo.

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