McKenna Process Company
Plant formerly located in Joliet, Illinois - ca. 1920.

(from a newspaper clipping saved by Nina (Massey) Hough in a scrapbook she started in 1898
a copy of the clipping was sent to George Langford, Jr. in 1976 by Orville L. Hough)


He Was Doing Work He Considered Too
Dangerous to Ask Another to Do.

  The Chicago Tribune of Sunday tells in
detail how George Langford lost his left
arm. Mr. Langford has a great many friends
in Kansas City, who will hear with pain of
the accident that nearly cost his life. They
will not be surprised to learn that his in-
jury was the result of his own heroism.
  Mr. Langford was one of the greatest
oarsmen that Yale college ever produced.
When in Kansas City he was superintend-
ent of the McKenna Steel works, and he
left about a year ago to take charge of
the McKenna works in Joliet, Ill. It was
at the plant there that he received his in-
jury last Tuesday.  The Chicago Tribune
  "Owing to the newness of the machinery,
accidents in the works had been numerous.
So many of the mechanics had been injured
that Langford resolved to undertake per-
sonally all future risks. At 5 o'cluck last
Tuesday the gear wheels of the great roll
got out of order. The steel bars were com-
ing white hot from the furnace.  Midway of
the big structure the heavy rollers caught
them.  Into the maze of the glowing iron,
so hot that the air of the place quivered,
crept Langford. At the disordered machine
he rose, and stood examining a pair of cog-wheels, so close to the hot ralls on either
side that a slight movement would have
seared him to death.
  "Just before the bars enter the rolls,
streams of water are turned upon them.
When the water was turned on, a dense
cloud of steam rose, and completely en-
veloped Langford.  Knowing that the steam
would continue for some moments, he at-
tempted to grope his way out.  He put for-
ward his hand, and tho cogs which he had
just examined caught it at the finger tips,
and drew in hand and arm to the shoulder.
  "Langford retained not only conscious-
hess, but presence of mind, and, throwing
his weight to one side, gradually worked
the arm to the wheel and extricated it.
Then creeping out, he rose and walked
quietly away, with the arm hanging limp
at his side.  He fell exhausted at the
theshold of the factory, but did not lose consciousness.  When relief came he di-
rected the method of binding up the arm
to stop the bleeding.  He revived enough
to walk part of the way up the hill to the
Silver Cross hospital. Drs. Edwin J. Abell
and John Bliss Shaw of Joliet performed
the amputation. Langford refused to take
an anesthetic, and for the success of the
operation the physicians were obliged to
administer chloroform by strategy.  His
mother and brothers were summoned from
St. Paul, and no hope of his recovery was
entertained till after midnight."
  The story of the accident says further:
  "Langford's nerve is the wonder of all
who know him. Yesterday at the hospital
he was reminding sympathizers that it was
only his left arm he had lost, and that a
superintendent is hired for headwork, any-
way. The saddest part for the young
has has been the knowledge that the ath-
letic life is now forever past.  Less than a
month ago he received a letter from Ru-
dolph Gehman, the coach, who is in Eng-
land aking him to row stroke on a British
all-star crew to be sent to the Paris exposi-
tion, and he though he had reached no de-
cision in the matter his friends were urging
him to accept."
  Langford is only 23 years old.  He is 6
feet 3-1/2 inches tall and is straight and
lithe as an Indian warrior.  His mother
lives in St. Paul, Minn.  His father who
was a wealthy mine owner of Denver, Col,
died in 1885. George Langford was gradu-
ated from Yale in 1897. Throughout his
college career he held the position of
stroke of the Yale crew, and in his second
year he coached the crew along with pro-
fessionals who were paid for it.  During
the season of the Henley regatta he over-
shadowed all others, connected with the
American Board of Athletics, and he con-
tinued to be the foremost oar among col-
lege athletes in the final event of his senior
year -- the regatta of Harvard, Yale, and
Cornell in 1897.  His stroke was praised in
published articles by Coach Courtney and
Coach Lehman called him a "mighty won-
  Although for several hours after his in-
jury it waa thought that Langford would
die, his splendid nerve and constitution
won, and he is now gradually recovering.