“Resolved, That we, employees of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., extend our sympathy to the company in their great financial loss.
“That we hereby declare ourselves as law-abiding citizens, and that we neither directly, nor indirectly, were connected in any manner with the late dynamite explosions and fires which destroyed the plant of The Harrisville Iron & Steel Co., and we denounce those acts as dastardly and inimical to the best interest of labor and civilization.”
Following the resolutions were appended the signatures of over four thousand workmen. It was also voted that the resolutions, and names attached, should be printed in the press of the city, and that a copy should be delivered to the president of the steel company. This action freed the atmosphere of distrust, and business in Harrisville returned to its accustomed ways.
At a meeting of the directors of the Harrisville Iron & Steel Co. it was voted “Not to rebuild our mills at present.” Manager Wilson was instructed at once to so advise the employees, also to dispose of all the manufactured stock and raw material on hand, and to clean up the grounds of the old mill site.
Colonel Harris remembered the action of Herr Krupp of Germany when a letter once reached him, threatening to destroy with dynamite his vast works at Essing. Herr Krupp immediately called a meeting of his tens of thousands of workmen, and read the letter to them, and then said, “Workmen, if this threat is executed, I shall never rebuild.” This settled the matter.
The city council of Harrisville and the county commissioners offered rewards for the arrest and conviction of the dynamiters. The sum was increased to $10,000 by the steel company, and notices of these rewards were mailed far and wide.
By aid of an informer of the band of conspirators, Mike O’Connor and his confederates were arrested as they were about to embark for South America. In the hotly contested trial it was disclosed that O’Connor had directed the placing of dynamite beneath engines and boilers before the high board fence was constructed about the works, that electric wires to ignite the dynamite had been laid underground from the mills to an old unused barn, nearly half a mile distant, and that O’Connor was seen to come from the barn just after the explosion. Within two months after the arrest, the whole band were convicted and sentenced for life to hard labor in the penitentiary.
It was decided that Colonel Harris and Gertrude should soon sail to rejoin Mrs. Harris and party in England, and notice of this decision was cabled next day to them at London. The colonel was busy examining carefully George Ingram’s detailed drawings of a new, enlarged, and much improved plan for a huge steel plant. The improvements were to be up to date, and his plans involved an entirely new process of converting ores into steel. It was agreed that George and his father, James Ingram, should perfect their inventions on which both for a long time had been zealously at work, and that later George and the colonel should make a tour of observation of leading iron and steel works in Europe.