Donald Noel Harwood died attempting to save Ernest T. Hilborn from suffocation, Pine Bend, Minnesota, June 15, 1966. At an ammonia products plant, Hilborn, 39, operating superintendent, entered a manhole leading to underground pipes connecting tanks of liquid chemicals. The manhole and the pipes were filled with nitrogen. After descending 18 feet to the bottom on rungs embedded in the concrete side, Hilborn started to climb out but was overcome by lack of oxygen. A workman who had been watching through an opening atop the manhole saw Hilborn fall to the bottom and shouted for help. Harwood, 38, assistant operating superintendent, ran 100 feet uphill and reached the manhole breathing heavily. He looked into the opening, where he himself had installed a warning sign. Harwood then sat on the top of the manhole and lowered both feet into the opening. Despite the pleas of the workman not to enter, Harwood quickly descended on the rungs to the bottom of the manhole. He turned toward Hilborn. Harwood then lost consciousness and fell on top of Hilborn. The workman summoned help. Emergency crews wearing masks removed Harwood and Hilborn. Neither could be revived.
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Donald Noel Harwood, 38, of Hastings, Minn., died June 15, 1966. He was the assistant superintendent at the St. Paul Ammonia Plant in Pine Bend, Minn., where he died attempting to save the life of the plant’s operating superintendent after an accident.
Harwood was born to Noel and Evelyn (Winder) Harwood on June 5, 1928, in Richland Center, Wis. Harwood lived in Richland Center until 1957, when he moved to Hastings after his hiring at the ammonia plant.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission posthumously awarded Harwood the Carnegie Medal in December 1966.
He was buried at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Cemetery in Hastings.
(Edited from a published obituary in 1966.)