Willis Jackson, 51, farmer, helped to rescue Travis Devaughn, 29, farmer, from a cave-in in a well, Oakwood, Texas, February 2, 1938. While Devaughn was at work in a well 30 feet deep, part of the wall collapsed between eight and 15 feet above the bottom; and Devaughn was buried in an upright position in sand eight feet deep. Jackson reached the well and was lowered on a rope to the sand by two men, who were Devaughn’s brothers. For 30 minutes, while sand dribbled from the walls, he shoveled sand and sent it to the top in a bucket, lowering the sand to Devaughn’s shoulders. Then, feeling tired, he was relieved by Everett L. Tryon, who sent sand to the top for 20 minutes. He effected little change in the level of the sand because of constant dribbling and then was hoisted to the surface. Willie Coleman then was lowered and after 30 minutes had removed sand from around Devaughn’s shoulders and chest, considerable sand having fallen meanwhile. He then was hoisted from the well. Henry S. Solomon was next lowered and uncovered Devaughn to his waist. Five planks then were lowered into the well, Solomon placing them where the sand had fallen; and an experienced well-digger, who was lowered part way on a rope, drove them into the loose sand. Solomon was in the well an hour and a half and was then hoisted. A hollow steel cylinder two and a half feet high and two feet four inches in diameter was lowered until it encircled Devaughn’s head; and later a crib eight feet high and two feet eight inches in diameter was made and lowered around the cylinder. Still later the planks, the crib, and the cylinder were withdrawn; and a larger crib, which had been made, was placed in the well. Experienced well-diggers worked in the well in turn, and 15 hours after the first fall occurred Devaughn was hoisted from the well. He was not seriously injured.
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