Archive for March 8th, 2012


Webster County Pioneer Dead

   Posted by: admin    in Death, obituary

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 8, 1907

Webster County Pioneer Dead

M.V. Alger Succumbs to Death in a Very Unexpected Manner

Resulted From a Carbuncle

Suffered Only Two Weeks With It When Death Came Last Night at 12;30 O’clock – Funeral Will Occur Sunday Afternoon From the Home.

M.V. Alger one of the older and better known of pioneer settlers of the state and county died at his home on the Northeast outskirts of the city last night at 12:30 o’clock, death resulting, in a most unexpected manner, from a carbuncle on the back of the neck, with which he had suffered two weeks. Death came in the presence of his family, and before the attending physician could be summoned. It is believed that in some inexplicable way the brain was penetrated, which caused death. The funeral will occur from the family residence on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock, interment to be made in Oakland cemetery.

Martin Van Buren Alger was 63 years of age, having been born in Lewis county, New York state in the year of 1840. Much of his early life was spent in New York. He came to Iowa and settled in Humboldt county in 1865. In December 1871 he was married to his wife Miss Johanna McLean in Fort Dodge, though his residence in Webster County was not permanent until 1873 when he removed to Fort Dodge.

He was a veteran of the Civil War,  having been a ship carpenter and enlisted in the government transport department,  having seen active service during that time.

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Put Dynamite in Oven of Cook Stove

   Posted by: admin    in Accident, Railroad

The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 8, 1907

Put Dynamite in Oven of Cook Stove

It Exploded and Three Men are Injured – One Will Probably Die.

Occurred at a Grading Camp

Camp Was Located Four Miles South of City – The Injured Men, Albert L. Hook, Merton Hook and Floyd Wicher Are in City Hospital.

(Editor’s note: There is somewhat graphic description of one person’s injury in the section with the subheading Injured by Flying Pieces.)

As the result of putting three sticks of forty per cent dynamite into the oven of a cook stove to thaw out, this morning, and then forgetting them, two men and a boy, all three employed on the Newton & Northwestern right of way southeast of the city, lie badly injured at the city hospital.  They are Albert L. Hook and son Merton and son-in-law, Floyd Wicher.

The accident occurred this morning about 8:00 o’clock. The cook had been up some time and had breakfast prepared when a member of the party placed the three sticks of dynamite in the oven to thaw out. Shortly after, when seated about the breakfast table, the dynamite exploded, all knowledge of hit having passed from the minds of the occupants of the tent.

Great Destruction.

As the explosion occurred the stove was blown to atoms. Small pieces flew in all directions. The tent had practically vanished for nothing but a few small pieces of it remain near the spot where it once stood. The table, dishes, beds and other furniture of the abode were demolished by the concussion, fire starting in several places from small pieces of bedding scattered about.

Injured by Flying Pieces.

There were seven people in the tent when the explosion occurred. The cook had been standing over the stove, but, just prior to it, had walked out of doors on some errand. As the concussion came a small piece of the iron of the stove struck Merton Hook on the back of the head, laying it open until some of the brains oozed out. Other pieces struck his father, causing several fractures about the lower limbs and Wicher, whose right leg was broken in two places, one below and one above the ankle.

For a time the other members of the party were thrown into a stupor from the noise and shock. As they regained control of their minds, they began to care for the injured. A farmer, attracted by the explosion, which was heard several miles away, telephoned to Kalo, summoning Dr. C.J. Musser.

Doctors on Scene.

Dr. Musser arrived on the spot about half an hour after the accident, and later Dr. Bowen, of this city, who also had been called for. Together they performed an operation upon the head of the boy, removing a piece of metal larger than a silver dollar from the gash it had torn in the skull of the youth.

Following this the remaining victims were attended, and everything to make and keep them easy and as free from suffering as possible, was done.

Brought Here in Ambulance.

An ambulance was then sent for, and it left the city shortly before noone (sic), returning from the scene of the accident, with the victims, at about 2:30 o’clock.

Further operations were performed on the arrival at the city hospital, and up to a late hour this afternoon the young boy was still alive though in a very precarious condition.

The party was at work changing the channel of a small creek from the right of way of the Newton & Northwestern. Considerable dynamite was used int he work, and keeping it as they had to in a tent, it became damp and froze during the night.

A.L. Hook, who of the three is the least injured, hails from Cedar Rapids and was sub-contracting under Murray Brothers of Cedar Rapids who have the contract for the right of way. In the party there were the two sons a son-in-law and a daughter.

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