Archive for the ‘Death’ Category


Little Baby Passes Away

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 5, 1905

Little Baby Passes Away

One of the little six months old twins of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Koke passed away Sunday morning. The funeral of the little child will be held from the house Tuesday afternoon and interment will be in Oakland cemetery. The little child was sick for some time.

The many friends of the parents sympathize deeply with them in their loss.


An Early Settler Passes Away

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 5, 1905

An Early Settler Passes Away

Mrs. Jane Crosby, One of the Earliest of Fort Dodge Settlers Dies

Over Eighty Years of Age

Mrs. Crosby Leaves Three Children to Mourn Her Loss – Funeral was  Held From the Family Home on Second Avenue South This Afternoon

Mrs. Jane J. Crosby, widow of Seth S. Crosby, one of the earliest Fort Dodge settlers passed away at her home on Second Avenue South between Seventh and Eighth streets on Sunday morning at about 10:00. Mrs. Crosby had been ill for some time and her death was not unexpected. It was due to old age and heart failure, she being over eighty years of age.

Mrs. Crosby is well known in this city especially among the early settlers for she has resided here constantly for over two score years. Her husband has been dead several years, but she leaves two sons and a daughter to mourn her loss.

One son, Charles Crosby, was formerly a member of the firm of Crosby & Bechtel who operated the Model restaurant. Another son is D.M. Crosby of Boston, who was called here some time ago by the serious illness of his mother and had been with her constantly. A daughter from Chicago is also here to attend the funeral.

The funeral was held from the house this afternoon at 2:00 and interment was at Oakland cemetery. Rev. Fort of the Methodist church preached the funeral sermon.


His Case is a Peculiar One

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: May 31, 1904

His Case is a Peculiar One

A Man With a Broken Back Lives Nearly Two Years – Case of Joel Johnson

The case of Joel Johnson of Coalville, whose death occurred Friday, is one of the most peculiar and sad ever occurring in Webster county.

It will be remembered the unfortunate man was hurt while working in a coal mine in Coalville nearly a year and a half ago. He was buried under a fall of coal and his back was broken just below the points of the shoulder blades. He was brought to the hospital in this city and in the hope of relieving the pressure on the spinal cord, an operation was performed. It was discovered, however, when the incision was made, that the spinal cord had been almost entirely severed. It was thought that man would live but a short time, but a part of the injured vertebra was removed and the patient recovered apparently his health, but of course, not retaining any action or feeling in any of the organs below the region of the injury. Having no relatives he was removed to Coalville, where he was cared for at the expense of the county. He gradually began to grow worse again after his return to Coalville and about six weeks ago became so bad he was brought back t o the hospital in this city, where he remained under the care of the county physician until death.

Previous articles:

Is Paralyzed From Waist Down

Juel Johnson in Sad Plight


Man With Shotgun Accidentally Kills His Own Wife

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 2, 1914

Man With Shotgun Accidentally Kills His Own Wife

Badger, April 2 – Special: The accidental discharge of a shotgun carried by Max Lehman was responsible for the death of his wife at their home in Beaver Township. The shot entered her throat and her right wrist was injured. Physicians were summoned but before they arrived, Mrs. Lehman died from loss of blood. Mr. Lehman is prostrated over the accident and the death of his wife. He was not blamed for the shooting, as it was purely accidental.

Mr. Lehman left the house late in the afternoon to drive the cows to the barn. He took with him a shotgun to get stray game. Returning to his home without having found anything to shoot, he saw a pair of doves flying near the house. Mr. Lehman took a shot at them and brought down the feathered creatures. He picked them up and started for the house to show his prized to Mrs. Lehman, who was sitting in an open window.

As he approached the window, Mr. Lehman dropped the gun and the butt struck the ground. The jar caused the hammer to strike home and the cartridge was exploded. As the gun exploded, it was directly in a line with Mrs. Lehman’s face and she received the full discharge.


Merton Hook Dead

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 12, 1907

Merton Hook Dead

Victim of the Dynamite Explosion Dies at the City Hospital This Morning.

Merton Hook, the son of Albert H. Hook of Cedar Rapids, who was severely injuried (sic) last Friday by the explosion of three sticks of dynamite on the Newton & Northwestern right-of-way southeast of the city, succumbed to death this morning at 3:30 o’clock at the hospital. Since the accident he has remained in a state of semi-unconsciousness, a piece of steel the size of a silver dollar having been removed from the base of his brain, hurled there by the terrific explosion.

No funeral arrangements have been made as yet, but there is little doubt but that the body will be taken to Cedar Rapids for the funeral and interment.


Webster County Pioneer Dead

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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.


Little Child Dies in Wagon Home

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 7, 1903

Little Child Dies in Wagon Home

Child of Henry Palmer, Emigrant, Taken Ill and Dies From Exposure South of City

The Family Came From Clare

Child Was Buried at the Expense of the County. A Very Sad Case of Destitution

Webster City, March 7 – An example of privation and exposure in which was mingled the pity and compassion of all who knew the circumstances, was brought vividly before the city authorities Friday morning. A trapper and his wife, bound from Clare, Webster county to Des Moines, travelling (sic) across the country in a covered wagon, lost their 7 months old babe while camping in the edge of this city,  under the most pitiable conditions.

The trapper, Henry Palmer by name, and his family left Clare a week ago. They traveled in a covered wagon drawn by a mule and a horse. They wagon is scantily furnished and extremely chilly and damp for travel in this sort of weather. Palmer and his family traveled slowly, camping for several days in places where they found trapping good. Mr. Palmer hunted and trapped, while his wife was occupied mostly with the care of their baby. They arrived in the vicinity of this city last Monday and camped between the F.A. Edwards Bluff View farm and the John Essig place. The day they pitched camp here, the baby was taken sick with grip and pneumonia, brought on by exposure. Dr. Conrad was called, and attended the baby until Thursday, when Dr. Richardson was called. Thursday night the child died. The city took charge of the little body, and interment was given it in the city cemetery at 3 o’clock Friday afternoon.

The outfit driven by Mr. Palmer excited much interest from those who saw it today. In the rickety wagon was a stove with its pipe protruding thru the canvas. The team looked much the worse for privation, and about the whole outfit was an air of extreme poverty. The genuine sorrow and heartbroken spirit of the parents added to the pitiableness of the situation. After the last sad rites had been performed over the body of their infant, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer proceeded on their journey to Des Moines, where Mr. Palmer expects to get work and where they will locate.


Death of Mrs. D.A. Haviland

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 29, 1904

Death of Mrs. D.A. Haviland

Stroke of Paralysis Causes Demise After Protracted Illness.

She Was Well Beloved

Had Been a Resident of Fort Dodge Since 1854 – Family Assembling.

After an illness which lasted from August last, Mrs. David A. Haviland answered the call of her Lord and passed from this earth at 7:43 last evening at her home, number 1300, Sixth avenue north. Never was news of one’s death met with more sorrow than was this one by many friends of the family who were pioneers of Fort Dodge.

Mrs. Haviland with her husband was among the first to come to this city when it was but a small trading post on the banks of the Des Moines, and has lived here and seen it thru its many changes until the present time.

Cecelia Wood, which was Mrs. Haviland’s maiden name, was born in Delchertown (sic), Massachusetts, November 21, 1826, where she lived until about four years of age when her parents moved to the state of Illinois. Hhere (sic) she lived until womanhood and on December 12, 1844 she was married to David A. Haviland in La Salle by Rev. W. Bassett.

In 1854, Mr. and Mrs. Haviland moved to this state and settled in Fort Dodge in what is now the north part of the city and where had been the family home ever since.

There are left to mourn the loss of a mother, eight children, two of whom reside in this city. they are, Mrs. David Risk of Rolfe; Mrs. W.G. Moore of this city; Mrs. Charles A. Stevens of Des Moines; Miss Hattie A. Haviland of Denver; Mrs. R.F. Coyle, of Denver; F.P. Haviland, of St. Charles, Illinois; Miss Carrie Haviland of this city and E.G. Haviland formerly of this city but now of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. All members of the family were notified by telegraph of their loss and will come as soon as possible.

Mrs. Haviland had been a sufferer from heart failure since last August which caused a stroke of paralysis about six weeks ago. this was followed by a second stroke a month later which with her extreme age was the cause of her death. ZShe was seventy-seven years, three months and seven days old at the time of her death.

Owing to the delay in waiting for absent relatives no definite arrangements as yet (have) been given out (regarding) the burial.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 25, 1907

Victor B. Dolliver Dies While Sleeping

The Shocking Occurrence Was Entirely Unexpected – Natural Causes

Probably Had Heart Weakness

He Had Been Ill With a Cold for About a Week, But Seemed To Be Better. Was Found in His Bed Several Hours After Death.

Quietly reposing in slumber of life, Victor Brown Dolliver passed into eternity’s sleep at his residence room at the W.B. Moore home, 217 south 12th street. Death came without warning sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning and no one knew of it until about half past five o’clock Sunday afternoon. Natural causes for death were assigned by the coroner’s jury which held an inquest over the body.

The news of Mr. Dolliver’s death rapidly circulated about the town and at first seemed incredible to his many friends who had seen him apparently well in health and robust in strength, but a few days before. Many of them went direct to the dwelling that was his home to see if there was not some mistake in the rumor. The facts were found to be as follows:

Discovered Hours After Death.

Mr. Dolliver had been rooming with the Moore family since last November. He took his meals at down town restaurants and was away from the city a good deal of the time looking after business matters. for this reason his habits of life were not intimately known by the family and they did not pay close attention to his coming and going. That is the reason his death was not sooner discovered.

Sunday morning before church time the door of Mr. Dolliver’s room was tried and found locked. It was supposed he was still asleep and would not want to be disturbed. After 12 o’clock the door was again examined and it was thought Mr. Dolliver had gone out. He usually locked his door at night, but left it ajar when he left the house and it was commented on as unusual that he should have gone away and left his door locked. Some uneasiness was felt over the unusual proceedings, but it was dismissed as an act of forgetfulness.

Mr. Moore went to the men’s meeting of the Y.M.C.A. on Sunday afternoon and returned about five o’clock. He went at once to Mr. Dolliver’s room and was determined to make certain whether he was there or not Looking through the key hole he was able to see the key in the lock on the other side. He called and there was no response.

A door connected Mr. Dolliver’s room with the adjoining vacant room. A large trunk was set against the door, but with the help of his son, Ezra, Mr. Moor forced the door in. They found Victor Dolliver lying in his bed like one asleep, but it was the sleep that has no waking.

Had Been Dead Ten Hours.

Doctor Evans was the first physician to reach the scene. He said Mr. Dolliver had been dead from ten to fifteen hours, judging from the condition of the body which was cold and rigid.

Coroner Lowry was summoned and a jury composed of Messrs. J.B. Hine, J.W. Campbell, and W.F. Maher was summoned. They inspected the deceased and the condition of the apartment and adjourned to meet at the court house this morning at nine o’clock.

Conditions of Body and Room.

The deceased was in night attire with the bed clothing covering him and undisturbed. His eyes were closed and countenance was composed. He lay on his right side in easy position with hands carelessly thrown across his breast. The room was orderly: shoes placed with care side by side, clothing he had taken off for the night hung up in its place. Fruit had been placed on the table and the clock with the alarm signal set at eight o’clock on the trunk near and facing the bed was ticking along, showing it had been wound the evening before.

Every circumstance indicated that painless and unexpected death had taken away life.

Had Sore Throat.

Mr. Dolliver returned from a two week’s trip to Oklahoma and Texas a week ago last Saturday. He complained of having gotten a cold while away and last Tuesday he went to Doctor Ristine and said his throat was very sore. Examination by the doctor showed an inflamed condition and a gargle was prescribed. This is the last time the doctor saw him. On last Wednesday his sister Margaret Gay Dolliver came from Sioux City en route to New York and she spent the day in nursing and caring for Victor with simple, old-fashioned remedies. He said that he was better and she left for the east on Wednesday night and was in Washington today.

Ill, But Up and Around.

On account of his illness Mr. Dolliver gave up an engagement to deliver an address at Morningside college, Sioux City, on Washington’s birthday and asked Reverend Fort to go in his place. He was up and around all of last week, but it was evident to his associates that he was not well and he so stated.

The Inquest.

The facts concerning the last few days of Mr. Dolliver’s life as brought out at the inquest this morning shed considerable light upon the sad affair. It was shown beyond doubt that the deceased had been quite ill with a cold, but was better and in his usual jovial spirits. No foreboding of this sudden fate could have entered his mind.

Mr. Bennett stated that he had been with Mr. Dolliver for two weeks in Oklahoma and as far south as Galveston. They had splendid weather all the way but Victor said on his way back from Kansas City to Omaha that he had taken cold. Mr. Bennett had not seen his companion since their return a week ago.

Mr. J.B. Butler called at Mr. Dolliver’s office in the Mason building Friday afternoon. His forehead was covered with moisture and he said he was not well.

Mark Hopkins, a barber in the Reynolds shop, shaved Mr. Dolliver Saturday night at a quarter of eleven and gave him a shampoo. Mr. Dolliver joked with him and said if he caught cold after the shampoo that was given him it would be worse for him (the barber).

Mr. A.W. Lewis said Mr. Dolliver stopped in his drug store on his way home from the barber shop Saturday night and conversed for about half an hour. He mentioned his cold and having gotten a shampoo and Mr. Lewis advised him he might add to his cold.

Mr. W.G. Moore, in whose home Mr. Dolliver lodged, stated the details of the discovery of the death substantially as told above. He said that the family were sitting in the parlor Saturday night when Mr. Dolliver came home after eleven o’clock. He heard him at the door and let him in. He thanked Mr. Moore for saving him the trouble of getting out his key in the dark. He paused on his way upstairs to say to Mrs. Moore that his cold was better and he thought he would get along all right.

Undertaker Scott embalmed the body at about nine o’clock. He judged death had taken place twelve to fifteen hours before, as the rigidity was relaxing as it does that long after death. He thought there was fatty degeneration of the heart and  produced specimens of the blood as evidence, but the physicians who saw it said it was the fibers of the blood settling that gave the appearance.

Doctor Ristine had prescribed for Mr. Dolliver he said, at various times in the past and had let him have a room in his house for two years before he went to Mr. Moore’s. He had prescribed a gargle for him last Tuesday. In the past the medicine he had given him was for rheumatism which he complained of often being troubled with, but never was laid up by it and he had not thought it of a serious enough character to affect the heart. He thought from the indications and information given he had died of heart failure. Such cases occasionally happen with people with weak hearts, when if there were some one at hand to administer restoratives the heart could be started to work again and the patient would not die.

Doctor Evans told of his finding Mr. Dolliver dead in bed. He could not way what he died of but was certain from the peaceful condition of the body that no unnatural cause either external or internal had been present

No post mortem was held, the coroner’s jury being satisfied, and so stated that death was the result of natural causes.

Heart Was Weak.

Today several instances have been mentioned when Mr. Dolliver had told of having a weak heart and in one case he was temporarily prostrated by this ailment.

His Immediate Plans.

Ed. Thompson, manager of the Dolliver farm west of town, said this morning that Victor Dolliver had proposed to him right after his return from Oklahoma a week ago that the two go into partnership in the livestock business on the farm. He had made a similar proposal one year ago but the arrangements had not been made then. This time, whoever an agreement was reached and Mr. Thompson had taken an inventory of all the live stock now on the farm. He had been in Mr. Dolliver’s office last week Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to complete the plan and the contract between them was to have been signed today (Monday).

The Funeral.

Telegrams were sent out Sunday night and today many message of condolence have been received. A message received today from Senator Dolliver and Miss Gay Dolliver say they will leave Washington today and are due here Wednesday morning at half past three o’clock. If they arrive on schedule time the funeral will probably be held on Wednesday afternoon. It cannot be stated for sure today.

Besides his brother, J.P., and sister Miss Gay, there are left a brother, Reverend R.H. Dolliver and sister, Mrs. E.R. Graham. Both live in Illinois and will probably be here very soon.

Rev. J.J. Dolliver, Victor’s father died two years ago and his mother died about fifteen years ago. Both lie at rest in Oakland. It cannot be stated at this time, where the interment of Victor Dolliver will be. An expression of his wishes may be found in some of his papers.

Mr. Dolliver’s father-in-law, Governor Larrabee, Mrs. Larrabee, and Frederic are in Florida and it is not known if it will be possible for them to be at the funeral. The services will be under the auspices of the Methodist church, of which deceased was a member.

Victor Dolliver’s Career.

Victor Dolliver was born in Morgantown, West Virginia in March 1862 and came to Fort Dodge with his parents twenty-seven years ago, his brothers having preceded the family here by two years. He was for a time a student of the high school here and later taught school in Webster county. He received a college training at Cornell college, Mount Vernon, and later graduated as a lawyer and was admitted to the bar.

The marriage of Victor Dolliver and Miss Augusta Larrabee, eldest daughter of Governor and Mrs. Larrabee, occurred August 18, 1896 at Clermont and the couple moved to Minneapolis where Mr. Dolliver opened a law office in January 1897. The happy life that was promised was not to be fulfilled for Mrs. Dolliver died in March of 1897. She was buried in the cemetery at Clermont and her husband’s life since that time has never regained its former hopes and ambitions. He pathetically said he had never rally had but one wish and that had been taken from him.

Since the death of his wife Victor Dolliver had devoted himself unselfishly to the welfare of his brothers and sisters and they are inconsolable at his loss. The little children of the family especially have felt his affectionate attentions and his heart was always warm for them.

Since Miss Gay Dolliver became dean of the women’s department of Morningside college Victor has turned his attention to the welfare of that institution with all the loyalty that he had for anything his sister was interested in and last summer he made a donation of ten thousand dollars (about $231,000 today) to endow a chair in that institution.

Although Mr. Dolliver has not followed the practice of his profession he had through his excellent business judgment made a good-sized fortune by investments in land and the estate that is left is estimated at about forty thousand dollars ($924,000). He was a half owner with his brother J.P. in the Dolliver farm of about five hundred acres west of Fort Dodge and was planning to spend a larger share of his time there assisting in the management of the place.

An Orator of National Fame.

Victor Dolliver acquired a national reputation as a campaign orator and has stumped the country during most of the hot presidential and congressional campaigns of the last ten or twelve years. Over six feet in height, robust of form, with piercing voice and eloquent tongue he was a striking figure wherever he spoke.

No one would have believed that so powerful a specimen of physical manhood could have had his life ebb away, gently as the breath of a little child.

(Editor’s note: Here’s an article from another newspaper of the same era. Also, Victor Dolliver was mentioned in the Fort Dodge papers on other occasions.)

The Carroll Herald: March 6, 1907

Victor Dolliver Could Have Been in Congress

Washington, D.C., March 1. – Senator C.W. Fulton, of Oregon, for many years a resident of Iowa, was one of the sincere mourners when news came to Washington of the sudden death of V.B. Dolliver. He had been a close friend of Mr. Dolliver for several years.

“Vic could have gone to congress from Oregon as easily as not,” said Senator Fulton. “He went out there in 1902 and captured the state by a great speaking campaign. Nothing like it was ever known by our people. He spent several weeks with us, and in 1904 went again. That time he spent a month, speaking all over the state and then liked it so well that he remained two or three months, ans we thought he was going to settle, He was urged on all hands that he could go to congress if he would live among us long enough to get a residence; but he said he had interests and attachments in Iowa, and little taste for public life, and he refused to stay. He was the best stump speaker I ever knew, and everybody in Oregon will indorse (sic) me in saying it.”


Midget Passes Away at Otho

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Feb. 23, 1906

Midget Passes Away at Otho

Iowas Smallest Baby Dies After Only Couple Days of Life.

The little baby boy born to Mrs. and Mrs. John Ford at Otho pased (sic) away Thursday. This little child was born Monday and only weighed one and a half pounds. The child was heralded as the smallest child born in this state. it was never strong and at no time was there any hope entertained that the child could live.

The funeral occurred the same day as tis death and only a short service was held. The mother’s condition is yet bad and for this reason the services were very brief.

The exact measurements of the midge was not taken, so it will never be known. The child, however, was not very much smaller than the ordinary small baby, but had apparently no flesh. Its weight was below the two pound mark, which in itself is a record.

(Editor’s note: I’m not sure why they termed the baby a midget, since he died shortly after birth and I doubt that condition could be recognized that soon, especially with the state of medical knowledge at the time. I could be wrong. But it’s interesting to see how much knowledge has been gained in just over 100 years – babies of this weight are not routine, but they do live, often with no permanent damage from premature birth.)