Posts Tagged ‘Lowry’


Children Find Mans Body in Pool of Water

   Posted by: admin    in Death

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 28, 1913

Children Find Mans Body in Pool of Water

While playing around the old Crawford mill in Gypsum this afternoon shortly after 2:00 two little boys looked into the shaft which is now filled with about forty feet of water and saw the body of a man, face down, floating on the surface of the water. County Coroner Lowry was summoned from this city and men are now taking the body out. It is thought that he committed suicide. Nothing is known about his age or who he is.

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Improvements in Fire Department

   Posted by: admin    in City Council, fire department

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 4, 1904

Improvements in Fire Department

Shall Another Station Be Built and New Wagon Ordered?

Present System Inadequate

Says Fire Marshal Lowry Who Advocated Purchase of Chemical Wagon and New Station. Fire Committee Discusses Matter

Does Fort Dodge Need a new fire house, locate presumably on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue north, and a new wagon which will be fitted up for the extinguishing of fires by chemicals? These are two momentous questions which will be discussed by the city council at their next regular meeting Monday night.

Need of Chemical Wagon

In the opinion of Fire Marshal Lowry, the present fire protection is inadequate to the needs of the city. Over sixty per cent of the fires could be put out by chemicals, thus saving the loss of damage to property by water. But the present wagon is fitted out with only two two gallon extinguishers. At a meeting of the fire committee held last night the matter was taken under advisement and a recommendation will be made to the city council next Monday to purchase a new chemical wagon. Such a wagon would be about the size of the present wagon, but would contain a forty gallon tank of chemicals under the seat with two smaller tanks on each side of the wagon. Two hundred feet of chemical hose would be included and a root and extension ladders. 1,000 feet of water hose will also be carried. the cost of such a wagon complete would not exceed $1,700 (about $42,775 today). It would weigh 8,000 pounds when empty and would be equipped with three-inch rubber tires. This wagon would serve as a protection to districts outside of the city mains, the chemicals being as effective one place as another.

The present wagon would by no means go out of use. It could be kept in the present house and the old hook and ladder which is now stored in the fire house and which is very seldom used, could be taken elsewhere. In case of large fires a hack team could be secured and both wagons used, but as chemicals are used in the main, the new wagon would be taken out for the most part. (Editor’s note: They are suggesting that in case of a large fire, someone would run to a livery stable and hire horses to run the old hook and ladder. Times have certainly changed.)

Need of Second Department

It is also the intention to bring up the matter of having a second station. It is argued that should two fires happen to take place at the same time in opposite parts of the city protection could not be offered. The present East End department consists of but a hose car and relies entirely on volunteers in case of fire. It is thought that a station located on the city’s property on the corner of Twelfth street and First avenue would be in the proper place. This location would make it almost the central part of the city and at the same time save the lower department of the run up hill to the east part of the city which is always so exasperating. A second station could be maintained with very little cost after the building had once been built, as there would be plenty of apparatus when the new wagon had been purchased.

Waterloo Has Two Wagons

Those of the department in favor of the improvement say that inasmuch as other towns of size not larger than this, hav1e superior protection to that in Fort Dodge, a change for the better should be made. Waterloo has two chemical wagons. The water committee is composed of John Ruge, Guy Ranking, Jesse Beal, and Louis Fessler.

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Victor B. Dolliver Dies While Sleeping

   Posted by: admin    in Death, obituary

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.”

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23 Below Zero and No Fire Protection

   Posted by: admin    in Fire, weather

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 4, 1904

23 Below Zero and No Fire Protection

Lamentable Condition of Affairs Brought to Light by Fire Saturday Night.

Building Burns to Ground

Because There is no Pressure to Aid Firemen in Fighting Flames.

One-fourth City in Peril

Saturday Night When Residence S.W. Corey Totally Destroyed.

With the thermometer registering twenty-three degrees below zero and with practically no water pressure, Fort Dodge was visited by a fire at midnight Saturday that in many respects was of a nature unprecedented in the history of the city. The total destruction of the home of C.W. Cory at 209 Twelfth street south is credited to a combination of circumstances, which is claimed by the persons upon whose shoulders rests the property against the ravages of fire to have been impossible to forsee or prevent.

The Corey residence was totally destroyed. The house was reduced to a heap of charred timbers and fallen walls covered with several inches of ice entailing a loss of nearly $5,000 ($119,747 today) not a cent of which is covered by insurance. How the fire found its origin is unknown. The fire department was summoned to the scene a few minutes before 9 o’clock in the evening. At taht time fire was discovered in a small pantry room on the northeast corner of the house in a wing with adjoins the main body of the structure. The flames were soon extinguished, or apparently so, and the firemen remained at the house for nearly two hours to assure themselves that the fire was out. At 12:10 a.m. the department was again on the scene, having been called by a second alarm in a half hour after their departure. This time the blaze was on the opposite side of the house, diagonally from the first fire. There was not water pressure and the firemen were unable to even check the flames. The fire burned itself out several hours later, leaving a mass of smoking embers where was a short time before was a well built residence.

Startling Conditions Revealed.

The unusual nature of the fire is to be found in several facts which cannot be disputed. In the first place there was no water pressure and in the second while not intentionally, the firemen were apparently unfortunate, failing to extinguish the fire on their first visit to the house. The third circumstance is a fortunate one. The night altho bitterly cold was without wind, and in this way lessened the danger of a more serious conflagration. With conditions prevailing as Saturday night more than one-fourth the city was without fire protection. Had there been a wind sufficient to carry the burning embers to the nearby houses the seriousness of what might have happened cannot be estimated.

W.L. Pray, water superintendent, credtis the conditions of Saturday night to a combination of circumstances. “I was never so beat in all my life,” he said today when speaking of the fire. “It was a combination of circumstances which could not be neither foreseen nor prevented.”

Friction in the water pipes and the supply of one-fourth of the city thru a single six-inch main is given by Superintendent Pray as a reason why there was not a better water pressure. He explains the conditions in substance as follows:

All consumers of city water south of Central avenue and east of Twelfth street are supplied by a single six inch main running east on First avenue south. This main supplies all the consumers in that part of the city together with the Great Western railroad company and seven flush tanks. The first mishap incident to the fire Saturday night was when the firemen attempted to connect the hose with a water hydrant on the corner of Thirteenth street and Third avenue south. In attempting to turn on the water they broke off the stem to which is attached the crank. In this way, rendering the hydrant useless. As a last resort Superintendent Pray attempted to close the valves at hte corner of First avenue south and Thirteenth street and at the corner of First avenue south and Seventeenth street. Had he been able to do this he could have shut off the water supply from the entire southeast part of the the (sic) city and concentrated the entire force on the fire. The steel covers of the manholes, however, were securely frozen in the ground and defied all efforts to be opened. Under these conditions of affairs there was nothing to do but let the fire burn itself out. Of the several lines of hose carrying water to the fire one had sufficient pressure to throw the water thirty feet, but even then it was lacking in power to break even a thin pane of glass. Under favorable conditions the proximity of the water tower to the scene of the fire would have been beneficial than otherwise.

“The only reason I can see for fire breaking out a second time is that there must have been some fire there after we left,” says Chief J.V. Lowry.

“After putting out the fire when we were first called we made a thorough search of the entire house before leaving,” said Chief Lowry yesterday. “We couldn’t find the least trace of a blaze and left, satisfied that the fire was out. Mr. Corey went with us thru every room in the house and he too was satisfied.”

When seen relative to the fire, C.S. Corey, whose property suffered said:

The city is responsible for this. There was no water pressure for one thing and for another the firemen should have seen that the fire was out before leaving.”

The first alarm was sent in shortly before 9 o’clock in the evening. The house is occupied by C.W. Corey and family and Mr. and Mrs. Louis O’Day, the latter living in five rooms on the second floor in front of the house. Just how the fire started is unknown. There was no one on the first floor at the time and so far as can be learned no lamp was lighted and the nearest stove was ten feet away and in another room. The building consisted of the main structure and a wing, the former facing west on Twelfth street and the latter facing east. The The (sic) fire was first discovered by Mr. O’Day. He had scented smoke and going down stairs went into the kitchen on the southwest corner of the wing. Finding no fire there he opened the door leading into the pantry and was driven back by the flames.

At the arrival of the fire department no difficulty was experienced in extinguishing the flames after which the firemen went thru the house in an endeavor to locate if possible sparks or embers that might cause the fire to break out anew. Failing to find anything of this nature they returned to their quarters only to be recalled in a half hour.

Not a Cent of Insurance.

The first fire did but comparatively little damage and only that by smoke and water. Most of the furnishings were removed from the house at this time. The loss in household goods sustained by Mr. Corey is estimated to be between $200 ($4,790) and $300 ($7,185), and to Mr. and Mrs. O’Day, who occupied the upstairs room about $100 ($2,395). Mr. Corey estimated the loss on the house to be over $4,000 ($95,798). Mr. Corey suffered the loss of a grist mill by fire some time ago. As in this case, he carried no insurance. Mr. O’Day said yesterday that it was his intention to take out insurance January 1, but unfortunately he delayed doing so a lay (sic) too long.

Fire on Opposite Side.

Responding to the second alarm, the firemen found the flames to have broken out on the south side of the house in the kitchen. It is thought that fire, which the firemen failed to locate, burned between the walls and finding its way to the opposite side of the building was fanned by a draught until it had gained sufficient headway to burst through the roof. After the firemen left at 11:30 a policeman was left to watch for a second fire. When he discovered the blaze he had to go several blocks before turning in the alarm. By the time the department was on the ground a second time, the fire was burning fiercely in the kitchen and through the roof. Water was turned on as soon as possible, but only a pitiful little stream issued from the nozzle. Ladders were run to the roof ot he wing, and upon a porch on the south side of the house, where the fireman vainly attempted to throw enough water on the blaze to prevent its eating its way toward the front of the house. The flames however were so fierce and the water supply so inadequate that the firemen were driven from their position and forced to the ground and the front of the house. All efforts, however, were unavailing and the men, covered from head to foot with ice, found themselves able only to throw water on the nearby houses. An attempt was made to throw water upon the roof of the Silas Corey house to the porch, but the pressure was too weak. Good fortune along prevented the fire from communicating to the gable of the house, which was only a short distance from where flames were the hottest.

Brave Cold to See Fire.

Several hundred people watched the fire in the early hours of the morning, and although the thermometer was 20 degrees below ezro (sic), they braved the elements. The fire could be seen many blocks away. With scarcely a trace of wind, a column of smoke fifty feet in diameter arose from the burning buidling, and after emerging from the shadows of the trees into the clear moonlight, it ascended many feet intot he air as a might white pillar.

The crowd which gathered at the fire was not lacking in criticism, and had the usual large amount of advice to give to the firemen as to what they should and what they should not do. The unconcealed comments of some persons in the crowd caused several of the firemen to lose their tempers, and on one or two occasions they treated the crowd to a shower bath.

Several cases of frozen feet and frost-bitten ears are reported as a result of witnessing the fire.

(Editor’s note: I chose to include the article below in this post because it is related to the issue of the fire.)

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 4, 1904

Coldest Weather of Winter

Thermometer Registers 23 Below Saturday Night.

Eight Degrees Colder Than at Any Time Previous This Winter – Warmer Sunday.

Saturday night was the coldest of the winter. The government thermometer at Tobin college Sunday mornign showed that the lowest point registered during the night was 23 degrees below zero. The maximum temperature for the same twenty-four hours was 8 degrees above.

The lowest temperature for the twenty-four hours ending at 7 o’clock this morning was two degrees above, while the thermometer showed the maximum temperature to be 8 degrees above. A comparison of the figures shows that during the twenty-four hours ending at 7 a.m. today, the thermometer varied only 6 degrees while during the same period of the preceding day there was a deviation of 25 degrees.

Up to Saturday night the coldest weather of the winter was registered December 13, when the thermometer shows 15 below. The third coldest was December 26, with 11 below.

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Gladys Powell Burned to Death

   Posted by: admin    in Accident, Death

The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: Sept. 23, 1910

Gladys Powell Burned to Death

Young Girl Meets With Fatal Accident On Thursday Evening

Fell Down Cellar Stairs While Carrying Lamp

Clothing Was Completely Burned From Her Body and Death Resulted Seven Hours Later

Miss Gladys Powell, aged between sixteen and seventeen years, and who resided at 326 South Fifth street, received burns on Thursday evening about seven o’clock which resulted in her death at St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital about seven hours later.

Fell Down Cellar Stairs

The family were eating their evening meal in their  home when the daughter had occasion to visit the cellar, carrying a kerosene lamp to light her way. In some unaccountable manner she tripped and fell, and her clothing was set on fire from the lamp, according to members of the city fire department who made an investigation of the case. the mother rushed to the assistance of the young woman and was herself painfully burned about the arms and face, while attempting to rescue the young woman.

Clothing Burned Off

The young lady was gowned in light fabrics and for this reason the flames took rapid hold, all her clothing being burned from her body, with the exception of about one inch of one stocking and her entire body with the exception of the waist, which was given some protection by the corset, was one immense blister as a result of the burns.

An alarm of fire was turned in from Box 43, and the central fire department responded in record time. The emergency case carried on the fire wagon was pressed into service and Chief Trusty did all in his power to relieve the suffering of the young lady until two physicians who had been summoned had arrived. The physicians gave additional needed medical attention and the young woman whom it as seen was fatally burned, and mother who was painfully burned, were then taken to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. The young woman passed away about one o’clock this morning as a result of her burns, and while the mother will be confined at the hospital for some time it is not believed she will suffer permanent disfigurement.

Although the accident was of the most serious nature, and resulted fatally to Miss Gladys Powell, the house was not damaged in the least, and members of the fire department for this reason were able to give all of their attention to the relieving of the suffering of the young woman until the arrival of the physicians. Chief Trusty speaks in the highest terms of praise of the emergency case which has been prepared for the city fire department by Dr. C.H. Mulroney, city health officer, and which is carried at all times on the h ose wagon sent out from the central fire station.

No Inquest Necessary

Coroner J.D. Lowry stated this afternoon it would not be necessary to hold an inquest to inquire into the death of the  young woman.

(Editor’s note: Besides the sensational nature of this article, with graphic details about the extent of the young woman’s injuries, I did see something quite interesting. It mentions an emergency case prepared by the city’s health officer, Dr. Mulroney. It sounds like an early version of what paramedics take out on calls.)

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Tara Man Found Dead on Tracks

   Posted by: admin    in Death, Railroad, Tara

(Editor’s note: This story is one where they didn’t hold back in describing the injuries to the young man who died. Not for the faint of heart.)

The Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle: July 5, 1913

Tara Man Found Dead on Tracks

J.W. Sheker’s Mangled Body Found by Section Hand

Relatives and Others Say Foul Play

Man Had About Fifty Dollars Upon His Person When He Left Fort Dodge – Tramps Around Tara

Was Joseph Sheker, 23 years of age, killed by an Illinois Central train or was he robbed and then placed on the railway tracks to be run over by a train? That is the question which is being asked today by relatives and friends of the man whose remains were found hear the section house at Tara early yesterday morning by a section hand when he went to get some tools. The mangled remains were scattered for a distance of fifteen feet along the track.

When Sheker left his home in Tara for Fort Dodge Thursday afternoon he had a check for $39, $15 in bills and $11 in his socks. When found he had $2.17 in his pockets and $11 in his socks. Just before leaving for Tara, about 8 o’clock he had no opportunity to spend any large part of it. A watch with a broken crystal was also found on Sheker. It had stopped at 11:30, so it is supposed that he was hit by the train at that time.

Friends claim that Sheker had been sitting at the station house at Tara from 10:00 to 11:00 o’clock at the very latest. He was the last of ten to depart for his home which was up the track two miles, where he is engaged as a pumper by the Illinois Central.

Not more than one half hour before the man left this place there were three tramps hanging around. They left a short time before he stated that he was gonig home.

The supposition of relatives and friends is that the tramps laid in wait for Sheker and then robbed him, probably hilling him. Then being frightened they put his body on the track and when the train came thru it disposed of all traces of the crime, were there one. This theory is strengthened by the position in which the remains were lying. It is claimed by man that had the man been walking down the track and had been hit, his body would have been found on one side of the track, and not mangled in the manner in which it was found. They say that the body was cut into pieces, just as if it had been laid across the track. Some say that the man might have been under the influence of liquor, but others testified today that he was sober.

It was stated by Coroner Lowry this morning that in his opinion there was no foul play. The jury composed of William Dermer, Clayton Brown and Guy Ryther returned the following verdict:

“Joseph Sheker came to his death at Tara on the night of July 3d, by being run over by a train.”

It was brought out in the testimony that the man had been drinking, but that he did not appear to be intoxicated when at Tara, shortly before he met death.

It was also stated that the man’s knuckles looked as if they had been fighting, as they were bruised. Others say this could have been secured when he was hit by the train.

Born in County

Joseph Sheker was born in Webster County March 12, 1890. He secured his early eduction in the rural schools. For some time past he has been employed by the Illinois Central railroad as a pumper at the water tank near Tara. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Mrazek, his father Frank Sheker, one sister Clara Sheker and several half-brothers, all of this county.

Funeral services will be held from the later residence near Tara tomorrow noon. Interment will be made at the Elkhorn township cemetery.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: July 5, 1913

Pumpman for I.C. at Tara Killed by Train Last Night

Joseph Sheker, 23, Found Early Yesterday

Watch Stopped at 11:30

Three Tramps Tell Engineer G.M. Alger of Death

Inquest Held This Morning

Sheker’s Body was in Awful Condition, Having Been Ground Up By Train – Foul Play is Suspected – Had Been Here July Third.

Joseph Sheker of Tara, pumpman for the Illinois Central Railroad, was run over and killed by an Illinois Central train some time during the night of July 3. He was a young man tweenty three years of age and was single. He has been living with his step father about two miles west of Tara for the past two years.

The exact circumstances of the death of Sheker probably never ill be known. His body, crushed and torn to pieces with his head severed from the rest of his body was discovered yesterday at 5:30 a.m. by an Illinois Central freight crew about one fourth of a mile west of Tara.

Tramps Tell Trainmen

G.M. Alger, a member of the crew on the train was one of the first to reach the body of Sheker. He said this morning that they had just pulled into Tara when three “bums” came running up and breathlessly informed them that there was a man lying all cut up on the track.

With others of the crew, Alger immediately went to the place and there discovered the body of Sheker cut up almost beyond recognition. A paper with the name of Sheker on identified the man. Coroner Lowry of this city was immediately notified and this body of Sheker was brought to this city.

Watch Stopped at 11:30

It is probably that an Illinois Central fruit train which passed through Tara shortly after 11:00 p.m. was the one that ran over Sheker. The watch which he carried was found in  his clothes and had stopped at exactly 11:30. It is also known that Sheker left friends in Tara about 11:00 and at that time was starting for his home.

Spent afternoon here.

Sheker came to Fort Dodge about 2:00 p.m. July 3. He spent the afternoon in the city, cashed a check and left for his home with another young man. The two drove in a buggy.

The two arrived in Tara about 10:00 p.m. They stopped at the Banwell residence and talked for some time. According to those who talked with Sheker then, he had been drinking some although he did not appear to be drunk. George Banwell was probably the lst to talk to Sheker whom he left at 11:00.

Friends of Sheker this morning declared that the circumstances surrounding the death of the young man give a possibility of foul play. Sheker came to this city with over fifteen dollars in money and a check for $29 which he cashed at 7:00 p.m. He left for his home at 8:00. When his body was discovered the sum of $11 in paper was found in his sock and some silver amounting to $2.17 in his pockets.

“Sheker drank a little in Fort Dodge but was perfectly sober when he reached Tara” said one of the young men who talked to him a few minutes before he was killed. “It does not seem reasonable that he would have been in the way of the train and then what became of his money? I believe that he was robbed and maybe killed after which his body was thrown on the track.”

Inquest this morning.

The inquest over the body of Sheker was held before Coroner Lowry in the court house this morning. The verdict was that Joseph Sheker met his dath some time during the night of July third, being run over by an Illinois Central train. The jury was composed of William Dermer, Clayton Brown and Guy Ryther.

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 22, 1906

This photo shows a train with passenger cars.

I.C. Limited in Collision; Fireman Cutting is Dead

Fast Passenger Train From Chicago Ran Into a Freight Train.

Disaster Occurs at Duncombe

Freight Train was Pulling into a Siding to Clear Main Line.

Freight Struck in Middle

Passenger Train Had Double-Header – First Locomotive Reduced to Scrap Iron – Fireman Cutting Jumped and Had Neck Broken.

The Dead.

Fireman Walter E. Cutting, of Waterloo. Neck broken.

The Injured.

Engineer O.M. Brown, of Waterloo. Cuts and bruises, not serious.

Engineer Ed Stark, of Waterloo. Back injured, cut and bruised. Will live.

fireman W. Wood, of Waterloo. Face badly cut. Not serious.


West switch at Duncombe. About 800 feet from depot.


Limited passenger train No. 1 west bound with double header. In charge conductor McCarthy of this city, and Engineers Brown and Stark, of Waterloo. East bound freight extra, in charge of Conductor McNamara and Engineer H.A. Smith, both of Waterloo.

Damage Done.

Engien No. 1005, large passenger locomotive, stripped of all parts. Will have to be entirely rebuilt. Five freight cars entirely destroyed. Small section of track torn up.

Trains Delayed.

No. 1 delayed over six hours. No. 6 delayed about two hours. All freights held until wreck is picked up.

The second serious accident on this division of the Illinois Central occurred at 4:00 o’clock this morning, when the crack limited train No. 1, west bound, struck an east-bound freight extra as the latter train was being pulled onto a siding at Dunccombe. Fireman Walter Cutting, of Waterloo, lost his life in the wreck, while Engineer O.M.  Brown, Engineer Ed. Stark and Fireman W. Wood all of Waterloo received more or less serious injuries.  The huge one hundred ton locomotive is dismantled, its parts being thrown for a hundred feet from the scene of the crash, while several fregiht cars were ground into small pieces, which would not make a decent sized piece of firewood.

The cause of the fatal accident is not yet determined. The crews of the two trains tell somewhat different stories, and as yet the officials seem to believe that the cause was improper flagging. Every employe (sic) concerned in the wreck has been in the service for years, and an examination of each man’s record shows it to be almost faultless.

A Messenger representative boarded the first trrain that left Fort Dodge, after the accident became known, and arrived at the scene, before the work of picking up the wreck had commenced. The injured men and the deceased firemen had already been taken to Fort Dodge, but the scene was yet decidedly gruesome.

A curious throng numbering as high as five hundred people gathered around the scene of the accident. Time and time again the crowd had to be shoved back in order to give the men space to work.

The first relief train pulled out of  the Fort Dodge station about 6 .m., and had on board the company physician with a corps of assistants, and also the company officials. Within twenty minutes more a wrecking train with crew followed this train out. The first train was composed of baggage car wtih coaches, to transfer the passengers, but on arrival it was seen that the4 train could be brought through intact by waiting a few hours.

No. 1, the passenger train that was wrecked is the limited train of this road. It consisted of a mail, express, three sleepers, and two chair cars at the time of the accident. The train was somewhat late out of Waterloo this morning, and two engines were couples on to help make up time. The regular engine, No. 1005, was the lead engine, and was followed by a small engine, No. 916.

The passenger train was bout an hour late out of the eastern terminus of this division, and the dispatcher gave them running orders of forty minutes. Engineer O.M. Brown, or as he is more commonly known “Windy Brown,” is known as a fast runner, while engineer Fawcett, the man in charge of the No. 916, is a man who can handle an engine well.

Both men are from the freight service, although Engineer Brown is first extra passenger man, and spends over half of hi time in the passenger service. The two men were whipping their long train along in superb style, until the Duncombe station was reached, when a flagman signaled them to go carefully.

With a train running close to seventy miles an hours (sic), it is a hard matter to stop wtihin 1000 feet, but the two men shut off the steam, according to report, and Engineer Brown applied the air. The distance was too short and the big engines struck the freight train midways, as it was pulling onto the siding.

Four Enginemen Jumped.

After applying the air all of the four enginemen jumped, but not successfully. It seems that Walter E. Cutting the fireman on the head engine picked a poor place, for he struck on a log spanning the ditch at the side of the track. His neck was broken, and death must have been instantanous (sic).

Engineer Brown was badly cut about the face and body, but is able to move around. Engineer Fawcett on the second engine injured his back in the jump and was somewhat badly hurt. fireman Wood on the second engine struck on his face, which is badly cut.

The big 1005 is one of the 1600 class locomotives used on the fast passenger runs. It weighs about 135 tons, and is of the Atlantic type. The big engine rolled over on its side, the side underneath being the left of the side of the cab occupied by the fireman. The entire engine appears to be dismantled, the ponty truck wheels, being found about fifteen feet ahead of the engine body.

The big axles, which are about eight inches in diameter were bent and twisted as though they had been small wires. The wheels were torn and dented. The big boiler head is dented and cracked. The cylinders are torn and twisted, while even the driver wheels are dented. The shafts are broken, and warped, while the mechanism seemed to be ripped entirely from the engine.

The engine cab is filled with a mass of wreckage, and it would have been instant death for one of the men to have stayed within it.

The tender of the engine was also badly damaged, the wheels being torn off. The second engine escaped with scarcly any damage. The front end was crushed in to a certain extent, but the engine steamed into Fort Dodge, without aid.

Passengers Uninjured.

The two big engines acted as a buffer for th epassenger coaches and escaped any damage.

The passengers in the sleeper were not even all awakened, while those in the chair cars wre badly shaken out of their seats. the express messenger, baggagemen and mail clerks all received severe jolts, but none wre injured.

The big passenger locomotive fell to the south side of the track, while the fregiht equipment was thrown for hundreds of feet along the north side. Four freight cars loaded with oats were totally demolished, while a flat car was ruined.

Two of the four freight cars were the first struck were so badly damaged that it would be hard to find a piece of either big enough to use as stove wood.

One other car seems to have suffered nearly as bad as the largest piece of it visible is a section of the roofing about ten feet long. the fourth box car is broken in two in the middle, and ruined. The car is to be found about 100 yards up the track, broken in two in the center.

In this accident it would have been impossible to tell how many cars were ruined were it not for the car trucks, and even some of these are so badly damaged that it would be hard to tell what purpose they served.

The grain is piled along the track for about one hundred feet; and in some places is four or six feet high. Railroad officials on the scene say that the cars will all be burned.

Master Mechanic Talks.

Master Mechanic R.W. Bell was one of the officials to accompany the steam wrecking outfit from Waterloo. When seen by a messenger representative he said that he estimated the damage at a little over $2,000. When surprise was expressed at this low sum, he stated that the iron apparatus on the cars, which are always the most expensive can be used over again. the engine while stripped of its fixtures, can be rebuilt for a comparatively low sum. The estimated cost of rebuilding it should not go much over $1,000 according to this official.

Mr. Bell expressed great sorrow at the death of Cutting. He said Mr. Cutting was a regular engineer who was working as fireman during the period of slack work. He has always been regarded as a most competent employe (sic) and is a man of excellent habits. He leaves a wife and small child.

Mr. Bell said Mr. Brown was also regarded as a very competent engineer and that the crew on the second locomotive were worthy men. He said that the company had been most fortunate in not having serious accidents and that an accident of this kind consequently caused more notice than it would on other roads where accidents were more frequent.

The Cause.

There are numerous stories of the cause of the accident and for anyone to sift out which is the correct one is almost impossible, until the official investigation is completed. Superintendent Jones was in Omaha at the time of the accident and did not arrive at the scene until afternoon today. He will return here this afternoon or evening and the investigation will be made.

The story that seems to be universally accepted is that the freight train stopped west of the switch, while the brakeman threw the switch for the siding. The train was an exceedingly heavy one, and the air stuck, which caused a delay of several minutes in getting it started. This train was in charge of conductor McNamara and Engineer H.A. Smith of Waterloo.

Before the train had gone onto the siding, No. 1’s headlight was seen in the distance, and a flagman hurried down the track to flag this train. Before he could get far enough down the tack, the grain met No. 1. He flagged the train, but the distance was too short and the heavy train could not be stopped quick enough to save an accident.

Another Theory.

Another story was that the No. 1 had made up more time than the dispatchers order allowed, and when the train arrived at Duncombe, it was ahead of its schedule, and thus caught the men partially unprepared. Thsi latter part seems to be believed by several of the men, but the officials deny it.

the Fort Dodge wrecking crew with the smaller derrick were not needed after the big steam derrick from Waterloo arrived. The local men returned here shortly after noon, but the Waterloo outfit will probably remain on the scene until Friday evening at the earliest.

The big engine tender was first pulled away from the engine. It was then swung away, and will be taken to Wa- (its schedule, and thus caught the) terloo on flat cars. The big engine will be repaired, somewhat and will then be hauled to Waterloo. The big drive wheels will be able to carry the engine in, if slow time is made.

The freight equipment wrecked will all be burned. The contents of the cars will also probably be burned, and the scrap iron will be carried into the shops where it can be used again.

The Men’s Injuries.

Engineer Brown in speaking of the accident said that he saw the flagman about four hundred feet from the switch, and that the train was running about sixty-five miles an hour. he said that he applied the emergency and whistled for brakes. then he jumped to the left and remembered nothing more until he came to an a corn field about fifty or seventy-five feet from the track. His head is somewhat badly cut, while the muscles on his back and neck are sore and bruised.

Edwin C. Stark, the engineer on the second train said that they were running about sixty-five miles an hour when he heard Brown whistle for brakes. He reversed his engine and jumped. His left ankle was sprained, his knee was cut and he was injured about the hip and back. His injuries are not serious, but will probably lay him up for several days.

Royal G. Wood, the fireman on the second train stated the speed was about sixty to sixty-five miles an hour. He saw Stark jump from his side of the cab and followed him out. His face was badly cut.

The men in talking over the affair seem to believe that the whole affair was caused by the flagman being too close to his train, as the limited could not stop within four hundred feet under any possible circumstance when running close to a mile a minute. All were grieved over Cutting’s death, and one said, “I don’t care what happens to me know, I am so glad to be alive.” They say that when they picked Cutting up, his face was in water, which had escaped from the tender. Had he only been stunned he would have been drowned, as he had been there several moments when found. Had any man stayed in the 1005, he would have been killed, as the steam and boiling water was thrown all about the cab and for some distance around it.

Coroner McCreight impanelled (sic) a jury and after viewing the remains of Cutting, the jury went to Duncombe. This afternoon was spent in going over the scene of the accident, and viewing the wrecked engine and cars. The jury examined the train and engine before leaving, and will complete its investigations at the Court House this evening.

On the Coroner’s jury, besides Dr. McCreight the coroner, were Will Haire, Dr. Lowry and Louis Thorson.

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