The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic, April 13, 1922
VILLAGE BOARD MEETS: At a regular meeting of the village board: Pres. Charles Curry; Trustees: McKeown, Rehling, Grandey, Decker, Widney and Hartquist- the bills were paid (long list and amount included in this article). The bill for Ralph Butler was held over until the next meeting and he was requested to be present at that time. The contract for road oil purchases by the street and alley committee at 4 cents per gal. f.o.b. Stronghurst and .086 mills per gal. for spreading the same was approved by the entire board. A petition by Earl Beardsley for a sidewalk to be built adjacent to his property was accepted on provision that the property be first erected. Said property is located on the corner of Dixson and Mary Street. The petition of the Women's Community Club for a public tennis court to be built on the west side of the city park was read. The board accepted the petition except the exact location and erecting be under the supervision of the street and alley committee. The new health ordinances pertaining to contagious disease were passed.
FORMER STRONGHURST RESIDENT PINCHED IN MONMOUTH: Fred Rusk, a South Sixth street resident, is in the bastile (jail) in Monmouth while a still of several gallons of "mash" and other ingredients of "hooch" are in the possession of the police as a result of a raid made on his place last Sunday morning. This is the second time he has been arrested. He told the police that this was the last hooch he intended to make.-Monmouth Review (Guess poor Fred did not believe in Prohibition.)
DECORRA FARMER MEETS TRAGIC DEATH: Fred Fritz, well known and prosperous farmer of Decorra while walking from his home about a mile west of Decorra to Stronghurst on Monday to transact some business and with the intention of returning home on No. 23 was run down by passenger train No.22 and so severely injured that he died about an hour and a half later. The first to arrive at the scene of the accident tenderly carried the Dr. H.L. Marshall, having been notified from the depot, was soon on the scene and upon examination directed that the injured man be taken to his office where with the aid of the X-ray he could better determine the extent of his injuries. The result of further examination showed a gash three inches long on the right side of the crown of the head, compound fracture of the Tibia about four inches above ankle on the right leg and fracture of the skull which extended down across the skull through the temporal bone causing inter-cranial hemorrhage and his death.
Coroner W.J. Emerson of Lomax was notified and arrived Tuesday morning and an inquest was held at the W. C. Regan undertaking parlor.
The first witness examined was S.W. Hollingsworth, telegraph operator for the Santa Fe at Stronghurst, who gave the following testimony: No.22 was reported out of Decorra at 3:44 p.m. lined up trucks, was drizzling rain, stood under eves. No.22 whistled, pulled trucks across west bound main up between tracks. Agt. C. L. Decker was head of truck facing east. In rear facing west saw man walking east between two main tracks abut two feet north of the north rail. Train about two hundred feet from Broadway crossing. He turned and walked diagonally across the east bound main. About to step over south rail east bound main, seemed unconscious of approaching train. Location between Beardsley crossing( Elizabeth Street crossing) and Broadway crossing about 3:48 p.m. (article says "trucks" and may refer to wagons used to haul freight.)
The next witness, Henry W. Hoerr, locomotive fireman of Fort Madison, Iowa, said, "I was firing engine No. 3401, train No.22, saw a man walking east between rails on west bound main. Saw man step out of rails and walk between two main lines nearing east bound main, every step he was taking until we got up to him about three rail length he stepped over on east bound main track just ahead of engine, could not see man after that. Stopped in front of station. The whistle had been sounded all this time as man was nearing east bound main. Train traveling about 15 miles an hour."
The next witness, W. D. Gates, locomotive engineer of Fort Madison, Iowa, and in charge of engine No. 3401, Said, " Set brakes at whistling post and reduced speed preparatory to stopping at depot, fireman told me to blow whistle, knowing that something was wrong. I blew whistle and stopped train as soon as possible. From position in cab was unable to see man, did not know until stopped what the trouble was."
Charles L. Decker, Fort Madison, Iowa, occupation, carpenter, the next witness said, " Was coming up town and was on sidewalk that runs north of crossing west of where man was truck, being about three hundred feet away. Heard train whistle, looked up and saw man walking on tracks. Could not tell whether he was walking between rails or track. When about two hundred feet from main, engine whistled several short blasts. Man looked back and jumped to clear south rail, engine than shut out my view."
Dr. H.L. Marshall was the next witness called and gave testimony in regard to the nature of the wounds and the cause of his untimely end which has been previously stated.
This concluding the examination of witnesses, Corner W. J. Emerson placed the case in the hands of the jury which consisted of the following men: W. V. Curtiss, F. V. Doak, A. F. Kaiser, F.G. Simpson, L. E. McAndrews and Dr. E. L. Emerson, foreman, who retired and after summing up the evidence, arrived at the verdict that the deceased met death by being accidentally struck by A.T.& S.F. passenger train No.22 fracturing skull at about 3:47 p.m April 10, 1922 in the village of Stronghurst.
Fred Fritz was born near Gladstone, Ill. Nov. 26, 1871 and died at Stronghurst, Ill. April 10, 1922 at 5:20 p.m. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gebhard Fitz, the latter with three sisters, namely, Miss Clara Fitz, Mrs. Edward Chandler and Mrs. William Powell surviving him.
He was untied in marriage to Mary Jeanette Annegers on April 11, 1891. To this union five children were born: Frederick W., George Herbert, Herman G., Frances Helen and Richard Annegers who died in infancy. His wife preceded him in death, passing away March 18, 1919.
Fred Fitz was one of Henderson County's well known and prosperous farmers, a man of sterling character, fair and square in all of his business transactions and progressive. In his passing the children lose a kind and loving father whose sole ambition in life was to provide for their pleasures and to educate them to useful citizenship, an ideal that can never be over-estimated in its worth.
Funeral services were held Thursday morning at the home near Decorra, Rev. George McClung of Kankakee, Ill. and former pastor of the Maple Grove Church officiating. Burial was in Terre Haute Cemetery. (A note from editor clarified the following: Train No.22 is an east bound passenger train with Stronghurst as a regular stop. It was the only train in the block at the time of the accident, which was about 3:47 p.m. No. 23 local west bound passenger train is not due out of Media station until 3:49 p.m.)
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: The high wind last Saturday night blew in two large windows on the south side of the school house. At Burlington, Iowa, ten small boats were sunk. The steamer Keokuk, which started running between Keokuk and Burlington a couple of weeks ago sank at Nauvoo that same night but will be raised at once. A dance given by J. G. Farley at his home last Saturday night was enjoyed by invited guests. Music was furnished by "Kaiser's Novelty Boys." The mothers of the pupils of the Allison school which Margaret Wheeler is the teacher entertained at the school house. The mothers gave readings and the pupils sang songs. Angel food cake and fruit salad were served by the mothers. A dancing party given by Opal and John Stine at their home on Thursday evening was attended by about 30 guests who spent an enjoyable evening listening to "Kaiser's Novelty Boys."
Both Mrs. Roy Shook and Mrs. Charles Marshall are on the sick list. Miss Evelyn Hartquist who is attending Northwestern University is home for a short visit. The King Heralds had their regular meeting after school at the M. E. Church. Mr. and Mrs. Kemp of Red Oak, Iowa, are visiting J.W. Hicks home in the village. Miss Elizabeth Bailey, who has been at Los Angeles, California for some time, has joined her mother at the farm, "Cortelyou-Manor" near Raritan. Chas. Wax and daughter Alice are vacating the flat above the Farmers' Co-operative store. Charley has taken rooms above the E. R. Grandey Store and Alice will stay at the Jim Wolfe home for a time. Miss Alice went to Galesburg to meet the Misses Jean and Margaret McElhinney, who were forced to abandon their car on account of road conditions at Watseka, Ill. and make the last lap of the journey by rail. The girls arrived in Stronghurst last night on No.5. Mr. A. S. McElhinney is staying with the car and will drive home as soon as the roads get in condition.
OLENA OBSERVATIONS: Bad condition of the roads prevented many from casting their votes for the different county offices. The school election was won by Mr. Albert Hult. He joins a board of Messrs Oscar White and Irving Burrell. At the home of James Hicks Mr. G. W. Fort, father of Mrs. Hicks, was honored on his 81st birthday April 10, 1922. A dainty three-course dinner was served by Miss Ardis and brother. Those present were Mr. Fort's daughter, Mrs. George Kemp of Fairfield, Iowa; his son, Robert Fort of Red Oak, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Hicks and Mr. John McGovern of Stronghurst; Mr. and Mrs. Clas Carlson and Mr. and Mrs. John Lant of Olena. The village school is quite busy preparing a program for their box supper. The road is being dragged; hopefully, it will be in a better condition. Some farmers are putting in their oats crop. Mrs. Will Hicks reports 400 young chicks this morning.
RARITAN REPORTS: C.S. Cooper had the misfortune to fall and sprain his ankle while planting a peony plant. Lawrence Barry of the northeast country is on the sick list. On account of the storm Saturday evening causing the electric current to go off, the motion picture show was postponed until Monday evening. Mrs. Philhower fell and broke her wrist. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Rice intend to move into the Frank Wells property as soon as the roads are in condition to haul their household goods. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Worley moved their personal effects from the Worley restaurant to their home vacated by Verne Carr and family. Harvey Cavins of Chicago was called home by the sickness of his mother.
MEDIA MEANDERINGS: Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Lawyer are rejoicing over the arrival of a little daughter; this is their seventh child and all girls but one. Mrs. Lawyer and babe are being cared for by Mrs. Hannah Kamber of Stronghurst and are doing nicely. Little hope remains for Mrs. Jno. Suydam; Mrs. Grace Kimball is the nurse in charge. Mr. N. J. Graham is able to be up again after an attack of "grippe;" her daughter, Miss Florence, who teaches at Maquon, Ill., was home to help care for her. David Gilliland was elected school director and joins C. G. Richey and A. L. Beall who returned to the board. David Gilliland and sons Gerald and Dan and Clifford Campbell went to Stronghurst to see the Carpenter-Dempsey fight presented by the movie man.
BIGGSVILLE BRIEFS: Mrs. A.P. McHenry and Mrs. Baker were in Kirkwood as delegates to the Presbyterial Missionary meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Mears of Gladstone are the happy parents of a baby girl; Mrs. Mears is the former Gladys Kilgore. The town is well watered and was not harmed by the high winds of Saturday night.