The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Compiled and Edited by Virginia Ross
Stronghurst Graphic June 28, 1923
TRAGEDY STRIKES-Emil Peterson drowned near Carman: The intense heat wave which held this locality in its grip for several days last week culminated on Sunday afternoon in an electrical storm, accompanied by a deluge of rain which was greedily absorbed by the thirsty earth and which quickly revived vegetation which was withering under the fierce rays of the sun.
The joy which the relief from the sweltering heat brought to the citizens of the village and community was changed into sorrow, however, when it was learned that within the space of about an hour earlier in the afternoon, two human lives had been suddenly snuffed out, one death occurring while an effort was being made to obtain relief from the intense heat and the other resulting from the electrical storm which brought relief from the heat.
During Sunday forenoon, Emil Peterson, who lived on the Chas. Lind place southeast of Stronghurst, accompanied by his wife and child, his father in law-Albert Cox of Blandinsville neighborhood, the latter's two sons, Cloyd and Ballard Cox, and several of their neighbors, drove to the Mississippi River near Carman for a day's outing and fish fry. After dinner Emil Peterson, Albert Cox and his son Ballard and Judd Wetterling hired a boat and rowed over to a sand bar in the river where there is said to be a good bathing beach. The men all went into water, none of them except Emil entering in beyond their depth. Emil struck out down the stream into deep water where he swam around and then returned to where the others were. He repeated this performance a second time, but while making a third trip, he was observed to show signs of distress and was heard to call for help.
The other members of the party, being afraid to venture into the deeper water, called to a man who was in a boat near Emil to go to his assistance, but before he could respond, the swimmer had disappeared beneath the water, Sam Howell, who was out in midstream in a boat, heard the outcry of the men and was soon on the spot where Peterson had disappeared. He dove several times in an effort to locate the drowning man, but failed to find him. In the meantime, other men from Carman had rowed out to the spot and several of them also dove and endeavored to locate the body. Failing those attempts, dragging with hooks and lines were resorted to and within about 45 minutes from the time the man went down, his body was brought to the surface by James Good and another Carman man and pulled into a boat and brought to the Carman shore.
A message was sent to Stronghurst for a physician and first aid methods employed to resuscitate the victim. Respiration could not be restored, however, and it was soon evident that life was extinct. The body was brought later in the evening to Stronghurst and taken to the Regan Undertaking Rooms pending the inquest which was held still later in the evening at the Simpson-Widney garage and where a verdict of accidental drowning was returned. (Second tragedy in next week's paper)
***OBITUARY***EMIL PETERSON: Emil August Peterson was born in Sweden, July 25, 1888 and departed this life at Carman, Ill. June 24, 1923, aged 34 years, 10 months and 29 days. He came to America at the age of 16 years with his parents, P.A. and Johanna (Carlson) Peterson, who were residents of Stronghurst for a number of years. He was married on June 30, 1917 to Miss Rosa Cox of Blandinsville, Ill. who with one daughter, Lillian, survives him.
He was in training for several months as a soldier during the recent World War. During the last few years he and his family have lived on the Chas. Lind farm southeast of Stronghurst.
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by one brother, Chas. Peterson of Burlington, Ia. and by five sisters, Mrs. Albin Berg of La Harpe, Mrs. Fred Anderson of Wever, Ia., Mrs. J.A. Peterson of Carman, Ill., Mrs. Victor Nolan of Monmouth and Mrs. Alvida Johnson of Iowa. Funeral services were conducted at home on the Lind farm with remains interred in the village cemetery.
A SECOND TRAGEDY IN ONE DAY: When the news of the drowning at Carman reach here, the Stronghurst ball team was engaged in a contest with a team from Macomb on the local diamond one mile south of town and several of the spectators left the grounds for the scene of the accident.
Those who remained were destined to become the witnesses of another tragedy, more thrilling in its details and more unusual in its character than the one at Carman. The game between the teams had reached the sixth inning and the Macomb team was at the bat. Orson Croxton, one of the Macomb batters had reached second base and was playing off a distance of about 10 feet, preparing to steal third. William Mears of Gladstone, the second baseman for the Stronghurst team was standing with his feet on the sack. Carl Dillon was in the pitcher's box and Clarence Hartquist who was acting an umpire was not far from second base. E.B. Nebergall of the Macomb team was coaching the base runner. A storm was brewing and there were several deep rumbles of thunder. A few pattering raindrops had fallen and a number of the spectators were leaving the grounds. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash accompanied by a concussion like that produced by an explosion of dynamite. Following the momentary blindness caused by the vivid flash, the spectators saw five men stretched out upon the field, some motionless and some showing signs of life. The men were Croxton and Nebergall of the Macomb team, second baseman Mears and pitcher Dillon of the home team and umpire Hartquist. Those of the spectators who were not too badly dazed to render them incapable of assistance, rushed to the side of the fallen men and assisted or carried them to autos, in which they were placed and brought to the village where medical aid was sought. Dr. Marshall had been called to Carman on the Peterson case, but Drs. Harter and Lauver were soon engaged in an examination of the injured men. They found that in Mears case, life was extinct, and that he had evidently been directly in the path of the electric bolt. His cap was torn to shreds and there was a wound near the top of his head such as might have been caused by falling and striking his head against a sharp object. The hair about the wound was singed considerably and there were numerous small burned places on the surface of his body. One foot was somewhat shattered and the shoe torn off. The opinion expressed by the physicians was that death had been instantaneous and that the victim never realized what had happened.
The other victims of the shock soon recovered from its effects and were able to be out on the streets before evening where they mingles with the crowd which had gathered and related their experiences to eager listeners. Croxton of the Macomb team seemed to be the most badly shocked of the survivors and at the advice of the physicians, he was sent home by train in care of another member of the team. The balance of the team returned to Macomb by auto in the evening.
The body of young Mears was removed to the undertaking rooms of W. C. Regan where it was afterward viewed by the same Coroner's jury which acted in the Peterson case and the verdict rendered at the inquest which followed was "accidental death from lightning." Mears came to Stronghurst to act as a substitute player for the regular second baseman of the home team. He was proprietor of a restaurant at Gladstone and was but recently married. His wife was visiting friends at Morning Sun, Ia., at the time of the accident and left for Stronghurst on receipt of a message telling of the death of her husband; she arrived here at about 8:30 in the evening. The remains of her husband were taken to Gladstone Monday morning and funeral services were conducted there on June 27th at 2:30 p.m.
OBITUARY***MARIE BERG***: One of the sad incidents which went to make up last Sunday's chapter of deplorable events in this community was the death at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of Miss Marie Berg at the home of her mother, Mrs. Carrie Berg in the village. Her death came as the culmination of a brave and protracted struggle against the ravages of tuberculosis. Miss Berg, her mother and sister recently returned fro New Mexico where they went about a year ago with the hope that the change in climate would check the disease. After their return, Marie continued to grow worse rapidly and while an occasion for sadness, the news of her death did not come as a surprise to friends who were aware of her condition.
Marie was born in Burlington, Ia. May 6, 1902 and spent the greater part of her life in the Stronghurst vicinity. For several years prior to going to New Mexico she was a phone operator in the Stronghurst Telephone Co.'s office here and was always efficient and courteous in the discharge of her duties. She had affiliated with the work of the Christian Church and funeral services were conducted there. Burial was in the village cemetery. The deceased leaves to mourn her untimely death, her mother, two brothers-Al and Charles Berg, and one sister, Margaret all of this place. Her father, two brothers and one sister preceded her in death.
WHY THE PAPER WAS LATE: We are a day late in issuing the Graphic this week on account of the publication of the Lomax Township assessment list, copy for which did not reach us until Tuesday, just as we were getting ready to set the regular news. If you think that did not call for one extra day's work, try typing that list describing the 1400 or more parcels of land into which Lomax Township is divided for taxation purposes and then carefully reading every line from copy to see that no errors have been made. You'll be ready to call it a day, all right.
B.B. Club-32nd Annual Outing: The Stronghurst B. B. Club held their 32nd annual outing at Clear Lake last Thursday. It was an ideal day and the 56 members and visitors present had a very enjoyable time. Harry Crane as chef and Bev. and Claude Vaughn, John Dowell and C.E. Peasley as assistants served 60 lbs. of the most delicious fish. (List of attendees in this issue; check it out on microfilm at the Henderson County Library to discover if your relatives are included.)
LOCAL AND AREA NEWS: John Wilson and Wm. Powell, his traveling companion, who have been visiting and resting up from their tour of the South and East having traveled about 6,000 miles in a house car, started on the last lap of their journey back to Norman, Okla. Dr. O. R. Gent and K.E. Yoakam have returned from their Eastern trip. The gentlemen report a very interesting and enjoyable time. Following the Shriners' convention at Washington, they continued to New York City returning home over the old National Highway through Southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, W. Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.
Miss Mary Dixson is attending summer school at the University of Illinois. Miss Millie Ahlers, who spent several weeks with home folks, returned to her duties at the Alton Library. Jim Callow and family, who have been residents of Media for a number of years, are moving to Roseville where Mr. Callow has purchased a stock of hardware. H. A. Epping of Loraine, Ill. but who was a resident of Stronghurst some twenty years ago was in town shaking hands with friends. Harry Gilliland, Delford Putney and Rudyard Kersahw went to Galesburg where they will be employed in the construction work by the Bell Telephone Co. An artist by the name of Middleton, claiming to hail from Gladstone, Ill., has been giving an exhibition of rapid fire picture painting in oil colors at the Regan Furniture Store this week. He paints landscapes, marine views, animal life, flowers, fruit or portraits with equal facility and does the job while you wait. He sells his canvases at bargain prices and has done a good business here. (Anyone have one of his pictures?) Mrs. James Dobbs was taken to the Burlington Hospital for an operation. Sam Leinbach was taken very sick last Sunday evening while walking to church and was assisted by his son Guy and Joe Huff in their car to his home. Mr. J.F. Humbert, general agent for the Peoria Life Insurance Co., was in the city on account of the death of William Ralph Mears, who was killed by lightning while engaged in a baseball game just a day previous. The company believes in prompt settlements as exemplified by their general agent's activity making proofs of death within 24 hours after the lamentable and sudden death occurred. The local Odd Fellows Lodge gave a fish fry down at the river with over one hundred and fifty members attending and eating 100 lbs. of catfish.
The Santa Fe Railroad has presented the fire department of Nauvoo with a check for $1,000 in recognition of the service rendered by the firemen in helping to extinguish the fire by which the Ft. Madison Bridge was partially destroyed recently. Beginning next Sabbath evening and continuing through the months of July and August the M. E. Church and the U.P. Church of the village will hold union preaching services at 8 o'clock. The streets of the village were dragged the first of the week in preparation for the application of two car loads of oil which had arrived. The heavy rains, however, made that impossible and present indications are that the job will not be completed before next week.
OBITUARY HARVEY L. HARTER: Dr. I. F. Harter received a message informing him of the death on Monday of his bother, Harvey L. Harter at Oklahoma City, Okla. The deceased was about 76 years of age and since the death of his wife a few years ago he had been making his home with a younger brother, L. D. Harter in Oklahoma City. He was a native of the Virginia but spent the great part of his early life in Hancock, Ill. The most of his later life was spent in the state of Kansas and burial of his remains will be made at Sabetha Kans.
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: Last Friday afternoon Mrs. M. L. Evans entertained a number of ladies and little girls in honor of her daughter, Margie Lou's second birthday. The home was prettily decorated with baskets of flowers. The dining room was beautiful with its birthday decorations. The children enjoyed games after which a dainty two course lunch was served. The little girls who enjoyed the occasion were Martha Ross, Mildred Annegers, Dorothy Davis, Ella Jane Evans of La Harpe Gloria Wallin and Bonnie Jean Boesch of Burlington.
MEDIA MEANDERINGS: Rev. R.J. Kyle has resigned as pastor of the U. P. Church and preached his farewell sermon Sabbath morning. Rev. Lorimer of the Biggsville U.P. Church will occupy the pulpit here next Sabbath morning. A concert given at the M. E. Church by the Cochrans assisted by Miss Mary Keegan , reader of Drakesville, Ia., was enjoyed by all who were privileged to hear them. Goldie Barry was the lucky one to receive the embroidered bedspread given away last week by the Barter Show which played here all week. Mrs. Earl Campbell name was drawn to catch the pig given away and the ease with which she accomplished her task showed that she was quite familiar with the ways of animal life. Messers. L.B. Palmer and Thomas Howell have purchased new Ford touring cars from Mudd Bros. of Stronghurst. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Mathers have adopted and taken into their home a baby boy who is only a few weeks of age. Arlene and Nina Heap are confined to their home by a severe attack of the whooping cough. So far we know of no other cases. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Norville are the proud parents of a son who make his arrival on June 18th. The little fellow has the honor of being the first boy and has five sisters living. He has been named Harry, Jr. Wm. Hickman is hauling hardwood lumber from the Fisher saw mill east of town to Burlington. He makes two trips daily. Word from Prof. B. A. Hoffman says that he has accepted a position as Supt. of Schools at Elburn, Ill. at a salary of $2,600. Leo Sullivan and Earl Campbell just finished painting the residence of Mrs. Ella Thompson.
OLENA OBSERVATIONS: The strawberry and ice cream social held in the Olena Church last Tuesday evening was quite well attended. A neat sum was realized which places the young people out of debt for a piano they recently purchased for the church. Clinton Burrell, wife and babe have moved from Olena to one of the Galbraith homes near where Clint has work on the hard roads. Mr. Charles Waterman of Hopper has finished painting the Frank Pearson home east of Olena. George Fort is having some repair work done to his farm house west of town. Mr. Asa Bennington, wife and daughter of Dallas City were calling on friends and visiting the graves of his parents in the Olena Cemetery. From here they went to Smithshire to dine with relatives. Mr. Arthur Dowell has about finished harvesting a fine crop of strawberries.
LOMAX LINGERINGS: Mrs. Mina Starkey spent the past week with her husband, Joe Starkey, who is taking treatment at LaBelle, Mo. Harvest wheat has commenced near here; this seems to be of a fair quality but not of an average turnout. The Catholic people of the south country will soon commence building a new church on the site at the mound; the building will not be quite so large, but a very nice structure will be erected. The Nazarene church of Lomax will commence a series of tent meetings July 1st. It is understood a converted Catholic Jew will have charge of the meeting assisted by other local preachers. LeRoy Pence has been to Peoria looking after a new separator of the Avery type. The Lomax Canning Co. received car of coal screenings. The factory is being resealed inside and painted, putting it in a clean and fit canning plant. Mr. Sparrow spared nothing to make it a real plant.