Iowa Old Press
April 1, 1895
DEATH FROM THE FLAMES
A Little Daughter of John Swain Tries to Save Her Brother's House from Being
Burned and is Severely Injured that She Dies
One of the saddest bereavements that has ever happened to any family in the
county was the one that last Thursday deprived Mr. and Mrs. John Swain, of
Merrill, of their youngest daughter, a little girl of nine years, the pride
and pet of the household.
She had been staying with her brother, George, and her sister, Ms. Murtha,
who keeps house for him on his farm south of Remsen and on Thursday had been
left alone in the house while they went to Remsen, the hired man being at
work in the fields. At noon, as S. B. Miller, who travels for Myers, Tice &
Co., of Dubuque, was being driven from Kingsley to Remsen, in passing the
farm he and the driver noticed the house on fire and the little girl, whose
clothes were all in flame, running swiftly towards the field, where the
hired man was working, and crying loudly for help. The driver jumped out
and rushed to the house and soon succeeded in putting out the fire which had
caught in the straw banking and was burning up the side of the building. In
the meantime, Mr. Miller had raced his horses after the little girl and
quickly catching her jumped out and with his overcoat succeeded in
smothering the flames. He carried the little girl to the house and after
sending the driver for her brother and a doctor, he did everything in his
power to soothe the poor child and alleviated the frightful pain from the
burns which covered the entire front of her body except for her face. Dr.
Hunter accompanied George Swain back from Remsen and word was telephoned to
his father who was in LeMars and he arrived late in the afternoon shortly
before the little girl's death which could not have been averted. Dr. Hines
was telephoned, but too late to secure his presence before death came.
The little girl was conscious through the hours of agony before death came
to relief her and tried to be as brave and cheerful as possible. She
conversed about the accident and seemed to know that death would follow.
She said that she had been getting dinner ready for herself and the hired
man and that she saw smoke outside and ran out to find the banking on fire
and that when she tried to stamp it out her clothes caught fire.
[Transcriber note: Per the Iowa State 1895 Census index this little girl was Laura
Swain, age 9, the daughter of John & Charlotte Swain, Plymouth County, IA. This
couple had an older daughter, age 19, named Murtha--who is also mentioned in the
above news article.]
LaBERGE—March 30, 1895, at his home on the Sioux in Plymouth county, Ia.,
Joseph La Berge, aged 63 years.
The funeral was held at his residence today at 2 o’clock p.m.
Joseph La Berge was a French Canadian by birth. He came to St. Louis when a
young man where he resided a few years, in the interval going to California
in the early years of the gold excitement. He went to Elk Point, S.D., in
1860, and settled at his present residence on the Sioux (river), about seven
miles from Sioux City in 1867 and has resided there ever since and has
accumulated a snug competency. He is well known to the old residents of
Sioux City and to many of the latter ones. He was unusually quick and
bright in speech and well informed, especially in political history and not
withstanding his French birth and education his clear cut, polished
pronunciation and use of English was remarkable. He leaves a widow and a
large family of grown children and will be missed by a large circle of
friends.—Sioux City Journal, April 1.
RESIDENCE FOR SALE
Owing to the fact that I am arranging my business to move to the south for a
permanent residence, I will sell my home on Main street, LeMars, on very
reasonable terms.—Henry Hoffman
OUR COUNTY NEWS
By Our Correspondents and From Exchanges
REMSEN: (From the Bell)
Mrs. Helms and family left Monday, March 25, to live hereafter in Sterling,
John Tjaden, whose wife died last week, is himself at the verge of death,
suffering from heart disease.
The creamery is being built. G. Uveling has nearly completed the well and
the stone for the foundation is on the ground, and John Bentz is at work.
Miss Mary Schaul, of LeMars, arrived here Monday evening and she will assist
in the millinery department of M. Beck’s store during the busy season.
Mr. Dwight, the photographer, received a dispatch last Sunday from Illinois
saying that his younger brother had died there and he took the next train
Remsen heard the fire alarm Friday morning, March 22, about nine o’clock,
and a little blaze that consumed the smoke house or wash house of Nic Kass,
Sr., was the cause of the alarm. The damage was concentrated to the small
building and its contents, and fifty dollars will make it good.
About a year ago a young man by the name of H. C. Drushel came to Remsen and
passed himself off as an attorney who had thousands of dollars at his
disposal. He was an old acquaintance of the parents of Peter Lotz and got
in to Peter’s confidence in great shape. He accompanied Mr. Lotz to South
Dakota and bought one-half section of land because it was so cheap and
nicely located. He would make the bargain solid if friend Peter would only
for a few days advance the small sum of thirty dollars and of course Peter
did so. Drushel would go east and telegraph back full payment for the
entire tract purchased. Drushel went east and shortly after came back,
loudly proclaiming that his purchase was paid for. Friend Lotz advanced a
little more ready cash and Drushel left once more never to come back. He is
now in jail at Cherokee on another charge and Mr. Lotz went to Cherokee
Tuesday to take a hand in the trial.
NORTH FREDONIA: (Special Correspondence)
The “sheriff” has failed to appear to “oust” our schoolma’am.
The literary at the Smith school house has been changed from Thursday to
Miss Jennie Winkel has returned from her visit to Ashton.
About thirty-five of our young folks gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.
L. Weber Monday evening to enjoy themselves. Dancing and cards were the
order of the evening and a splendid time is reported by all.
Sunday school was organized last Sunday. The officers elected were as
follows: superintendent, Mr. Winteringer; assistant superintendent, Mrs. W.
J. Collins; organist, Miss Lucy Weber; secretary, Miss Bessie Smith;
treasurer, Mr. James Smith; librarian, Miss Gusta Paulson.
Mr. and Mrs. Weber had what might have been a very serious accident while
returning home from Seney Sunday evening. Their horse shied at a hole in a
culvert and ran the carriage into the ditch, the horse falling into the
ditch at the same time. The carriage was over-turned, but fortunately Mr.
Weber got out and caught the horse as he was struggling to get away. They
escaped with a few bruises and slight damage to the carriage.
MERRILL: (From the Record)
Henry Calhoun and family are moving back on their old farm near town this
week. Their success in broom manufacturing business at Shenandoah, Ia.,
was not as good as anticipated.
Peter Miller, of this place, and Maud Laughlin, of Sioux City, were married
here last Tuesday by Rev. Toohill.
The machinery for the Ellendale creamery arrived Saturday. It will be
placed in position this week and by the first of April it is thought that
all will be ready for work.
V. Bolinger’s team broke loose last Tuesday and smashed up his wagon, but
they did not get hurt much.
Henry Weinheimer is here on a two weeks visit. He says when he left St.
Cloud, Minn., there was some snow on the ground.
J. G. Schmidt, of Melbourne, broke his finger last Saturday. He got his
finger in a feed grinder.
The marriage of our genial Geo. W. Turner to Miss Mamie Leekley of Galena,
Ill., was celebrated at the bride’s home Wednesday, March 20. They arrived
here Friday evening and a grand reception was accorded them at the Jas. E.
Rose home. Over one hundred guests were present and enjoyed the occasion.
AKRON: (From the Register)
Born, to Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Raish, March 25, a girl.
The infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Olson died last Wednesday and was
Miss Elphene Kendall left last Monday for Hot Springs, S.D., where she will
accept a position as book keeper in one of the large hotels at that place.
Beck & Burrill moved their stock into Bly Bros’ building last Tuesday.
Rev. Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith arrived in Akron last Tuesday from Holly Springs
for an extended visit with relatives.
A. F. Whitney sold his butcher business this week to C. P. Vargason, of
Edgerton, Minn., who will continue to cater at the old stand.
Mrs. O. F. Deuell who has been very ill for the last few weeks is reported
to be improving slowly and is expected to be up in a few days.
The school vacation has been extended one week on account of the sickness of
some of the teachers. The spring term will commence Monday, April 8.
Mrs. Oli Hamilton, formerly of Akron, died of grip at her home in Chambers,
Neb., Wednesday. Her mother, Mrs. L. D. Hall, was with her until the last
J. L. McCorkell is rejoicing over the arrival of an 11 ½ pound baby boy
which came to brightened the home last Wednesday. Mother and child doing
The school closed last Friday for a week’s vacation. Prof. Hise’s legs now
shuffle around behind the letter boxes in place of Postmaster Wintersteen
who has been sick for some time.
There was a very pleasant surprise party in honor of Miss Anna Jenkins at
her home last Wednesday evening. There was a large number of her young
friends in attendance and a good time is reported by all.
Sheldon Mail: Joe Gallagher was here from Akron over Saturday and Sunday.
The rumor is current that he is soon to lead one of Sheldon’s fair daughters
to the matrimonial altar. In fact “they say” that Joe himself does not deny
the soft impeachment.
The special election to vote on the proposition of extending the boundaries
of the town of Akron was held last Monday with the following result: For
the propositions of extending the boundaries 74. Against the aforesaid
O’LEARY: (Special Correspondence)
David Harvey is rejoicing in the arrival of another young son.
Bert Severance attended the Presbyterian church Sunday, March 24, and
returned to his home at White Lake, South Dakota, the next day. He was
accompanied as far as Plankinton by Mrs. Frank Pinney and children.
Quite a number of people from Union township attended the funeral of Tom
Carl Tuesday, March 26, at the Catholic church in Lincoln township. There
were ninety-two teams in the procession from the house to the church.
Miss Bena Kohl is attending the LeMars Normal School.
Mrs. R. G. Smith made a miss step Tuesday evening and gave her ankle a
Mr. and Mrs. Geo. B. Lewis, of LeMars, visited over Sunday at Mr. Watson’s
and attended morning service at the Presbyterian church.
Many farmers have been sowing wheat the past week and trying to cover it
deep enough so the wind cannot blow it out of the ground.
Greg Croston has moved to a farm near Oyens instead of on the Sam Miller
Mrs. Thomas Eyres and children have been visiting relatives in LeMars for a
Misses Jennie and Agnes Steele were stricken with mock measles as soon as
they returned from their visit at Paullina and Cherokee.
The Y.P.S.C.E. concert was quite well attended considering the busy season..
The program was all well rendered and every one seemed to enjoy it. Nearly
six dollars was added to the treasury.
Bert Cummings, of Fielding, Iowa, is spending a few days with friends here.
School in district No. 2 will begin Monday, April 1.
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
April 4, 1895
DEATH OF JOSEPH LaBERGE
Died, at his home in Hancock township on the 30th of March, 1895, at 10
p.m., in the 67th year of his age, Uncle Joseph LaBerge, of congestion of
the lungs after a sickness of three days. The attack was severe and the
inevitable claimed its victim. He leaves a wife and eleven children, six
girls and five boys, all of whom are grown up.
The deceased was revenue collector in Dakota under Abraham Lincoln and
almost ever since has held a place of trust for the public, the record of
which has done him credit.
He was a faithful and loving husband and father, true to his country and all
that he represented; always on time where his attention was needed. The
family were all present who were living, except three boys and two girls.
The end came suddenly without a moments warning, those in the adjoining room
not seeing the last effort. It had been generally conceded that he was
The services were held at 2 p.m. on the 1st of April at his home. Rev. R. W.
Jamison officiating, the remains being interred in Hancock cemetery. An
elder son, John LaBerge, of Sioux township, will take charge of the home
affairs, the mother for some time having been very poorly, but she has borne
her trouble bravely.
The family extends to all who have aided in their affliction their heartfelt
DIED IN DAKOTA.
PLANKINTON, S.D., March 29, ’95.
Death came to the home of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Snowden, Tuesday the 26th inst
at 7 o’clock a.m. taking Eugene Justin, their beloved son. He had been
suffering with heart disease and rheumatism since November last. He was ten
years and ten months old and had been so patient all through his sickness.
Many friends and neighbors met at the house on Thursday the 28th at 10
o’clock and followed the remains to the M. E. church in Plankinton where the
Rev. O. Williams preached the funeral sermon. The text so fittingly chosen
was from Second Samuel 12:23. His words were full of comfort and
encouragement to the bereaved family. A large procession followed the
remains to the cemetery where the impressive burial service was read. Many
beautiful wreaths and flowers were sent as loving tributes. The family have
the sympathy of the entire community in this their sad loss.
MARRIAGE LICENSES FOR MARCH, 1895.
01 Julius Giese, Ida Braune.
02 Richard Eyres, Katie Kohl.
08 August Hitzmann, Lena Offinade.
12 P. Miller, Marie Laughlin.
11 Clay A. Downell, Fannie Burt.
19 Geo. Bernhard Reelfs, Catherine Lois Harms.
20 John Diediker, Henrietta Amelia Fischer.
13 Joseph Nagel, Babbette Allinger.
25 Dewey A. Hamer, Alice J. Higday.
25 Charles F. Werth, Annie W. Reints.
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 15, 1895, pg 4
A School Scrap
The trouble over the contract of Miss Margaret Rea as teacher in school
district, No. 1, in Fredonia township is creating lots of bad blood between
residents of the township. It seems that Miss Rea was hired by W.L. Freeman,
the old director, just previous to his removal to Minnesota, for a six
months term, but that the president of the board did not sign the contract
as required by law. After the election of W.S. Darville, as director he
hired another teacher for the school and an injunction was gotten out to
prevent Miss Rea from teaching; but it appears that she paid no attention to
the injunction, but continued to teach the school under her contract with
The signing of teachers' contracts by the president of the board is not
closely observed in many townships it being considered sufficient to have
the sub-district directors' signature and this case will assume something of
the nature of a test case. On account of the non-observance of the
injunction, a suit was necessary to test its validity and it was heard by
Judge Gaynor Saturday night.
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
April 22, 1895
OUR COUNTY NEWS.
By our Correspondents and From Exchanges.
REMSEN: (From the Bell)
Prof. Jeffers is enjoying a visit of his father from Oskaloosa, Ia.
Fred Elsner and Asmus Erichsen are at Lake Okoboji on a hunting expedition.
The child born to Mr. and Mrs. Anton Hey Sunday, April 14, died Wednesday
Farmer John Kaiser was called to Dubuque last Saturday, there to attend the
funeral of a sister of Mrs. Kaiser.
Ine Dornbush has gone to live near Seney, but came to Remsen Tuesday to buy
a wagon load of goods from our merchants.
Although the weather was unfavorable, about thirty couples attended the
dance at Scott’s hall Easter Monday and they enjoyed their time highly.
Sunday evening, April 14, as the son of Math Webersch was walking along the
sidewalk north of Conway Bros. store, his feet caught on something, as he
reports himself, and he fell against something else in the way, that he
injured one of his eyes so that it is feared he will lose it. The boy is in
LeMars under medical treatment. We have heard it rumored that Mr. Webersch
threatens Remsen with a damage suit.
Farmer Herman Bohnenkamp whose home is about eleven miles north of Remsen,
met with an accident in Alton Tuesday, April 16, that cost him his left leg.
It was about 6:30 o’clock p.m. when he was getting into his buggy to which
his spotted ponies were hitched. When he had his right foot in the buggy
box, his left resting on the hub, the ponies started with a jerk, Herman
fell forward over the dashboard, the left leg slipping between the spokes.
When the team was caught in the suburbs of Alton, the man’s leg was
literally torn off. The injured man was taken to the nearest house and
medical aid was summoned. The doctors dressed the fractured limb and on
Wednesday morning amputated it about four inches above the knee.
Later: Bohnenkamp died Thursday morning. The funeral will be held Friday at
MERRILL: (From the Record)
Miss Cora Lawrence left Monday evening for a brief visit at Ft. Dodge, Ia.
Mrs. John Crow, who has bee in ill health the past few months, is reported
much worse this week.
Edward Blumer, of Waltham, Minn., returned to his home at Hinton last week.
Henry Weinheimer returned from his visit to New Castle, Neb., last Monday.
Chas. Schindel is having the lumber hauled with which to build a house on
his farm near town. Charley is a single man at present but who knows what
may happen before the house is completed?
A subscription paper was being circulated last week, soliciting money for
the purpose of buying a set of band instruments. We understand the boys were
quite successful and that a brass band for Merrill is a matter of only a few
It is with regret that we chronicle the death of Mrs. Wilbur W. Preston, one
of the pioneer settlers of Northwestern Iowa, which occurred Sunday morning,
April 14, after an illness of about four weeks. The immediate cause of the
death was pneumonia. The deceased was born at Pittsburg, Penn., in the year
1844. On New Years Day in 1860 she became the wife of W. W. Preston. In
1879, the young couple came west to Sioux City, after living there six years
they moved onto their beautiful farm on Perry Creek. Mrs. Preston leaves a
devoted husband and five grown up children to mourn her departure. The
funeral took place last Monday and attended by a large number of
sympathizing friends and neighbors. The remains were interred in the Merrill
cemetery. Rev. W. Avery Richards of the M. E. church, conducted the funeral
POTOSIA: (Special Correspondence)
Quarterly meeting will be held here Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28.
Most of the teachers closed school Friday and attended the Teacher’s
association at Sioux City.
We understand that the gates through Mr. Stephen’s pasture will be fastened
if people do not keep them closed. Mr. Stephens is very kind to allow a road
through his land and we think the people should respect his wishes enough to
close the gate.
There was a dance at J. Mansfield’s Thursday evening.
Miss Rosa Tyler, teacher at No. 4, has organized a singing class which meets
every Friday evening. Miss Tyler is a good musician and we wish her success.
Mrs. Preston, who lived about four miles east of Potosia, died of lung fever
Sunday and was buried Monday.
The doctor was called Wednesday for Mr. Munch, who is quite sick with lung
Mrs. Frank Crouch visited friend in Merrill.
AKRON: (From the Register)
John R. Dee returned Saturday form his trip to Wisconsin.
John Simeon, living 12 miles south, is very low and not expected to live.
Mrs. L.D. Hall left Monday for a few days visit with her husband at Eagle
Grove. She was accompanied by her grandchildren.
Dr. Ellis is laid up with a broken leg this week. He was riding out in the
country on professional business when the horse slipped and fell on the
doctor’s leg with the above result.
A miscreant forced upon the east door of a vacant room of the butcher shop
occupied by Chas. Tillotson last Sunday midnight, and carried away $10 worth
of choice meat.
Frank Anders and family, of LeMars, are visiting with their relatives. They
will leave the first of next month for California, where they will make
their future home.
Last Thursday morning at about one o’clock the noise of a wagon and ratting
of corn in the crib attracted the attention of Mrs. D. M. Mills at her home
twelve miles south of this town. She at once conceived the idea that thieves
were at work outside so she dispatched two hired men to the scene. On their
approach two shots were fired by the thieves which caused them to fall back
and return to the house. At dawn three sacks of corn and a pair of mittens
were found by the crib which will serve as clues to discover the guilty
Considerable interest was manifested in the lawsuit of the state vs. Frank
Strom and Alonso Fursee Monday afternoon in Justice Sayle’s court. It seems
that Strom and Fursee on their way home from Akron Friday night took 14
bushels of oats and other goods from the premises of Arcuine and John Tucker
in Westfield township. This party was tracked to their residence and Monday
Constable Bradley served papers on them. The case was opened in the
afternoon. Frank Strom pleaded guilty to the charge while Alfonso Fursee
pleaded not guilty. The court subsequently found him guilty and fined him
and Strom $25 and $23.10 costs each. Fursee paid his fine and costs while
Strom was sent to the county jail for 12 days. Allen and Austin appeared for
the state while the defense was looked after by Wm. Tilotson, who made the
best efforts of his life for his clients. Although he indulged in flowery
oratory abounding with humor, he was unable to dissect the cold facts and
lost the case.
NORTH FREDONIA: (Special Correspondence)
Mrs. Henry Hide (sic Hinde?) is still seriously ill.
Mrs. Alonzo Freeman arrived from Dakota Tuesday to care for her mother, Mrs.
Hide (sic Hinde?).
Mrs. Bertha Aukerman is a Fredonia visitor this week.
Dick Zimmerman has invested in a fine new wheel.
Miss Margaret Rea spent Tuesday with relatives in Sioux City.
Quite a number of our young people attended the dance at Seney Friday
LeMars Sentinel, Thursday, April 25, 1895
McARTHUR--BREEDEN--At the home of the bride's parents on Seventh street
Friday evening, April 19, Mr. Alex McArthur and Miss Eva Breeden, Rev. Mr.
OUR COUNTY NEWS
By Our Correspondents and From Exchanges.
HINTON: (Special Correspondence)
Among the Melbourne visitors last Sunday were Misses Ursulla Brehm and Iona
Schneider, of Sioux City, Mr. G. M. Smith, of LeMars, and Ann Blecker, of
Rev. P. Blezer has gone on a business trip to southern Minnesota, and Rev.
A. Goetchel, of LeMars, will fill the pulpit next Sunday morning.
Rev. Wm. Jonas, P.E., will preach at the church, May 5, at 11:00 o’clock
a.m. after which the Lord’s supper will be administered.
Married, at the home of Phil Pauch, Miss Tena Weinrich and Samuel Philips,
April 18, 1895. Rev. P. Belzer officiating.
Died, infant twin boys of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Winters. The remains were
interred in the Melbourne cemetery Sunday last.
The young folks of Melbourne organized a K. L. of C. E. and elected the
following officers: J. A. Harris president, J. C. Bender vice-president, H.
C. Koenig secretary, Amelia Held organist and J. G. Schmidt treasurer.
Six of the Hungerford township teachers attended the Northwestern Teacher’s
Association at Sioux City last Friday. The school board allowed them the
day, providing they would attend the meeting. Our people are realizing the
good that is accomplished by these associations.
The manuscript bearing the names of the Hinton creamery stockholders is hid
away in a hollow ash tree. It is understood that it will remain there till
butter is 20 cents per pound.
Some of our farmers are doing considerable breaking this spring.
POTOSIA: (Special Correspondence)
Cottage prayer meeting is being held Tuesday evenings a little south of
Potosia. Last Tuesday evening it was held at Mrs. Harvey’s with an
attendance of 53.
Mrs. Haroon came back last week from a two months visit in Sioux county for
a visit with her daughter, Mrs. Welliver, before going to Wisconsin to spend
Nearly all the directors and teachers and a number of others attended the
teacher’s association in Sioux City Friday and Saturday.
Quarterly meeting will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday. Preaching in the evening.
On Sunday a testimony meeting at 10 o’clock, preaching at 11, when an
opportunity will be given for any so desiring to join the church. It is
expected there will be quite a number join.
Mrs. T. Hansel and family moved on one of the Lindsey farms over west
Con Tierney, of Sioux City, began working for T. Clary Monday.
Our blacksmith has found Potosia too dull a place for him and will leave for
his home in South Dakota Tuesday.
Mrs. J. M. Horn and son, of Milwaukee, an old friend of Mrs. T. Donovan,
visited her Saturday and Sunday, returning to Milwaukee Sunday evening.
Dr. Hess of Sioux City visited at the farm Sunday.
Mrs. McQuillan and daughter, of Sioux City, visited at Donovan’s Sunday.
Chas. Wenham went to Sioux City Monday to have an operation performed on his
Mrs. Hobbs, of Sioux City, visited her sister, Mrs. Berger, Sunday.
Mr. Gorman received a supply of groceries for his store last week and is
ready for business.
Agnes Clary came home Saturday from quite an extended visit with her sister
in Sioux City.