Iowa Old Press
Hawarden Independent, Hawarden, Sioux, Iowa, USA Thursday, August 22, 1940
CRASH FATAL TO 4 PEOPLE
MR, AND MRS. ERNEST EILERS MET DEATH IN ACCIDENT
Former Hawarden Residents Victims of Accident Near Albert Lea, Minn., Early
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Eilers of Bricelyn, Minn., former well known residents
of this city and community, were two of the victims of an automobile and
truck collision which claimed the lives of four people near Albert Lea,
Minn., about 1 o'clock Wednesday morning. The other two victims were Mr. and
Mrs. Frank Goette, also of Bricelyn, and close friends of Mr. and Mrs.
The accident occurred about a half mile from Albert Lea. The four people
were riding in the Goette car with Mr. Goette at the wheel. They were
attempting to pass a caravan of three large transport trucks on the highway.
They had gotten past two of them and were passing the third one on a wide
curve when a large fruit truck loomed just ahead of them and their car was
caught between two trucks and almost completely crushed.
Mrs. Eilers and Mr. and Mrs. Goette were killed instantly while Mr. Eilers
died about an hour after being removed to a hospital in Albert Lea. He never
regained consciousness, however. First news of the tragedy came in a
telephone message about 4 o'clock Wednesday morning from an undertaker in
Albert Lea to Deputy Marshal Stanley Lawton, who was on night duty. Only
very meager information was transmitted in this message. Mr. Lawton promptly
called Rev. C. A. Burkhart, pastor of the Lutheran
church, and asked him to accompany him to the homes of the victims' parents
to apprise them of the tragedy. Bearing the sad tidings, they stopped first
at the home of Mrs. Eilers' parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Ronsiek, at the
southeast edge of the city, and then went on to the home of Mr. Eilers'
parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Eilers, three miles southeast of town.
An hour or two later Rev. Burkhart, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Eilers and
Mr. Ronsiek, departed for Albert Lea to investigate the tragedy and to make
such arrangements there as were necessary. Bricelyn, the home of the
accident victims, is but a short distance from Albert Lea. Rev. Burkhart and
Mr. Ronsiek and Mrs. Eilers returned to Hawarden late Wednesday night,
bringing the youngest of the two sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Eilers with
them. Mr. Eilers, remained there and will bring the older son and the
daughter here with him tonight.
Brief funeral services for Mr. and Mrs. Eilers are being held at Bricelyn at
4 o'clock this afternoon. The Ross funeral car departed for Bricelyn this
forenoon and following the services there the bodies will be brought to
Hawarden tonight. Funeral services will be held at Trinity Lutheran church
here at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon with Rev. Burkhart in charge and
interment will be made in Grace Hill cemetery.
Ernest Edward Eilers had just passed his 35th birthday. He was born in
Plymouth county August 14, 1905, but came with his parents to Washington
township, three miles southeast of Hawarden, when a small boy. Mrs. Eilers,
who before her marriage was Katherine Barbara Emma Ronsiek, was born on the
farm of her parents in Washington township May 21, 1909, so was just past 31
years of age.
Thus both had been almost lifelong residents of this community. Mrs. Eilers
accompanied her parents when they left the farm and moved to Hawarden some
twelve or fifteen years ago and attended the Hawarden high school, while Mr.
Eilers was graduated from the Hawarden high school about fifteen years ago.
Following their marriage they continued to make their home in this
community. Mr. Eilers was employed for a time as a life insurance salesman
and later for a few years as an automobile salesman. Two or three years ago
they moved to Minnesota where Mr. Eilers has been employed as a lineman and
service man for a rural electric cooperative. The death of Mr. and Mrs.
Eilers comes as an especially tragic blow to their three children, Duane,
12; Keith, 10, and Betty Lou, 6. Besides his parents, Mr. Eilers is survived
by two brothers, Earl, at home, and Clarence, who resides south of Hawarden,
and one sister, Mrs. John Wilkison of Hawarden.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Eilers leaves two brothers, Henry Ronsiek
of Hawarden and Fred Ronsiek of Struble, and two sisters, Mrs. N. P.
Westergard Jr. and Mrs. Erick Falk, both of the Hawarden community. Mr. and
Mrs. Goette, the other two victims of the tragedy, leaves two small
children, aged 4 and 2 years.
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