Iowa News from
Grandma Cora's Scrapbook Items

Mostly Wapello County

Submitted by Kay Pogrant

Many of my grandmother's obituaries had no death dates but I have found most are from the 1930's.


Bane, Robert "Bobby"

Plano Boys Die in Pool

Robert Harris, 12, and Robert "Bobby" Bane, 11, both of Plano, were drowned between 3 and 4 pm. Thursday while wading in a pond backed up by a C.C.C. soils conservation damn on a farm south of Galesburg near Plano.

The Harris boy was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Harris, one-half mile south of Plano, and the Bane boy was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Bane of Plano. Bane operates a general store in Plano.

Doyle Davis, who was also playing at the dam, saw the boys go down when they stepped into a hole and ran to Plano for help. He fainted after his dash. Harvey Helman, who is crippled, attempted to rescue the boys but could not get beyond a four-foot depth.

Wayne Harman found the bodies in a seven-foot hole. The drowned boys had been lifelong playmates and schoolmates.

The Bane boy was bon at Plano in January 1926, and is survived by his parents; three sisters, Loris, Donna and Mary Lou and his grandmothers, Mrs. Ada Bane and Mrs. Bertha McCloud all of Plano.

Robert Harris is survived by his parents; sister, Helen, age 9 and three grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Samuelson and Mrs. Harris of Plano.

The double funeral services were held at the Christian Church at Plano Sunday.

Bennett, George and Betty Mae

2 Are Dead in Walker Blaze
Home is Destroyed Early Sunday: Mother and 2 children Escape

Two persons were burned to death and two others were slightly burned in a fire at Walker early Sunday morning, which destroyed a home. Dead are George Bennett, 64, and Betty Mae Bennett, seven years old.

The fire occurred at the home of Maurice Bennett, a night patrolman for the village of Walker. George Bennett was an uncle of Maurice and Betty Mae was a daughter of Maurice.

When the fire alarm came to the department, Maurice Bennett drove the fire truck to the scene. Mrs. Bennett, a son, Jimmy, 11 years old and a 14-month-old baby escaped from the flames. The fire started, it is believed, from an overheated stove, in the room in which Mrs. Bennett and the baby were asleep. Jimmy was sleeping upstairs, as were George, and Betty Mae. Jimmy explained he thought his sister was following him downstairs and it was thought she may have gone back to help her father's elderly uncle.

Mrs. Bennett and Jimmy were only slightly burned. The baby escaped harm.

In a fire at Champlin, near Minneapolis, Sunday morning, Lloyd Bowers, 23, was burned fatally when his cottage was destroyed. Mrs. Bowers and a daughter were at the home of Mrs. Bower's mother.

Cloyed, Lee

Lee Cloyed is Victim of Bull

Funeral services for Lee Cloyed of Blakesburg, gored to death by a bull Thursday afternoon, were held at the Blakesburg Christian Church Saturday.

The animal was a yearling shorthorn bull and had been a pet around the farm. However, stockmen had warned Mr. Cloyed that the pet might someday become dangerous. As no one saw the fatal attack on the farmer, it is assumed that the warning had been right and that the bull had lost its young docility before attacking its owner.

Connor, John

Body of John Conner Found Mangled on Railroad Tracks

(Blakesburg Excelsior)

It was a gruesome sight for the section men when they went to work on the Milwaukee railroad track east of Blakesburg Thursday morning when they found the body of an old man strewn five or six rail lengths along the track; three miles from town. Identification was made that the dead man was John Conner, a transient who claimed he hailed from Kansas City, MO.

Mr. Conner was a frequent visitor to Blakesburg and the last time he was here about two months ago the Mayor ordered him out of town and not to return again. He was very hard of hearing and on several occasions had been given warning to leave the track when trains were approaching him. The last time he was here he called at the Excelsior office for a few exchanges and at that time told us he helped build the Milwaukee through Blakesburg and had worked for the company for years but now he had became aged and they had no further use for him and he was going from one place to another trying the find the end of the rainbow.

G. E. Knedler was notified of the accident and was called to the scene and gathered up his body. The upper part of his dead was severed; both legs and an arm were cut off. County Coroner Traul of Ottumwa came out to investigative and he said no inquest was necessary.

It is surmised that the old fellow had been walking along the track or fell asleep and never knew what hurt him. The body was brought to the Knedler funeral Home where it was prepared for burial, which was made in Potter's Field in an Ottumwa Cemetery.

Thus ends the life of a man whom many here knew and although he was to be pitied for his condition, yet he would allow nobody to help him out of the rut he was in. He had no friends or enemies as far as we know and was alone in the world. Mr. Conner was 70 years of age according to a statement he made to us at the time he was here.

Coop, Winfred

Coop Boy Killed in Auto Wreck

One boy was killed and two injured, one seriously, Tuesday night of last week when the car in which they were riding collided with another machine about two miles east of Ottumwa on Highway 34. The three youths are well known in the territory southwest and west of Moravia and in the Blakesburg and Unionville communities.

The dead: Winfred Coop, 16, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Coop, six miles southeast of Blakesburg.

The injured: Russell A. Smith, 18, son of the Rev. Frank A. Smith and Mrs. Smith of Unionville, Rex West, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. James West, northeast of Unionville.

The driver of the other car, John T. Benge of Ottumwa, was reported held on a charge of manslaughter. Benge, it is said, admitted to officers that he had been drinking. West, who was driving the car in which the three youths were returning from the Eldon fair, said that he saw the Benge car coming down the wrong side of the road, but too late to avoid a head on collision.

Coop, who suffered a broken neck, died before he could be moved to the hospital. Smith, who received a bad concussion, and possible fracture, of the brain and a deep chest wound, has been unconscious since the accident. At first his recovery was thought not possible but latest reports are that he seems to be approaching consciousness and is now given a good change to recover. His father is pastor of the Miller Baptist Church, southeast of Moravia.

The West boy had deep cuts over one eye and on a leg but is recovering nicely.

***Russell Smith died 2 weeks later.

Smith, Russell

A Wreck Victim Passed Away Tuesday Night
Son of Miller Church Pastor Injured Two Weeks Ago

Russell A. Smith, 18-year-old son of Rev. and Mrs. Frank Smith of Unionville died Tuesday evening at 9 o'clock from injuries received in an auto accident two weeks ago, Tuesday night, August 20th. Rev. Smith is pastor of the Miller Baptist church, southeast of Moravia and the death of the son has saddened that community as well as the hometown, Unionville. Many persons here in Moravia were acquainted with the family and are also grieving at the death of this young man.

Russell's death was the second resulting from the wreck of two weeks ago. Russell, Rex West, 19, son of Mr. And Mrs. James West of northeast of Unionville and Winfred Coop **16, son of Mr. And Mrs. Lester Coop of southeast of Blakesburg were returning from the Eldon Fair in West's car when it collided head on with a car driven by John T. Benge, Ottumwa. Coop died before he could be taken to a hospital. West received some deep cuts but was not badly injured. The Smith youth received a bad concussion and possible fracture of the brain.

Monday night of this week a coroner's jury returned a verdict holding Benge responsible for the accident and recommended that he be held to the grand jury. The grand jury, however, had previously investigated the case and indicted Benge and he is now awaiting trail in district court. Officers reported that Benge admitted he had been drinking before the accident.

Funeral services for Russell Smith, who was 18 years and six months old on the day of his death, will be held in Ottumwa, Friday. He was born in Ottumwa and was the only living child of Rev. and Mrs. Smith.

This and That

By H.K.S.

Dec. 11, 1941

(probably from the Iowegian)

"When You Come to the End of A Perfect Day" was the title of the tune that was coming in over the radio as I prepared to retire last Sunday evening. How ironical. For certainly Sunday was anything but a perfect day. As news spread of the attack upon United States air and naval bases by the Japs and the declaration of war upon us by the Japanese government, this community, along with every other community in this country, was very much depressed. We had not come to the end of a perfect day. Rather we were just starting on a period the outlook for which is indeed dark and gloomy. No one can foresee what will be the consequences of this terrible conflict. But there is on thing certain ..the people of this nation are now united as one in the gigantic struggle for democracy.for our very lives. Before this struggle has finished, we will perhaps have many unpleasant experiences. There will be hardships and sacrifices, not alone for the boys in the army and navy but also for those who are at home. This nation has never known anything the like of which it will take to win this war, and we may as well make up our minds to that fact. Win we must, and win we will.


Our boys will know why they are in the camps and on the ships. While there will likely still be the old "army gripe", the boys will be in there pitching. Their hearts and souls will be in this great struggle. They will make the sacrifice that will be required of them without a flinch. Morale both in and out of the service will be at a new high, now that there is work to do. We can count on the young men of our day to do all and more than their share.


Many of our boys are already in the service of their country.the list for this vicinity (southern Iowa) includes 50 or more, some of whom have been in the service for a long period of time. Others will be called to the service soon. It is said there will be a rapid step-up in calls for selectees. There must be if we are to have the army and navy that we will need. Perhaps the boys under 21 will be called. It is now being talked, and we may also expect that some of the older boys will have to go to. That picture isn't at all pleasant.


We do not have information as to how many of our boys were actually at Pearl Harbor and the other Pacific bases when the conflict broke out Sunday. We do know that some of them were there recently and some of them had been expecting a move. Just a few days ago we had a letter from Artis Main, who is on the U.S.S. Allen. Undoubtedly he was at the scene of action. Others who were at Pearl Harbor or Manila recently and may have been there Sunday are August and Vanice Morris, on the U.S.S. Lamberton; Robert Sufficool on the U.S.S. Philadelphia; Archie Martin, U.S.S. Canotus; Fred Matherly, U.S.S. Isabell, Donald Kaster, U.S.S. Northampton, Irvin Burns, U.S.S. Indianapolis. Undoubtedly some of these boys saw action. Perhaps there were others. No report has come here of any casualties to locals.

~Transcriber Notes:
Yes, Sherman was right. My grandmother had this article. Her brother was Fred Matherly. I do not know if Fred was in Pearl Harbor, but I do know he made a career of the US Navy.

Can you imagine the fear that so many people were going through at this time 66 years ago?

Tramscriber: Kay Pogrant

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