could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                                Causes of Death, Part 2

A. Two tragic accidents with funerals at Orthodox Church
        1. Man 35, killed October 1915, being “trampled to death by horses in Colorado while ploughing beets.”

             Body was shipped to Kearney and funeral was held at the Syrian Orthodox Church.
             “Rev Yanny was called from his regular visitation trip” to Oklahoma and northern Texas to attend the funeral.

        2. Boy 10, died in April 1926 - of strangulation when being dragged by a team of runaway horses.

            The boy had gone to the field with his father, who was ploughing a field.
            He was playing near two horses which were tied to a hayrack.
            They became frightened, broke free and started to dash across the plowed field.
            A rein looped around the boy’s neck and he was dragged until the father could stop the horses.
            The father rushed him to the hospital but it was too late.
                 (Since the lot where the boy is buried was owned by the Orthodox church,
                    presumably that is where the funeral was held.)

B. Another accident?

August 1938 – Woman, 70, living upstairs in the Bolte Building [21½ W 22nd] in Kearney, died of a fractured neck
        [death possibly from a fall?] and was buried in a lot owned by the county.

Who was she and why was she buried by the county?

1920 census – Widowed,  born in Kentucky, living with daughter, 18,  born in Oklahoma, and son-in-law, 21,
        born in Nebr

Son-in-law was from Pleasanton and was working for the railroad at the roundhouse.
        He died in July 1929 and is buried in the Kearney cemetery.

        What happened?

            He was riding on the rear of the tender of a switch engine backing out of the round house.
            A large truck loaded with furniture was coming down the Lincoln Highway from Omaha.
            As the driver neared the siding, the engineer blew his whistle and applied his brakes.
            The truck swung wide while crossing the track, hoping to avoid a collision, which he did,
                    but passed so close to the engine that the son-in-law’s chest was crushed.

1930 census – Still widowed, living with daughter, also widowed, and her two children.
        Son, born in 1923 in Nebraska; daughter born in 1926 in Nebraska
        Lady had worked as a cook on a ranch but was unemployed at time of census

What happened between 1930 and 1938 that would leave this lady all alone to be buried in a county lot in an unmarked grave?

1940 census – Daughter had remarried, not in Buffalo County, to a man who was born in Texas and was 8 years younger
        They were living in San Jose, California where the new husband was a soft drink bottler

(1935 - according to 1940 census - new husband was living in San Jose, California
            Daughter and her children were still in Kearney, so they had not married yet)

So sometime between 1935 and 1938 the daughter moved away, leaving her mother in Kearney

Her new husband probably made only enough as a laborer to support the family, not enough for the daughter to come back to Nebraska when her mother died, or to buy her a lot in the cemetery

The daughjter died in Santa Clara, California in 1978

C. Four (Five) Homicides

1. Three homicides
        A family of 3 sisters and 3 brothers grew up on a farm in Kearney Co. between Minden and Kearney.

        In early 1929 one sister was hospitalized in Hastings and one in Omaha, both with mental problems.
        The third sister had gone to Omaha and obtained a nursing job at the sister’s hospital so she could help
             with her care.

        In February 1929, one brother went to Omaha to visit his sisters at the hospital.
        He shot and killed them both and then took his own life.
        He left a short note in the hospital room saying he had sent a letter.
        He had sent the letter to his wife describing how he wanted the funeral service, which was to be for all three
            of them at once.
        He did not say why he had done this.

        People were surprised he had a gun.
        Shortly before the shooting, he had gone into Bodinson’s Hardware and purchased a .32 caliber pistol.

        When asked why he was buying it, he said that living out in the country he might need it for protection.

        As for motive, that was not clear.
        However, recently he had been depressed and expressed the fear that he might also be subject to the mental
             problems from which his sisters suffered.

2. Two homicides
        Sometime in 1930 this man’s wife left him and, with their adopted son, 21, she went to her father’s home in
             Spirit Lake, Iowa.

[Descriptions of this man's behavior would lead one to conclude he was an alcoholic.]

On Dec. 8th the man hired a cab from the Whippet Cab service in Kearney and had the driver take him to Spirit Lake
        They started at 8 am arrived at 6:30 pm.

        When they got to the father-in-law’s house, the man told the driver to circle the block a few times.
        The driver got about a block away and heard a shot so he drove to the police station.
        Shortly after he arrived, the wife called the police to report a tragedy

Here’s what happened:
        When the man walked in, his wife’s father, 72, stepped up to intercede for her.
        He pulled a gun and fired, wounding his father-in-law in the shoulder.
        The son walked into the room and his father turned and shot him, killing him.
        The father-in-law got hold of a piece of stove wood and hit his son-in-law over the head killing him.

The man was brought back to Kearney for burial. The son was buried in Spirit Lake.


Copyright ©   All rights reserved


You may use content from this web site for your personal, not-for-profit purposes only. 


 Search Our Site

Please send Mardi Anderson your comments/feedback

Revised: 02/13/2019