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Alvestad, Halmer (1886-1915)


Posted By: Debbie Greenfield (email)
Date: 12/1/2017 at 11:53:16

Jewell Record, published in Webster City, Iowa, Thursday, April 29, 1915


Prominent Rose Grove Farmer in Fatal Accident Sunday Afternoon. Hit By Car Driven by Dr. E.W. Slater

Halmer Alvestad, a prominent young farmer living 1 mile east and 5-1/2 miles north of Ellsworth, was killed last Sunday afternoon by accidentally being struck and run over by an automobile driven by Dr. E.W. Slater of Jewell, causing a fracture of the skull at the base of the brain. The fatal accident occurred at 4:10 o'clock and the injured man died an hour later, without recovering consciousness.

Coroner Arch Foster, of Webster City, was called and a coroner's jury impanelled and an inquest held. Z. Slade [?}, A.J. McCoy and county supervisor G.J. Knickerbocker, all prominent farmers of the vicinity, were the jurymen. Coroner Foster arrived at the scene at about eight o'clock and the jury devoted several hours to making a most thorough and searching examination of the case. The ground was gone over carefully and the testimony of witnesses sifted thoroughly, the jury not giving in a verdict until about one o'clock. The evidence brought out by the coroner's inquest completely exonerated Dr. Slater of any carelessness or negligence whatever and the jury in their verdict completely absolved him from any blame.

Dr. Slater, his wife, and son Harold, and two of the teachers in the Jewell schools, Miss Fisher and Miss Rieke {?}, Dr. Slater himself driving the car, were driving home in the former's Cadillac car from Iowa Falls. Mr. Alvestad, his wife, and three months old baby daughter had been visiting at the home of Mr. Alvestad's sister, Mrs. Andrew Grendahl, living two miles north of the Alvestad home, having gone there for dinner after the services at the Rose Grove Lutheran church. Andrew Grendahl had taken them home in his Ford auto. It was raining quite hard at the time and as the gate at Mr. Alvestad's was closed and locked it was decided to stop outside rather than to open the gate, in order to get in out of the rain with as little delay as possible. The Alvestad house is on the east side of the road, but Mr. Grendahl drove his car out on the west side of the road, the right side, expecting then after Mr. and Mrs. Alvestad and the baby were out to back up towards the gate to turn around and return home. The car had stopped on the west side of the road, just off of the traveled track, headed south, with the engine running. Mr. and Mrs. Alvestad stepped out of the car and stood by it, the former taking the baby from the car and his wife taking out some quilts. Dr. Slater drove up, from the north, he saw the car standing there and, as the evidence in the inquest brought out, saw Mr. Alvestad reach towards the Grendahl car and thought he was about to put up the auto top, as it was raining at the time. He blew his horn and turned to pass them on the left side which is the correct side. He turned his car out on the east side of the road, leaving a distance about the width of the traveled road between the two cars. This was brought out in the evidence, the tracks of the cars being plain in the roads which had become muddy from the rain. The wind was blowing from the south and the engine of Grendahl's car was running, and evidently Mr. Alvestad did not hear Dr. Slater's warning, for just then he lifted the baby from the car and turned to run across the road to his house, stepping just in front of the Slater car. He was struck and thrown in the air, falling back on the radiator or fender and to the ground, the wheels of the car passing over his legs. The baby was thrown to the east side of the road and escaped uninjured. Dr. Slater's car was stopped in less than a distance of 30 feet from the place where Mr. Alvestad was hit. Dr. Slater jumped from his car before it stopped, the car coasting fully ten feet after he left it, and he was the first to reach the injured man. Mr. Alvestad was taken into his house where Dr. Slater examined his injuries and did what could be done for him. As soon as it was ascertained that the injured man was living, Dr. Slater telephoned to Webster City for Dr. McCauliff and Dr. Wyatt, but he died before they reached him. Coroner Foster was summoned and he called Dr. O'Connor of Williams, and impanelled a jury which, after hearing the evidence, gave a verdict that Mr. Alvestad "came to his death by accidentally being struck and run over by an automobile, causing fracture of the skull at the base of the brain." It was brought out in the evidence that just one hour and twenty minutes had elapsed from the time that Dr. Slater left Iowa Falls until he reached the Alvestad home, a distance of 23 miles, making an average of 17 - 1/2 miles an hour.

This awful accident was one of the most tragic that has ever occurred in Hamilton county, and the entire community is inexpressibly shocked and grieved. Death in any form is a sad blow to the bereaved ones that are left, but the sudden and tragic taking away of this young husband and father in such a way has cast a deep pall of bereavement upon this entire community. The heartfelt sympathy of everybody goes out to the bereaved family of the victim of the fatal accident, and, also, to those who were the unfortunate cause of his death.

Halmer Alvestad was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lars Alvestad, now living in Jewell. He was born on a farm one mile west of Randall and when one year old moved to Rose Grove where he has lived ever since. He would have been 28 years old the 9th of July next. He was married about two years ago to Miss Agnes Frette, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Frette, of Rose Grove township, and had one child, the three months old daughter. He was a member of the Rose Grove Norwegian Lutheran church and a young man whom everybody respected highly. Beside his wife, child, and parents, he is survived by four sisters, Hilda (Mrs. Joseph Anderson) of Rose Grove, Regina (Mrs. Andrew Grendahl) of Rose Grove, and Miss Hannah and Miss Mabel, also by five brothers, Rev. Thorvald Alvestad, of Joliet, Ill., Henry, of Ringsted, Iowa, and Lewis, Martin and Roy.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Simonson, pastor of the Rose Grove Lutheran church, and the body was interred in the cemetery there. The funeral was attended by a large crowd of friends and neighbors, and the floral offerings were unusually numerous and beautiful, hosts of sympathizing friends gathering to pay the last tribute of respect to his memory. The Record unites with all in the community in extending sincerest sympathy to the bereaved ones in their great sorrow that has come so suddenly and unexpectedly upon them.

[headstone at Rose Grove Cemetery spells his first name Helmer]


Hamilton Obituaries maintained by Janelle Graham Martin.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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