Roy T. Sprague

Born 12/19/1875
Died 12/26/1936


Lizzie C. Sprague

Born 8/25/1875
Died 12/26/1936




Yester Year Stories, Backed with Today's Research


Le Mars Sentinel, December 29, 1936

Death Strikes on Same Day Miles Apart
Husband Found Dead in Iowa and Wife Killed in California
Formerly Lived Here
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Sprague Meet Tragic Fates

Friends in Le Mars received word Sunday night of the death of Mrs. Roy
Sprague, of Cherokee, formerly Lizzie Gronow, a resident of Le Mars nearly
all her life.

Mrs. Sprague was killed in an automobile accident at Turlock, Calif.
Saturday afternoon [Dec. 26, 1936]. Simultaneously came the news that her
husband, Roy Sprague, was found dead in his home in Cherokee the same day.

Mrs. Sprague left Cherokee December 16, for Fresno, Calif., to attend the
funeral of her sister, Mrs. Minnie Adler, another well-known former resident
of Le Mars.

Early Sunday morning Mrs. Sprague's nephew attempted to call from Fresno,
Calif., to report the death. Unable to get an answer at the Sprague home in
Cherokee, the operator notified authorities. They investigated and found
Mr. Sprague dead of a heart attack.

Details of the California accident were not learned in Le Mars, but Mrs.
Sprague was said to have been the only person killed. She died from a skull

Mrs. Sprague lived in Le Mars since early childhood, her parents being early
settlers in Le Mars. For a number of years she was employed in the office
of Dr. W. T. Shepard and filled clerical positions with other firms. While
living in Le Mars she was married to Roy Sprague. They left Le mars eight
years ago to make their home in Cherokee. Besides her husband she leaves a
brother, Will Gronow, of Chicago. Her cousin, Mrs. Chris Adler, lives in Le

Husband Found Dead
A dispatch from Cherokee says of the death of Mr. Sprague:

When policemen went to the Sprague home early Sunday to tell the husband of
his wife's death, they found his body. Apparently well Friday night, he had
succumbed to heart disease.

Mr. Sprague last was seen at 10:30 p.m. Christmas. At that hour a card
party broke up at the Albert Burnett home, and Mr. Sprague part of the way
home with A. A. McFarlane, . [one word unreadable].

Shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday came the first call from Fresno to inform Mr.
Sprague of his wife's death. The caller was a nephew, Herbert Adler. His
brother Reuben was the driver of the death car.

The Spragues had no telephone so the operator rang the telephone of J. E.
Griffith. Several times between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday he tried at the
insistence of the long distance operator, to call Sprague to the telephone.

Officers Don Phipps and George M. Donald went to the house and broke in
through a window. On the bathroom floor was Sprague's body. He apparently
had been dead almost twenty-four hours.

Is Fully Dressed

Sprague was fully dressed. He apparently became faint while tending the
furnace and went to the bathroom for medicine, the officers theorized.

Hold Double Funeral

The body of Mrs. Sprague is on its way from California and a double funeral
will be held in Cherokee and interment made in the city cemetery in Le Mars.

Service will be held in the Methodist church in Cherokee Thursday afternoon
at 1 o'clock and the interment made in Le Mars.