This story posted features the WALKER surname.

Researched by volunteer, Linda Mohning

Yester Year Stories, Backed with Today's Research



LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
September 6, 1894

Bridge Falls, Killing John and Thomas Walker.
Planks Give Way and a Thresher Engine Falls Over Backwards, Crushing and Scalding the Brothers.

One of the saddest accidents that ever occurred in Plymouth county happened in meadow township on Tuesday by which John and Thomas Walker lost their lives. They were moving a threshing machine across a bridge of the creek about seven and a half miles northeast of Remsen. Both men were on the rear platform of the engine which was not connected with the separator. The front wheels had crossed the bridge when the planks gave way and let the engine down about twelve feet to the dry bed of the creek. In descending, the engine turned completely over and fell with both boys crushed beneath it, the four wheels in the air and with the smoke stack sticking into the ground. One of the boys called for help once or twice but the other one never spoke. The wheels revolved with lightning rapidity for a few moments and then the water got up into the whistle and blew out up on the imprisoned men scalding their corpses from head to foot.
The brother and a hired man with the threshing outfit were not able to do anything with the heavy engine, so help was summoned from Remsen. By means of a rope and tackle the engine was tipped over the bodies were taken out. One of them had his hand on the throttle lever when found. Their watches were running just as if nothing had happened. The bridge was two spans wide and was not considered safe for a heavy steamer by the neighbors who had warned the boys to go around. It appears that they did not take the usual precautions prescribed bylaw, of putting extra planks down to strengthen the bridge. 
The bodies were taken to Remsen and there prepared for burial. The mother of the boys lives in Le Mars. The family owns several farms near Remsen and the boys have with their three brothers operated them since the death of their father. 
They were quite well off financially and one of the boys was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen which will pay $2000 dollars life insurance. He joined the order only a few weeks ago. The funeral took place at Remsen yesterday afternoon and the sons were buried in the Remsen cemetery where their father lies.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
September 10, 1894

Inquest Over the Walker Brothers.

County Coroner Gray held an inquest at Remsen, Thursday, to find the reason for the fatal accident that befell John and Thomas Walker last Tuesday. 
The following jury was impaneled: Messrs. P. Conway, M. Se??ed, and Fisch. After hearing the testimony of the eight witnesses, the jury found a verdict in substance as follows: “John and Thos. Walker met their death from a steam tractor engine crashing through a bridge located over Deep creek, between section 10 and 15, in Meadow township, because of too light covering on bridge, the bodies being crushed and scalded.” 
The jury was kept busy nearly the entire day and as none of the witnesses could give any very definite description of the bridge, time was taken for the party to drive out and examine it.