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The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1932


Mount Ayr High School Boy Killed When Automobiles Collide.

Tragedy incident to the hazard of modern life brought profound grief to the community heart Wednesday evening of last week and deep clouds of oppressive sorrow rest over the entire community.

Carlton HILL, 16 years of age and the son of Dr. and Mrs. J. W. HILL of Mount Ayr, was killed instantly and others with him in a Ford automobile, returning from Grant City, Mo., where they had been swimming, were more of less seriously injured when the car in which they were riding collided with a Ford car occupied by Merle FRY, Dale FRY, Leota KNIGHT and Lena McPHERSON*. The accident happened at 19;45 p.m. Wednesday of last week, on highway No. 169, about five miles southwest of Mount Ary, near the H. Clay DENNEY home. In the car in which Carlton was riding were George ALLYN, Jane TIMBY, Vada SHAFER, Mary K. HILL, Blanche SHELDON, and Hollis DICKERSON. Among those injured were Jane TIMBY, Vada SHAFER, Lena McPHERSON* , and Leota KNIGHT. Miss TIMBY, whose right hand was seriously cut, the ligaments being severed, was taken to Des Moines where she could receive hospital treatment. Vada SHAFER sustained a scalp wound which required several stitches to close, and other members of the party were less seriously injured.

Fred TRIMBLE and wife, who were en route home from a drive in the country, were the first to reach the scene of the accident. Farmers of the surrounding country, attracted by the report of the impact of the cars, which was heard for a mile, were soon on the scene. Mr. TRIMBLE with the help of members of the party, was able to lift the car from the HILL boy who had been thrown partly though the car window and whose head was pinned beneath the car. In the meantime physicians had been summoned and the Rhoades ambulance was sent to the scene.

How the accident happened and what caused it - whether the lights from cars made the judging of distance impossible or whether some irregularity in the road was responsible - will never be known. It is reported that neither car was being driven at an immoderate rate of speed.

Funeral services for Carlton HILL were held Saturday forenoon at 10 o'clock at the Rhoades Funeral Home and were conducted by Dr. Jesse JOHNSON, pastor of the United Presbyterian church. The service was largely attended by friends from all parts of the county who came to share with the grief-stricken family their burden of grief and schoolmates among whom the departed was a favorite. As a tribute to the memory of a worthy young man and as a mark of respect for the family, buiness was suspended in Mount Ayr and business houses were closed. Seldom is there witnessed such evidence of community grief as was expressed during the solemn hour of the funeral and at the final services in Rose Hill cemetery where the body was laid to rest. Profuse and beautiful were the floral tributes.

The pall bearers were Dan MILLER, George ALLYN, Elmo ROE, Howard THOMPSON, Howard BUCK and Hollis DICKERSON. Music was furnished by a male quartet composed of Robert BUCK, Howard BUCK, Charles LESAN, and John SPENCE, piano accompaniments being played by Miss Eva HASS.

Relatives from a distance who came to be with the family and to attend the funeral were Mrs. O. C. TENNANT and Miss Kathryn PURSELL of Chicago, ill., sisters of Mrs. HILL; Mr. and Mrs. Lee FORSYTH and Mr. and Mrs. E. FENSTERMAKER and daughter, Miss Edith, of West Liberty, Iowa, and Mr. and Mrs. Grant HEMINGWAY and son John, of West Branch, Iowa, cousins of Dr. HILL.

The following obituary was read by Rev. Dr. JOHNSON at the funeral service:

James Carlton HILL, son of Dr. and Mrs. J. W. HILL, was born in Ellston, Iowa, on September 6, 1916, and died on June 29, 1932, at the age of 15 years, nine months and 23 days.

After completing two grades in the Ellston schools he entered the third grade of the Mount Ayr public school and had just completed the work of the junior year in the high school.

The playmates and classmates of his childhood and youth all bear testimony to his happy and helpful disposition, and will ever remember him as a good companion. That he was recognized as a boy of not only attractive personality but also of inspiring leadership is indicated by the fact that his class made him its president.

He won athletic honors, being a letter man in football and baseball, and one of the first ten in the high school in basketball.

The superintendent and teachers of our public school testify that Carlton HILL was an honest pupil, never stooping to deception; and that he was always respectful, courteous and manly. His older friends were wont to note the genuine pleasure he found in making little children happy, and also how he tried to be pleasant and helpful to the aged.

From childhood Carlton HILL was a pupil in the United Presbyterian Sabbath school and showed, there as elsewhere, the fine qualtities which have been mentioned.

In his home, with his parents and sisters, the same native traits of kindness, helpfulness and pleasant companionship had full play.

Besides his parents and the two sisters, Mary Katherine and Florence Ruth, he leaves behind many relatives and a great company of friends, young and old, to mourn what seems to us in our earthly way of thinking his untimely passing.

To us there is mystery in life, there is mystery in what we call death. But life is of God, He is Lord of life; and to such believing souls death is a setting sail to a better country, a Heavenly Home and a higher school.

Card of Thanks.

To the friends and neighbors, the sustaining influence of whose gracious consideration has been so helpful during our afflicition and bereavement, we are profoundly grateful and we acknowledge with heart-felt thanks the helpful acts and expressions of sympathy. For every kindness and for the floral tributes, reflecting love and sympathy, we thank you.
Dr. and Mrs. J. W. HILL
Mary Katherine and Ruth.

NOTE: * January 9, 2009. Janyce Abarr writes, saying, "I believe it was Ella McPHERSON rather than Lena McPHERSON who was in the car. Ella and Merle FRY were later married." Thank you, Janyce.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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