The Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, May 9, 1918
OBITUARY - JOHN WALKER TOWNSLEY
J. W. TOWNSLEY, father of Homer TOWNSLEY, of near Leon, was killed in an automobile accident, which occurred Wednesday
evening of last week not far from Kellerton. The following account of the accident is from an article written by the
editor of the Kellerton Globe:
This community was greatly shocked and saddened last Thursday by the accidental death of J. W. TOWNSLEY, one of our
prominent farmers and stockmen. Mr. TOWNSLEY met his death in an auto accident which occurred on the big hill near his
residence, about ten miles southwest of Kellerton on Wednesday evening at about 7 o'clock. He, with Mrs. TOWNSLEY and
their little granddaughter, Helen GORSUCH, were in the car returning from a visit at the home of their daughter and son
near Leon. The accident is supposed to have been the result of a broken axle which occurred just as they were near the
top of the hill. It is supposed the brakes refused to work and when near the bottom of the hill, the car turned over
twice before alighting right side up. Mr. TOWNSLEY was badly crushed about the abdomen but was conscious until the last.
Mr. TOWNSLEY sent the little granddaughter back to the home of son-in-law, Troy KNOTT, for help. When they arrived they
found Mr. TOWNSLEY lying near the front of the car and his wife near the back. One wheel was off the car and the engine
still running. Mr. KNOTT stopped the engine and the injured people were taken to their home where Mr. TOWNSLEY passed
away about nine hours later. Shortly after the accident, Mrs. TOWNSLEY'S condition was thought to be the worst of the
two, but at this time she is able to sit up a little. The little granddaughter escaped without injuries.
John Walker TOWNSLEY was born near Brighton, Iowa, December 4, 1846, and was killed in an automobile accident which
occurred on the big hill near his home, May 2, l9l9, being 7l years, four months and 28 days old. He was married to Mary
S. RHODES on November ll, l868, and to this union was born one child, Mrs. Nettie A. RANDALL of Galesburg; sisters, Mrs.
Minerva J. CLARK, of Brighton, Iowa, and Mrs. Laura B. SMITH, of Bakersfield, California.
After an intense suffering for nine hours, he passed away. When his son, Homer, reached his bedside, he told him he was
badly hurt and would soon die. By his passing we lose a kind husband, a loving father and a good neighbor. He was a home
man, always thinking and planning for his family. He believed in God and united with the Mt. Zion M.E. Church in the
winter of l904. He was a pioneer resident of this county settling on the farm which has since been his home, and has
experienced all the hardships and privations which our early settlers had to endure.
He was a stock buyer in this vicinity in an early day when the nearest railroad station was Leon. He has been active in
the business life of Kellerton having lived for several years on a farm one mile south of Kellerton. Having sold this
farm, he moved back on the farm where he first located and has lived there continually to the time of his death. He was
also one of the Directors of the Kellerton State Bank.
Funeral services were held from the home at 11 o'clock, Saturday morning, conducted by Rev. NICHOLS, of Beaconsfield, and
interment was made in the Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010
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