Hamilton County


William Dudley Guthrie




William Dudley Guthrie was born Mar. 17, 1917 to Dudley and Faye Hoover Guthrie. He died May 30, 1970 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

William served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. He enlisted in the Naval Reserves and attended midshipman’s school, later taking advanced training at bomb disposal school. He served aboard the USS Cowpens (CVL-25) and the USS Mindoro (CVE-120) as bomb disposal air ordnance officer with a fast carrier task force in the South Pacific, participating in eight major campaigns in the South Pacific.

He was a former Iowa American Legion commander.


Car crash fatal to W. D. Guthrie

Rites to be held Tuesday for ex-Legion chief

Funeral services are planned here Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Asbury United Methodist church for William D. Guthrie, 53, prominent Webster City attorney and former Iowa American Legion department commander who list his life in a Memorial Day traffic accident in Illinois.

The body will lie in state at the Greenfield Memorial chapel until noon Tuesday when it will be taken to the church where the Rev. S.W. Cunningham will officiate. The casket will not be open at the church.

Burial will be made in Graceland cemetery where American Legion Post 191 will have charge of military rites.

Mr. Guthrie was instantly killed at about 4 p.m. Saturday when the car he was driving was involved in a three-vehicle accident near Cordova, Ill. State police say a car driven by Raymond Redell of Erie, Ill. had started to make a left turn onto a nearby blacktop when the Guthrie car hit the rear end of the Illinois car, then bounced into the opposite lane to collide with a pickup truck driven by Sam Faila, 55, of Omaha, Neb.

Guthrie’s daughter, Sarah, 14, was critically injured and is in a hospital at Moline, Ill., after being transferred there from the Illini hospital at Silvis, Ill. Joni Flaws, 14, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dean Flaws of Webster City and riding in the Guthrie car, was taken to the Silvis hospital where she was reported in satisfactory condition suffering from head injuries.

Police said both the Failia and Guthrie vehicles were demolished by the impact. Sam Failia and his son, Sam, Jr., 25, were also taken to the Silvis, Ill., hospital where they were also reported as satisfactory. The mishap occurred about one and one-half miles north of Cordova.

Mr. Guthrie had been the featured speaker at two Memorial Day services in eastern Iowa on Saturday, having spoken earlier in the morning at Sumner and the going to Miles, Iowa, for a later address. He, his daughter and her friend, Miss Flaws, were apparently heading homeward at the time of the tragedy.

William Dudley Guthrie, son of Dudley and Faye Hoover Guthrie, was born March 17, 1917 at Norman, Ill. He was graduated from high school at Bloomington, Ill., and from Illinois Wesleyan college in 1938. He later received his law degree in 1941 from the University of Illinois College of Law. He practiced in Geneseo, Ill. before entering the military service.

He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves in January, 1942 and attended midshipman’s school, later taking advanced training at bomb disposal school. During World War II he served aboard the USS Cowpens and the USS Mindoro as a bomb disposal air ordnance officer with a fast carrier task force in the South Pacific. He participated in eight major campaigns in the South Pacific and was discharged in 1945.

Mr. Guthrie was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1941 and in Iowa in 1947, moving to Webster City in April, 1947 to enter the practice of law in partnership with the late E.P. Prince. He later was in partnership with Gene Blackburn until Mr. Blackburn moved to Des Moines and had since maintained his law office at 711 Seneca St. since that time. He was a former City attorney of Webster City from 1958 to 1963.

Always active in the American Legion, he was formerly commander of the Webster City post and later became commander of the 8th district American Legion, from 1949 to 1950.

He served as department judge advocate for the Legion from 1950 to 1951 and then was named the department commandeer of the Iowa American Legion in 1963-64.

At the time of his death he was alternate national executive committeeman and had been very active in promoting the American Legion ideals of Americanism and patriotism.

He was married Oct. 28, 1942, to Marjorie Carpenter at New York City, and since moving to Webster City, the family had been very active in civic and community organizations.

He is survived by his wife, one won, William Ted Guthrie, and three daughters, Mignon Faye, Catherine Lucille and Sarah Anne.

In addition to Legion associations, he was active as a county juvenile probation officer from 1948 to 1958; was a member of the American Bar Association, the American Judiciary Society, the Iowa Bar Association, had served as former president of the Hamilton County bar association and was also active in the Iowa Attorneys association, the American Academy of Political Science, the Elks Lodge, the Loyal Order of the Moose, the Izaak Walton League, the Masonic organizations and the 40 and 8.

Following the committal services, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Lund will be host at a gathering of the family and representatives of the various patriotic organizations at their home at 728 Elm Street.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - June 1, 1970