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BARTLETT, Edith 1906-1918


Posted By: S. Bell
Date: 11/30/2011 at 05:35:14

#1 of 2 Items:

[Waterloo Times Tribune, Tuesday, July 30, 1918]


Man, Wife and Child and Two
Other Children Killed By
Cedar Falls Interurban


Milton C. Brown, Brainard, Iowa
Mrs. Milton C. Brown, Brainard, Iowa
Irene Brown, Daughter, aged 13
Clell Bartlett, age 14, 1717 Bluff Street, Waterloo
Edith Bartlett, aged 12, 1717 Bluff Street, Waterloo

Five persons killed and one seriously injured as a result of an interurban car striking an automobile at a grade crossing on the W., C. F. & N. between Waterloo and Cedar Falls Sunday morning at 10:40 o'clock.

Three of the persons killed were residents of Brainard, Iowa, and two others were residents of Waterloo Mrs. Frank Bartlett, mother of the two Bartlett children, who was in the same automobile, is in a serious condition at the St. Francis Hospital, but will probably recover Her condition, however, is critical, stated attending physicians late Monday night.

Choked Engine-
According to the best information to be had it appears that M. C. Brown, one of those killed, who was driving the automobile which was struck, in attempting to get over the crossing ahead of the approaching electric train, shifted his gears from low into high, thus choking his engine, the auto halting midway between the two rails. The heavy motor car hit the auto with severe force., and throwing the machine several yards after carrying it for quite a distance.

Frank Bartlett, father of the two children killed and husband of the remaining survivor of the accident, was not an occupant of the car, but was in an automobile just ahead of the "death car." He heard the motor whistle for the crossing and looked back, just in time to see his wife and children, with the three Brown's struck by the train.

Clell Bartlett, Mrs. Brown and Irene Brown were killed instantly. Mr. Brown died just as the ambulance arrived at the St. Francis Hospital and Edith Bartlett died in her father's arms, also en route to the hospital. All the victims were taken to O'Keefe and Town's undertaking parlors.

There will be prayer service, at O'Keefe & Towne's chapel for the Bartlett children at 8:30. this morning, while public services will be held from the First U. B. Church at 9 o'clock. Rev. H. L. Goughnor will be in charge. Interment will be in Elmwood.

The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their daughter will be taken to Brainard today for burial. The funeral party will leave over the Illinois Central at 7:05 o'clock.



[Elgin Echo, Thursday, August 1, 1918]


Three of the M. C. Brown Family
Of Brainard And Two Of The
Frank Bartlett Family Of
Waterloo Killed in Auto
Accident Sunday

The following is taken from the, Waterloo Evening Courier, regarding the fatal auto accident that befell the Milton C. Brown family of Brainard, and Frank Bartlett family of Waterloo. All are well known to our people, the Brown family coming here for many years to do trading. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bartlett are also well known to our people, Mrs. Bartlett having at one time been residents of our town and a student in our public school. Her maiden name was Etta Green, She is spoken of as badly injured in the following article.

"The M. C. Brown family of Brainard, Iowa, was practically annihilated and two members of the Frank Bartlett family of Waterloo were killed and a third severely injured Sunday, when an auto in which they were riding was struck at a crossing near Cedar Heights by an interurban car on the W., C. F. & N. railway.

Milton C. Brown, Brainard, Iowa.
Mrs..Milton C. Brown, Brainard, la.
Irene Brown (their daughter) age thirteen.
Clell Bartlett, age fourteen, 1717 Bluff street, Waterloo.
Edith Bartlett, age 12, 1717 Bluff Street, Waterloo.

Mrs. Frank Bartlett, 1717 Bluff Street, Waterloo, mother of the Bartlett children.

The accident occurred about 10:30 a.m. at a private driveway which serves the homes of A. T. Moorehouse and John Sims and is located between The Oaks and Edwards crossing near Cedar Heights. The autoists believed they were turning into the entrance to Cedar Heights where they had planned to picnic.

There were two auto loads of relatives comprising the families of Elmer G. Boyer und Milton C. Brown of Brainard, a little village in Fayette County, who arrived Saturday for a brief visit with the family of Frank Bartlett, who is a brother to Mrs. Boyer and Mrs. Brown.

In the first auto were Elmer G. Boyer, the driver; his wife and son, Glen, 22; daughter Mary, 18; Frank Bartlett and his son Basil, age 6. The second car was driven by Milton Brown and every occupant was killed with the exception of Mrs. Bartlett, who was badly hurt when she was hurled to the roadside.

As the first machine passed over the tracks, Mr. Bartlett heard the motorman sound the danger signal and glanced, around just as the coach struck the other auto in the middle.

Driver Boyer heard the crash and applied the emergency brake, but Mr. Bartlett had already leaped from the machine and was running toward the crunching mass that was pushed along the track for 250 feet. The screech of the brake mingled with the cries of the occupants and then all was still except for the commotion of the passengers as they scrambled to the aid of the victims.

Mr. Bartlett reached the side of his wife first. She had been seated in the rear of the machine and had been thrown free of the wreckage. Other occupants of the back seat, Mrs. Brown, Irene Brown and Edith Bartlett were thrown under the interurban car as were Mr. Brown and Clell Bartlett As soon as Mr. Bartlett had given his wife some attention and realized she still breathed but was unconscious, he ran to the track where lay the mangled forms of his children and the others.

With remarkable self-control under such trying circumstances, Mr. Bartlett gave first aid until a physician from Cedar Falls and two from Waterloo, as well as ambulance drivers, responded.

It was determined that Clell Bartlett, Mrs. Brown and Irene Brown had been killed instantly. Mr. Brown and Edith Bartlett were alive but unconscious. Tenderly picking up the crushed and bleeding form of his little girl, Mr. Bartlett smoothed back the matted hair from the pallid forehead and wiped away splotches of blood from her face. All the way to St. Francis Hospital the father sat silently holding the precious little form one hand supporting a dangling leg badly mutilated. Just as the hospital steps were reached, the spirit took flight and with a final convulsion the body became stilled in his arms.

Milton Brown died in the ambulance without regaining consciousness, before half the distance to the hospital had been covered.

Mrs. Bartlett regained her senses before she was taken from the scene, but her mind was not sufficiently clear to grasp just what had happened. She complained of pain in the region of the groin and back.

The remains of the two who died enroute, as well as of the three instantly killed, were taken to O'Keefe & Towne's mortuary. Of the Milton Brown family there now is left but one son, Mervin Brown, married and living at Clermont,

The Bartlett family also has left but one son, Basil**, age 6, who was riding with his father in the front auto.

Milton Brown was a farmer about 50 years of age and had lived at Brainard for many years. His wife was Jerusha Bartlett before marriage, also, a native of Fayette County, and was 48 years old.

The Elmer Boyer family has lived many years near Brainard, as did the Bartlett family before coming to Waterloo four years ago. Mr. Bartlett is a machinist in the factory of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company.

The Brown and Boyer families had driven to Waterloo Saturday and had planned to return Sunday afternoon.

The interurban train was No. 62, in charge of Motorman Ed Hartman and Conductor C. M. Knight and had left Cedar Falls for Waterloo at 10:15. The testimony of those who witnessed indicates the auto was driving very slowly, perhaps not to exceed 5 or 6 miles an hour. The nature of the ground in the vicinity of the crossing is such that it would be necessary to travel in "low" to make the grade. It is thought that when he saw the interurban bearing down upon him Mr. Brown attempted to throw his machine into "high" in an effort to increase his speed. This evidently resulted in his "killing" the engine for the car stopped and was directly in the center of the tracks when struck. The machine was caught by the cow catcher of the interurban and driven down the track.

The view of the road approaching the crossing is shut off from the motorman, until within a few hundred feet by trees which line either side of the right of way. There is little traffic over the crossing because it is a private drive used chiefly by the few families who reside in the grove. It is thought that the Brown and Bartlett families turned into the drive by mistake, not being well acquainted with the roads. They intended to picnic at Cedar Heights, a mile further west.

Edward Hartman, motorman of the car, said he blew his whistle as he approached the crossing. The automobile was almost upon the tracks before he saw it. The driver of the machine looked toward the interurban and then hesitated a moment as though he intended to stop. A second later he continued across the tracks and it was then that the automobile stopped. The Interurban struck the car, a Ford, squarely in the center. Mr. Hartman has been a motorman for the W., C. F. & N. for years and is regarded as one of the most careful drivers in the service,

John Sims, whose home is but a few yards from the crossing, was an eyewitness of the tragedy. He was sitting On the front porch reading a newspaper.

"I noticed one car drive up the private road and could hear the motor of another machine in the distance. As this other machine approached also heard the interurban car coming down the track. I continued reading thinking that the auto would stop and wait until the car passed. Evidently the driver of the machine did not hear the approaching interurban for he was within a few feet of the crossing before he seemed to notice his danger. Then it appeared though he tried to speed up and get across in front of the car. His engine apparently went dead, for the auto seemed to stop directly in the center of the tracks. The interurban struck it with terrific force. The occupants of the machine, however, were not hurled from their seats, but were ground to death as the interurban pushed the ruins of the demolished car down the track. I ran toward the tracks as did other neighbors living in the vicinity. The motorman was working frantically with his brakes and the car slowly came to a stop, but not until it had traveled for more than 200 feet from where it struck the automobile.

"We lifted the bodies from the wreckage and carried them into the yard of the C. W. Bronson home. I never saw people so badly mangled We knew we could do nothing for them and immediately phoned to Waterloo and Cedar Falls for doctors and ambulances."

The automobile was a mass of wreckage when it was lifted off the tracks. It was literally ground to pieces. Human flesh, remnants of clothing and personal effects were intermingled with the scraps of twisted and splintered machinery. Pieces of bone and flesh were strewn all along the track.

Roads leading to the scene of the tragedy were soon choked with automobiles containing people eager to get a sight of the disaster, or those who sought information as to the identity of the dead. Many picnic parties from Waterloo and Cedar Falls had started out early in the day and relatives and friends were fearful that loved ones had figured in the accident.

Souvenir hunters were numerous. Pieces of the wrecked car were appropriated eagerly. One wheel of the machine was found in the yard of a home nearby.

Owing to the severe strain of the experience, the train crew was given a respite as soon as they reached this city and fresh trainmen were put on the run. This is the policy of the company whenever crews become involved in a fatality.

Tuesday the bodies of three of the victims, Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Brown and their daughter, were brought to their home near Brainard and the funeral was held Wednesday. The service for the three who had been taken from this life so quickly, was conducted by Rev. Gillett, assisted by Rev. H. W. Wedel, and the remains were conveyed to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery in two auto hearses, and an auto truck, where they were laid to rest in one grave.

Milton C. Brown was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Brown, and his wife was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bartlett. Both of these families were among the early settlers of Fayette County and Mr. and Mrs. Brown were born in Pleasant Valley Township and have spent most of their lives here.

The last rites were attended by a large number of sorrowing relatives and friends and the sympathy of the entire community is extended to the ones who are left to mourn.



** The son, Basil Bartlett, died in 1975, per Social Security Death Index:

b: 05 Jul 1912
d: May 1975
age: 62
res: 94619 (Oakland, Alameda, CA)
ssn: Iowa 479-05-4822


Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
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