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BLENIS, James E. 1857-1914


Posted By: S. Bell
Date: 9/8/2013 at 01:20:37

[Waterloo Evening Courier, Tuesday, February 17, 1914]

James E. Blenis, aged 67 years, who was accidentally killed Feb. 16, 1914, at 9:30 o'clock, when he was crushed between a coal shed and coaJ car, which had jumped the track, was born January 4, 1857, in Ogle County, Ill.

When he was twelve years of age, he removed with his parents to Iowa, settling on a farm near Waterloo. In 1872, they removed to Waterloo and it was in this city that Mr. Blenis received his early schooling and grew to manlood. When a young man he enterid the employ of the Illinois Central railroad and for several years worked on the Minnesota and western divisions of the road. He was one of the oldest employes of the company.

In 1886, Mr. Blenis enlisted in the United States army and served for thirteen years as a regular. He saw actual service in the Spanish-American war and was engaged in several of the important battles of that notable conflict. He was in the battle of Santiago and throughout his army career was noted for his bravery and fearlessness. He journeyed from Florida to Cuba on the same boat with ex-President Roosevelt.

Mr. Blenis was mustered out of the service in the apring of 1899 and returning to Waterloo re-entered the employ of the Illinois Central. For two years he was engaged in the shops and since that time had been engaged as a switchman in the yards. He was one of the trusted and esteemed employes of the company.

Deceased was married to Mrs. Nettie Schwab Aug. 24, 1904, and shorty afterwards was converted to Chrisianity. He joined the Walnut Street Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. H. G. Beeman and was a hard and earnest worker in that intitution. He was especially interested in the meetings of the Agoga Bible class and the Friday evening luncheons of that organization.

Mr. Blenis was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen and was also associated with various fraternal organizations, including the Loyal Order of Moose, the A. 0. U. W. and Knights of the Maccabees.

Deceased is survived by his widow, his mother, Mrs. Cyrus Blenis, and two brothers, C. O. and J. R., both residing in Waterloo. He also has a number of cousins in the western states.

The funeral services will be held from the home, 337 Argyle Street Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock. Dr. J. B. Smith of the Walnut church in charge. Rev. H. G Beeman of St. Paul will assist in the services. Interment in Fairview.

[Portion of article from Waterloo Evening Courier, Monday, February 16, 1914]

When the accident occurred Mr. Blenis was aiding in switching some coal cars into position opposite the sheds, where they might be emptied. He was hanging onto the side of the rear coal car, when the latter jumped the track and crashed into the coal sheds. Unable to escape, Mr. Blenis was caught in an upright position between the car and sheds, and rolled in that manner for a considerable distance before the train could be stopped.

James died about 30 min after the accident on the operating table at St. Francis Hospital, Waterloo.

Son of Cyrus and Ervilla Blenis.


Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Kermit Kittleson.
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