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3 Children Parish in Murray Fire


Posted By: Karen Brewer (email)
Date: 2/9/2020 at 12:08:36

The Osceola Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa
April 6, 1950, Page 1

3 Children Parish in Murray Fire


Three Murray youngsters were burned to death and a fourth was badly burned early this (Thurs.) morning when the Robert Agans home was destroyed in the worst fire tradgedy of Clarke county history.

The dead are Robert, Jr., 9, Patty, 8, and Marline, 2.

Billy the fourth child and a twin brother of Robert, Jr., is in a hospital here. Dr. H. N. Boden, attending physician, said he is suffering from first and second degree burns on the back but indicated his condition does not appear critical.

Others Burned

Father of the children also received burns in the fire as did Verne Shaffer who entered the burning house to try and get the children out. Both Mr. and Mrs. Agans are suffering from shock.

Inside of the newly rebuilt ranch type house was completely gutted by the flames. Only part of the outside walls remained standing today.

The house, completed on its present site in early 1949 was destroyed by fire last December. It was rebuilt and remodeled and reoccupied only about a month ago.

The fire was discovered shortly after 2 o'clock this morning by the twin boys. According to reports, Robert, Jr., went to arouse the girls, sleeping in another room, while Billy entered the parents room to wake them.

Murray firemen and an Osceola Fire truck were summoned but the fire had gained too much headway to save the house.

Preliminary reports indicate that the fire may have started from overheated electric wiring.

Called Off

Agans is owner of the Agans Coal and Feed Store in Murray. A special event, scheduled by his firm for this Saturday, in which 6,000 baby chicks were to be given away has been called off.

The fire this morning is believed to have taken the highest toll of lives in Clarke county history.

Alfred Jones, county Red Cross chairman, and Sgt. James Machholz, of the Red Cross committee, said this morning that the Red Cross aid will be given to the Agans family at Murray. Emergency clothing and other aid will be provided immediately, they said. The men drove to Murray this morning to survey the damage at the scene of the tragedy.

Funeral arrangements for the Agan children had not yet been made today. Friends may obrain the time and place by contacting the Watts Funeral home in Murray.

Note: Burial was made in the Murray Cemetery for the three children; Bobby Sheesley (1941 - 1950), Marlene Sheesley (1948 - 1950), and Patricia Sheesley (1941 - 1950). Children of Robert Agan Sheesley and Gladys.


Clarke Documents maintained by Brenda White.
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