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KILLED BY LIGHTNING-Flossie McQuillan-1900


Posted By: cheryl Locher moonen (email)
Date: 6/4/2020 at 17:32:31

The Anamosa Eureka, Anamosa, Iowa, Thursday, July 19, 1900


Dubuque Girl the Victim of a Fatal Bolt
While She Lies in Bed

Dubuque, July 13.-Flossie McQuillan, aged 14 years, lies dead at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. McQuillan of 230 Rush Street, as a result of a bolt of lightning that entered the room where she was sleeping a few minutes before 5 o’clock this morning. Her cousin, Nellie Short, also 14 years of age, who occupied the same bed with the dead girl, is in a critical condition from the effect of the lightning and her life is despaired of.

The two girls occupied a room on the second story of the residence and it is supposed that the lightning entered through an open window in the room close by the bed, occupied by the dead girl and her cousin, and then continued its course, striking the chimney near the floor and passed through into the next room where John C. McQuillan, another of the family, was asleep. On his bedstead, a short distance above his head, there hung an umbrella, the handle of which was split in half by the bolt and the force of the blow also splintered the bedstead where the lightning struck. The occupant of the bed was dazed by the shock, but fortunately escaped injury.

The lightning was accompanied by several loud peals of thunder and for nearly a minute the other members of the family were unable to ascertain which portion of the house had been struck. Finally when they entered the room occupied by the young girls they were horror stricken by the sight that met their eyes. On the bed lay Flossie, the beloved daughter with the last sign of life extinct, and beside her cousin. She was still breathing but when a physician came and examined the injured girl he pronounced her condition most critical.

The dead girl was struck on the left side close into the heart and the flesh was burnt almost to a crisp. Her companion was also severely burned about the upper part of the body while the clothing was ignited but fortunately was extinguished before the fire made any headway.

As stated above it is supposed that the lightning entered through the open window in the room, occupied by the two girls. It may also have come in through the chimney in the same room. At the base of the brickwork near the floor the chimney is shattered as is also the upper casing of the doorway leading into the other room where the dead girl’s brother had such a narrow escape.

The appalling disaster has cast a gloom over the entire southern part of the city and elicits the sympathy of all who are acquainted with the particulars.

Flossie McQuillan, the dead girl, in company with her cousin, arrived home late last night from a visit with relatives in Anamosa and both looked forward to spending the remainder of their vacation at the McQuillan home in this city.

Miss Short is the niece of Miss Mary Short, who has been housekeeper for Rev. Father Power for fifteen tears and is well-known by many in Anamosa. What a striking commentary on the uncertainty of human life does this sad death of her companion afford. Two girls left Anamosa on the 6:35 Thursday evening train and one of them is struck dead by lightning bolt fifty miles from ho0me before rising from her bed. We are so glad to hear that Miss Nellie is doing nicely and will fully recover.


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