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George Mahlum 1871-1924


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 8/27/2010 at 21:57:44

George Mahlum Met With Fatal Accident Friday
Rock Island Engineer Meets Death at Ellsworth
On His Way to Sioux Falls
Leaning Out of the Cab Window Head Was Struck by Coal Chute
Only Lived Few Hours

Engineer George Mahlum of the Rock Island, was killed at Ellsworth about ten o’clock Friday forenoon. He left here at 7:20 in the morning as engineer on the Sioux Falls passenger, a run he had held the past three or four years. At Ellsworth the engine was uncoupled by Brakeman Barnes and run to the coal yards for another supply of coal, then it was backed up to the train and recoupled ready to go. Conductor Dillon gave Engineer Mahlum the signal to go and the train started out of Ellsworth. In just a few moments it came to a sudden stop and Conductor Dillon and Brakeman Barnes jumped off to see what was the matter. About this time Fireman Porchasky came off the engine and called to them that Engineer Mahlum was dead. Fireman Pocharsky says he was down putting in coal as they started out of Ellsworth and when he finished and looked up Engineer Mahlum was sitting on the seat in the cab and the blood rushing from his head. He grabbed the lever and stopped the train and called the train crew for assistance. Mr. Mahlum was found to have been hit on the head by the coal chute. He must have heard an unusual noise under the train and leaned out of the window to see what it was. In doing so he was struck on the left and back side of the head by the coal chute which was located on that side of the track. His skull was fractured and blood running from the wound. He was rendered unconscious and remained so until he passed away at 6:10 the same evening. His relatives were notified and his two brothers, Henry and Albert Mahlum drove there immediately, arriving at one o’clock. The railroad company’s doctor was summoned and the crew carried him from the engine into the station and from there to the Ellsworth hospital. Everything was done to save his life but to no avail. The doctor at Ellsworth when he first saw him said he could not live.

George Mahlum was one of the finest men we ever knew and we had known him over forty years. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. William Mahlum, pioneer residents of Estherville and a highly respected family. His father, eighty-two years of age, who is still living and a resident of this city, was an employee of the old B.C.R. & N. ahead of him and worked for the company many years. George first commenced work in the round house thirty-seven years ago and from there went on the road as a fireman and was soon promoted to an engineer. In all his railroad life he never before met with an accident. He was a careful, painstaking and loyal employee. Every railroad employee on this division was his friend. We talked to him on the platform before he left Friday morning on his fatal run. Little did we think it would be the last time we would see him alive. He resided at Sioux Falls and was on his way home. He would have reached there in less than two hours. As soon as he passed away his brother, Henry, telephoned here for the hearse and Chas. Anderson drove there and brought the remains to this city and they remained at the Mahlum and Anderson undertaking rooms until the funeral yesterday.

George Mahlum was born at Clear Lake, Iowa, on October 8, 1871, being past fifty-three years of age at the time of his death. He came here with his parents in 1878 and received his education in the Estherville schools. At the age of seventeen he secured the position of call boy at the B.C.R.& N. round house which he held until he commenced firing on the road. In 1892 he was married to Miss Carrie Dodge at Fort Atkinson, Wis., and to this union eight children were born. They are William Mahlum, at Albert Lea; Burr Mahlum, at Winterhaven, Fla.; Mrs. Alma Kruger, at Rochester, Minn.; Wesley, Clyde, Margaret, Carroll and Marvel at home in Sioux Falls. Besides the wife and children he leaves an aged father, William Mahlum, of this city, two brothers, Albert and Henry, also residents of Estherville, a sister, Mrs. Clara Dodge, at San Juan, Texas, and another sister, Mrs. E. I. Stanhope, at Humboldt. He was a member of all the Masonic orders, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Methodist church. Funeral services were held yesterday in the Methodist church of this city and a large concourse of sympathizing friends followed the remains to their last resting place in Oak Hill cemetery. Sympathy is extended the bereaved family in their hours of profound sorrow. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, November 26, 1924)


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