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William Earl Littell 1870-1906


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 10/18/2011 at 21:27:33

W.E. Littell Expires Suddenly
Arose Tuesday Morning in Good Spirits and Apparent Good Health
Dies From Heart Failure
Is Discovered on Lounge in Back Part of Store by W.P. Hutchison
W.E. Littell, one of the best known and respected young businessmen of Estherville, succumbed to heart failure in his father’s store, Tuesday morning sometime between six thirty and seven o’clock.

He arose in the morning at an early hour, as was his custom, and started from home, whistling as he passed out of the yard. Upon arriving at the store he evidently started in to scrub the store, for when discovered he was lying on a lounge in the back part of the store, near the Main street entrance with a mop stick still grasped in his hand, and he had mopped about twenty feet of the floor back from the door. W.P. Hutchison, whose laundry is on Main street, in passing discovered Mr. Littell lying on the lounge. The back door was open but the screen was hooked on the inside. Mr. Hutchison tried the screen and found it fastened. He then called Marion Silcox who was sweeping the walk near the postoffice and said he thought something was the matter with Will. After trying the door a second time, and rapping on the window, they went around to the front door and informed Mr. E. R. Littell, the father, who had only arrived at the store a couple of minutes before, that they thought there was something the matter with Will as he was lying on the lounge in the back part of the store and they could not see him breathe. They accompanied Mr. Littell to the back part of the store and found Will had expired. Dr. Anderson was called immediately but he was beyond help.

Coroner Wilson empaneled a jury and held an inquest Tuesday forenoon, the jury rendering a verdict that he came to his death by heart failure.

Mr. Littell’s mother died a few months ago from the same cause.

W.E. Littell was born in Ellsworth township on March 27, 1870. He grew to manhood in this county and worked several years for the B.C.R. & N. railway company as a telegraph operator and agent. He then went to Montana for a couple of years, returning here he has been employed in his father’s store. He was a hard working cheerful young man, universally liked by all who knew him. He leaves a wife and one son, his oldest son, Rex, having died a couple of years ago.

He was a member of the Highland Nobles and Brotherhood of American Yoemen in both of which orders he carried insurance.

The funeral will be held from the M.E. church tomorrow afternoon at two o’clock.

His brother Leslie E. Littell lives at Gentry, Ark., but as he is an itinerant preacher, the family have been unable to notify him, as his present address is not known. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, October 17, 1906)

Dies Very Suddenly
Wm. E. Littell Passed Away Tuesday Morning
Services at M.E. Church
Thursday Afternoon at 2:30 – Interment Will Be Made in the East Side Cemetery
That time worn platitude “in the midst of life we are in death” finds another extremely sad exemplification in the death of W. E. Littell which occurred Tuesday morning at a little past seven o’clock in his father’s store room on north Sixth street and which was caused by heart failure.

That morning Will got up as usual, felt in his usual health and after partaking of breakfast set out for the store to take up the labors and business cares of another day. He was the first to the store and pretty soon began cleaning up for the day’s business by mopping the floor. He began this labor in the rear end and in the L part of the room and had gone over a small section of the floor when he was overcome, falling into a swoon upon the lounge and from which he never awakened. His father had just come to the store and was engaged in selling some goods when he was attracted to the rear part of the store by this customer who said something was the matter with Will. He hurried back and found his son on the lounge dead, the head leaning on the arm of the couch and the feet extending on the floor, the handle of the mob he was using was still in his hand and death must have been immediate as the countenance indicated a repose too peaceful to admit of any final struggle. This depressing news spread rapidly and caused a great shock to this community among whom he had lived so long and by whom he was much esteemed.

The funeral arrangements are made for the afternoon of Thursday and in the M.E. church. The burial will be in the east side cemetery where repose the remains of his little son, Rex, his mother, grandmother and other relative. Rev. Cole of the church will officiate.

William Earl Littell was born in Ellsworth township this county in 1870 and where he grew up to boyhood when the family moved to this city and engaged in business. He received the greater part of his education in the schools of this city and for a time assisted in the store of his father and brother Leslie, doing business under the firm name of E.R. Littell 7 Son.

Later he entered the service of the B.C.R. & N. Ry. and served as agent and operator for some time. When agent for the company at Hardwick in 1893, he was married to Miss Elma Crossman and to this union two sons were born, the eldest Rex, dying June 1st, 1903, from the effects of a peritonitis illness resulting from being struck on the abdomen with a base ball; a younger son, Gla, is now in his eighth year. After leaving the service of the railway he went to Davenport, Wash., where he remained about a year and then returned to Estherville and took up business with his father, E.R. Little, and had been a valuable assistant to him. He was a large hearted and wholesouled fellow, popular, and for this death premature and sudden, there is much sorrow felt.

The Democrat extends its condolence to the household whom death has thus severely tried and stricken deeply to the heart. May they be comforted and sustained in this dark and lonely hour. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, October 17, 1906)

W.E. Littell Dead
One of Estherville’s Best Known Citizens Answers Sudden Summons
Found Dead in Father’s Store
Death Was Evidently Due to Heart Trouble as He Was in Apparent Good Health on Monday
William E. Littell, one of the best known citizens of Estherville, was found dead in his father’s store in the Postoffice block about seven o’clock yesterday morning.

He had left his home about ten minutes after six o’clock and had gone to the store to mop a portion of the room and when found he was reclining on a sofa near the large windows at the main street entrance and life was extinct. He must have felt an attack of heart trouble coming on and had gone to the sofa to rest and evidently expired almost instantly for he still retained hold of the handle of the mop and there was no evidence that he had suffered pain or struggled before death. He lay back on the sofa in an easy position, with one foot slightly touching the floor.

He was first discovered by W.P. Hutchison who was on his way to the laundry and could plainly see him where he lay through the large window. Mr. Hutchison thought to rouse him by tapping on the window, thinking perhaps he was asleep, but there was no response and he called to Albert Mahlum and Marion Silcox, clerks in the post office, and the three attempted to go into the store, but found the door locked. Mr. Hutchison came around to the front of the store and found the dead man’s father, E.R. Littell, and asked if Will was laid up or ill. Mr. Littell answered that his son was apparently well when he left the house to go to work about three-quarters of an hour before, whereupon they went to the back of the store and found the lifeless body on the sofa. A physician was at once summoned, who after an examination gave it as his opinion that death was due to heart trouble.

The body was removed to the Barber undertaking rooms and Coroner Wilson summoned a jury composed of John M. Barker, E.I. Sondrol and E.E. Johnston and a hearing was held in C.W. Crim’s office, Mr. Crim conducting the examination of the following witnesses: Dr. Albert Anderson, E.R. Littell, W.P. Hutchison, John Lucas and R.J. Stephens.

The jury rendered a verdict to the effect that the deceased came to his death from natural causes. The descendant’s mother, Mrs. E.R. Littell, died suddenly from heart trouble June 1 at her home in this city.

Will had worked hard Monday building a platform in the back part of the store and was transferring a large number of sacks of flour and had complained during the night of pains over his right eye. He did not consider the trouble at all serious and came down to go to work as usual yesterday morning and had mopped over a portion of the floor about fifteen feet square when the attack which cut off his life came upon him. He evidently had only lain on the sofa momentarily before expiring.

William E. Littell was born in Ellsworth township March 27, 1870, and resided with his parents on the farm until 1880, when the family moved to Estherville. Later he entered the employ of the B.C.R. & N. railroad as operator at Spirit Lake. The same fall he opened a station at Hardwick, Minnesota, for the company and served as agent for five years. He then moved to Everett, Washington, where he spent a year and then returned to Estherville and was engaged in business for two years when he went to Davenport, Washington, and engaged in the grocery business. He remained there a year and a half and returned to Estherville where he has since resided. He was married in January, 1892, to Miss Elma E. Crossman of Beaver Creek, Minnesota. Two children were born to them, Rex, who died three years ago and Gla, no aged eight years. He is survived by his wife, son, father and a brother, Leslie Littell of Gentrey, Arkansas.

The funeral services will be held in the Methodist Episcopal church tomorrow at 2 p.m. conducted by Rev. T. S. Cole. The remains will be interred in the east side cemetery. The funeral will be in charge of the Highland Nobles, of which order the deceased was the local treasurer.

Mr. Littell was of a cheerful disposition and uncomplainingly did any task set before him. He was one of the hardest working men in Estherville, but always found time to greet his friends and acquaintances. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him and sincere sympathy is extended by all to the bereaved father, wife and son. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, October 17, 1906)

Claim Promptly Paid
Saturday last Mr. J.P. Littell, District agent for the Des Moines Life Insurance Company, paid over to Mrs. Will Littell one thousand and sixty four dollars on a one thousand dollar policy, this being a return premium policy that the Des Moines Life Insurance Company writes where the insured gets the face of the policy and the return of all the premiums paid in. This progressive company has 26 new and up-to-date policies containing cash loans and paid up policies after two and three years and no man will send his money back east to buy life insurance after seeing these forms of policies written by the Des Moines Life Insurance Company. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, October 24, 1906)


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