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Grafton A. Jenkins 1894-1921


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 2/14/2015 at 21:05:23

Armstrong Man Is Electrocuted
Met Sad End Today While Jumping Onto Pole From the Ground
Today, Wednesday, about noon, Grafton Jenkins, who was employed by the Emmet County Light & Power company of Armstrong was electrocuted. Something went wrong with the transformer, the current was going into the ground. He tried to jump from the ground onto the pole but he grabbed the pole before his feet left the ground and he was killed instantly. Three or four other gentlemen were with him at the time. One of them, in grabbing for him touched his clothing. He was also stunned for some time. Mr. Jenkins is survived by his wife and two small children. (Emmetsburg Democrat, Emmetsburg, IA, July 6, 1921)

Grafton A. Jenkins Electrocuted Wednesday
On Wednesday forenoon at 11 o’clock Grafton A. Jenkins, an employee of the Emmet County Light & Power Co., lost his life while on duty repairing the electric line 2 ˝ miles south of Dolliver by coming in contact with a ground wire carrying 6600 volts.

Mr. Jenkins and Harold Atwood were at the Wm. Biersted place to make repairs on a transformer that had been damaged in the electrical storm of Sunday night. They went to the pole where the transformer was located and were accompanied by Mr. Biersted and his hired man. Mr. Atwood tested the pole by putting his hand on it, and then Mr. Jenkins went to the car and put on his climbers and returned to the pole and it is supposed that when he jumped for the pole from the ground one foot touched the ground causing the current that was going through the ground wire to take the course of least resistence. The juice that had been going through the ground wire for a couple of days had caused the ground to bake around the pole and when he threw his arms around the pole in climbing position with one foot touching the ground caused a circuit. When the current struck him he made a noise and Mr. Atwood grabbed him by the back of the short. He had to make several attempts before he could get a good hold on account of the current being so strong. Mr. Biersted thoughtlessly grabbed one of Jenkins wrists and was hurled to the ground. The body was pulled loose, but he was dead and first aid had no effect. A doctor from Dolliver was called but his efforts to bring back life to the body were of no avail.

Mr. Atwood immediately phoned to the company’s office in Armstrong reporting the accident and in repeating the message over the wire it was reported that Harold Atwood was the one who was killed and the two cars that went to the scene of the accident did not know the difference until they arrived at the Biersted home and found that it was Mr. Jenkins.

Mr. Jenkins was about 27 years old and leaves a wife and two children to mourn his loss. He had been an employee of the light company for about 2 ˝ years and he was a conscientious and faithful employee always willing to go out and do his duty day or night and in all kinds of weather. He was a member of Uncle Sam’s army in the World War and was a very active member in the American Legion. Duffy Post of this city will have charge of the funeral services which will be held on Saturday afternoon at 1:30.

The compensation law of July 1, 1919, will allow the following sum for accidental death: $15 per week for 300 weeks or $4,500. According to Mrs. Jenkins salary this is the amount his family will receive, it is said. – Armstrong Journal (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, July 13, 1921)

G.A. Jenkins of Armstrong Electrocuted
G.A. Jenkins, employed by the Emmet County Light & Power Company was electrocuted on the high line at the Burnstedt farm located about midway between Maple Hill and Dolliver at about 11 a.m. Wednesday of this week.

As near as we can learn from particulars received over the phone his death resulted from taking too many chances. The transformer at the Burnstedt farm was burned out and the ground wire running down the pole was charged with electricity. He had been in the habit of fixing problems of this nature, without having the current shut off, by jumping up on the pole. If he succeeded in getting both feet off the ground when he grasped the pole the charge in the ground would not effect him. In making the jump up the pole a the Burnstedt farm one of his feet dragged on the ground as he grasped the wire and the full charge on the high line entered his body. Harold Atwood was with him and he grabbed him by the back of his shirt and attempted to get him loose but did not succeed. Mr. Burnstedt also attempted to get him loose and was knocked to the ground by the charge. But they did get him down and gave first aid while waiting for a doctor. Their efforts proved unavailing and he never regained consciousness.

This is the first accident that has happened to a workman on the Armstrong high line. Mr. Jenkins was in Ringsted between seven and eight o’clock with Harold Atwood the morning of the accident when they wired the Chautauqua tent. He was an American Legion man, having served with honor in the late war, and he was married to one of the Leison [Anna Liesson] girls, former residents of this community. He was the father of two children.

Every one in this community learning of this sad accident with horror, following so close as it does the death of Mac Oakes in the same manner. His family have the sincere sympathy of the entire community. – Ringsted Dispatch (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, July 13, 1921)

Note: per Iowa Select Marriages, parents were John Jenkins and Hannah Kinnick


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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