GEIKEN, John H. 1890-1955
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 1/27/2015 at 19:22:25
John H. Geiken County's First 1955 Traffic Death
A Shiloh township farmer, John H. Geiken, became Grundy county's first traffic fatality of 1955 when his car ran off a deadend gravel road 2 miles north and two miles west of Wellsburg about 7:10 p.m. Thursday.
Geiken, a 64-year-old widower, died almost instantly of chest injuries received when the steering post of his 1948 Chevrolet jammed into his body as the car crashed into the embankment.
He was pronounced dead by Dr. Lowell Peck after being taken to the Wellsburg doctor's office by County Coroner Harold Engelkes a half hour later. The body was then taken to Doyen Funeral Home.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Monday in the Abe Murra home, and later in the Wellsburg Reformed church, in charge of Rev. George Poppen. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Geiken, well known northwest Grundy county farmer and hybrid seed corn salesman, spent the afternoon in Wellsburg playing cards with friends.
He returned to his 40-acre farm two miles north and a mile east of town about 6 p.m., and an hour later began his fatal drive toward the home of his son, Frank Geiken, three miles west.
There were two witnesses to the mishap, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Riekens, German township couple, who were driving south on a gravel road that intersects with the road Geiken was on. Geiken was traveling west.
Near the junction or "T", Riekens caught his first glimpse of the other car as it passed the Ernest DeNeui farm a half-mile east of the accident scene. Riekens saw the car again seconds later--in the ditch.
The witness stopped, went over to the wrecked car, saw the man was badly hurt, and drove to the DeNeui home for help. Sheriff John Meyer and Coroner Harold Engelkes were called. Both arrived at the scene about 7:30 p.m.
Ironically; Frank Geiken heard about the accident over his country telephone line and drove a half-mile up the road to investigate. But he did not recognize the dead man as his father at first because the car bore a Jasper county license plate.
Sheriff Meyer could give no cause for the accident. Geiken was very familiar with the road, and there were no skid marks or other evidence that the man had tried to avoid going into the ditch.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 March 1955, pg 1
Funeral Service Held Monday for John H. Geiken
John H. Geiken was born in Colfax township on Sept. 20, 1890, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Geiken.
He married Grace Hippen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hippen on Jan. 8, 1914. The couple farmed in this area their entire lives.
In 1944 they purchased a 40-acre farm two miles north and a mile east of Wellsburg in Shiloh township where they lived together until Mrs. Geiken died of cancer, Dec. 18, 1951.
Mr. Geiken was a member of the Wellsburg Reformed church. He also was a seed corn salesman, and served as Grundy county assessor for Pleasant Valley township in 1954 and 1955.
Survivors include one son, Frank, of Wellsburg; three daughters, Mrs. Abe Murra and Mrs. Raymond Harms of Wellsburg and Mrs. John Luchtenburg, Jr., of Buck Grove; also 17 grandchildren, one sister, Miss Tena Geiken, Wellsburg and two brothers, Martin and Deddo of Ackley.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, an infant brother and his parents.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Monday in the Abe Murra home, and later in the Wellsburg Reformed Church with Rev. George C. Poppen officiating. Interment was in the church cemetery.
Pall bearers were George Anderson, George Hoodjer, Ernest DeNeui, Henry Maas, Warren Anderson and Gratus Nederhoff. Music was provided by Mrs. Raymond Beving, Mrs. Elmer Ruter, Mrs. John Olthoff, Mrs. Eugene Ruter, Mrs. John Frerichs and Mrs. Woodrow Lindaman. Marcella Neessen was organist.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 March 1955, pg 11
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