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DUNHAM, Chas. E. 1879-1929


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 5/3/2015 at 14:45:24

Chas. E. Dunham Killed When Gun Was Discharged

Farmer Is Killed Instantly When Charge Hits Him In Forehead

Death Undoubtedly Was Accidental

Members of Family Heard Shot, But There Were No Eye-Witnesses to Disaster

One of the most distressing accidents that has occurred in this vicinity for a long time happened about fifteen minutes past ten o'clock Monday forenoon when Chas. E. Dunham, a well known farmer living on the old Clark farm a short distance northwest of this place, was accidentally killed by the premature discharge of a shotgun.

Mr. Dunham had been annoyed for some time with chicken hawks bothering his poultry, and Monday forenoon while he was assisting Mrs. Dunham with the washing he noticed a hawk flying about the place, and he took his shotgun and went out to try and get a shot at the hawk. In the meantime Mrs. Dunham was hanging up clothes on the other side of the house and of course did not see the accident when it happened, but she heard the shot and when she came around the house she saw her husband lying on the cement walk near the gate and about thirty feet from the house. The full charge of shot from the gun had struck him in the center of the forehead and had blown the entire top of his head off.

The eldest boy, Homer, was working in a nearby field and he too heard the report of the gun when it was discharged, but there were not eyewitnesses. However, it was known that the gun, a 12-gauge, single barrel, was in bad repair and was easily discharged because there was no spring to lock the hammer when pulled back, and the only way that the hammer could be retained in position was to push the trigger forward. The condition of the shotgun made it exceedingly easily discharged, and it is thought that Mr. Dunham had either caught the hammer on the gate, or that he set the gun down too hard on the cement walk, causing it to discharge.

From the nature of the wound it was quite evident that he was in a partly stooping position when the gun discharged as the entire top of his head was blown off, a portion of it being found in the doorway leading to the house.

Coroner L. D. Coffman and Sheriff Diehl were called soon after the accident happened and after making a thorough investigation of the surroundings decided that it was purely an accident and no inquest was necessary.

Mr. Dunham was forty-nine years of age and a native of southern Illinois, coming to Iowa twenty years ago. For seven years he worked for Mr. Calderwood in the light and power plant here, and for ten years he was employed by E. C. Kerr on the latter's farm. For the past year the family have been living on the Clark farm a mile and a half northwest of this place, owned by Clyde Wilhelm.

Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at the farm home and burial will be in the Clark cemetery west of town.

Besides the wife there are four children: Homer, who graduated last year from the Grundy Center high school, Joseph, Thelma and Lilly Mae. The eldest child, a boy, died several years ago. Mr. Dunham's father also lives in southern Illinois, as do three brothers, James, at Gays, Ill.; Edward, Sullivan, Ill.; Harvey, Vandalia, Ill. Two half-brothers and one half-sister reside in Illinois.

Mr. Dunham was a good citizen and a hard-working farmer, and his sudden and untimely death has brought the sympathy of the entire community to the bereaved family.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 16 May 1929, pg 1


Obituary of Chas. E. Dunham

Charles Emery (Daniels) Dunham was born September 12, 1879, in Vandalia, Illinois. He departed this life May 13, 1929, aged 49 years, 6 months and 1 day. His mother died when he was three years old. He was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Dunham at the age of seven. His boyhood days were spent in southern Illinois. At the age of 17 years he entered the Christian life and united with the church of his choice.

Mr. Dunham was united in marriage July 1, 1906, to Miss Harriett Ellen Allgood, at Sullivan, Illinois. To this union were born three sons and two daughters. One son, Glen, preceded him in death April 20, 1914. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Funeral services were held from his late home on Thursday, May 16th, 1929, Rev. Cassel, pastor of the First Baptist church, officiating.

Those relatives present from a distance were Will Allgood, Jackson, Minn., Dick and Dewey Allgood, Verona, No. Dak.; Ed. Daniels and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Butler, Sullivan, Ill.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 30 May 1929, pg 3


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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