HEMPEN, Claas 1877-1914
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 5/17/2015 at 15:12:37
Grundy Man Meets Death At Waterloo
Claas Hempen Thrown From Motorcycle Hits Moving G. W. Engine
Crushed Skull Kills Man Immediately
Claas Hempen, the only son of Ubbe Hempen of Stout, was killed at Waterloo last Thursday forenoon. He was thrown or jumped from a motorcycle and his skull was crushed by a moving Great Western passenger engine. He was dead when he was picked up.
Claas Hempen and Ukke Arenholz left Stout for Waterloo Thursday forenoon. They both rode on a motorcycle. The motorcycle belonged to Arenholz. It had a basket attachment for a second passenger and Hempen rode in the basket. They intended to catch a Great Western train to go to Dexter, Minn. They got a late start and it looked as if they were going to have a close connection. They were driving along at a good clip as they came into Waterloo. Before coming to a railway crossing they saw the passenger train coming. It was the train they intended to go on. They were quite close to the crossing when they saw the train coming. Hempen saw the train and he shouted to Arenholz. Arenholz suddenly turned the motorcycle to avoid a collision. Hempen was standing up in his seat and when the turn was made he either jumped out or was thrown out. He rolled over and over and his head struck the cow catcher of the moving locomotive. The collision fractured Hempen's skull. It broke an arm, a leg and three ribs. Hempen was thrown from the track. He was dead when he was picked up but in hopes that life might be revived he was rushed to the Presbyterian hospital. No spark of life remained and Hempen was removed to an undertakers rooms where the remains were prepared for shipment to the home at Stout.
Funeral services were held at the home at Stout Monday and later at Voss church where interment was made.
Claas Hempen was the only son of Ubbe Hempen a long time resident of this county. The family resided on a farm until three years ago when they moved to Stout. Claas was 36 years old and unmarried. He was the only son in the family. Aside from his parents he is survived by three sisters. The sisters are Mrs. Henry Freese, Mrs. Fred Marks and Mrs. Hilko Siebrands all of this county.
The Waterloo Times Tribune gives the following interview with Ukke Arenholz who drove the motorcycle.
"As I approached the crossing with which I was well acquainted I did not hear the bell. Neither did I hear any train. I slowed down the car and glanced up and down the track but the view to the south was obstructed by cars on another track, and I did not see the train. When we were almost upon the track, Hempen cried 'whoa' and then I saw the train. It was almost upon us. I turned quickly to the left, which brought the side car between me and the train but not close enough to the train to be struck. Had I turned to the right, the motorcycle would have upset and besides we would have more than likely collided with the train.
"As I made the turn, I saw Hempen stand up in the side car and he either leaped out or was thrown out before the car left the road and just as I made the turn. He rolled over and over and struck the train but did not fall under the wheels."
Ahrensolz was positive he did not hear the automatic signal maintained at the crossing by the railway company. To test his hearing faculties the reporter asked him numerous questions in a low voice and he readily answered all of them. Residents of the vicinity declare the signal does not always announce the approach of a train.
--The Grundy Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 20 August 1914, pg 1
Claas U. Hempen was born March 17, 1877 at Petkum, Ostfriesland, Germany and died at Waterloo, Aug. 13, 1914, attaining the age of 37 years, four months and 27 days.
Soon after his birth he was baptized, and in later years renewed his baptism alliance at Petkum, Germany.
In the year of 1892 he came with his parents to America, and settled in Grundy county, and he remained at the parental home until the time of his death.
--The Grundy Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 20 August 1914, pg 4
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