DIEKEN, Willis Arthur 1925-1933
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/14/2015 at 13:03:19
Two Boys Killed In Corn Bin At Dieken Farm
8-Year-Old Son of Heye Dieken and 7-Year-Old Son of Joe Alberts Die Under 900 Bu. of Corn.
Willis Dieken, the eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Heye Dieken of Lincoln township, and Delmer Alberts, the eight-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Alberts of Ackley, were killed Saturday afternoon through suffocation in a corn bin on the Dieken farm.
The boys had been playing in a bin containing about 900 bushels of shelled corn. It was an elevated bin in the combination granary and corncrib. There is an opening or chute under the bin through which corn is let out when it is needed for feed or for grinding. While the boys were playing in the bin Mr. Dieken and his hired man, Herman Schoorman, opened the chute to let out 150 bushels of corn that was to be ground in a hammer mill. The machine was in operation when the corn was let out.
With the opening of the chute and the beginning of the flow of grain sufficient suction is created to draw the corn down. This suction was so strong that it drew the boys under and suffocated them. If the boys called for help the noise from the hammer mill was so great that the men underneath the bin did not hear them.
The bin was 10 feet deep and it was nearly full before the 150 bushels of corn was withdrawn.
The suction drew the boys to the bottom of the bin, with more than 8 feet of shelled corn on top of them. Willis Dieken's foot got caught in the spout of the bin and it obstructed the flow of corn. It was this obstruction that told the two men what had taken place. They rushed to the bin with scoops in an effort to uncover the boys. They were able to get hold of one of Willis' hands and arm but the suction was so great that they could not pull him out. The boy's head was above the corn and he was still alive. Seeing that the boy couldn't be pulled out, Mr. Dieken cut a hole in the bottom of the bin near the chute to let the corn run out. By the time this was accomplished and the boys could be removed it was too late. Both were dead when they were taken out, and the doctor who reached the boys a few minutes later could do nothing for them.
The Alberts boy was lying on the floor of the bin with the weight of the entire bin of corn upon him. The boys were in the bin less than a half hour as it was not more than that length of time when the corn was let out of the chute until the terrible accident was discovered.
The two boys are cousins. Delmer came to the Dieken home last Thursday on a visit and the two boys were having a fine time together at the farm. No one in the family knew that the boys were in the corn bin at the time the corn was withdrawn, nor did the boys realize there was any danger in playing in a bin of shelled corn.
The floor of the bin is about 14 feet square. If the little boy's foot had not been drawn into the chute of the bin no one would have known where to look for either of them. Delmer's body was lying on the floor of the bin.
The tragedy was discovered about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and the news of it came as a severe shock to the community. No one can recall that such an accident ever before took place in Grundy county.
Willis was the oldest son and child of Mr. and Mrs. Dieken. He has a brother, Eldon, 5 years old. Delmer Alberts is the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Alberts. He has a sister four years old.
Funeral services were held at the Lincoln Center church Tuesday afternoon with the local pastor, Rev. John Schuurmann, officiating. Only a portion of the large number of bereaved friends and neighbors were able to get into the church building during the time of the services. The boys were laid side by side in one grave in the Lincoln Center church cemetery.
The pallbearers were Delbert and Wayne Meyer, Carl Gerdes, Bert Kruse, Gordon Petersen, Glenn Alberts, John Cannegeiter and Irwin Dieken.
Relatives from a distance who were here at the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Will Alberts and two sons from Clear Lake, So. Dak.; Mr. and Mrs. Jake England and son from Iowa falls; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schoeman and son, Mrs. August Berger and Nettie Waldman from Cedar Falls, Mrs. H. Asmus and son and his wife from Buffalo Center.
August Scharlipp and sons, Fritz and George, and daughter, Lizzie, all of Sibley, came Wednesday, a day too late for the funeral, due to a mistake made in the transmission of the telegram to the family in respect to the day that the funeral was to be held.
Willis Arthur, son of Heye and Maria Dieken, was born January 26, 1925, in Lincoln township and died August 5, 1933, at the age of 8 years, 6 months and 10 days.
The few years of his life were spent with his parents on a farm where he was born.
He attended the District Number 2 public school and the Lincoln Center Sunday School very faithfully.
He leaves to mourn his loss his parents, his younger brother, Eldon, his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Dieken and Mr. and Mrs. G. Uschkrat, and also may other relatives.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 10 August 1933, pg 1, 12
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