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DEVOOGD, Jacob H. 1873-1921


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 12/10/2016 at 16:41:51

Meets Death In Handcar Accident

Jacob H. Devoogd, of Grundy Center, Fatally Injured when Handcar on Which Section Crew Was Returning Home is Wrecked Last Wednesday

Accident Occurred One Mile East of Holland--Some Tool Falls from Car Causing Accident--Section Foreman Sennenfelder is also Badly Injured

Jacob Devoogd, one of the members of the Rock Island section crew at this place, was fatally injured last Wednesday night in an accident which wrecked the section car one mile west of Holland. Section foreman John Sennenfelder was also badly injured at the time.

During the last few weeks the local section men have been assisting in laying new steel on the Rock Island west of this place, and the trip to and from their work has been made on the motor section car. Last Wednesday evening as the crew was returning home, evidently some tool fell from the car, causing the machine to be thrown from the track. Just what the tool was has not been definitely ascertained but a large hole through the floor of the car and entirely through the gas tank shows that it must have been a crowbar, pickhandle or something of that sort, which, becoming loosened from its accustomed place, fell to the track and caused the trouble. The front end of the machine was raised clear of the track, causing the car to be thrown off the rails sidewise. Mr. Devoogd, who was sitting on the front end, fell in front of the car, and was evidently struck in the back of the head by some part of the car, as the right side of the skull behind the ear was crushed. The left shoulder was also broken and a bad bruise was shown on the left side of the face and head.

Mr. Sennenfelder had his collar bone broken and his left shoulder crushed, besides receiving other minor bruises. The injured men were picked up in a truck and taken to Holland where they were placed on board an extra east bound freight train and taken to Grundy Center. They were met at the depot by a truck and a number of men, and conveyed to their homes. The local Rock Island surgeon, Dr. E. A. Crouse was called in attendance. Mr. Devoogd was taken care of first. It was found that his injuries were very serious, and he was made as comfortable as possible. After attending to Mr. Devoogd, Dr. Crouse went to the Sennenfelder home to dress Mr. Sennenfelder's wounds, but soon after reaching there he was informed Mr. Devoogd had passed away, death coming about three hours after the accident occurred.

The funeral services were held Monday afternoon from the Methodist church and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. Fred P. Fisher, assisted by Rev. W. Bode, of Grundy College. Interment was made in the Grundy Center cemetery.

At the time of the accident there were six men on the car, and all were thrown off except one. However, only the two were seriously hurt, the others receiving only slight scratches or bruises. The car was not running at a high rate of speed. Only a minute or two before the crash came, Foreman Sennenfelder had asked about the safety of the tools and Mr. Devoogd himself had replied they were all right.

This is one of the worst accidents that has occurred in this division of the Rock Island in recent years, and seems wholly unavoidable on the part of all interested. It is doubly sad because of the circumstances in which it leaves the family of the victim. Mr. Devoogd was one of the hardest working and honest men in the community, had devoted his life to the effort of rearing a large family in a careful and fatherly manner and was respected by all who knew him. The deepest sympathy is extended to the suddenly bereaved ones.

Jacob H. Devoogd
The subject of this sketch, Jacob Heiko Devoogd, was born in Holland in the year 1873 on May the 7th. He spent the first twenty years of his life in his native country and then emigrated to the New World, landing in Grundy county in 1893. He was married the next year, October 30, 1894, to Miss Trena Schriever, also a native of Holland. Fourteen children were born to this union, two of whom died in infancy. The widow with twelve children survive the father. They are Heiko, of this city; Mrs. Rika Meinders, of Gladbrook, Henry, of this place; Mrs. Anna Parish, of Duluth, Minn.; and the following living at home; Trena, Grace, Jake, Emma, Margaret, Fred, Peter and Harold. There are also five grandchildren. Mr. Devoogd leaves a father and two brothers in Holland, and one brother living in Nebraska.

The deceased was always a hard working, industrious man, seeking in his daily efforts to care for his large and growing family. For about thirteen years since coming to this country he had been employed by the railroad and it was while engaged in this service that he lost his life suddenly and without warning the evening of Wednesday, November 23, while returning from their day's labor. He passed away at eleven o'clock that night and Thanksgiving Day brought to light in the little home a vacant chair. The lesson comes forcibly home to us in the words of the Saviour, "Be ye then also ready for such an hour as you think not the Son of Man cometh."

--The Grundy County Dispatch (Grundy Center, Iowa), 30 November 1921, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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