HEFFELFINGER, Sarah 1853-1903
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 12/13/2016 at 07:59:05
Mrs. Heffelfinger Killed
Struck by a C.B. & Q. Train at Afton Saturday Morning
This community was terribly shocked last Saturday afternoon to learn of the death of Mrs. John Heffelfinger. The news was of the most meagre sort and it was uncertain for a long time just how bad the accident was. All that was known was that she was killed by a train at Afton and the body taken on to Creston to the hospital.
The facts of the accident as near as can be ascertained are as follows.
Mrs. Heffelfinger left here last Friday to go to Red Oak to visit her sister, Mrs. Wolf, whom she had not seen for some time. Mr. Heffelfinger accompanied her as far as Des Moines where they remained until Saturday morning. Mrs. Heffelfinger continued her journey and reached Afton in time to transfer from the Great Western to the C.B. & Q. The arrangement of tracks on the "Q" at Afton is such that west bound passengers must cross over two tacks in order to reach the platform from which one steps on the train. It must be done too before the train comes in or else one is obliged to walk around the train to reach the coach steps. About 11:15 the passengers of whom there was quite a party started from the depot to cross the tracks ahead of the incoming train. The train was coming down grade at an unusual speed and only part of the passengers were able to get across, the rest being stopped by a man on the first platform. Mrs. Heffelfinger attempted to cross with the rest and it was thought by those behind that she had got across successfully. The fact, however, was that she was caught by the train and stuck in the left side which indicated that she saw her danger too late and dragged about twenty-five feet between the track and the platform, which is about eight inches above the ties, and when the train stopped was lying with her left arm caught under a wheel of one of the coaches, the arm was not broken but the flesh was torn from the bone.
She was still alive but unconscious and was carefully placed in the baggage car and taken to Creston to the Cottage hospital where she was cared for by Drs. J. W. Fry and B. N. Torrey and Miss Florence Compton the nurse. Everything was done that could be done, but she did not regain consciousness and gradually sank until 2:30 p.m. she died.
While on the way to Creston it was learned from some cards in her grip who she was and where she was going. Mr. Wolf was notified and also the division superintendent who telegraphed the sad news to Grundy Center.
Mr. Heffelfinger was found in Des Moines and securing the assistance of an old friend, Mr. W. V. Willcox, left on the night train for Creston where arrangements were made for bringing the body to Grundy Center. The remains arrived here Monday morning accompanied by Mrs. Wolf, Mrs. F. G. Moffett, Mr. Heffelfinger and Mr. Willcox. The funeral service was held Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock at the house, Rev. McMasters conducting, Revs. Hastings, Pye and Hogan being asked to assist.
Sarah Ellen Vasey was born Oct. 1, 1853, at Ulverton, Province of Quebec. In 1866 she came with her parents to Grundy Center, Iowa, where she was united in marriage to Mr. John Heffelfinger, Feb. 18, 1873. But one child, Mary Myra, was born to them. In 1889 during the pastorate of Rev. F. M. Archer she gave her heart to Christ and united with the Baptist church.
She was a faithful wife and mother. Her devotion to her husband was most beautiful. With her daughter, the relationship was more like sister and sister. She was a true home woman and delighted to make her home attractive and homelike. Those who knew her best respected her the most and many a tear was shed this week over her who has gone so suddenly to a better world. To the bereaved family we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 18 June 1903, pg 5
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