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RUTER, Janna 1872-1934


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 12/24/2016 at 18:57:34

Mr. and Mrs. Claus Ruter Killed When Their Car Runs Into Gravel Truck

Collision Happened At Intersection Two Miles South and Three Miles West of Wellsburg Friday Afternoon

Mrs. Ruter Died Before She Could Be Taken Out Of Wrecked Car; Mr. Ruter Died Four Hours Later

Mr. and Mrs. Claus Ruter from Wellsburg were killed Friday afternoon when their car ran into a gravel truck loaded with gravel and driven by Henry Romeling. The collision was at the road intersection two miles south and three miles west of Wellsburg.

Mrs. Ruter was dead when she was removed from the wrecked car about a half hour after the collision. She never regained consciousness. Mr. Ruter died at the home of his son-in-law, W. J. Janssen, to which place he was taken after he was removed from his car. He was conscious but a short time before he passed away.

Henry Romeling, driver of the truck, was very lucky to escape with minor injuries. He was cut on his left arm and received several painful bruises about the head and body. He remained in the cab of the truck and was able to get out immediately after the truck stopped. Seeing the condition of Mr. and Mrs. Ruter who were crushed in the seat of their car, he rushed to the home of Wesley Harms, a quarter of a mile away, to call for a doctor.

Ruters Were on Way to Visit Their Daughter
Mr. and Mrs. Ruter were on their way to visit at the home of their daughter, Mrs. A. J. Janssen, who lives a short distance south of where the collision took place. They were driving their Chevrolet car. Mr. Ruter was not a fast driver and he was going slowly when he approached the intersection. The new Chevrolet truck loaded with gravel was coming from the west. It was driving at a good rate of speed, possibly 40 miles an hour. The truck had the right of way and the driver didn't slow down when he approached the intersection, as he believed the car would stop. As soon as he saw the danger the car was coming into, he sounded his horn and before the two cars met he slammed on his brakes. There is a corn field at the corner and some of the corn had been cut, but the cutting was not far enough back to give both drivers a view early enough to see the danger they were approaching.

Truck Strikes Car
It appears that the truck caught near the front end and on the side where Mrs. Ruter was seated by the side of her husband. The car was driven into the ditch across the intersection and stopped in the ditch. It was facing south. The truck and car were close together when they stopped. The truck was facing east. The car was still right side up but the body was reduced to a mass of junk. Mr. and Mrs. Ruter remained in the car. They were pinned down by broken parts from the car and it took some time to get them out.

The driver of the truck isn't sure whether the car was turned over after it was hit. It would seem that from the way the body of the car was crushed that it must have turned completely over at least once.

A doctor from Steamboat Rock came at once. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ruter were still buried in the mass of wreckage when the doctor arrived. The doctor believed that Mrs. Ruter breathed her last when he arrived and assisted to remove her from the car. Her face and head had been cut by the broken glass. A broken neck caused her death. Mr. Ruter received a long cut on one arm and on one shoulder. He was unconscious when removed from the car but later awoke long enough to ask about his wife. Internal injuries that he received proved fatal for him. The body of Mrs. Ruter with that of her unconscious husband were taken to the Janssen home a half mile away.

Proof that the car did not run into the truck was furnished by the bumper on the Chevrolet car which was about the only part of the car that was not damaged. The truck bumper was badly bent out of shape. Further proof that the collision must have been terrific was because every pound of gravel on the loaded truck had been spilled by the roadside. Both truck and car were thrown a distance of about 40 feet after they struck.

The truck belongs to Patton & Baker, contractors who are hauling gravel for the blacktopping road job south of Wellsburg.

Ruters Long Time Residents of Shiloh Township
Mr. and Mrs. Ruter have resided in Shiloh township during most of their lifetime. He was 69 and she was 61. They began housekeeping immediately following their marriage on a farm in Shiloh township. Seventeen years ago they built a fine home for themselves in Wellsburg and had been living there since that time.

The Ruters were a highly esteemed family, who enjoyed the love and friendship of all who knew them.

1400 People Attend Funeral Services
Funeral services were held at the Rev. H. C. Bode church two miles west of Wellsburg Monday afternoon. It was estimated that there were 1400 people at the service. The church auditorium and basement were filled, as was the yard about the church during the services. It took an hour and a half for the large group of sympathetic friends to view the remains. It was the largest attended funeral ever held in the northwest section of the county. It was the first double funeral service ever held in the Bode church. The local pastor, Rev. H. C. Bode, presided at the service. Rev. J. G. Theilken delivered the funeral sermon and took his text from John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions." Rev. Bode used as his text Phil. 1:21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Ben Janssen and John Primus sang at the house, the church and the grave. Prayers were offered by Rev. Zissler, Rev. Swieter and Rev. Folkema. Both caskets were placed side by side in one grave in the Bode church cemetery.

Pallbearers for Mr. Ruter were Ben Primus, John Bakker, Ubbo Haupt, Ed Christians, Boyo Eekhoff, John Eekhoff. Pallbearers for Mrs. Ruter were Ben Riekena, Oddie Wilts, John Wubbens, Dick Riekena, Fred Gross and Julius Heikens.

Mr. and Mrs. Ruter are survived by four daughters. They are Mrs. W. J. Janssen, Mrs. Andrew Janssen, Mrs. Joe Eilers and Mrs. Henry B. Primus.

Relatives from a distance who were present at the funeral were A. Janssen and family, Marshalltown; John Bode, Woden; the Oltman Oltmans family, Allison; Mrs. B. Freiburg and son, Renville, Minn.; Peter Eekhoff and family, Hollandale, Minn.; Henry Vanderbush, Edgerton, Minn.; John Eekhoff and family, John Kuper and family, Peter Luppen and family, the Christian family, and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ruter, all of Kanawha, Iowa.

Friday, August 3, 1934, the heavenly Father called Mr. and Mrs. Claas Ruter to their eternal home. Very abruptly and tragically death was met in an automobile accident which occurred five miles southwest of Wellsburg. Their thoughts directed towards doing something for their daughter, Mrs. Andrew Janssen and family, during the present harvest duties, were shortly turned to the Lord of the harvest, and the silent reaper gathered their souls into the heavenly garner above. Mrs. Ruter was killed instantly and Mr. Ruter died about four hours later, at the home of another daughter, Mrs. Will Janssen. Thus, "The lights are out from these mansions of clay; The curtains are drawn, for the dweller's away; They silently slipped o'er the threshold by night. To make their abode in the city of light."

Mr. Ruter was born in Stephenson county, Illinois, on January 21, 1865, and moved with his parents to Shiloh township, Grundy county, Iowa, in 1866, where he lived until his death at the age of 69 years, 6 months, 13 days. Mrs. Ruter, nee Janna Eekhoff, was born October 13, 1872, in Stephenson county, Illinois, and moved with her parents to Shiloh township at the age of 12, where she made her home until her death. She reached the age of 61 years, 9 months, 21 days.

Mr. and Mrs. Ruter were united in marriage on March 26, 1899, making their home on the farm two miles west and one mile south of Wellsburg until February, 1922, when they moved to Wellsburg. Their marriage was blessed by the birth of four daughters, who survive to mourn their death; namely, Mrs. Andrew Janssen (nee Flora Ruter), Mrs. Will Janssen (nee Ada), Mrs. Henry Primus (nee Gertrude), Mrs. Joe Eilers (nee Pearl). Others who survive their death are 14 grandchildren, the sisters of Mr. Ruter: Mrs. John Geerdes, and one who preceded him in death, Mrs. Hei Geerdes; and the sisters and brothers of Mrs. Ruter: Mrs. John Eckhoff, Mrs. John Ruter, Mrs. Anko Janssen, Mrs. Ben Ruter, Mrs. Adolf Deters, Mrs. John M. Bakker, Mr. Boyd Eekhoff, Mr. Peter Eekhoff, Mr. Henry Eekhoff.

Mr. and Mrs. Ruter strikingly remind us to Zacharias and Elizabeth, of whom it is said, "And they were both righteous before God." And without their home, they were to be found active in the courts of the Lord. Their accustomed place was filled twice upon each Sabbath, while he served faithfully as a deacon for 33 years in the First Christian Reformed church of Wellsburg. She was a faithful member of the Ladies Aid for 17 years. And thus in their own quiet way, they dwelt in and about the church of God. Their lives spoke loudly of the indwelling spirit of God. Though the church has been sorely severed of two members, yet we rejoice in the thought that these two precious souls might accompany one another to their mansions prepared above.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 9 August 1934, pg 1, 6


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