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Orpha Pearl Jennings 1891-1915


Posted By: Beverly Gerdts (email)
Date: 3/21/2023 at 13:51:19

Columbus Gazette, Columbus Junction, Iowa
Thursday, March 18, 1915
Page 1

The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Jennings, in the Spring Run Neighborhood, was the scene of a terrible tragedy last Friday morning when their daughter, Miss Orpha, was so terribly burned by an explosion of kerosene, turpentine and lard, that death occurred in a few hours. The mixture was contained in a baking powder can which was set on the stove to heat by the young lady. It is supposed that some of the mixture ran over on the stove and caught on fire and in attempting to put this out the can was over turned and the blazing liquid scattered over the clothing of the young lady, which immediately caught fire. With wonderful presence of mind, Miss Jennings rushed into a nearby bedroom and attempted to smother the flames with the bed covering, but the blaze was so intense that the bed clothing caught on fire. Rushing then to the window the brave girl pounded on the glass to attract the attention of her cousin, Chester Marshall, who was working in the yard. With his aid the flames were finally subdued but not until large portion of the body was terribly burned.

Dr. Overholt from this city and a doctor from Winfield were hastily summoned to the scene of the tragedy and all that medical skill could command was exerted on her behalf. The fire in the bedroom threatened for a time to destroy the house but it was finally quenched before doing any great amount of damage outside of the one room.

Mr. Jennings has been in poor health the greater part of the winter suffering some time ago from a fall and Friday morning was the first time for several weeks in which he had gone to the barn. Mrs. Jennings and Miss Orpha went with him and while they were at the barn the daughter returned to the house to secure the mixture which he intended to use on some of the cattle.

Orpha Pearl Jennings was born in Coffee county, Kansas, July 2, 1891. Here she spent her early girlhood and at the age of 9 she moved with her parents to Elm Grove township in this county which has since been her home. At the age of 12 years she was converted to God and became a member of the Spring Run Evangelical church. She was a faithful member and served as church organist. She was proceded to the heavenly home by one brother, who died in infancy and one sister, who died 13 years ago at the age of 20. She is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Jennings and three brothers, Frank and Lee of Elm Grove township and Howard and Mrs. I. K. Crist, of Leola, South Dakota. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the Spring Run church, conducted by her pastor, Rev. M. C. Miller of Grandview.


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