Vanderburgh, Clarence 1885 - 1904
Posted By: Doris Hoffman, Volunteer (email)
Date: 1/11/2011 at 19:24:27
GUN DEALS INSTANT DEATH.
Clarence Vanderburgh Accidentally Killed by a Full Charge While Duck Hunting.
A sad and shocking accident occurred Monday, March 21, on the Big Sioux River, at a point on the Jefferson, S. D., road, where the bridge spans the river, resulting in the death of Clarence Vanderburg, aged 18 years.
Emil Johnson and Basil Cook, two young men living near Millnerville went to the Big Sioux River on Monday to shoot ducks. They met young Vanderburg whose folks formerly lived at Millnerville, but recently moved across the river into South Dakota. The boys ate dinner at the Vanderburg home, and the three of them rowed up the river to a sand bar shortly afterwards. They anchored the boat on the sandbar; Johnson got out of the boat first and Vanderburg stopped out after him and Cook remained seated in the stern of the boat. Young Vanderburg after getting out of the boat, stopped in again with one foot; stooping over to reach one of the guns saying at the time to Johnson, "you want your gun, don't you?" He grabbed the gun by the barrels and the trigger caught against the side of the boat. The whole charge of shot struck Clarence on the left side of the face "near the eye, shattering his head and face to pieces. With a groan he dropped dead.
His comrades were awe stricken at the terrible catastrophe for a few minutes, hardly realizing what had happened. One of them remained with their dead comrade while the other, rowed to the river bank and landing ran to toll the family of the accident and to summon assistance to convey the body home. The tragedy has cast a gloom over the neighborhood as the boy was well known and liked.
What makes his death the more particularly sad is the fact that he was the only son of the family, he and a crippled sister Bertha being the only children.
The funeral was held Wednesday at the family home at 9 o'clock, a. m., Rev. Frank L. Moore, pastor of the Akron M. E. church officiating, After services the large concourse of friends went to the Bethel chapel, where services wore hold. This construction was overflowing with many sympathetic friends from every point and many had to be turned away. Rev. Moore spoke very impressively of the brief span of life and the nearness of death always coming nearer and never farther away. The tear dimmed eyes and the trembling lips of the large concourse of friends who had gathered to take a last look at the face of him we all loved, spoke volumes for the esteem in which he was held Forty-seven teams followed the beloved to the Adaville cemetery where he was laid to rest. To the bereaved father and mother we tender all that human hearts can offer of heartfelt sympathy.
Leaves have their time to fade and flowers to wither at the north winds breath. But all thou hast all seasons for thine own, O! death. Youth and opening rose, may look like things too glorious for decay. And smile at thou, but thou art not of those that wait the ripened bloom to seize their prey.
Clarence has gone from our circle. Always in our future gatherings he will be sadly missed. His departure has left u vacancy that never can be filled. His father and mother when some eighteen years ago they gazed proudly and fondly into their beautiful baby boy's eyes and in the quiet evening tide lovingly planned his future, little dreamed that their hearts pride was to be cut off in the flower of his opening manhood. His only sister Bertha, may well grieve the loss of a loving brother, but take heart he has only gone before. With sinking hearts and flowing tears, dear Clarence, we bid you a lingering farewell.
Akron Register Tribune
Thursday, March 31, 1904
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