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Lucke, Miss Frances 1905-1929


Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 7/29/2021 at 18:02:26

LeMars Globe-Post
September 26, 1929

Young LeMars Woman Dies Quickly of Fractured Skull

Thrown out of the car in which she was riding by an unusual accident, Miss Frances Lucke, daughter of Mrs. E. C. Lucke, of LeMars, was killed almost instantly Monday evening about 7 o’clock.

Miss Lucke had been visiting relatives at Paullina, and Joy Perry offered a ride home, which she accepted. The accident happened between Granville and Alton, about a mile east of Alton. For no known reason, one of the rear wheels of Mr. Perry’s Dodge roadster locked, throwing the car violently to the right side of the road, bumping into some fence posts but not running directly into them. Then the other wheel apparently locked, throwing the car around to the left side of the road. The car jumped a ditch, knocked down a fence and came to a stop against a post, which was broken off.

At this point Miss Lucke was thrown out, apparently knocking her head against a corner of the windshield post, and this was the immediate cause of her death, a piece of bone from the skull being driven into the brain. She also received a cut in her side, which, however, would not have been fatal.

While death appeared to be almost instantaneous, Miss Lucke lived a few minutes, which was shown by the fact that the bruises she received had begun to swell and discolor.

Passing motorists brought the unfortunate young woman into Alton, but it was evident that life had gone, and the body was brought to LeMars and placed in Beely’s mortuary.

Mr. Perry was not badly hurt in the wreck, but suffered a severe nervous shock, and a wrenched back which required medical attention.

Mrs. Lucke, the girl’s mother, has not been in the best of health for the past two or three years, and it is feared that the shock might be fatal to her. She has been under the care of T. E. Cole since the accident and is in an extremely nervous condition.

Frances Lucke was born in LeMars, Iowa, September 17, 1905. She grew up in this community, attended the LeMars public schools and was graduated from the high school in 1923. Later she went to Morningside college and graduated from the music course there under Professor Reistrup. This summer she went to Chicago and studied music during the summer term under Rudolph Ganz and won a scholarship while there.

Miss Lucke was a musician of exceptional ability, playing both the piano and pipe organ. She had a large class of piano and organ students in Merrill and LeMars. She was a very popular girl and made many friends wherever she went.

Besides her many friends who mourn her loss, she leaves her mother, Mrs. Ed Lucke, and brother “Bobby” of LeMars, and one brother, Homer, of Appleton, Wisconsin.

The funeral was held this afternoon, September 26th, from St. Paul’s Methodist church, Rev. S. C. Steinbrenner, an old friend of the family, officiating and Rev. R. Ruff assisting. Professor Frank Jewett of Western Union college, presided at the organ. The Pallbearers were all cousins of the deceased, who were: Edward Haas, Wallace Wernli, Ronald Woodke, Herbert Haas, Kenneth Wernli and Allen Wernli. The burial was made in the city cemetery.

Those from out of town who attended the funeral were Homer Lucke, of Appleton, Wisconsin; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Schaffer and Mr. and Mrs. Al Livingston of Paullina, Iowa; Frank Wernli of Hazen, North Dakota; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Wernli of Sioux City; Herman Wernli of Minneapolis and John Moore, of Chicago, Ill.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
September 27, 1929

Miss Frances Lucke Instantly Killed Monday When Thrown From Car
Thrown Out When Car Swings Across Road.

Miss Frances Lucke was killed about 5:15 Monday afternoon by being thrown from an automobile on Primary No. 10 about six miles east of Alton. Miss Lucke had been spending the afternoon with an aunt, Mrs. Louis Schafer, of Paullina, and was returning home with Joy B. Perry, a neighbor, with whom she had driven up to Paullina earlier in the day.

They were coming west on the graveled road when the car suddenly swung in a semi-circle to the left and was stopped by the guard rail on the left side of the road after it had turned around and faced east. Two or three of the guard rail posts were broken, but the car did not go into the ditch. Miss Lucke was thrown from the car into a shallow ditch on the south side of the road as the car struck the guard rail. Her skull was fractured, there were several other severe injuries on her head and her arms and hands were scratched and bruised.

Two houses were close by and Mr. Perry phone for an Alton doctor, who arrived at the scene of the accident within fifteen minutes after it occurred. The doctor said Miss Lucke had been dead at least ten minutes when he arrived and it is probable she expired within a minute or two after she was injured.

Mr. Perry was not seriously injured and the car was not badly wrecked. What caused the car to swerve to the left is not definitely known. The gravel was solid, the road fairly level and there was only a low grade. W. E. Wright, manager of the Iowa Public Service company, arrived at the scene of the accident about the same time the doctor did and says a pronounced mark in the solid gravel road indicated one back wheel of the car must have failed to revolve as the car swung across the road and reversed the direction in which it was headed. Mr. Wright says the car was standing on its own wheels when he arrived and that it had not rolled down the bank as some newspaper reports of the accident stated.

Frances Wernli Lucke was born in LeMars, April 17, 1905, and had spent her entire life in this community. She was the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Ed C. Lucke and is survived by her mother and two brothers, Homer Lucke, at Appleton, Wisconsin, and Robert at home. Frances graduated from the LeMars high school and Morningside college and was a popular and talented young woman. She received her bachelor of music degree from Morningside in June, 1928, and this summer spent several weeks in Chicago studying under Rudolph Ganz. At the conclusion of her study with Mr. Ganz, she was awarded a scholarship.

Frances will be greatly missed in this community where she spent her life. Her friendly manner, her happy disposition, her beauty and her talent made her many friends among both old and young wherever she went and the sorrow caused by her untimely death reaches much farther than the immediate family circle.

Funeral services were conducted at St. Paul’s Methodist church at 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon with the pastor, Rev. G. M. Ruff, in charge and Prof. S. C. Steinbrenner, of Morningside, a former pastor, preaching the sermon. The only music was two organ numbers by Prof. Frank Jewett, of Western Union college. Six cousins were pall bearers, Ed and Herb Haas, Wallace, Kenneth and Allen Wernli and Ronald Woodke. The body was laid to rest beside that of her father, the late E. C. Lucke, in the city cemetery.
{Source: Old newspaper clipping of the tragic death of Miss Frances Lucke was found & shared by researcher, B. Lasky who found the clipping saved among her mother's collection.)


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