Source: 'Sentinel-Post' of Shenandoah, IA,
Friday, April 16, 1909
KILLED HIS SISTER PLAYING WITH GUN
Mrs. Wilbur Baker Victim of Shotgun in the Hands of Her Little Brother - Accidently Discharged
Tuesday afternoon, at her home five miles southwest of town, Mrs. Blanche Carl Baker, was instantly killed by the discharge of a shotgun in the hands of her young brother. It was another of those terrible tragedies, all too frequent, where firearms in the hands of innocent, careless, thoughtless or irresponsible persons, destroy human life. The terrible gun! Mrs. Baker was a young wife and happy mother. Her young brother was attending her babe in the crib while she was about her work in the kitchen. In the corner of the room stood two shotguns. To amuse himself and attract the attention of the baby, he was playing with one of the guns, and just as his sister entered the room it was somehow discharged, the load of shot entering her right eye, passing clear through the head, and she dropped in instantaneous death. Just how the gun was fired may not be clearly known, for the boy in his fright and confusion could not tell. He was alone with the baby. How the awful tragedy appalled the young lad may be imagined. He was nine years old and able to realize the awfulness of it. As soon as he came to his senses he took the baby in his arms and ran to the nearest neighbors, B. J. Doan's, with the news of what had happened. Soon the whole neighborhood was startled by the shock of a terrible tragedy.
Mrs. Baker was the wife of Wilbur Baker and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Carl. She was nineteen years and 5 days old and she and Wilbur had been happily married not long before, and the child left motherless was their first, their love baby. Her mother, Mrs. Carl, was at the time in the city hospital in Shenandoah, preparing for the surgical removal of a cancer. She has not yet been informed of the tragedy. The operation took place last evening and she passed through the ordeal quite successfully. Another dreadful shock awaits for when she is able to bear it. This circumstance adds to the pathos of the tragedy.
The funeral was at the home yesterday at 10 o'clock, the whole community being present to attest their sympathy and sorrow. Rev. J. E. Matheny, former pastor at Farragut conducted the services. The young wife and mother, beautiful in death, in a lavender casket and surrounded by a wealth of flowers, had been a member of the Methodist church since 12 year sold, and was warmly loved by all who knew her. The singers for the occasion were from Shenandoah, T. W. Keenan, A. P. Irwin, Mrs. Clovis, Miss Pearl Deater, with Lena Sanman organist. The burial was at Farragut, in charge of Campbell Bros. undertakers.
Source: Transcribed and submitted by Susan Glasgo