Iowa Old Press

The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
Friday, May 23, 1919

Douglas Co. Dead 11 - 35 Missing Believed in Ruins
Official List of Dead, Missing, and Injured in the Douglas Disaster
"The following workmen were known to be in the plant at the time of the fire," begins the statement preceeding the list of names given out at the Douglas plant this afternoon. The word "explosion" was in the statement as it was originally drawn up, but it was changed to "fire" by the superintendent. "A search of the ruins," the statement continues, "visits to the local undertaking establishments, homes and hospitals, has given the status of their condition as indicated after their names.

At St. Luke's Hospital
Ward Matthews
H. Ormlster
J. Costellos
W.V. Bethel
Q. Payton
Frank Oberer, Jr.
Frank Stanik
Tony Stout
F. Pena
Claude McCalley

At Mercy Hospital
Frank Sodoma
Guy Allnut
Everett Prentice
Drak Miros
W. Jenik [or Jonik]
Nick Fallas
Joe Culdice

The Dead.
C. Trabal, partly identified
Jay Klemish
Harvey Eckert
P. Stenseld, partly identified
Samuel Getz
P. Pfeiffer

Missing Men, or May Be In Ruins
I. Schultz
Joe Vaverka
George Costellos
William Rush
Rube Birdshaw
Orville Watkins
H. Berry
Mike Ezeloula
Mike Trolas
George Papas
Mike Tsribrogos
G. Chris
Peter Erickson
P. Randall
D. Hartman
W.D. Lyberger
T. Osredekar
K. Krekas
J. Coyat
Charles John
J. Kosina, Jr.
Joe Kosina
Jim Niebold
E. Wise
Alfred Thomas
George Culdice
Claude Hahn
E.J. Baker
E. Smith
J. Taljat
John Martinek
C. Volpalka
T. Kuioatkovsky
F. Stastnick
Gus Kalarot.

A total of 35 missing. Thirty five missing, may or may not be in ruins, six identified dead, five unidentified dead, ten at St. Luke's hospital, eight at Mercy hospital.

Unaccounted For
E. Devork, works on [illegible] and clock card does not show that he checked out. Forty-three men returned to their homes, only a few of them slightly injured. The total number in the list given out by the company is 109. The company has asked that those who are reported as missing or unaccounted for, and are at their homes to report their safety to the company.

Fire At Starch Plant Under Control
That the management of the Douglas Starch works is lacking in its efforts to complete an intelligent check on the missing and the dead is apparent from its stubborn intention to keep the public in the dark as possible regarding the catastrophe. Naturally, the officials could not be expected to make a detailed statement, theoretically or otherwise, concerning the tragedy in its plant, but every attempt to obtain some sort of information regarding the identity of the men known to have been in the plant at the time of the explosion, as compared to the list of unaccounted for, was flatly opposed by the management and its representatives.

The plant maintains a labor bureau. It is presumed that this bureau is in possession of other information regarding employes than their mere names. A check of employes in the factory at th etime of catastrophe, coupled with investigation as to their whereabouts today, should have disclosed a list of dead and missing by an early hour this morning. Indications point to a lack of such a check, for at noon officials and others engaged in a haphazard effort to get dependable information still insisted on the maintenance of their attitude of indifference to the public demand for a comprehensive list.

Shortly before noon it was announced from the timekeeper's office of the Douglas plant that ten are known to be dead, five are identified and that there were thirty-five missing. When it was suggested to ?.B. Griffith, one of the men in the timekeeper's office, that the publication of the names of those whom the check had shown to be missing would aid in finding those who had not been injured, but had not yet reported themselves safe, "we'll do our own thinking," was the reply. Mr. Griffith then called Manager A.W. Lenders and asked about news he could give out. "See Mr. Lenders," the reporters were told. "Can't you give us the names of those identified?" "See Mr. Lenders, and stay out of this office!" Again Mr. Griffith was asked for the names of the identified dead. "See Mr. Lenders. That's plain English." Mr. Lenders only repeated what he had said earlier in the morning. At that time he was asked if the company did not have some theory as to the cause of the explosion.

"We are not theorizing. We are in the midst of it," he replied, "We're checking up on the cards now, and just as soon as we know definitely what we are talking about we'll make an announcement." "The insurance adjustors will be here probably next week. Until they come and we know positively what we are doing we cannot tell what the total loss will be."

Shortly after noon today eleven bodies were in the undertaking establishments of the city. Eight of them had been identified either positively or partly. The list of identified was changed during the morning. Pete Stingley, instead of being dead is very much alove. He walked into Wymer's, saw "his" body and said he did not recognize it. Following is the list of the identified:
Jay Klemish, at Turner's.
Jake ____, at Turner's
Ed Trentissen, Beatty's
Mike Trialonis, Beatty's, 104 Tenth avenue
Charles Triebel, at Wymor's, partly identified, 1527 North Sixth street west
Shorty Fifer, Wymer's
Harvey Eckert, 1415 South Second street west, at Wymer's
Samuel Getz, 828 South Tenth street, at Edw. Lessinger's.
There are two unidentified bodies at Wymer's and one at Beatty's.

Fireman Collapsed.
Harry Hall, a member of the central station fire company, was taken to the Mercy hospital at 2 a.m. today. He had collapsed from shock and smoke. This makes two firemen who are in the hospital. The other is C.C. Craft, who was struck by a brick hurled by one of the minor explosions that occurred during the fire. Among the known missing gathered from various sources and believed to be buried beneath the debris are:
William Lybarger, 1428 E. avenue
Eugene Jerome Baker, 820 South Second street west
C.J. Hahn, South of Sixth street west
Charles John, 41 Fourteenth avenue
Josef Kosina, Sr., 43 years of age, 231 Nineteenth avenue west
Joseph Vaverka, Jr., 17 years of age, 230 Nineteenth avenue west.
A brother and brother-in-law of Thomas Ramsell, shoemaker, 223 South First street, are also reported among the missing. Galen Fry was first reported missing but that is now known to be a mistake.

Coroner David W. King has announced that he will call a jury this afternoon to make an exhaustive investigation into the cause of the explosion. The inquiry will probably begin tomorrow. Manager Lenders has announced that as soon as the ruins have cooled, the entire remaining force of the plant will be put to work clearing up the debris.

Samuel Getz leaves a wife and six children. Claude J. Hahn, who is one of the missing, has one son in the army of occupation and four sons at home. Harvey Eckert is survived by a wife and two small children, it is understood. The body of Mike Trialonis was identifed by a brother, Jack Trialonis, 104 Tenth avenue and a cousin, Angelus Trialonis, Fourteenth avenue and Third street.

Mrs. John Easker, 1118 South First street west, was one of the many cut about the face by flying glass.

William Lybarger, one of the missing men is married and has two sons, C. Lybarger, 1526 Ellis boulevard, and Neil Lybarger, of Clinton, and a daughter, Mrs. W.H. Duval, 1539 C avenue.

John Kolovakis was working in the boiler room when the explosion came. He was knocked down and stunned for an instant but he was able to get out of the ruins. Mike Christophornkis was in the basement but was uninjured.

There are about eighty men in the R.O.T.C. force from Coe that is doing guard duty around the plant. A strict guard line is maintained. Passes are necessary both to go in and go out of the roped area.

Yesterday the largest exclusive starch factory in the world was humming with activity. Today the two huge stacks and the wet starch building at the west end of the plant are all that is left of the great plant. White smoke rose from the smoldering ruins that wer eonce the dry starch building. It was there that the big explosion happened. In the large building just south, flames are sill to be seen. But the fire has been under control for many hours and the firemen are standing by still playing streams of water keeping the fire from increasing and gradually putting it out.

All of the bodies removed from the ruins were blackened and charred. In practically every case a hand had been thrown up and literally baked in that position. It was as if the men had thrown up a hand in less than the winking of an eyelash to ward off a vague something.

Forty-Eight Iowa Troops Decorated - Nine Rainbow Yankees
Washington, D.C., May 23 - An incomplete list of Iowa soldiers who have been decorated with the distinguished service cross for gallantry in action was issued today by the war department. Of a total of forty-eight soldiers, officers and men, who have won the coveted honor, nine were members of the famous 168th infantry, the old Third Iowa infantry, which returned to Iowa last week. Those of the 168th infantry awarded the badge of meritorious conduct included:
Guy S. Brewer
Merl E. Clark
Glenn C. Haynes
Arthur F. Brandt
Oscar B. Nelson
Bernard Nelson
Matthew Spautz
Liberty Pease
Clarence E. Davis

Other Iowans similarly decorated, with the organizations to which they were attached, included the following:
Ernest Bickford, Sixteenth infantry
George C. Clarke, Eleventh infantry
Earl A. Hoffman, 341st machine gun battalion
John T. Baker, Seventh engineers
Edwin D. Bramble, 102d infantry
Richard M. Kirk, 361st infantry
Raymond B. Smith, Eleventh machine gun battalion
Arthur J. Goetsch, Fourth engineers
Hemier Peterson, Ninth infantry
Carl M. Lange, Second machine gun battalion
Harold A. Hudson, 106th signal battalion
Chester R. Howard, 104th infantry
Earl W. Porter, air service
Paul J. Gaston, 121st machine gun battalion
James A. Vincent, 363rd infantry
Hanford MacNider, Ninth infantry
Walter D. Ballard, sixteenth infantry
George A. Bushing, 118th infantry
Otis Turner, 117th infantry
Rufus B. Jackson, 370th infantry
Emery J. Pike, Eighty-second division
Leland Brown, Sixty-first infantry
Hugh P. Kidder, Sixtieth marines
Otto F. Wischmeier, 117th infantry
Elmer J. Kilcher, 130th infantry
Clarence C. Schide, 114th infantry
Henry Henderson, Thirty-fifth infantry
Fred L. Sexton, Sixth marines
Carl Lee, 117th infantry
Kenneth Gardiner, Tenth field artillery
Sylvester Phillips, Tenth field artillery
Edgar J. Rule, Tenth field artillery
Emmet C. Michaels, Ninth infantry
Robert Colflesh, Seventh infantry
Nicholas Weber, 325th infantry
Paul Cross, 325th infantry
Ira Swanger, 130th infantry
William H. Kofmehl, Fifteenth machine gun battalion

[transcribed by S.F., February & June 2009]


The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
Saturday, May 24, 1919

Disaster Dead Will Be Buried Early in Week
Funeral services for nine of the men who were killed in the explosion and fire had been arranged for early today. They are for J.W. Culdice, Samuel Getz, Jay Klemish, Philip Pfeifer, Mike Trialonis, Everett Prentice, Peter Erickson, Harvey E. Eckert and Harry A. Ormiston, the latter not completed however.

Services for Mr. Culdice will be held Wednesday at the Beatty chapel and the body will be taken to Walker, Ia., for burial. Relatives are expected from Spokane, Wash., in time for the funeral. The family has requested that the casket be left closed. Mr. Culdice was married and was 61 years old.

The funeral of Jay Klemish will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. from the Barta chapel. Speker J.J. Hajek will officiate and burial will be inthe Bohemian National cemetery. He was 33 years old and unmarried. He had a mother and a number of brothers and sisters in Bohemia.

The body of Everett Prentice, negro, 18 years old, will be taken to Fort Madison tonight for services and burial. His parents live there. He has one brother and one sister.

Services for Mike Trialonis will be held at the Syrian church, but the date has not been yet set. Burial will be in the Greek lot in Oak Hill. He had a wife and family in Greece.

The funeral arrangements for Harry B. Ormiston have not been completed yet. Mr. Ormiston was born July 29, 1882 at Brooklyn, Ia. On August 19, 1908, he was married to Miss Martha Taylor, who with three children survive him, in addition to an aged father, Dr. C.F. Ormiston, a brother Frank who is still at St. Luke's hospital and a sister Jennie.

Services for Harvey Eckert will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the First Congregational churc. Mr. Eckert was born November 2, 1890 at Dows, Ia., and came to Cedar Rapids in 1902. In July, 1913, he was married to Ula Bunger, and to this union two children were born, Dorothy, age 4 and Bobbie, a year old. He had been employed at the Douglas plant for the past three years. He was a member of the Congregational church. He lived at 1415 South Second street west, and was the osn of Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Eckert, 1813 B avenue. There are five sisters, Mrs. George Robertson and Miss Bessie of this city; Mrs. T.L. Main of Walker; Mrs. C.A. Barber of Waterloo, and Mrs. George Hackbarth of Dows; and three brothers, Lloyd A., Oliver Lee and Archie R., all of this city.

The funeral of Samuel Getz will be held from the St. patrick's church Monday at 9 a.m. The Rev. Father Steele will officiate and burial will be in Mt. Cavalry cemetery. Mr. Getz came to Cedar Rapids twelve years ago and has been foreman for the Douglas company for several years, and was well liked there. He was born in Ohio, June 16, 1875. In April, 1898, he was married, and to this union five children were born, Marie, Wilma, Gladys, Wilburt and Jack. His mother is still living and there are several brothers and sisters.

The funeral services of Philip P. Pfeifer will be held at the residence, 308 Sixth avenue west, Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The Rev. F.S. Bromer will officiate and burial will be in Linwood cemetery. Philip Pfeiffer was fifty years of age and is survived by his wife and a ten year old daughter.

The funeral of Peter M. Erickson will be held Monday afternoon at 2:30 from Wymer's chapel. The officiating minister will be the Rev. F.S. Bromer and burial will be in Linwood cemetery. He is survived by his wife and four children, Irene, Theodore, Peter and Elmer, and a sister, Julia Telander, of St. Paul, Minn.

More of the Workers
E. Wise was listed as one of the missing. He was taken to a hospital badly burned about the face and head, buthe has since returned to his home, 716 Eighteenth avenue west. E. Dvorak and Frank MacMillan who worked on the day shift and whose cards did not show that they had checked out Thursday evening, are safe it has been ascertained. Following is a list of men returned to their homes:
A. American, Greek, uninjured
Henry Rensby, uninjured
J. Hartmen, uninjured
M. Phetion, uninjured
G.L. Fry, uninjured
William Bowersox, uninjured
J.C. Cuttier, uninjured
E. Hanos, uninjured
James Maltos, uninjured
Virgil Barry, uninjured
J.B. Malbdue, uninjured
W.A. Chappelle, uninjured
R.E. Wright, uninjured
J. Serros, uninjured
G. Mann, hand injured
Mike Kresias, uninjured
H. Demory, slightly injured
Geo. P. Forney, slightly injured
J.L. Hunter, Slightly injured
Adolph Rogers, uninjured
L.L. Coon, uninjured
W. Gwens, injured hand
C.A. Claypool, uninjured
?. W. Kron, uninjured
Joe Krahilk, uninjured
H.F. Ilton, uninjured
I. Stingley, uninjured
J. Williams, uninjured
E.W. Murdock, uninjured
J. Holub, injured about head.
H.E. Lester, uninjured
W. Hoover, uninjured
E. Wise, burned about face and head

Other Disasters in Iowa History
June 29, 1919* - Thirty-nine killed, many injured, at Sioux City, in collapse of Ruff building
June 27, 1882 - Thirty-two killed, scores injured at Lost Creek mine explosion in Mahaska county.
August 25, 1916 - Four killed and from thirty to forty injured in explosion of Standard Oil company tanks at Charles City.
March, 1911 - Fifty killed in wreck at Marshalltown.
December 24, 1916 - Five killed by explosion of carbine lighting plant at farm home in Sharon township, Audubon county.
May 27, 1916 - Two boys killed in fire at Penn college, Oskaloosa.
November 22, 1917 - City marshal and fireman killed in fire at Frick's drug store, Osceola.
September 15, 1917 - Four killed in gasoline-air explosion at Cylinder, Iowa

In the Dupont powder mills explosion at Keokuk about fifteen years ago, four were killed.

Other fatal disasters were:
Dust explosion in starch house of Corn Products company plant at Davenport, fifteen years ago.
Dust explosion in Quaker Oats factory at Cedar Rapids, March 7, 1905, two killed.
Collapse of Lyman building, Cedar Rapids disaster in which eight men lost their lives, Nov 14, 1913.
Clifton hotel fire - local fire in which six or eight people were burned to death.

The most serious railroad disasters during recent years were those at Madrid, Iowa; Green Mountain, Iowa; and Creston, Iowa

[*transcriber note: date transcribed as in the newspaper, but this date must be wrong since it is after the date of the paper; transcribed by S.F., February 2009]


The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
Monday, May 26, 1919

Revised List of Dead in Douglas Disaster
The latest revised list of dead and missing follows:
The Known Dead:
Dewey Alnut
Alfred Thomas
David Hartman
Rube Bledsoe
Mike Trelaz
Emil or Elmer Schmitt, partly identified portion of body by clothing attached
Everett Prentice
Harry Ormiston
Samuel Getz
P.P. Pfeiffer
J. Klemish
Harvey Eckert
Peter Erickson
Joe Culdice
Charles Triebel, partly identifed, at Wymer's
One unidentifed body at Wymer's. Two unidenfied bodies at Beatty's. Besides the above there are two small boxes of charred bones. Assuming these to represent two bodies, the total number of dead recovered, identified and unidentified, is twenty. There are twenty-nine names in the missing list. This number has been decreased since Saturday, owing to duplication at that time. Deducting the five unidentified remains from the twenty-nine missing, it is believed that there are twenty-four bodies in the ruins of the plant.

Missing List
The latest revised list of missing follows:
Gus Kalarot
P. Stenseld
F. Stantnick
T. Kuioatkovsky
C. Vopalka
John Martiner
E.G. Baker
Claude Hahn
George Culdice
James Newbold
Josef Kosina, Sr.
Josef Kosina, Jr.
Charles John
J. Coyat
K. Krekas
T. Osredekar
W.D. Lybarger
G. Chris
Mike Ezeloula
H. Berry
Orville Watson
William Rush
George Costellos
Percy Ramsell, charred remains identified by keys
Joe Vaverka
Mike Schultz
J. Taljat

Bodies Found
What is believed to be he remnants of six bodies were found in the ruins late Saturday and yesterday. One body taken out was that of Albert Thomas. His body was found just outside the dry room and had been blown through a brick wall. Identification was made by a receipt found in his pockets. The body was not badly mutilated except the features, which were unrecognizable. The body was protected from the flames by heavy planking that had fallen on it. In Thomas' pockets was found $202.13, of which $202 in paper currency was not even scorched.

All that was found of the body of Emil Schmidt of Marengo was a leg and part of the hip to which it was attached. Part of the shirt and undershirt on which were the laundry markings "E.S." served as a means of identification.

Dewey Alnut, negro, employed by the company, died at a local hospital at 1:30 a.m. today.

Identification of the charred remains is uncertain. One of the small boxes of bones which was said to be those of Percy Ramsell by his brother, William Ramsell, and father, John Ramsell, is now believed to be all that is left of Rube Bledshaw, according to Coroner King's report made just today. A bunch of keys found with the bones and the debris in that spot was all that could be used for identification.

The body of Dave Hartman was found near a pump in the basement, near the center of the dry starch building, by friends and relatives. Previous to finding the body, the searchers had found a wrench, which was known to have been in the locker of Hartman just at the time the day shift went off. Arthur Hartman and W. Barr were two members of the party that found the body of David Hartman near a pump in the cellar of the dry starch building. Arthur Hartman is a brother of David Hartman and W. Barr a brother-in-law. With them were Harry Thompson, who had the same job on the day side that Hartman filled on the night shift, and Ed Benish, another friend.

E.?. Baker was the only watchman in the plant killed by the blast. Just a few minutes before the explosion came, he made a report to the Western Union from a box near the dryers. It is believed that he was at another box in the dry starch building when the catastrophe occurred.

Funerals of Five Douglas Victims Held Here Today
Bodies of Thomas, Hartman, Ormiston, Alnutt and Erickson Buried.
Funeral arrangements for six more of the men who lost their lives in the Douglas starch works disaster were completed today.

The body of Albert Thomas which was taken from the ruins yesterday were to be buried late today. The funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Turner chapel. The Rev. A.M. Jayne officiated. Mr. Thomas was 45 years old and lived at 109 Tenth avenue west. He is survived by his wife and five children.

The funeral of David C. Hartman will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. from the Turner chapel. The Rev. L. K. Ward will officiate and burial will be in Linwood. Mr. Hartman was 31 years old and lived at 827 South Eighth street. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Laura Hartman, his wife and by two children, Charles, 4 years old and Albert, 13 years old.

Services for Harry A. Ormiston wre to be held at the Turner chapel at 3 p.m. today. The Rev. F.B. Murch and the Rev. F.S. Bromer, officiating. The body is to be taken to Brooklyn, Iowa, the former home of Mr. Ormiston, for burial.

The funeral of Dewey Alnutt, negro, who died at the Mercy hospital at 3 a.m. today will be held from the negro Baptist church at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Rev. Mr. Woodward will officiate and burial will be in Oak Hill cemetery. Alnutt was 20 years old and was born in Missouri. Surviving him are his father, three brothers, Henry, Louis and Samuel, and two sisters, Gertrude and Mrs. Fred Burgin of this city.

The funeral of Peter Erickson was to be held at 2:30 p.m. today from the Wymer chapel. The Rev. F.S. Bromer officiated and burial was to be in Linwood cemetery. He is survived by his wife and four children, Irene, Theodore, Peter and Elmer. A sister Julia Telander, lives in St. Paul.

Services for J.W. Culdice will not be held until Wednesday, the body being held to await the arrival of relatives from a distance. The services will be held at the Beatty chapel and the body taken to Walker for burial.

[transcribed by S.F., February 2009]


The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
May 27, 1919

Stensled Funeral
The funeral of Peter Stensled, 1126 1/2 South Third street, west, one of the vicims of the Douglas Starch works fire, wil be held from the Turner chapel at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. the Rev. F.S. Bromer will officiate and burial will be in Linwood cemetery. In addition to his mother who is in Norway, he is survived by his wife, a sister, Mrs. C.F. Spreckles, Dallas, S.D., and three brothers, John S., in Norway; Knudt, Petersburg, Alaska, and Olaf, Dallas, S.D.

Body Found
The body of W.D. Lyberger was taken from the ruins at the Douglas starch works at 12:30 p.m. today and is now at the Wymer undertaking parlors. The body was identified by the teeth. It was found at the place where Lyberger was working at the time of the explosion. No other bodies or traces were found this forenoon. This makes the total list of known deat at 21 and the missing as 23. Mr. Lyberger's home was at 1438 E avenue. He was married and in addition to his wife, is survived by two sons, C. Lyberger, 1526 Ellis boulevard, and Neil Lyberger of Clinton, and a daughter, Mrs. W.H. Duval, 1539 C avenue. There is one brother and one sister living in Minnesota.

A misunderstanding arose yesterday in regard to the identification of a box of bones as those of Percy Ramsell or Rube Bledshaw. It was the contents of two seperate boxes that were identified. All that was left of Ramsell's body was identified by his brother William Ramsell and his father, John Ramsell, by a bunch of keys. The tag on the key ring was still decipherable despite the great heat it had gone through. It read Madrid, Iowa, 1917. Percy Ramsell was in Madrid, Iowa, in 1917. There were also two English keys on the ring, keys not made in the United States. Ramsell was an Englishman. The remains were also found in that part of the dry starch building where Ramsell was known to have worked.

The bones of Rube Bledshaw were identified by his watch. It was an Elgin, No. 10430621. The remains have been shipped to Kansas City for burial.

The hopes that had arisen after the finding of the remains of five men Sunday morning did not materialize yesterday.

The list of missing is now reduced to 23, one man, T. Oarudaker being removed from it. According to reports received, Osredekar is working on a farm nar Cedar Rapids now and escaped without injury the night of the fire.

Father Searches Night and Day for Body of Son
Albert Barry of Gibbs, Mo., is in Cedar Rapids and is one of the constant watchers at the ruins of the starch works in the hope that his son, H.C. Barry *, will soon be found in the ruins. He was working the night of the fire and is among the list of missing. H.C. Barry had been employed in the dry starch room on the day shift but on Thursday was asked to work overtime on accunt of a shortage of help. He was 31 years old, was married and had one daughter ten years old. He came here with his father from Missouri six months ago and for a time was employed as a night watchman.

[*transcribers note: Howard C. Berry, 1888-1919, is buried in the County Corners cemetery, Clayton co. Iowa. His gravestone is inscribed "Douglass Starch Works Explosion"; transcribed by S.F., February 2009]


The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
May 28, 1919

Lybarger Funeral at 4 O'Clock
The funeral services for W.D. Lybarger who was killed at the Douglas starch works and whose body was fond and identified yesterday by his sons, will be held at 4 p.m. today at Trinity Methodist church as told in last night's Gazette. Burial will be in Linwood cemetery. The Rev. C.K. Hudson will officiate.

William D. Lybarger was born in Postville, Ia., May 12, 1854. While he was yet a child his parents moved to St. Charles, Minn. and later to Watertown, S.D. He was married to Drusilla Davidson in Watertown. He later returned to Iowa and lived in WAterloo for a time before coming to Cedar Rapids. His home in Cedar Rapids had been 1438 E. avenue. He is survived by his wife and three children, Neal of Clinton, Ia., Clyde, 1641 North Sixth street west, and Mrs. W.H. Duval, 1539 C. avenue. There is also one brother and one sister living in St. Charles, Minn. Mr. Lybarger was member of the local lodge of the Modern Woodmen. He was a man of sterling character and high ability and had many friends in Cedar Rapids.

Funeral of Charles John
Funeral services for Charles JOhn whose body was found in the ruins at the starch works yesterday afternoon, were held at the Edward Lesinger chapel at 8:30 a.m. today, followed by services at the St. Wenceslaus church at 9 a.m. The Rev. Florian Svrdlik officiated and burial was in Linwood cemetery.

Mr. John was 28 years old and was married. He lived at 41 Fourteenth avenue west. In addition to his wife, he is survived by six brothers, Frank, 51 Fourteenth avenue west; Martin, Pocohontas, Ia.; James, Little Falls, Minn; Adolph, Grand Island, Neb.; Ed, in the army in France, and Tom John; and three sisters, Mrs. J. Johnak, Omaha, Neb.; Mrs. J. Palikan, Palmer, Neb., and Mrs. Mike Powers who also lives in Nebraska.

One Funeral for Unidentified Dead
Unidentified bodies of victims in the Douglas plant disaster probably will be buried at a common service to be held in Linwood cemetery, according to plans made today by a committee consisting of Walter Cherry, president of the Chamber of Commerce; Dr. John Hamilton, Douglas company surgeon, and a representative of the Cedar Rapids undertakers. So far five bodies or parts of bodies impossible of indentification have been recovered. Doubtless these bodies will have to be buried soon, but so far as is possible bodies recovered will be held until one large burial service can be held. The Douglas company will purchase a large lot in Linwood cemetery, defray all funeral expenses and erect a monument agreed on by the committee handling this phase of the catastrophe. The company is defraying funeral expenses in the cases of the identified dead, also.

[transcribed by S.F., February 2009]


The Evening Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Linn co. Iowa
May 29, 1919

Newbold's Body Found in Ruins
The body taken out of the ruins of the bulk packing building at the Douglas starch works about 1 a.m. today has been identified as that of James Newbold, 1318 South Third street west, who was in the list of missing and who was known to have been working in the packing room at the time of the explosion. The body was identified by relatives. The body still held together and was more recognizable than some of the others taken out. It was some time after a part of the body was first seen by workmen under the wreckage of the west end of the packing room before all the wreckage over and around it could be removed sufficiently to take the body to the temporary morgue at the factory. The workmen put every effort into getting it out as soon as possible after it was first espied. Newbold was a brother-in-law of Percy Ramsell who was one of the victims of the disaster. A Mr. Fellas, who was one of Newbold's comrades told William Ramsell another brother-in-law of Newbold, yesterday, that he had been talking with him just before the explosion happened. Fellas was blown to safety and newbold buried alive. It is thought that he had not started to work when the blow came as the motor which he was attending is said to have not been started.

One of the little piles of bones found yesterday is believed to be of the body of Joseph Vaverka, one of the employees of the "table house" who was on the missing list since the fire. A watch and a buckle found near the bones have been identified by relatives and they have accepted the body as that of Vaverka.

Vaverka Funeral
Funeral services for Joseph Vaverka, Jr., whose body was found and identified at the Douglas starch works yesterday, will be held at the Jan Hus Memorial church at 2 p.m. Friday. The Rev. V. Hlavaty will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Pokorny of Ely. Burial will be in Bohemian National cemetery. Mr. Vaverka was 18 years old. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Vaverka, live at 1307 J street west.

[transcribed by S.F., February 2009]

Linn County