Iowa Old Press

Marshalltown, Marshall co., Iowa
Monday, February 5, 1900
Page 7, Columns 3 & 4

Sad Plight of a Large Family Revealed by Father's Death.
The death Saturday of Frank Quick has brought to light a story of poverty, suffering, and deprivation--conditions which in this thrifty community are not usually allowed to exist for many days, with charity organizations numerous and public aid to be had for the asking. Death may have been welcome to the afflicted man, but it brought sorrow to a wife and nine children.

Quick, with his large family, had taken up quarters for the winter in a small shack three miles northeast of the city, at a point on a clay bluff known as Lost Bridge. He was a former resident of this city, at the corner of Seventh and Noble Streets, and the last work he did was for the Iowa Central on a section gang. For some time he had been afflicted with a dropsical trouble, which developed in a severe form early in the winter. About eight weeks ago, after he had moved to the country where he expected to eke out an existence by his own toil on a small tract of land, he took sick and has since been confined to his bed. The little hovel called a home is composed of one room about 8 X 10 and the other 10 X 12. The smaller one was a living room for a wife and seven children, the youngest a babe in arms and the oldest a girl of about 15 years. What has been done about the house and land since the father's health failed was by the oldest girl and one or two of her brothers. The other room, containing the only bed the family possessed, was occupied by the sick father. One blanket, and that a thin one, was all the sick man had to protect him during the recent cold weather. The wife, baby, and children slept the best they could, ate all that was forthcoming and lived about a little cook stove in the other room. They had no fuel except the decayed wood from the forest. Another blanket was owned by the family, but it was used to fasten upon the north wall to keep the cold from striking the sick man. The township trustee did all he could for the family, after his attention was called to their condition, and furnished $2.40 a week for their support, not including, however, fuel. That amount went to pay for the provisions for the nine souls sheltered under the little roof. The sick man did not even have a change of clothing. That is the condition in which they were found when death entered this home and the county summoned an undertaker to look after the remains. The body was brought to this city this afternoon, prepared for burial and was interred this afternoon at 2:30 by the Salvation Army.

Quick was a man of 48 years of age. Besides his seven small children and wife, he has two grown children. A daughter, Leona Quick, works for Mr. and Mrs. Will Adams, at Newburg, and their oldest son, aged about 21, works for a farmer named Turnbull near Van Cleve. Neither daughter nor son could be notified of their father's death because there was no money to send telegrams. The daughter was, however, informed Saturday evening by a passenger south on the Central, who told parties at Newburg of the death and they in turn conveyed the news to the girl. An attempt was made also, through the courtesy of the superintendent's office of the Central, to inform the agent at Van Cleve and have him get word to the son. The deceased has, as far as known, one living brother, Silas Quick, residing one and one-half miles southwest of Luray.

[transcribed by J.S., August 2008]

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