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William Mac "Mac" Oakes 1895-1921


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 7/27/2013 at 00:02:41

Mac Oakes Electrocuted at Swea City This Forenoon
Mac Oakes, 24 years of age, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Oakes of this place met instant death at Swea City this forenoon while assisting in work on the electric light line. During last night’s storm the high line to Swea City was put out of commission and this forenoon workmen were on the line shooting trouble. The unfortunate young man went to the sub-station to see if he could see anything wrong and it appears that a lightning arrester broke in two, striking him on the back of the neck and throwing him against a charged ground wire. He was, of course, instantly killed. He is a married man but has no children. His unfortunate death is indeed a sad blow to the young wife, to his parents and other relatives in this community. (Graettinger Times, Graettinger, IA, May 26, 1921)

Mack Oakes Killed
Mack Oakes of the Oakes & Christensen garage at Swea City, was instantly killed Wednesday of last week as a result of coming in contact with a high tension wire. The body was found in a kneeling position at one of the sub-stations of the Iowa-Minnesota Power company. A lightning arrester was found across his neck, which is believed to have fallen from a pole, knocking him against the ground wife, which had been charged as a result of the electrical storm. Death must have been instantaneous, as the body showed no signs of a struggle. The body was found by Harold Carpenter, who had just returned from repairing the lines which had been damaged by the storm.

Mr. Oakes was a former resident of Ringsted and only a short time ago moved to Swea city, where he went into business. Friends here who knew him say that he was a fine young man of high moral standing, and leaves a wide circle of friends to mourn his loss. He is survived by his wife, who is under a physician’s care suffering from the shock. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, June 1, 1921)

Mac Oakes Electrocuted
Body Found Soon After In One of Sub Stations of Swea City
Exact Cause Is Not Known
Was One of the Populuar Men of Ringsted and a Son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Oakes
The following taken from the Swea City Herald refers to a former resident of this county, Mack Oakes is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Oakes of Jack Creek township, one of the most highly respected families in Emmet county. Mack Oakes is well known in this city as he not only visited here many time but was one of the witnesses in the Griffin trial. He was a most excellent young man, an industrious worker and a good friend and companion whose friends were numbered by his acquaintances.

Mack Oakes of the Oakes and Christensen garage, was found dead at the Iowa-Minnesota Power company’s substation near the sales pavilion this noon. He had been electrocuted by current from the high tension lines.

His body was found in a kneeling posture just inside the opening of the sub-station. A lightning arrester had fallen from the top of the pole and was found across Oakes’ neck. It is believed at this time when the arrester struck him it knocked him against a ground wire which became charged, resulting in his immediate death.

Oakes’ body was found by Harold Carpenter, local superintendent for the high ling company. Carpenter had just returned from “trouble shooting” out on the high line, which had been thrown out of gear by last night’s storm.

Oakes had been helping with the operation of the local plant. It is believed that he had gone to the sub-station for the purpose of looking for trouble.

He is survived by a young wife who is terribly upset.

William Mac Oakes was born Sept. 4, 1895 on the Oakes farm at Graettinger, Iowa, which had been his home until he was married on April 29, 1917, to Genevieve Griffin of Masonville, Iowa. Since this time they have made their home in Ringsted and vicinity. On April 1st they moved to Swea City, engaging in garage work. On May 26th occurred the accident which caused his untimely death.

He leaves behind his wife, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Oakes, one brother Joseph, one sister Grace and a host of relatives and friends who mourn his loss.

Mac was a fine young man. Popular with everyone. A man who was dependable in every way. The funeral services were held at the Oakes farm, conducted by L.R. Phillips, pastor of the Church of Christ in Estherville. Interment in the High Lake cemetery. There were gathered at the home to pay their last tribute of respect, five hundred friends and neighbors. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, June 1, 1921) (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, June 1, 1921)

Funeral of Mac Oakes Last Sunday
The funeral of Mac Oakes, mention of whose accidental death was made in last week’s Times, was held Sunday afternoon at two o’clock. Services were conducted at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Oakes by Rev. L.R. Phillips, pastor of the Church of Christ, Estherville. Over five hundred neighbors and friends of the family were in attendance at the last sad services. It was perhaps one of the most largely attended funerals held in northwest Iowa in recent years. Scores of beautiful and costly floral decorations were in evidence at the residence and at the grave. Interment was in High Lake cemetery. The pall bearers were P.W. Petersen, Henry Hendricksen, R.M. Butler, Alfred Fink, Dr. Petersen, and James Christiansen.

Mr. Oakes met his sad death last Thursday substantially as reported in the Times. He had, at different times, assisted with work on the electric lines and it was while working in this capacity that he lost his life. Last April he moved to Swea City and engaged in the garage business with James Christiansen and he was just getting started in a business way when he met his sad death.

William Mac Oakes was born September 4, 1895, hence he would have been 26 years of age next September. He made his home with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Oakes, until he was married on April 29, 1917, to Miss Genevieve Griffin of Masonville, Iowa. Since that time they made their home in Ringsted and vicinity where Mr. Oakes was engaged in the garage business. Besides his heart broken wife he is survived by his sorrowing parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Oakes, one brother Joseph and a sister, Miss Grace, and a host of relatives and friends who mourn his loss.

The deceased was a popular and highly respected young man, in every way deserving of the good opinion of his friends and the confidence they reposed in him. He was trustworthy and reliable and could always be depended upon to do his duty in any undertaking. As a young man he was a dutiful and loving son, always respectful and obedient to his parents, and he profited by their advice and counsel and he would, without question, have made a success of any line of endeavor to which he gave his ability and talent. In his own home he was a kind, thoughtful and devoted husband and his sad, untimely death is indeed a heart breaking blow to the young wife as well as to the grief stricken parents and other relatives. To those who are left to mourn the Times extends heartfelt sympathy in this, their darkest hour of sorrow, and we hope that Providence will be kind to them in the future and spare them from suffering and sorrow for many years to come.

Many out of town relatives were in attendance at the funeral. They were Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Kent of Indianola, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Oakes of Rock Rapids; G.H. Oakes at Kings, Illinois; Mr. and Mrs. F.S. Griffin of Masonville, Iowa; and Mrs. C.S. Snyder of Wausau, Wisconsin. (Graettinger Times, Graettinger, IA, June 2, 1921)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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