DISASTERS IN MANITOWOC COUNTY



Manitowoc Pilot, April 17, 1868

THE SEA BIRD DISASTER - The Lost from Manitowoc.

The past week has been a sad one for Manitowoc. A calamity, the recital
of which could not be listened to without a thrill of horror, had it
occurred in some distant part of the country, has been brought to our
very doors. Other great disasters have occurred on Lake Michigan, 
involving even more serious loss of life, and Manitowoc has happily
escaped. But when the waters closed over the wrecked and burned Sea Bird
last Thursday, a score of hearthstones in our midst were made desolate,
and gloom and depression settled upon our entire community.
The first dispatch, received here about 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon,
announcing souls that the Sea Bird had burned off Waukegan early that
morning, caused unspeakable anxiety and distress, for a large list of
passengers, many of them the heads of families and among our best
citizens, had embarked on the ill-fated steamer. Subsequent telegrams
were vague and unsatisfactory, serving only to confirm the first-the
Sea Bird had been burned, and probably many lives were lost-and at
6 o'clock the wire, from some cause, refused to work, and no more
messages could be received or transmitted.
It would be hard, indeed to describe the excitement and anxiety that
prevailed. The mental anguish and torture of suspense suffered during
that long night, by those who had near and dear ones on the burned
steamer, no pen can describe. The telegraph office, and the sidewalk
in front of it, were crowded until a late hour by an eager and excited,
yet patient throng, who watched and waited for further tidings until
it was evident that nothing more would be learned that night, when
they turned away with heavy hearts. During the night the wire was
put in working order, and the first message that flashed over it on
Friday morning brought confirmation of the worst fears of the most
despondent. Of between seventy and eighty passengers and crew on
board the doomed vessel, only two were saved. Only two and neither
of these were from Manitowoc. But there was still left the hope,
realized, alas, in the few instances, that some might have left
the boat at Milwaukee or Racine; and the intelligence received
later in the day, that JAMES H. LEONARD had been so miraculously
rescued near Evanston, revived the hope that others might yet
be saved. As the days wore by and no tidings came, this last
hope gave place to the conviction that all, save these three 
were lost.
The following, from this place and vicinity are believed to have
been lost with the Sea Bird:

JAMES A. HODGES, Clerk of the Sea Bird. Was born in Taunton, Mass.,
and was 40 years of age. He came to Wisconsin in 1849, and was 
employed as warehouse clerk by Messrs. Kellog and Strong, at
Milwaukee, with whom he remained until the spring of 1857, when, in
company with Mr. Peter Johnston, he came to Manitowoc, and the two,
for the six years following, carried on a general receiving and
forwarding business on the North Pier, under the well known firm
name of Johnston & Hodges. In 1862, Mr. Hodges withdrew from the
firm to join the army and enrolled himself as private in Company
K, Twenty-first Regiment, of which he was soon made the First
Sergeant. He served with his regiment at Perryville and in other
actions, and at Stone River was captured by the enemy and confined
in Libby Prison. Upon being released, his health was so much
impaired that he was transferred to the Invalid Corps, and was
selected by General Sweet, Commandant of Camp Douglas, as his 
Private Secretary, in which capacity he served until the expiration
of his term of service. In July, 1866, he was appointed Clerk of the
new steamer Orion, and remained on her until the close of the season
of 1867. This spring Mr. Goodrich transferred the Orion to the East
Shore Route, and placed the Sea Bird on this. At the request of Mr.
Hodges, who wished to be with his family, to whom he was much
attached, as often as possible, Mr. Thombs, clerk of the Sea Bird,
changed positions with him. Of unquestioned business capacity and
experience, his place will be hard to fill by his employer. Frank,
genial and warm-hearted socially, and generous to a fault, no one
could make his acquaintance without becoming his fast friend
forever after. He was one of the very few men who have no enemies,
and will be sincerely mourned by all who knew him. He leaves a 
wife and four children, the eldest 13 years of age, who reside in
the Second Ward.

GEORGE W. EMERY.  Was born in the State of Maine, and was 38 years
of age. Mr. Emery came to Manitowoc in 1856, and engaged in the
grocery and provision business, opening a store on Commercial
street, and subsequently on York street. In 1862, attracted by the
promising prospects of the Lake Superior region, he closed out his 
store here and went to Marquette, Mich., where he engaged in 
shipping live stock and did a general merchandising and regular
forwarding business. His family remained here, however, and he
made frequent visits to them, and had several times made large
purchases of live stock in this county in the way of his business.
He was on his way to Chicago to contract for the shipment of 
goods to Lake Superior when he met his fate. Mr. Emery was a
shrewd, enterprising business man, straightforward and honorable
in all his dealings, a firm friend, and an indulgent husband and
father. He leaves a wife and three children, who live in the
Second Ward.

CAPT. N.T. NELSON.  Was born in Norway, and was 43 years of age.
By occupation he was a mariner, from his early youth. He came to
Manitowoc about 18 years ago, and since that time has resided
here with his family, following his occupation as a vessel
captain. He was on his way to Chicago to purchase a tug for use
in our harbor, if he could find one that suited his purposes.
Captain Nelson was an upright, hardworking, public spirited man,
who was universally esteemed, and whose death is a serious loss
to our community. His liberality was only limited by his means,
and no worth object of aid was ever turned away by him empty-
handed. He leaves a wife and seven children, who live in the
Second Ward.

CAPT. JOHN SORENSON.  Was born in Norway, and was 40 years of
age. Like Captain Nelson, he was an old salt-water sailor, and
was also a first-class ship carpenter. He came to Manitowoc 
about 19 years ago, and since that time has usually sailed
during the summer and worked at his trade in the winter time.
He had just sold his interest in the schooner Walhalla, but
there was some mistake in the papers, and it was for the
purpose of having this rectified, that he was on his way to
Chicago. He was an honest, industrious man, a good neighbor
and a good citizen, and his loss will be deeply felt. He
leaves a wife and two children, who reside in the Fourth Ward.

JOSEPH D. DOUCETT.  Was of Scotch descent, and aged about 37 
years. He came to this county some ten or twelve years ago to
follow his occupation, that of lumberman, but a wound received
in the service incapacitated him for severe manual labor, and
at the time of the disaster he was keeping a boarding house
for the employes of Vilas & Co.'s woolen mill, four miles
up the river. He was on his way to Chicago on business relating
to an application he had made for a pension. In October, 
1861, he enlisted as a private in Co. E, Fourteenth Regiment,
and was subsequently promoted to be a corporal and detailed
as one of the regimental color guard. At the battle of
Corinth, in October 1862, while his regiment was being driven
from its position by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy.
Doucett, in endeavoring to save the colors from capture, was
borne to the ground by a bayonet thrust, and left for dead
on the field. He was taken and cared for by the enemy, and
when he recovered and returned to his friends in the January
following, was welcomed as one from the dead. Always prompt
and faithful in the execution of his duty, brave even to
rashness, and upright and honorable as a man, the army rolls
do not contain the name of a better soldier than was Jo.
Doucett. May his memory be ever green. He leaves a wife and
two children, who live near Vilas & Co.'s mill.

JAMES LEYKOM.  Has lived in Manitowoc with his parents since
his early boyhood, was a shoemaker by occupation, and had
just completed his 21st year. He was on his way to Chicago
to care for his brother, John R. Leykom, who has been ill for
several weeks past, when, just on the threshold of manhood,
he met his sad fate. He was a young man of correct principles
and much promise, and was highly esteemed by all who knew him.
His father's family reside in the Third Ward.

PATRICK C. DENAHAE.  Was born in Ireland, and was 28 years of
age. He came to America when but 11 or 12 years old, with his
parents, who moved to this county a few years later. In 1862
he went to Chicago and engaged in business, where he had
continued since, and prospered; and only last May the Pilot
announced his marriage with a daughter of Mr. Michael Doolan,
of this village. With every prospect of a long life of
happiness before them, he has been suddenly deprived of 
existence and a shadow cast up her young life for all time.
Mr. Denahae intended returning to Manitowoc to live, and
brought with him from Chicago about $1200 to purchase a lot
he had fixed upon near the corner of Buffalo and Ninth
streets. The property was sold, however, before his arrival,
and this money was on his person at the time of the disaster.
He was a generous, warm-hearted young man, and his untimely
death is lamented by a large circle of friends. His wife,
and an infant child, but a few weeks old, are with her
parents, in the Second Ward.

FRANZ KLIMMER.  Was an old resident of Manitowoc, and aged 
about 50 years. About a year ago he sold his farm, just
out of town on the Calumet road, and went to Chicago to
go into business with a son-in-law. He came to Manitowoc
for the balance of the money, due on his farm, which he
got and left with his son-in-law here, Mr. Haegen, but had
about $500 on his person when lost. He leaves a wife and
two married daughters.

WENZEL HAVLICHEK.  Lived in the town of Mishicott, was 26
years of age and a farmer by occupation. he leaves a wife
and three children.

CASPAR LEGRO.  Lived in the town of Mishicott, was 21 
years of age, a farmer and a single man.

ALBERT MRWA.  Lived in the town of Mishicott, was 25 years
of age, a laborer and a single man.

HENRY PFEFFER.  Was a young man, 21 or 22 years of age,
and unmarried. He was the keeper of the tavern on the 
corner of Main and Marshall streets, nearly opposite the
Catholic church. He had business in Milwaukee, but
concluded to go on to Chicago, for company, with James
Leykom, between whom and himself there existed a strong
friendship. He leaves a widowed mother.

CHARLES RIECHEN.  Was about 40 years of age, and had been
a resident of Manitowoc for the past 12 years. He was the
master carpenter in Goodrich's shipyard here, and was 
highly esteemed by those who knew him. He leaves a wife
and one child, who live on the South side.

FRED. HENNING.  Was a single man about 20 years of age.
He lived in the town of Newton.

R.H. HUNT.  Had been in Manitowoc only about three
weeks, and was on his way to his home in Leonidas,
Mich. He was 32 years of age, and, we believe, leaves a
family.

WILLIAM BARTER.  Had made it his home here for a year
past, was about 40 years of age, and a single man. He
was a brother in law of Mr. Cox, of this village, and
was on his way to Chicago to work at his trade, painting.
During his stay here he made many friends who will
regret his death.

AUGUST WILDE.  Was 19 years of age, and a shoemaker by
occupation, but shipped as a deck hand. His father and
mother live near Klimmer's farm, on the Calumet road.

AMOS MYER.  Was about 21 years of age, and has lived here
14 or 15 years. Was working as a deck hand on the steamer.
His mother and step father live here.

FRED. FLOSBACH.  Was 18 years of age, has a mother and
brothers and sisters living here. Was formerly
employed in the Nord Westen office, and had shipped as
a deck hand.

HENRY NIEMAN.  Was about 20 years of age, and had
shipped as a deck hand. His father died about four
years since, and upon him has since devolved the support
of his widowed mother and younger brothers and sisters,
to whom his loss will be irreparable. Those acquainted
with the family speak of him in terms of the highest
praise. He was honest and industrious, a dutiful son
and an affectionate brother.

JOHN FOUCKS.  Was about 19 years of age and a deck
hand. Has friends on the South side.

MISS TERENE OLSON.  Was born in Norway, and was aged
about 33 years. Had been employed in Mr. J.C. Johnson's
tailoring establishment, and was on her way to Chicago
to visit some friends. Miss Oleson came over from the
old country only last year.

JOHN WALLA and his wife ROSALIE, with their four
children, took passage on the steamer here, intending
to go to Nebraska to buy a farm. They were Bohemians,
only arrived from the old country last fall, and had
been living during the winter in the town of Mishicott.
At Milwaukee Mr. Walla got off and went up into the 
city to see a sister who lives there and when he
returned the boat was gone. His life was thus spared,
but his wife and four children, the eldest a boy 
16 years of age, were all lost.

The above, so far as we have been able to learn,
includes all who embarked on the ill-fated steamer
at this port who have not since been heard from. 
To the bereaved ones, whose firesides have been thus
rudely desolated, will go out the earnest and hear-
felt sympathies of all; but their grief is beyond
the reach of human sympathy. Let us trust that He 
who tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb will, in
His own good time, assuage their sorrow, and that
they may, in time, even find a sweet though sad
pleasure in recalling to memory the virtues of their
loved ones, wh are "not lost, but gone before."


(Date would be July 22, 1906 - Sunday) BOLT STRIKES GRAND STAND; 5 KILLED Terrible Catastrophe at West Side Ball Park Sunday Afternoon When Lightning Strikes Stand 5 KILLED OUTRIGHT; 4 SERIOUSLY INJURED; SCORES STUNNED THE DEAD SKUHRA, ALBERT, age 32 years HANDL, WALTER, age 17 years WOELLERT, IRVING, age 20 years KNUTZEN, WILLIE, age 13 years KLAUCK, TONY [Anton], age 13 years By far The most serious fatality that has yet visited Manitowoc occurred Sunday, afternoon at the old west side ball park, 16th and Wollmer streets, when, during, the thunder storm that raged, a bolt of lightning struck the south east corner of the grand stand, came down the post at the entrance and killed outright five young men and boys besides injuring a dozen others. It was at 1:30 when the fatal stroke occurred and but for the fact that there were comparatively few on the grounds and less than a dozen in the grand stand or in close proximity to it, the death list would have been much larger. The five who lost their lives were Albert Skuhra, Walter Handl, Irving Woellert, Willie Knuzen, and Tony Klauck. Such excitement as followed the shock has never been seen in Manitowoc. A half dozen doctors, summoned from as many telephones, hurried to the grounds in autos and carriages, through the pouring rain, and the scene as the bodies of the unfortunates were laid out on the grass near the grand stand and efforts made to resuscitate them was heart rending in the extreme. Parents, brothers and sisters of the unfortunates crowded around the loved ones, almost hysterical and it was with difficulty that the doctors were able to work over those in which there was some hope of reviving. Walter and Frank Boehm, Harvey Kono and Theo. Burmeister were among the lads that were the most seriously injured and were revived. A score of others, standing in front of the stand, when the bolt struck, were knocked to the ground, some unconscious, but were soon brought around. There were less than 100 on the grounds when the bolt struck. The Plymouth team, who were scheduled to play the Schreihardt’s at 2:30 in the afternoon, was out in the field practicing although it was commencing to rain. Some of the Schreihart players were just coming into the ground. The five who lost their lives were grouped around the entrance of the grand stand. Suddenly, without warning, there was a bolt of lightning; that struck the roof of the stand, tore its way for three feet down the slanting side, and then went down the corner post, into the ground. It was all done so quickly that no one can explain just what occurred for the next few moments. Skura, was standing against the post with two others, and all toppled over, dead. Two other lads were just outside on the steps leaning into the stand, and they toppled over with a sign of an outcry. The others that were stunned cried out for help and doctors. A half frightened lad, seeing every one falling in and about the grand stand, rushed out of the grounds and ran to the residence of Editor Mackey of the Herald, that adjoins the ball grounds on the south. He at once telephoned for Dr. Patchen, who came to the scene through the driving rain in his automobile. Frantic women in the neighborhood rushed into the park and added much to the excitement. The wife of Albert Skura, arrived on the scene and became hysterical. Closely following Dr. Patchen came Doctors Gleason; Meany, Luman and Thurtell, all of whom had been summoned by telephone from nearby residences. The news of the terrible accident at the west side park spread like wild fire through the city and soon, all avenues to the grounds, despite the fact that there was a down pour of rain at the time, were thronged with an anxious mob of people, some of them parents of the dead, who were not aware that their sons had met death until arriving at the park. Doctor Patchen superintended the work of trying to bring as many as there was any hope for to. A hasty examination showed that Skura, Handl, Woellert had been killed by the first shock. Young Knutzen was thought to show some signs of life and he was carried to a residence just across the street from the ballpark exit but it was soon seen that he was past recovery. Little Tony Klauck, who was a son of a widow living at the corner of York and Seventh streets, showed more signs of life than any of the others. Dr. John Hoyer, who was present worked over the lad for half an hour. At one time, he opened his eyes and seemed to take notice of what was going on around him but he soon fell off again and was past recall. Walter and John Boehm, young lads who were stunned by the bolt were taken to their home on 20th street and after much hard work were brought around all right. Harvey Kono and Theo. Burmeister two other lads were believed for a time to be fatally hurt but after doctors had worked over them for some time, they were revived and taken to their homes in carriages. A number of others were knocked down by the bolt but were able to proceed to their homes on foot with the assistance of relatives and friends. Scenes about the grounds while the patrol wagon was busy taking the dead away beggar description. For a long time the identity of the youngest of the five dead, Klauck, was unknown but finally a brother of the lad arrived at the park, not knowing that his brother was there, and on looking at the dead form, lying on the seats in the grand stand, said it was his brother. The patrol in charge of the officers Carle, Dueno and Trochelli, came to the grounds and removed the body of Walter Handl, to his home on S.13th Street and returning conveyed Irving Woellert to the home on 20th street. A third trip was taken and young Klauck removed and in the meantime the undertaking wagon of Urbanck & Wattawa removed the remains of Albert Skura. The Patrol made one more trip and removed the Knutzen boy. By this time, a crowd of over 1,000 people had gathered at the park. All thoughts of playing the game between the Schreiharts and Plymouth were abandoned early in the afternoon. It was indeed fortunate that the bolt came when it did and not one hour later when there might have been a larger number in the grand stand and the death list correspondingly larger. With the removal of the body of Albert Skura, the crowds filed mournfully out of the grounds. Albert Skura, the oldest of the quintate that lost their lives was about 32 years old, and married being survived by a wife and child. He was prominent in union circles of the city, being a member of the Manitowoc Central Labor Council, deputy organizer of the State Federation, and a member of the Longshoremen’s union. The unions meet this evening to make arrangements for his funeral. He had been hired to sell tickets at the grand stand for yesterday’s game, this being the first time he had, ever officiated. His death was instantaneous, he leaning against the post and receiving the full shock of the bolt. Walter Handl was 17 years old, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Handl, residing on S. 13th street and has been employed for the past three years in a north side meat market. He will probably be buried Tuesday. Irving Woellert was the son of Chas. Woellert, tailor, and was 20 years of age. He will be buried Tuesday. Willie Knutzen, was 13 years of age and resides with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Knutzen on N. 15th street. He was a carrier on the Daily Herald. He will be buried Tuesday afternoon. Tony Klauck was 13 years of age and resided at Seventh and York streets. He will be probably be(sic) buried Wednesday and the body taken to Kiel for interment. All the injured are getting along nicely. It was reported last night that Theo. Burmeister, also had died but this report proved to be untrue. Walter and Frank Boehm and Harvey Kono are all recovering from the effects of the shock to their nervous system. It was an accident that will not soon be forgotten and its occurrence on the first day of the week will serve as topic for lesson by the pastors of the city in their talks. Manitowoc Citizen, Thursday, July 26, 1906. Front page.


Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. February 26, 1920 P. 1 1 DIES, 2 DYING, SCORES HURT IN ALUMINUM GOODS PLANT FIRE Blast Sends a Sheet of Flame Over Girl Workers Setting Clothing Afire Three Living Torches, Panic Stricken, Leap from Third Story - Pitiable Scenes as Rescuers Give First Aid - Relative Mingle Cries with Victims of Explosion One of the worst disasters of its kind in the history of the city occured shortly after ten o'clock this morning when an explosion caused by spontaneous combustion in a blower on the third floor of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Co. resulted in the possibe death of three, the serious injury and burns to thirteen, with minor injuries to a score of others of the women employes. The explosion occurred on the third floor, the blower being located near an L connecting the old with the new factory plant, immediately adjacent to the satin finish room of the mammoth plant in which were at work some 200 or more girl employes. Immediately after the explosion a sheet of flame burst from the blower, enveloping the girls seated at their work benches and soon their clothes and their hair were on fire, the flames igniting a number of paper boxes in the room adding a possible conflagration to the already heart rending scene. GIRLS ARE PANIC STRICKEN. The shrieks of the wounded and dying and the confusion in smoke filled rooms beggars description. The girls ran hither and thither in their efforts to find the fire escape, crowding each other in their efforts to escape. Officers and employes of the company on the other floors rushed to the scene as rapidly as they could to maintain order among the panic stricken employes and to direct the effors of the fire fighters and the improvised staff of nurses together with the doctors who did all in their power to alleviate the sufferings of the injured and to calm those who were fortunate enough to have excaped injury. Doctors offices in the city were importuned to send aid at once and soon every physician within calling was in the building, rendering first aid. The ambulance was on the scene immediately and as fast as one load of injured could be taken to the hospital, another was on its way while scores of volunteers with closed cars aided the ambulance corps and took those who were not severely burned, to their homes. The entire basement floor of the hospital was turned into an emergency room with cots and every available bed filled up with the victims. A PITIABLE SCENE. Doctors who began arriving at this time had an almost impossible task in their work, while every sister of the institution was called into action. Drug stores hastily put up all the available quantities of unguentin and other oils and ointments suitable and the victims were swathed in saturated lotion to alleviate their terrible suffering. The moans and cries of the victims together with the hysteria of relatives who had become apprised of the explosion and assembled in the corridors impotent to help, on their knees in prayer, formed a picture pitiable in the extreme. BEGS TO DIE. "I want to die" "God help me" "Where is mother," and other pitiful outcries of the victims who lay on their cots, writhing in pain, some with their hair burned from their scalps, others with flesh virtually dropping from them, comprised a scene that even the physicians and nurses, accustomed as they are to these pictures, could scarcely withstand. When it was thought all the most severely hurt had been taken from the scene, the ambulance still brought two or three girls at a time and soon every available place on the basement floor was taken up by cots. BURNED BEYOND RECOGNITION Doctors and nurses together with officials of the company worked feverishly and performed their tasks heroically. Administrations of anaesthesia were given and in some cases, the bodies were entirely swathed in ointments to alleviate their terrible suffering. It was almost impossible to recognize the features of some of the most severely injured. The flames as they burst forth blackened their skin, burned their hair from their scalps and for hours afterward identification was difficult. FLAMES EASILY EXTINGUISHED. The fire department with a lead of hose soon extinguished the incipient blaze in the finishing room which together with the sprinkling system that had been turned on soon eliminated the danger of fire. Chief Trochlell followed the fire department from the station on his own initiative while Miss Harriet Haughton, the intepid little telephone girl, sent out call after call to physicians, relatives and remained at her post doing a real heroic work. While all seemed to agree that the explosion and ensuing fire were caused by spontaneous combustion, it had not been proven an established fact. So much confusion ensued that it was impossible to gain an accurate account of just how the disaster occurred. So violent was the concussion that the explosion was plainly heard all over the city, doors in the satin finish room and a hallway connecting with the tram were blown from their fastenings, while every window on the third floor practically was shattered, and the steel frames bulged out. LEAP FROM WINDOWS. The panic that ensued was perhaps the worst feature of the catastrophe, a number of employes with clothing on fire crowding the fire escape and leaping, some headlong, some virtually diving, to the snow covered ground, three flights below. In two instances the falls of the girls were broken when their bodies struck a shed but this only added broken bones and internal injuries to those who took their death leaps. Carl Meier, one of the machine shop employes, heard the explosion and thought it had occurred outside of the building and rushed out to see just what had happened. EMPLOYE DESCRIBES SCENE. "There was a roar as if from exhust steam," said Meier, "and I looked up at the building and was horrified to see a girl step out on the fire escape on the third floor, her clothing a mass of flames and I cried to her not to jump that I would be up for her in a minute. Unmindful, and without a realization of the possible death that might follow her action, she leaped from the ledge and landed on the small shed near one of the shops and I went to her, expecting to pick up her dead body. It proved to be Anna Schade and although I expected to find her to be maimed and breathing her last, I found that she was partically uninjured except for burns to her body and an injury to her spine. GIRL CALLS ON HIM. "As I picked her up, I heard a scream from above and glancing to the third floor fire escape, saw still another girl jump from the landing and before I could get out of the way, she fell on Anna and me, and we were violently thrown in a heap from the impact." "I called to Charles Tidsburg who came running to which out any endeavor to stop any more of the girls who might be tempted to follow in the wake of these two unfortunates and as I did so, still another girl leaped from the landing but Tidsburg, who saw her, caught her in his arms and broke her fall. His act saved this girl's life." GUARD FOR ESCAPE. "The one who had jumped as I picked up Anna was so severely burned and so badly injured by her fall that when we placed her in the ambulance, I sthink she was breathing her last." "By this time other employes had rushed to the third floor and stood guard over the fire excape landing to prevent any more of the panic stricken girls from leaping." Greatest excitement prevailed all over the city when the news spread like wildfire and soon the Aluminum Goods plant and vicinity were filled with relatives and anxious friends in their endeavor to learn the identity of the victims and the severity of their injuries. It was at first reported that two of the girls had been killed out-right but this proved untrue. None was dead when the police, the physicians and volunteers carried them to the ambulance. Nearby homes were thrown open and victims carried there out of the cold, wrapped in blankets, to await their turn to be taken to the hospital. GIVES LAST SACRAMENT Carl Isselmann, Richard Findlan and officers of the Aluminum Goods staff directed the work of rescue and went to the hospital to do what they could for the stricken victims and their families. Taxis became available immediately after the disaster and as the less injured were assisted from the building, they were placed in these and taken to their homes. The cold caused more or less additional suffering, the victims being wrapped as well as they could in blankets and overcoats, since some of the girls had practically every vestige of clothing burned from their bodies before they could be carried out. At the hospital Father Scheidhauer and his assistant administered the last sacraments to a number who were thought to be dying and the most severely injured. ONE DIES FROM BURNS The first victim of the accident to give her life is Miss Addie Holtz, aged 30, who died at the hospital at one o'clock, death being due to burns and the shock. Miss Holtz, who was a daughter of Mrs. John Holtz, Route 7, had been employed at the Aluminum Goods plant for seven years or more. Miss Holtz had made her home with her sister, Mrs. B. H. Hansen, 423 N. Fifth street. She had about decided this morning not to report for work, owing to a slight attack of illness but later decided that she would go to the plant this morning and possibly not work this afternoon if she did not feel better. Two other girls, severely burned, were this afternoon reported in critical condition and it was feared that they would not survive. Dazed by the shock and excitement many girls who had escaped serious injury, some with bruises to the hands and bodies sustained in the rush to escape, huddled in the corridors where they were later found by relief workers,and provided with transportation to their homes. None of the girls were able to give a coherent account of the terrible experience and at the homes of some of them when seen, they could not even recall how they had reached home. BLOWER WAS CLEAN General Supt. Hugo Vits, of the Goods Co. was at Two Rivers at the time of the accident and hurried back to the city to assist in the care of the injured. Mr. Vits said this afternoon that the only way he could account for the explosion and fire was that some foreign substance must have been drawn into the blower and came in contact with the brushes which operate inside and caused the ignition. "The blowers could not become clogged" said Mr. Vits. "We have men whose business it is to attend to cleaning the blowers at stated times and the work is never neglected. A small bit of iron or some other substance may have gotten in and formed contact with the brushes to cause the ignition." Mr. Vits said. George Vits, president of the company is in California on a business trip and has been notified of the accident. Employes of the plant were dismissed and the factory was not open this afternoon, officers devoting themselves to caring for the injured and their relative. PALL OVER CITY The tragedy has cast a pall over the city and on every hand the terrible accident is the subject of discussion. Supt. Vits and officers of the Aluminum Goods company express keen sorrow and deplore the accident and are doing everything possible for the unfortunate victims. ********* THE FIRE'S TOLL The Dead ADDIE HOLTZ, 423 North Fifth Street, died from burns at hospital. Lives with Captain H.B. Hanson and sister-in-law, Catherine Hanson. The Injured ESTHER RUSCH, Valders, Wis., daughter of Otto Rusch, reported severely hurt. May die. LILLIAN SPINKER, 1125 South Eleventh street, daughter of John Spinker. Badly burned about body. May die. ANNA SCHADE, 1131 South Fourteenth street, daughter of Mrs. Martha Schade, burned about face and hands, injury to spine when she leaped from the third story fire escape. Will recover. JOSEPHINE SCHLIESLEDER, 1125 South Fourteenth street, daughter of Frank Schliesleder. Burns may be serious. PAULINE KOMOROWSKI, board on South Fourteenth. Will recover. BLANCHE KOMOROWSKI, 1109 South Twenty-fifth street. FRANCES BUDYCZ, 1133 South Nineteenth Street, daughter of Andrew Budycz, may recover. EMELY BECKER, 1130 South Nineteenth Street, daughter of John Becker. Very badly burned about body. FRANCIS RYSTICAN, 2009 Hamilton Street, face and legs, arms badly burned. Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. February 26, 1920 P. 1 ************ FIFTH BLAST VICTIM IS DEAD 2 OTHER GIRS BATTLE FOR LIFE IN THE HOSPITAL Preparations Making for Funerals of Aluminum Plant Dead With the death of four more girl victims of yesterday's Aluminum plant explosion and fire the toll was brought up to five today, while two more are in critical condition. LIST OF THE DEAD. Following the death of Addie Holtz yesterday afternoon, four other victims of burns in the fire, succumbed last evening and during the night, the dead being: ADDIE HOLTZ, 30 years old, 423 N. Fifth street. FRANCES BUDYCZ, 23 years old, 1138 S. Ninth Street. PAULINE KOMOROWSKI, 21 years old, Seventeenth Street. JOSEPHINE SCHLEISLEDER, 19 years old, 1125 S. Fourteenth Street. ESTHER RUSCH, 20 years old, Valders All five of the girls were so severely burned that death was but a matter of hours and came as relief from the agonizing suffering. VICTIMS BADLY BURNED. Miss Komorowski was the second victim of the accident to give up her life, passing away shortly after 6 last night and the deaths of the Budycz, Schleisleder and Rusch girls followed soon afterward. Death was a mercy to the unfortunate girls, all of whom suffered burns to the body, face and hands, four of the girls having the flesh burned from their bodies while the fifth had her lungs so badly affected that nothing could be done for her. The girls had there been a chance of recovery, would have been scarred for life by the terrible burns and would undoubtedly have preferred death rather than to have faced the future maimed and scarred as they would have been. ONE GIRL A NEWCOMER. Four of the five girls had been employed at the plant of the Aluminum Goods Co. for years, Miss Rusch being the only one who had been with the company for a period of less than four to seven years. The Rusch girl, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Rusch, of Valders, had been employed at the factory only eight weeks. She was born in Liberty and was 20 years of age. Besides her parents she is survived by three sisters, and three brothers, Walter, Adolph and Hugo and Mrs. Irene Evenson, Liberty, Misses Agnes and Leona Rusch at Valders. The funeral will be held from the home in Liberty Monday at 1:30 with interment at the Lutheran cemetery there. WITH COMPANY EIGHT YEARS Frances Budycz had been employed at the plant for eight years. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Budycz, 1133 So. Nineteenth street and was 23 years of age. She attended St. Mary's school previous to being employed. Three sisters, Mrs. J. Becker, Mrs. Anton Zogrodnik and Mrs. J. Dempsky and four brothers, Joseph, Frank, Lucian and Stanley survive with the parents. The funeral will be held at St. Mary's church Monday morning. POPULAR WITH ALL. Josephine Schleisleder, another of the victims, was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Schleisleder, 1125 So. Fourteenth street, and was 19. She had been employed for four years and was one of the most popular girls in the department. Her parents, one brother Leo and three sisters, Margaret, Stell and Dorothy, survive. The funeral will be held from St. Boniface church Monday morning. HER CHUM ESCAPES INJURIES Pauline Komorowski, whose chum, Clara Javorsky, employed in the same department and with whom she roomed, escaped without injury, was 21 years of age, having been born December 17, 1899. Since the death of her mother she had made her home with the Javorsky family on Seventeenth street and had been employed at the Goods plant for five years. She is survived by her father and two brothers, George, who is at Camp Grant, and John of this city. The funeral will probably be held Monday morning from St. Mary's church. The condition of two more of the fire victims is reported critical this afternoon and it is feared that one of them, at least, will not survive. Miss Emily Becker, who was burned about the body and head, is in dangerous condition. It is believed that three of the girls at the hospital will live. TELLS OF THE EXPLOSION Anna Schade, a forewoman at the aluminum factory, who was blown completely across the room to the door of the fire escape by the explosion yesterday and who rolled from the fire escape to plunge to the ground twenty feet below, her fall broken by landing on the roof of a shed, today told of her experience in an interview with a Herald-News representative. She is in the Holy Family hospital where she will recover. "When the explostion of the fan came I was blown across the room almost to the fire escape door." she said. "I could not use my legs and crawled out on the fire escape. I felt that some other girl had hold of me but did not look to see who it was. When I got out on the fire escape I became frightened that I would be trampled on by the girls rushing from the room and rolled over the edge to the ground. HER ESCAPE MIRACULOUS "I did not know how badly I had been hurt but knew that my clothes were afire. Just exactly what happened after that I do not know." In a further statement Miss Schade, who is the least hurt of the victims of the diaster that are in the hospital and had a miraculous escape, said that the burns to her arm were quite severe but that she did not feel much pain and that, as far as she knew, she was all right otherwise. She is resting easy and expects soon to be able to be about again. Miss Schade has not been advised of the death of the other girls, it being deemed inadvisable to inform her owing to her condition as the result of the shock she sustained. Carl Meier, who worked heroically in rescuing the girls and in assisting in their transportation to the hospital, Continued on Page 5... had a narrow escape from himself becoming a victim when his clothing caught fire from the burning dress of Anna Schade, while Mr. Meier was endeavoring to extinguish the flames which enveloped the girl. A hole was burned through his clothing to the skin but fortunately he had presence of mind to smother the fire and he suffered no ill effects. PITIFUL SCENES AT HOSPITAL Scenes at the hospital yesterday and during the night were pitiful in the extreme as memebers of the stricken families of the injured girls sought admission to their bedsides and when death claimed one after another gave way to the terrible anguish which they experienced. Several physicians remained steadfastly at their posts at the hospital during the afternoon and night, while Carl Isslemann, Richard Findlan and Hugo Vits, of the executive staff of the company, were in constant attendance to assist in every way possible for the care and comfort of the injured girls and their relatives. NURSES FROM MILWAUKEE Only immediate relatives of the injured were admitted to the hospital and the taxis provided by the Aluminum Goods Co. were busily engaged all night in carrying parents and other relatives to the bedside of their loved ones. Hundreds of friends kept the telephone busy making inquiries as to the condition of the injured girls and nurses and attendants at the hospital labored heroically in their work of ministration. A special force of nurses was rushed from Milwaukee last evening at request of officers of the company. The Revs. Scheidhauer, Kubeczwski, Keicher, Machmiller and R. Piel remained at the hospital during the night to comfort the unfortunate victims and in cases of death to administer the last rites of the church. Everything possible was done by physicians to alleviate the sufferings of the fire victims, Physicians working in relays during the night in attendance upon the patients. The bodies of the dead were removed to undertaking establishments to be prepared for burial before being taken to their homes. Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. February 27, 1920 Pages 1 and 5 ********* Funeral Of Four Victims Of Blast Held Funeral services for four of the victims of the Aluminum Goods disaster were held today, three in this city and one at Valders. The funeral of Miss Addie Holtz, was held Saturday afternoon and today in this city the burial of the Schleisleder girl was held from St. Boniface and funerals of Miss. Budycz and Pauline Komorowski held from St. Mary's church. The burial of Esther Rusch was held at Valders this afternoon. A large outpouring of relatives and friends attended all of the services. No more deaths have occurred among victims of the accident, reports from the hospital at noon today sayingthat all of the five patients still under care there were improving Manitowoc Herald News, Monday, March 1, 1920 ************************************************** PIECE OF WIRE IN BLOWER CAUSE OF FATAL BLAST Industrial Board Investigates at Company's Request A piece of wire, No. 7 size, and about eight feet in length, which had wound itself about the pan operating the blower, causing the spark which ignited the dust passing through the blower, was responsible for the tragedy at the plant of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing company, which has claimed a toll of five deaths. This statement was made today by C.W. Kenniston, representative of the state industrial commission who arrived last night to make an investigation into the explosion and fire and to ascertain the cause. Mr. Kenniston was sent here by the commission at request of Superintendent Vitz of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company, when report of the accident was made by wire yesterday afternoon. MYSTERY IN WIRE Just how the wire got into the fan has not been determined, but it is believed that it was through accident and that possibly the wire may have been used in cleaning the ducts leading to the fan and had been drawn in by the strong force of the system. This matter is being looked into by experts of the commission, also. The fan is about thirty-five inches in diameter and the blower pipe tapers from fourteen inches down to four at its other end. Mr. Kenniston stamped as absolutely false reports published by some Milwaukee papers that the accident was due to explosion of acids and an acid tank, declaring that there was no tank in the system and there was no foundation for the report in the Mailwaukee papers. A HEALTH PROTECTION "The system was installed as a protection to health and comfort of employes of the company, which, since my very first reports on it, has given every assistance to the industrial commission in complying with the law. The unfortunate accident was due solely to the wire about the fan causing the spark which fired the dust resulting in the explosion. I might say that the condition was one wholly unthought of and without the presence of the wire, no trouble would have been experienced." ASKED FOR INVESTIGATION Superintendent Vits said that the industrial commission had been asked to take charge of the investigation because the company was totally at a loss to explain the cause of the accident and its engineers were desirous that the state experts take charge. Mr. Kenniston explained that fine dust was at all times susceptible to explosion under conditions that would ordinarily ignite dust. He said that the system at the Aluminum Goods plant was not a large one. The fact that it was winter with doors and windows of rooms closed probably contributed to seriousness of the accident as the force of the explosion was confined to the room until it had forced the doors and windows. A PREVIOUS ACCIDENT A report circulated today that a similar explosion had occurred last summer was explained by Superintendent Vits, who said that some little trouble had been experienced with the blower system last July but that it had not been serious and that the cause, at that time, had been established and the trouble culminated, and that there was no connection between the cause at that time and incident as the force of the explosion yesterday." Mr. Kenniston remained here today to make further investigations. He will submit report to the commission. DAMAGE OF NO MOMENT No survey has been made by the company of damage to the building Superintendent H.L. Vits having issued orders that there was to be no survey or repairs until after the industrial commission had completed its work. "The damage to the building is a matter of no moment in view of the terrible toll of the tragedy", said Mr. Vits. "The building can be replaced, the lives lost, never, and the company is not concerned now with the damage to property." The various departments of the plant resumed work this morning except the statin finishing department where the explosion occurred. Many employes were absent today, suffering from the shock and excitement of yesterday's catastrophe. Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. February 27, 1920 P. 1 *********************************** 3 BLAST VICTIMS HOVER BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH Little Hope for Them is Given by Physicians at Hospital No further deaths occurred today among victims of the Aluminum Goods plant fire, although the condition of three of the five injured girls at the hospital continues to be extremely grave and little hope is entertained for the recovery of two of the number. All of the patients were reported as showing slight improvement today and hospital authorities said that Miss Schade, who appeared to have been the least seriously burned but who may have sustained an injury to the spine, was doing well and it was believed was out of danger. Officers of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company have left nothing undone in caring for the patients and giving the injured girls every chance for life. When the force of nurses was brought here from Milwaukee to assist the hospital force, it was found that every ounce of unguentin in the city had been exhausted and telegrapic order was sent to Milwaukee for 300 pounds and the request brought fifty pounds, all that could be obtained in Milwaukee, was forwarded and is being used. The girls whose condition is today reported critical are Emily Becker, Frances Rystickan and Blanch Komoroski. Lillian Spinker, another of the injured girls, is reported to show marked improvement and it is believed by physicians will survive. MAY TEAR DOWN WALLS Rebuilding of that part of the factory plant in which the satin finishing department was located, as result of the explosion, may be necessary because of the damage to the walls which were force out two to five inches on both sides of the room in which the explosion occurred. Officials of the Goods company today said that it was expected that the walls would be torn out and unless some new plan was adopted relative to construction of an addition, the walls would be replaced. STEEL WINDOWS BULGED. The force of the explosion was so great the the steel window frames were bulged out and the heavy brick walls forced to give. The walls are not dangerous, it is said, but the company is not taking chances and will rebuild the structure. Supt. Vits said that no action had been taken as yet and that none was contemplated until later. "The walls will be taken out and replaced, however, and the company will assure itself that the structure is safe," said Mr. Vits. TO IMPROVE BLOWER SYSTEM. While Engineer Kenniston, of the State Industrial Commission, in his survey of the blower system in investigating the cause of the explosion, found that the system was sufficiently large and modern and that the equipment was good, a complete re-survey of the system is to be made at once. The system was installed about two years ago. FUNERALS ON MONDAY. The funerals of the victims of the accident will be held Monday. The body of Esther Rusch, the Valders girl, was taken to her home in Liberty yesterday afternoon and burial will be held there Monday afternoon. The bodies of Addie Holtz was taken to the home of her sister Mrs. Hansen and later to the Holtz home on Route 7, while the bodies of Frances Budcyz, Josephine Schleisleder and Pauline Komorowski was taken to their homes. Two funerals will be held from St. Boniface church and two from St. Mary's Monday morning. Manitowoc Herald News, Manitowoc, Wis. February 28, 1920 P. 1


The Sheboygan Press, December 17, 1912 EXTRA! FATAL WRECK OCCURS NEAR KIEL Milwaukee Flyer Crashes Into Freight Engine and Crew of Passenger Engine Killed—Scalded to Death—Physicians Rushed to Scene from Plymouth. (First part of this story is in the crack and hidden) A collision a half mile north of here at 3:15 this morning between the south bound flyer and a freight engine resulted in the death of the engineer and fireman of the passenger train and an unknown who was stealing a ride and several of the passenger were injured. The engine and mail car of the flyer were derailed the track ____up for some little distance. The dead are: Engineer, M. Foley, Milwaukee. Fireman, Fimneck, Green Bay. Unknown, believed to be from Sheboygan Falls, Wis The flyer was nearing Kiel at a __rate of speed and had just ap-___the air a minute previous to the collision with the engine of the freight train which had taken siding ___of Kiel. With a crash of the ____the steampipes were broken and Engineer Foley and his firemen were so badly scalded that it was almost impossible to recognize them. The fireman has sustained a fractured skull which resulted in instant death. The cries of Engineer Foley could be heard for blocks and until he became unconscious it was heart rendering. He was taken on board a special train and rushed to Milwaukee but died on the train. The unknown who met his death, was riding between the tender of the engine and the mail car and one of his limbs was torn from his body ___ death a few minutes after the collision. Papers in his pockets give his home as Oconto Falls, Wis. While the mail car was thrown off the track, fortunately the mail bag escaped. It was rumored about Kiel that the switch lights had not been burning but this cannot be verified at this time. Just previous to the arrival of the passenger a freight train had taken siding off the main track with a view of allowing the passenger to pass by. Through some error the engine was run too near the switch, a portion of the pilot extending out; the flyer crashing into the engine. None of the crew of the freight engine were injured. The instant death of the firemen came as a welcome relief for had he escaped injury, he death would only have been delayed for a time as the broken steam pipes caused a volume of steam to penetrate every part of the cab and the fireman’s body was so badly scalded that it was with an effort that his garment were later removed. The body of Fireman Fimneck was removed to undertaking parlors in Kiel where it will be prepared for burial and taken to Green Bay, his home. The body of the unknown is also in the same undertaking establishment awaiting advice. A helping crew was sent from Green Bay to Milwaukee and it is expected that the debris will be cleared away by afternoon, so that the train service would be resumed. Officials of the Railway Company refused to give out any information as to the cause of the wreck, though they intimate that there will be an investigation to fix the responsibility. Physicians were rushed from Plymouth and other places along the line to minister to Engineer Foley and also attending to the injuries sustained by some of the passengers. ******** Sheboygan Press, December 18, 1912 UNKNOWN WAS ALBERT ALLARD The unknown who was killed in yesterday's railroad wreck at Kiel has been identified as Albert Allard, a young man from Wayside, Brown county, He was stealing a ride and was found dead in the wreckage ******** Sheboygan Press, December 20, 1912 WAS PASSENGER ON WRECKED TRAIN Peter Molitor of this city was a passenger on the train which was wrecked near Kiel a few days ago but escaped injury. Mr. Molitor is second mate on the steamer John P. Reiss and was on his way from Superior to Milwaukee. At the time of the wreck he was asleep in the smoking car and was shaken up when the crash occurred. He assisted in carrying Engineer Foley from the engine. *********


VANDE CASTLE / WICZEK ACCIDENT - September 1938 The Dead Louis Vande Castle, 42, of 1853 Fairmont street, employed as a compositor of the Herald-Times, and a former official of the Manitowoc Typographical Union. Martin Wiczek, 32, of 1010 South 19th street, employed in the rolling mills of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing company, son-in-law of Mr. Vande Castle. Mrs. Helen Wiczek, 20, bride of five weeks, daughter of Mr. Vande Castle. Lorraine Vande Castle, 8 years old. Joan Vande Castle, 7 years old. Donald Vande Castle, 5 years old ******** CAR FALLS IN RIVER, 6 DIE Newlyweds, Father-in-Law And Three Children Drown Car Fails To Negotiate Curve on Southwest Approach To 21st Street Bridge, Plunging Through Guard Rail and Dropping 15 Feet Six persons, members of a family group, were drowned Friday night when an automobile missed a curve at the southwest approach of the 21st street bridge, crashed through a wooden guard rail and plunged 15 feet into the Manitowoc river. The victims, all residents of Manitowoc, were taken from the water within 15 minutes after the crash, and firemen, policmen and physicians, in relays, worked frantically to revive them, but to no avail. Wiczek Was Driving The driver of the car was Martin Wiczek, 32, employe of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing company rolling mills. With him were his bride of five weeks, Mrs. Helen Wiczek, 20; her father, Louis Vande Castle, 42, a Herald-Times compositor, and three other Vande Castle children - Lorraine, 8, Joan, 7, and Donald, 5. They were riding in Wiczek's 1935 Pontiac coach, driving from the Wiczek home, at 1010 S. 19th street, to the Vande Castle residence at 1853 Fairmont street. Awaiting their arrival at home (new page) were Mrs. Vande Castle and six children. The time was about 8:30, or a few minutes thereafter. The car traveled north on 21st street. At the approach to the bridge, the street turns sharply to the east. A wooden guard rail, painted white with black diagonal stripes, runs along the north. There is a large sign with the word "SLOW" on the rail. Wiczek apparently missed the curve. The car plowed through 20 feet of guard rail and plunged 15 feet into the water. It was completely submerged but landed on its wheels, facing east. The headlights remained burning. Heard Tires Squeal Herny Hutchinson, a milk truck driver for Agon Haupt, was unloading his truck in the front of the White House Milk company condensery on the south bank of the river. He heard the tires of the Wiczek car squeal as the driver attempted to negotiate the turn. He saw the car crash through the railing and drop into the water. The machine turned completely over in the descent, Hutchinsen said, striking piling as it landed. Hutchinson saw no other cars approaching from either direction. He shouted to Alfred Schmidt, 709 S. 24th street, a condensery employe; "Look out, it's going over." Then, as he saw the car hit the water he cried, "Call the fire department." Condensery employes, called the fire department, the call being received at 8:15 p.m. From another source, a telephone call notified the police department. Truck Co. No. 1 of the fire department, in charge of Capt. Hiram Larson, and the police ambulance responded. Firemen Lower Ladder The car headlights still burning, was plainly visible. About 18 inches of water covered the top. The firemen lowered a ladder onto the top of the bridge. Efforts to chop a hole through the top were quickly abandoned. Firemen Maurice Gallegher and Harry Blumenstein, ropes tied around their waists, groped under the water and opened a door. The body of the youngest Vande Castle girl, Joan, was forced out by the pressure. She was carried up the ladder and artificial respiration attempted at once. Two rowboats were pressed into use to remove the other bodies. The second person to be taken out was Mrs. Wiczek. As quickly as the bodies were brought to the shore, resucitation was begun along the river bank. It was not until a tow rope had been hooked to the submerged car from a wrecker and it was pulled to shallow water, that police firemen felt sure there were no more bodies in the car. Harry Blumenstein of the fire department was painfully cut on the wrecked car and was treated at the hospital. Assisant Fire Chief John Gaedke said that not more than 10 minutes (Continued on Page 11, Col. 4) CAR PLUNGES INTO RIVER; SIX DROWN (Continued from page 1) were requied to remove the six persons. Work for Hours Prone pressure resuscitation was carried on continuously with oxygen administered from time to time by the fire department's inhalalor. At times it was thought that pulse could be detected in Mrs. Wiczek and the youngest girl, Joan, but although the oxygen equipment was put into operation, revival was not accomplished. The efforts to revive the six persons were continued for 90 minutes on the bank of the river. The victims were then moved to the Holy Family hospital where work was continued for another 60 minutes before all were officially pronounced dead. Identification of the victims was not completed until 10:45. Wiczek was tentatively identified by friends some time earlier. Vande Castle was positively identified at 10:45 by E.H. Kruck, foreman of the Herald-Times composing room. Thousands of persons milled around the crash scene. Traffic was badly snarled and police were required to direct the movement of automobiles. As policemen and firemen worked over the bodies, the Rev. Martin Jaekels, pastor of St. Paul's Catholic church, administered last sacraments. Seek Cause of Accident Authorities sought today to determine the cause of the accident but had little to work on. The steel top of the car was caved in apparently when it struck the piling as it turned over in the plunge. All of the glass was broken. There was a large hole burned in the back of the rear seat and it was theorized that a fire might have started in the back seat, distracting the driver's attention and causing him to lose control of the machine. However, Emil Jagodinsky, a friend of Wiczek's, exploded this theory when he stated that the cushion had been burned about a month ago. There was some speculation as to whether or not any of the occupants had been killed in the crash. Physicians said that there was evidence of skull injury on one of the small children and Mrs. Wiczek. County coroner, Gerald Rau, M.D., gave drowning as the official cause of death, however, injuries, he said, would be merely a contributory cause. Dr. Rau and Dist. Atty. John R. Cashman conferred today on the matter of an inquest, but had not reached a decision early this afternoon. Only One Witness Hutchinson apparently was the only eye witness to the accident. Schmidt, the condensery worker, caught a glimpse of the car as it slid into the water. Mrs. E.J. Kelly, 918 N. 14th street, was believed to be the first driver following the Wiczek car. She drove north on 21st all the way from Washington street and says she does not remember of any car having passed her machine and does not recall seeing any car ahead of her. As she drove onto the southwest approach to the bridge a stick of wood dropped on the hood of the car, Mrs. Kelly said. She then observed the hole in the guard rail and saw men running to the bridge railing and looking into the water. She continued over the bridge and parked her car. An unknown person telephoned the police from the Texaco oil station. Assistant Fire Chief Gaedke gave orders calling in firemen who were off duty. Those who reported and took part in the resuce work in addition to Capt. Larson, Gallagher and Blumenstein of the truck company who answered the call, were Capt. Ed. Woods, Captain Miles Panosh and Captain Archie Fehring, Lieut. Nels Peterson, Charles Petrick, Edward Metiver, E. Gaedke, Henry Koch and Palmer Rosinsky. Police officers who answered the call were Officers Elmer Scherer, Donald Sears, Ben Muchowski and Milton Larson and Alvin Mahlick. Among the physicians who rushed to the scene were Dr. R.G. Strong, city physician; Coroner Rau, Drs. Arthur and Theodore Teitgen, Dr. C.E. Wall, and Dr. William Rauch. The car was towed to the Pritzl garage today. Mass Funeral Service The six victims will be buried at a single funeral service Monday morning at the Holy Innocents church. The funeral procession will leave the Shimek and Schwartz funeral home at 8:15 a.m. and the service at the church will be at nine o'clock. The Rev. E.A. Radey will officiate. The Rev. Henry Vande Castle, brother of Louis, one of the victims, will be in the sanctuary. Burial will be in a single burial lot in Evergreen cemetery. Mr. Vande Castle was born in De Pere in 1896 and after he finished school learned the printing trade. He came to this city in 1904 and entered the employ of the Brandt Printing and Binding company. He learned operation of the linotype machine and was employed on daily newspapers in this city. He was with the Herald-News for years and after the consolidation with the Times continued as an operator for the Herald-Times. He was a member of the Typographical Union. The family resided at 1853 Fairmont street. Married In 1916 In 1916 he married Miss Anna Marshek of this city. Survivors are the widow, three sons, Robert, 18, Ray, 17, James, 2, three daughters, Dorothy, 15, Lucille, 11, Pauline, 12; a brother, the Rev. Henry Vande Castle, Askeaton Wis.; three sisters, Mrs. Sheldon Gehrke, DePere, Mrs. Otto Holtz and Agnes, both of Green Bay. Mrs. Marlin Wiczek, nee Helen Vande Castle, was born in this city 20 years ago. Before her marriage five weeks ago to Mr. Wiczek she was employed at the Aluminum Goods company. Martin Wiczek, 32, of 1010 South 19th street, was employed at the rolling mills of the Aluminum Goods company. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. John Stockwell, Milwaukee and Mrs. Joseph Soupa, Custer, Wis.; and two brothers, Leo, city, and Peter. The bodies may be viewed at the Shimek and Schwartz funeral home Sunday after 3 p.m. The six deaths brought to 15 the number of highway fatalities in city and county in a little less than nine months of 1938. During 1937 there were 25 highway fatalities. Manitowoc Herald Times, Manitowoc, Wis. Saturday, September 17, 1938 P. 1 and 11