I want to share a family story with you.
My maternal grandmother had a history of twins in the family. Her grandmother was a twin. But her sister died at the age of 9, when she was burned to death in 1919. I never knew the details of the fire. All I knew was that there was a picture of her hanging at my grandmother's house, and that my Grandmother was named after her.
Here is the graphic and somewhat crass newspaper story of her death. I don't know what paper it appeared in, but this is how it was done back then. This account was discovered after the death of my grandmother in 2019:
TERRIBLE ACCIDENT FRIDAY AFTERNOON
In Which Little Clara Baumberger Loses Her Life by Fire.
Last Friday between 3 and 4 o’clock p.m., the citizens of this place were shocked by the report that, Clara, Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Baumberger, had met with a terrible accident resulting from her clothing taking fire and later on her life.
The child had been writing a letter to her grandmother and had made a mistake in her letter and went to the stove and attempted to burn it up. The next moment the child’s mother was startled by a cry from one of her other children of, “Mamma, mama, Clara is on fire!” and turned from her work to see her daughter enveloped in a mass of flames.
The burning child started to run into another room and the mother after her, who seized a rug and threw it around the child in an endeavor to outen the flames, but the little one broke away from her mother and ran thru the house out the kitchen door, screaming. Her cries were heard by the men at work in Robinson’s blacksmith shop who immediately ran up the back stairs and found the child on the floor, her body one mass of flames. Mr. Gribbens, first on the scene, threw water on the child to deaden the fire and then with hast, stripped what remained of the burning clothes from the poor burned body and hastened for medical aid.
The child, upon examination, was found to be in a terrible condition. Her entire body was almost burned to a crisp, with the exception of a small portion of her lower limbs from her knees down, and her face. Some idea may be gained of the extent of the injuries from the fact that her fingernails dropped off and her body had to be bound so that the burned flesh would not drop off.
The little sufferer lingered until about 1:30 Saturday morning when she passed peacefully away. Mrs. Baumbeger, the mother, was severly (sic) burned about the hands and arms in trying to save her little one from the terrible fate which she foresaw was in store for her.
Clara was the youngest of the children and was born Sept. 9, 1899. She was aged 9 years, 7 months and 23 days. She leaves to mourn her loss four sisters, three brothers, father and mother.
Funeral held Monday afternoon at 2:30 from the St. Louis Catholic Church.
The bereaved family have the sympathy of the entire community in this, the sad hour of their affliction.
This lovely bud, so young, so fair,
Called hence by earthly doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In paradise would bloom.
Ere sin could har or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care
The opening bud to heaven conveyed
And bade it blossom there.
One by one the flowers are taken
One by one the roses fall,
And we carefully remember,
Pain and sorrow come to all.
A shadow o’er our life is cast;
We miss the sunshine of thy face;
Thy fond and earnest care is past,
Our home is dark without thee.
We miss thee everywhere.
A bitter grief; a shock severe;
To part with one we loved so dear.
God called her: He alone knows best.
Our loss is great, we’ll not complain,
His will be done forever
But hope in heaven
To meet again.
CARD OF THANKS
We desire to extend our sincere thanks to the neighbors and friends for their assistance and help during the death and burial of our beloved daughter Clara, also to the many friends for their beautiful floral offerings.
Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Baumberger and Family.
|Here is a copy of the original newspaper article.|