14 July 2010

Obituary Plus--Peter Nelson

Peter Nelson (or Reter, as one headline named him.) was a young man whose life was ended very tragically. The notice of his death was given just a brief paragraph in the 9 January 1913 Newaygo Republican:

GRANT--With the announced time of his wedding only a few hours away, all arrangements having been completed for the event, Petr Nelson, living south of Grant, met death in a tragic form, dashing into a burning barn to save the livestock and being burned to death before he could escape.

Brief and to the point. Then there is this article. A straight obituary, with lots of details. We do not have the name or date of this paper noted. Nothing was found in the Fremont Times Indicator, so this is possibly from a Grand Rapids MI paper.

RETER NELSON (See, I told you one paper misspelled his name.)

Lost His Life by Fire on Wedding Day.

The citizens of this vicinity were very much aroused Wednesday morning when the sad news spread that Peter Nelson had lost life by being burned to death in J. E. Roberts' barn which was burned with contents. Early in the morning he left the house and went to the barn to do his chores and that was the last seen of him alive. His father and neighbors were attracted to the scene by the flaming building but any attempt to reach the young man was impossible, also to save any of the barns contents. they then began a fight to save the other buildings, and succeeded in confining the fire to the barn and part of a large silo.
Peter was a son of Hans Nelson and wife living three and one-half miles south of this village and was one of the prominent young men of Grant township. He was to have been married that evening to Miss Sena Nelson, of Bailey, one of the most popular young ladies in this vicinity, and the sad news brought much grief to the bride-to-be and their relatives and friends.
The barn was an especially large structure, and contained a large amount of fine stock, farm machinery, hay, grain, etc, and the loss is estimated as nearly $6000 (remember this is 1913 dollars). Mr. Roberts carried $3500 insurance on the barn and contents. How the fire started is unknown.
Peter Nelson is survived by his parents, four sisters and three brothers and was 26 years of age. The funeral services will be held at the Danish church Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

While a sad story, it sounds like a simple burn victim. But there is more.....

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