Sunday, January 23, 2011

Peculiar Accident Costs An Engineer His Life - An Obituary, A News Article

Walter Meinzen is the sixth child and fourth son of Henry C. and Elizabeth (Armitage) Meinzen. He is my grandfather's brother.
This article was published in The Steubenville Weekly Gazette on Friday, June 7, 1907.

Peculiar Accident Costs An Engineer His Life

Walter Meinzen, aged 24 years, was instantly killed while at work in the blooming mill at the LaBelle shortly after noon, Friday, when he had the right side of his head and face crushed in by being struck with a large piece of iron.

The accident was an unusual one and is the first of the kind to occur at the LaBelle. Meinzen was employed as an extra engineer and the time of the accident he was working about twenty feet from the engine. With a snap the large iron box on the engine in which the end of the spindle is encased, cracked and a pice [sic] weighing about 600 pounds flew out and struck him along the right side of the face. Death was instantaneous, as his face and side of his head was so badly crushed that his features could scarcely be recognized. He was hurriedly picked up in hope that he might live. He was placed in the ambulance and taken to Dr. Laughlin's office but he was dead and the body was taken to the morgue.

The breaking of the box around the spindle frequently occurs as the strain on it is extremely great, but the pieces have never been known to fly from the machine. The broken pieces always dropped to the ground without doing any damage.

Meinzen spent most of his life in Steubenville and had a host of warm friends. He was well liked by all who knew him. He was a member of the K. G. E. and the Third Presbyterian church. He was married last July to Miss Mary Lenhart, who survives. His parents, Henry C. and Elizabeth Meinzen, four sisters, Bertha, Hannah, Mina and Lulu, and two brothers, Edward and Henry, also survive.
Notes and Additional Information
K. G. E. is a fraternal organization, Knights of the Golden Eagle.

Walter's wife was Nellie Leonhart whom he married on June 28, 1906. Walter and Nellie is another post about this couple.

Walter's surviving siblings also included my grandfather, William Carl Robert, Jacob, and Naomi. Those three children were the youngest in the family, ages about 15, 14, and 8, respectively.


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  1. Those old news stories were so graphic, weren't they? Kind of makes you understand the meaning of the phrase, "horrified fascination" as you read them.

  2. Dee, they were graphic, weren't they? I have several ancestors who died gruesome deaths, and I would never have known except for the obituaries. I wonder if they took the place of television....


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