Early Accidental Deaths in Mower County

  • On September 22, 1868, Henry Hyer, a boy of about twelve years of age, was accidentally killed near the depot. The boy attempted to jump upon a handcar, when in motion, and the lever struck him on the head, crushing his skull and killing him almost instantly.

  • On April 1, 1870, Carl Chanbery, a young man who, the previous spring, had come with his mother from Sweden, and settled in Austin, was drowned in the Cedar River.

  • June 26, 1870, William Simpson was drowned in the Cedar River at Austin, just back of his residence, near the foot of St. Paul Street.

  • On Sunday afternoon, July 17, 1870, David Caswell, a prominent citizen of LeRoy, left his residence for the purpose of looking at some grass land nearly a quarter of a mile distant on the farm, and as was sometimes his custom, took with him a double-barreled shot gun. Later in the day his dead body was found with a shot gun wound in the left side, with every indication that the gun had gone off while he was in the act of loading it.

  • On August 14, 1870, a Norwegian named Jens Jenson, about 54 years of age, who lived a short distance from Adams station, committed suicide by hanging himself in a grove.

  • On September 2, 1870, John Fredell, a Swede, 23 years of age, was drowned in the Cedar River. The young man had come from Minneapolis about three weeks before his death and had been in the employ of the railroad company. He had shown unmistakable signs of insanity.

  • On April 22, 1873, Ole Gordon, of Northwood Iowa was instantly killed while grinding plows in the shop of Seymour Johnson, in Austin, by the bursting of a revolving stone. One fragment weighing 500 pounds, struck the unfortunate man in the forehead, at the corner of the right eye, and carried away a large portion of his skull and scattered his brains over the entire room. It passed through one end of the building and struck in the street some sixty feet distant. The stone was entirely new and, as far as then could be discovered, perfectly sound. It was driven by horse power, and at no more than the usual speed.



Source: The History of Mower County 1911

Submitted by Kathy Pike