Fall River Township, LaSalle County Illinois Tragedies

Taken From The Ottawa Free Trader, April 18, 1921

Courtesy Leo Ingmanson



Supervisor Abraham L. Trumbo, aged sixty-two years, prominent farmer of Fall River township, passed away at 1:30 this morning at Ryburn hospital following injuries received yesterday morning in a runaway. Mr. Trumbo was fatally injured about 9:30 o'clock when a team of horses he was driving became frightened and bolted. He was thrown to the double tree of a hay wagon, and dragged about a quarter of a mile before being thrown into a pool of swamp water.

His left limb was broken in three places, one of the bones - protruding through the flesh and causing him to loose a large amount of blood, while his right leg was also fractured. Although very weak from wounds and suffering from his injuries, Mr. Trumbo was able to drag himself from the water and over to a tree about twenty feet away, where he was found a half hour later.

Specialists Are Called

Every medical aid was given the injured man, and two specialists, Drs. Lewis and Plummer of Chicago, were rushed to Ottawa to assist the Ottawa and Marseilles medics in the fight for life, the shock of the accident and the loss of blood were too great, and his battle was a losing, one. He remained conscious throughout the day and was able to give a concise account of the tradegy, which was not witnessed by anyone.

Mr. Trumbo and a foreign farm hand went down on the lower part of the farm to get a load of hay. They filled the wagon and Mr. Trumbo climbed on top, while his employe was still in the barn. He was endeavoring to back the team up a short distance, when the wagon accidently struck some kind of an obstuction. Mr. Trumbo was tossed from the top of the wagon. The horses became frightened and started running.

Tells of Accident

He was unable to determine whether his limbs were caught in the wagon wheel, or whether he was injured while being dragged. About a quarter of a mile from the barn the animals became tangled up in a tree throwing the injured man forward into a pool of swamp water. After breaking the tongue of the wagon the horses dashed on forward through the timber on the farm.

Jules Leger, a brother-in-law of Mr, Trumbo who lives on an ajoining farm, saw the team, and thought that an accident had occurred. He started a search. A short time after the runaway the farm hand came out of the barn. Seeing that there had been a runaway he ran to the Trumbo home and gave out the alarm. The members of the family started on a search, and Ernest Schroeder, a son-in-law of the injured man., found him by a tree, twenty feet from the spot where he had landed.

Brought to Ryburn Hospital

He was carried to the house and physicians from Marseilles and Ottawa were summoned. He was rushed to Ryburn hospital and when it was seen that he was in a dying condition the two specialists from Chicago were summoned to his side. As he was in such great pain, and such a weakened condition only a superficial exmination could be made of his internal organs. As far as the medics were able to determine he was not internally injured. His left leg was fractured ti three places, between his hip and his knee, and in two places between his knee and ankle. All three were compound fractures. His right limb was broken in one place.

Popular Resident of County.

Mr. Trumbo was one of the best known and most popular farmers in the county. He was prominent in republican political circles and for eleven years has served as a supervisor from Fall River township. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Trumbo, and was born and raised in Fall River township. He attended school there and in Morris. His wife was Miss Josephine Leger. She, with four children, Jap P. Trumbo, Miss Lettie Trumbo, Mrs. Ernest Schroeder, Mrs. John Matlock survive him. The funeral will be held Wednesday afternoon, the hour and burial place not yet having been announced.

Taken From The Ottawa Daily Republican Times, Monday April 18, 1921:

Courtesy Leo Ingmanson



Former Fall River Supervisor Succumbs at Hospital.




(By Staff Correspondent)

Marseilles, Ill., April 18.--Abram Trumbo, ex-supervisor of Fall River township, president of the Farmers' & Merchants' state bank of Marseilles, and member of one of the oldest families of La Salle county, died at 1:30 o'clock this morning as the result of injuries received in a runaway on his farm Sunday morning.

Between 8 and 9 o'clock Sunday morning Mr. Trumbo, accompanied by a farm hand named Tony, who does not speak English, went to feed cattle in the pasture known as the------(line illegible)----- waterway construction work at Bell's island, two miles southwest of Marseilles.

Is Thrown Onto Tongue

Mr. Trumbo was standing in the front of the wagon, under a hay shed. While he was working, the team backed up, and Mr Trumbo struck a projection on the shed, throwing him forward onto the tongue and whiffle-tree. This frightened the horses and they started to run. The owner of the team was unable to extricate himself as the horses made a mad dash through the woods. Finally, as a slough was reached, the wagon Tongue collided with a stump and was broken to pieces, upsetting the wagon and freeing the runaways.

Legs Broken--Crawls Out

In the collision with the stump Mr. Trumbo was badly mangled, his left leg being broken in three pieces and his right one broken at the ankle. The farm hand, badly frightened, rushed to the house a half mile away to report the accident, leaving Mr. Trumbo in the slough. Realizing he was in danger of fainting, and that he would drown, Mr. Trumbo, with great effort, dragged himself to another stump about thirty feet away, where he lay until help came.

The farm hand had difficulty locating other help on the farm, or making himself understood, but finally Ernest Schroeder, a son-in-law, was reached and comprehended what had happened. In the meantime Jules Leger, a brother-in-law, residing on his farm nearby, saw the horses running away and he went to investigate. He and Mr. Schroeder reached Mr. Trumbo about the same time.

Four Physicians Attend

The broken bones in Mr. Trumbo's legs had protruded through the flesh and he had suffered the loss of much blood. He was in a very weakened condition when carried to his farm house. Dr. M. E. Blanchard, of Marseilles, brother-in-law of Mr. Trumbo, was hastily summoned. when he arrived and saw Mr. Trumbo's condition he summoned Dr. Roberts, of Ottawa. Then Gladfelter's ambulance was called and the patient was removed to the City hospital in Ottawa.

Dr. Blanchard the summoned from Chicago two of the ablest surgeons he could find--Dr. C. S. Plummer and Dr. Dean Lewis--who worked together on the battlefields of France during the World war. The skill of the surgeons was unable to save Mr. Trumbo's. So far as could be ascertained there were no internal injuries, but he died of the shock, Dr. Blanchard said. Members of Mr. Trumbo's family were present when the end came.

Native of Fall River

Mr. Trumbo was 62 years of age and a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Trumbo, pioneer residents of Fall River township. He was married to Miss Josephine Leger, also of Fall River township, and she survives him with the following children-- Jay Trumbo, Mrs. Ernest Schroeder, Miss Letty and Mrs. John Matlock all of Fall River township. In addition he leaves two sisters--Mrs. M. E. Blanchard, of Marseilles, and Mrs. Libby Eignus, wife of Rev. M. C. Eignus of Forest, Ill.--and one brother William Trumbo, of Marseilles. Another brother, the late Jefferson Trumbo, died a few years ago after an operation at the Mayo Bros. Sanitarium near Rochester, Minn.

Mr. Trumbo's entire life was spent in Fall River township, where he engaged in farming on an extensive scale. He was a breeder of fine horses and cattle. He was active in all affairs of Fall River and represented that township for many years on the county board of supervisors, serving as a member of some of the most important committees. Two years ago he helped to organize the Farmers' & Merchants' state bank of Marseilles and was chosen president, which position he held at the time of his death. Mr. Trumbo was an advocate of good roads and while a member of the supervisors he was chairman of the hard roads committee. He was not a member of any secret societies.

Inquest Held in Ottawa

An inquest held this morning at Gladfelter's undertaking establishment, in Ottawa. Jay Trumbo, a son, was the only witness, and a verdict of "death from shock and hemorrhages due to injuries" was returned. The members of the jury were Terrance McCabe, D. L. McKenney, William Pearson, E. E. Grady, Lester Maierhofer and Harry Funk.

Funeral to be Wednesday

Funeral arrangements are not complete owing to the effort to hear from Mrs. Jefferson Trumbo, who is in New Orleans, en route home from Los Angeles. Services, however, probably will be Wednesday afternoon from the home. Rev. W. S. Fleming, of Chicago, former pastor of the M. M. church in Marseilles is expected to officiate. Burial will be in the family lot in Ottawa Avenue cemetery.

Ottawa Daily Republican Times, Tuesday April 19, 1921.

Courtesy Leo Ingmanson


Funeral to be at 2 O'Clock Wednesday Afternoon


The funeral of Abram L. Trumbo, prominent farmer and banker, who died early yesterday morning from injuries received in a runaway accident, has been definitely set for tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home in Fall River township. The banks of Marseilles will close at noon and almost this entire section of the county will pay tribute to Mr. Trumbo.

Mrs. Jefferson Trumbo, sister-in-law, who was en route home from California, via New Orleans, and whose train was delayed by storms, reached Chicago yesterday, accompanied by her son Riley. A telegram was awaiting them at the station and they arrived in Marseilles during the afternoon.

The family was unable to get Rev. W. S. Fleming, of Chicago, to officiate at the funeral, as he is appearing before the Legislature at Springfield. Rev. H. F. Lawler, pastor of the M. E. church in Ottawa, will have charge of the service and the Ottawa M. E. choir will sing. The burial will be in Ottawa Avenue cemetery.

Knew He Would Die


Although suffering intense agony from his badly shattered limbs, Mr. Trumbo was conscious to the last and realized that he would die. During Sunday afternoon he sent for his attorney and was able to affix his signature to some legal documents.

Because of the great loss of blood and the shock, nothing could be done except to bandage Mr. Trumbo's legs. It is said that one limb would have been amputated had the patient survived. Drs. Plummer and Dean Lewis, who were summoned from Chicago, realized that the patient was dying when they reached him. -------line illegible------- make death as easy as possible. Blood transfusion was discussed, but the patient was too far gone to withstand the ordeal.

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