Kane County ILGenWeb
Kane County ILGenWeb


Tidbits from Local Newspapers

Kane County, Illinois

1931, Elgin
Two Elgin residents-one the 30-yr old mother of two children, the other a three year old boy-are dead as the result of separate automobile accidents last evening and this morning.
The victims are: MRS AMANDA SPORLEDER, 314 North State street, fatally injured shortly after 7 o’clock last night, when the automobile in which she was riding sideswiped a truck on route no. 5 east of Elgin.

CHARLES HAMILTON, son of MR. AND MRS. J.R. HAMILTON, 970, Lawrence avenue, run over this morning by an automobile being backed from a driveway near his home.

AUTO SIDESWIPES TRUCK MRS. SPORLEDER was fatally injured, her two daughters suffered severe bruises, cuts and shock, and her husband escaped with minor injuries when their automobile sideswiped an Elgin Storage and Transfer company truck which was stopped on route no. 5 about five miles east of Elgin.

MRS SPORLEDER, was hurled against the inside of the automobile and her skull was fractured. She was rushed to St. Joseph’s hospital but died a few minutes after reaching the institution. Her two daughters, MARILYN five years old, and VIRGENE, four years old, both suffered severe lacerations, about the head and face and MARILYN'’ back was injured. Attending physicians stated that both girls might have suffered some internal injuries and they were being kept under close observation today at the hospital.

WALTER SPORLEDER, the husband and father, who was driving the automobile when the fatal crash occurred, escaped with minor injuries, and was able to leave the hospital last night, after being examined by physicians.

INQUEST SET FOR TOMORROW CORONER HERMAN J. VIERKE, will swear in a jury and conduct an inquest in MRS. SPORLEDER’S death probably tomorrow morning at the F.T. NORRIS chapel. There were two trucks owned by the transfer company at the scene of the accident. One of the trucks was returning to Elgin from Chicago and broke down. C. CAMPBELL, 821 prospect street, driver of the truck, telephone to Elgin and another truck driven by HELMUTH WITT, 376 Jefferson avenue, was sent to the scene to tow CAMPBELL’S truck into an Elgin garage.  WITT told State Highway Patrolmen J.K. BAKER, AUGIE OLSON, HERBERT WRIGHT, and W.J. SULLIVAN, that he came to a stop when he reached the stalled truck.
WITT said that he intended to turn around on the 40 foot highway and then back up to CAMPBELL’S truck so that a tow chain could be adjusted. He stopped and was leaning out of his cad to look for approaching traffic when the crash occurred, according to his story.

INJURED PINNED IN WRECKAGE SPORLEDER was driving east and attempted to pass WITT’S truck. He apparently became confused and turned back into the outside traffic line too sharply, mowing into the side of the truck. His car did not overturn but was completely demolished by the impact.  None of the occupants of the car was hurled out. CAMPBELL, standing at the rear end of this truck across the highway, and WITT ran to the wrecked car and aided in removing the SPORLEDERS and their children.
State police headquarters here were notified of the wreck and our officers were sent to the scene with an ambulance but the injured motorists had been taken to the hospital by a passing motorist before they arrived.

MRS. SPORLEDER was suffering from a gaping hole in her head and she died a few minutes after reaching the hospital.
Traffic on route no. 5 at the point where the accident occurred was jammed for nearly an hour after the crash and state officers experienced difficulty in returning it to normalcy.

Running into the path of an automobile driven by ADOLPH ENGELBRECHT, 316 North Worth avenue as he was backing out of the driveway at his home at 10 o’clock this morning. CHARLES HAMILTON, three years old, son of MRS. AND MRS. J.R. HAMILTON, 970 Lawrence avenue, suffered injuries which proved fatal at 1 o’clock this afternoon.
The boy was taken to his home and then rushed to Sherman hospital where physicians found that he was suffering from a fractured collar bone, several broken rids, a punctured lung and probably other internal injuries.

The boy was playing in the 300 block on North Worth avenue and ROY MYERS, residing at 269 North Spring street, tried to get him to go to his home a few moments before the accident. When MYERS saw ENGELBRECHT’S car backing toward the street, he warned the child to get out of the driveway.

MYERS told EARL LANGE, motorcycle patrolman, who investigated the accident, that the child stepped out of the driveway but when ENGELBRECHT’S car was within a few feet of him, he started back across the concrete.

ENGELBRECHT had failed to see the child but felt the jar as the wheel passed over the boy’s head and chest. MYERS stated that the rear wheels of ENGELBRECHT’S car missed the boy but that the left front wheel struck him and passed over the upper part of his body.

MYERS rescued the boy and rushed him to his home. He then was taken to Sherman hospital, where physicians attempted to save his life. A hasty examination revealed that one of his lungs had been punctured and hospital authorities resorted to administration of oxygen in an effort to keep him alive.

Another child was painfully injured last night when she was knocked off her bicycle near her home. The girl was FLORENCE PROUTY, 153 Dundee avenue. She was riding south on Center street and the automobile, driven by a man who represented himself as an employee of the Chicago Motor Club was traveling north. The car started to make a left turn onto North avenue and struck the girl.

The driver of the machine took the injured girl into her home but failed to leave his name. Police were notified on the accident and WILLIAM MONTGOMERY, motorcycle patrolman, investigated. A physician was called to the girl’s home to treat her injuries which consisted of minor bruises and cuts.

MRS. SPORLEDER was born in Schaumburg on January 4, 1903 and had live in Elgin for the last ten years.
Besides her husband and two daughters, MARILY VERNETTE and VIRGENE JOAN, she is survived by her parents, MRS. AND MRS. HERMAN WILLE, of Roselle; three brothers, WALER WILLE and MARTIN WILLE of Roselle, and ALFRED WILLE, of Elgin and two sisters, MRS. ELANORA MARTIN, of Chicago, and MRS. HERMAN SPORLEDER of Schaumburg.
Funeral services will be held at 1:20 o’clock Saturday afternoon at the residence, 314 north State street, and at 2 o’clock at St. John’s Lutheran church. The REV. W.J. KOWERT will officiate and burial will be in the Lake street cemetery. Friends may call at Norris chapel until Saturday morning.

Open verdicts of accidental death were returned this morning by a coroner’s jury probing two automobile fatalities in and near Elgin. One Wednesday night on route no. 5 east of Elgin, and the other yesterday morning on North Worth Avenue.
MRS. AMANDA SPORLEDER, 30 years old, 314 North State street, met death when the automobile she was riding with her husband, WALTER, and two daughters, MARILYN AND VIRGENE, crashed into an Elgin Storage and transfer company truck which was parked on route no. 5 about five miles east of Elgin.

CHARLES HAMILTON, three years old, so of MR. AND MRS. J.R. HAMILTON, 970 Lawrence avenue, was fatally injured yesterday morning when he was run over by an automobile driven by ADOLPH ENGELBRECHT, 316 North Worth avenue as he was backing out of the driveway at his home.

CORONER HERMAN J. VIERKE, conducted both inquests at the F.T. NORRIS funeral chapel this morning. The highway crash being first investigated.

WALTER SPORLEDER said that he was driving east and saw one stalled truck owned by the transfer company on the left side of the 40 foot highway. He said he also saw the red lights of another truck ahead of him but was watching the truck on his left.
When a short distance from the truck directly in front of him, SPORLEER said that he realized that it also was parked in the highway and he swerved sharply to the left and attempted to pass it but his car was too close to the truck and crashed into the back corner of the machine. His car did not overturn.

HELMUTH WITT, 376 Jefferson avenue, driver of the truck that was struck by SPORLEDER’S machine said that he was returning from Chicago when he came upon another truck owned by the company, and driven by CLAUDE CAMPBELL, 821 Prospect street.
CAMPBELL’S truck had broken down and he asked WITT to take him to a nearby filing station to notify his employer. WITT then returned to haul CAMPBELL’S truck into Elgin. He stopped directly across from the other truck and stated this morning that he waited until several cars had passed him. He saw one other car approaching and was waiting for it to pass when it crashed into his truck.

MRS. SPORLEDER was brought to St. Joseph’s hospital, but she died shortly afterwards from a fractured skull. Her two daughters were reported resting comfortably today and it is believed they will recover.
CAMPBELL, driver of the other truck and PATROLMEN J.K. BAKER, and OSCAR OLSON also testified at the inquest. Attorney LAWRENCE SWINYER appeared as counsel for SPORLEDER and ATTORNEY J.J. DOWD represent the transfer company.

ROY MYERS, 269 North Spring street, working across the street from ENGELBRECHT’S house and a witness of the other automobile tragedy, stated that he saw ENGELBRECHT, backing out of his garage and shouted to the HAMILTON boy to get out of the way. The boy hesitated for a moment and then attempted to cross the driveway again. Two wheels of the car passed over him and he died shortly afterwards at Sherman hospital.

ENGELBRECHT testified that he was backing slowly out of his garage and did not see the child start across his driveway. He felt the jar of the car running over the boy and then heard MYERS calling to him. MYERS picked the injured child up in his arms and hurried him to his home. MR. AND MRS. WALER WALLACE called a doctor and the boy was taken to the hospital. WALLACE AND EARL LANGE, motorcycle patrolman, also testified at the inquest. ENGELBRECHT appeared at the inquest with ATTORNEY CHALES O. SEIDEL.

CHARLES WESLY HAMILTON, was born in Elgin June 19, 1930. He was a member of the Cradle Roll of the brethren church. Besides his parents, he is survived by a brother, RICHARD, and a sister, EVELYN.
Funeral services will be held at 3;30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon at Norris chapel. The REV. CHALES D. BONSACK will officiate and burial will be in Bluff City cemetery.

Funeral rites for MRS. SPORLEDER will be held at 1:30 o’clock tomorrow afternoon at the residence and at 2 o’clock at St. John’s Lutheran church. The REV. W.J. KOWERT will officiate and burial will be in Lake street cemetery.
Contributed 4 Mar 2001 by Dawn Anderson
DECEMBER 12, 1942
Page 1 &2
West Chicagoan loses his life in another collision
The lives of three Elgin residents, MR. And MRS. AUGUST THURNAU, residing at Highland and Alfred Avenue, and their son, Corp. WALTER W. THURNAU, home on Christmas furlough from North Camp Polk, La., were snuffed out shortly before 1 Sunday morning when their automobile was struck by a Chicago & North Western passenger train at the Roosevelt road crossing, two miles east of Geneva.

In another tran-automobile crash which occurred at the Washington street crossing of the E.J. & E. railroad in West Chicago early this morning, WILLARD PELL, JR., 24 of West Chicago was killed.

The THURNAU accident occurred in DuPage county just east of the Kane-DuPage county line but the wrecked automobile was carried about 300 feet into Kane county where it burst into flames a moment later. MR. AND MRS. THURNAU and their son were pinned in the blazing debris and the bodies of the two men were severely burned although that of MRS. THURNAU was not as serious.

CORPORAL THRUNAU, 27, a member of the 147th Armored Signal Corps at Camp Polk, arrived here last Thursday to spend a 13 day furlough with his parents, two sisters and a brother. Saturday night, he and his parents drove to Wheaton to visit one of his sisters, MRS. DONALD BENNETT. When they started home, shortly after midnight Sunday morning, it was snowing heavily, and the storm is believed to have influenced CORPORAL THURNAU in driving to Elgin on the concrete highways instead of taking a shorter route over country roads.

The automobile was traveling northwest toward Geneva and the train, in charge of CONDUCTOR E. BENJAMIN and ENIGINEER JOHN ALEXANDRIA was westbound. The tracks cross the highway at a sharp angle and the crossing is protected by automatic wig-wag and bells signals.

CORPORAL THURNAU is believed to have failed to see the signals, however, because of the snow and he drove onto the tracks directly in the path of the locomotive. The car was struck broadside and carried down the tracks for approximately 300 feet before being tossed to one side.

The gasoline tank was broken in the crash and the wreckage of the car burst into flames a moment after the impact. The train was brought to a stop and members of the crew and passing motorists went to the aid of the trapped motorists. The flames were so hot, however that they were unable to rescue any of the victims.

The sheriff’s office and Geneva fire department were notified and DEPUTIES BYRON SCOTT, CARLL JOHNSON, HALE TREADWELL, and ARNOLD ESTERGARD responded to the call with an engine company from Geneva.

After the flames had been extinguished, the bodies of the three victims were removed form the charred wreckage. The bodies were taken to Skogland’s Funeral home in Geneva and were brought to the Weiff funeral home in Elgin yesterday morning after CORONER L. VICTOR PETERSON had sworn in a coroner’s jury. The inquest will be held at 8:15 tonight at Geneva. MISS JUNE THURNAU, a senior nurse at Sherman hospital, who has been taking a few weeks special training in Chicago, arrived in Elgin Saturday night to spend the night with a classmate. She was near prostration yesterday morning when she learned of the tragedy.

MRS. T. J. SCHMITZ, executive secretary of the Elgin Red Cross chapter, notified Camp Polk officials of CORPORAL THURNAU’s death Sunday morning and arrangements were made to send a squad of soldiers from Ft. Sheridan to Elgin tomorrow for the funeral.

The THURNAU family resided in Crystal Lake for about five years before moving to Elgin last March.
MR. THURNAU was born in Germany Oct. 24, 1872, and the family lived in Minnesota before moving to Crystal Lake.
He is survived by five sisters, MRS. CAROLINE HARTMAN of Austin, Minn; MRS. MINNA LAY of Elgin, MRS. LOUISE BEYER; MRS. MARIE GUNTHER, and MRS. DOROTHY BRANDES, all in Germany, and a brother HENRY, also residing in Germany. He also leaves a grandson and a granddaughter. He was preceded in death by two brothers and three sisters.
MRS. THURNAU was born in Germany March 14, 1872. She is survived by three sisters, MRS. HENRIETTA MANN, MRS. REGINA HAGEL, and MRS. ERNEST PFLUEGER, all of Elgin, and four brothers, CARL MELDAU of San Francisco, EMIL MLDAU of Elgin, and HENRY and OTTO MELDAU, both in Germany. She also leaves a grandson and a granddaughter.
In addition to the two daughters, MRS. BENNETT and MISS JUNE THURNAU, the couple also leaves another son, ERNEST THURNAU of Barrington.

WALTER WILLIAM THURNAU was born at Heron Lake, Minn., Feb. 28, 1915. He is survived by the two sisters and brothers previously mentioned. His wife preceded him in death.

Triple funeral services will be held at 3 Tuesday afternoon at the Wolff funeral chapel. The REV. HARMON J. MCGUIRE, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran church will officiate and burial will be in Lake Street Memorial Park. A military squad form Ft. Sheridan will have charge of the services for CORPORAL THURNAU at the grave.

PELL is believed to have been en route home early this morning when his automobile crashed into the side of an E.J. & E. freight train in West Chicago. He had been at the Elms tavern which is operated by his parents a mile out of West Chicago.

PELL is believed to have failed to notice the dark freight cars blocking his path as he drove along Washington Street.. The automobile rammed the side of the train with a terrific impact and the car then was tossed to one side of the rails. PELL’s body was pinned in the debris and he was dead when policemen and firemen arrived at the scene of the accident.

DR. PAUL A. ISHERWOOD, coroner of DuPage county, will hold an inquest in the case tomorrow morning in West Chicago.
Besides his parents, PELL, is survived by a widow, one child and two sisters, ELAINE and JANET.
Funeral services probably will be held Wednesday although arrangements are incomplete.

Contributed 26 Feb 2001 by Dawn Anderson

Contributed 26 Feb 2001 by Dawn Anderson

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