Local History and Genealogy

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Instantly Killed Last Thursday Morning 

Being Deaf, Failed to Hear Signal of Engineer ---- Was An Old Soldier

Lawrence West, aged 84, was struck by the northbound passenger train near the Butz sawmill early last Thursday morning and received injuries from which death immediately followed.  The force of the blow threw him sixty feet clear of the track and broke all the larger bones of his body and bruised his skull.  He was dead when the spectators reached him. 

Mr West, who is quite deaf, had started from the Park Avenue crossing to walk toward the depot.  He apparently from the testimony of the spectators to the accident, did not hear the oncoming train nor the signals of teh trainmen until the train was within a dozen feet of him.  HE then made an effort to get off the track without success, but sufficient that he was thrown clear of the track and not ground under the cars.

The train continued to the station and discharged it's passengers and then backed up to the scene of the accident and gathered all the information possible and rendered such assistance as could be given before leaving Angola. Morris Hickery was the engineer.  Dr P. N. Sutherland, the company's surgeon, was also called and he made an examination of the body and the nature of the injuries.  The remains were taken to the Klink funeral home and prepared for burial.

The deceased was an estimable man who had lived his entire life in Steuben County.  He served over three years in the Union army in the 30th Indiana Regiment, being discharged at Victoria, Texas in 1865 at teh age of 22 years.

Coroner Ford N. Swift held an inquest at the Klink establishment Saturday morning and after hearing the testimony of two eye witnesses to the accident, James Cline and Paul Butz, he returned a verdict of accidental death for which the railroad company was in no way responsible.  


Lawrence West, son of Joshua and Jerusha Van Norman West was born near West Unity, Williams County, Ohio, December 25, 1840.  Early in his life his parents moved to Flint, Indiana.  There he grew to manhood and when the Civil War came upon his country he responded to the call for soldiers to defenc the flag, abolish human slavery and maintain teh Union.  He enlisted in Comapny G, Thirtieth Indiana Voluntary Infantry, which was organized in La Grange County and served three years and four months.  He was mustered out and honorably discharged from the service at Victoria,Texas on October 22, 1865, at the age of 22 years.
    He was united in marriage to Catherine Arnold, at Flint, on the twenty-fourth day of December, 1866, by Freeman Green, a justice of the peace, to which union were born six children, one son and five daughters, all of whom survive him.  They are J.W. West of Traverse City, Michigan; Lillian Hunt, Tecumseh, Michigan;  Mrs. J. Lane, Angola; Mrs B. J. Barhite, Toledo, Ohio; Mrs. S. L. Wayland of Toledo, Ohio; Mrs Earl Cline, Angola; and an adopted son, Harold, of Toledo, Ohio.
    Years ago he moved to Angola where he made his home until his death.  He was 83 years, 8 months, and 11 days old.
    Besides the life companion and the children he leaves to mourn their loss one sister, Mrs. Charlotte Davis of Ashley; two brothers, Westly of Colon Michigan; Charles of Muskegon, Michigan and a host of other relatives and friends.
    Funeral services were held at the Klink funeral home Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, Elder J.O. Rose officiating.  Burial in Circle Hill Cemetery.  All the above named brothers, sisters, and children of the deceased and a great many other relatives from Kalmazoo, Sturgis, Burr Oak, Bronson and Kendallville were present at the funeral.

Card of Thanks

We desire to express our appreciation to all those who so kindly ministered to us by deeds of helpfulness and flowers during out bereavement in the loss of our husband and father.
Mrs. Lawrence West and Children

Steuben Republican:  September 17, 1924