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Information for Ernest W. Rowland
28 May 1893 - 14 December 1937
Gene Waite Smith
30 March 1926 - 14 December 1937
Information from The Caldwell News-Tribune
15 December 1937
Contributed by Dennis McIndoo

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Wilder People In
Death Car When
Oregon Machine
Hits Head-on

     Two were killed and two others are in the hospital with injuries after a head-on collision two miles south of here on the Wilder highway late night which completely demolished   both cars.  The crash occurred during a rainstorm which obscured vision and rendered the road unsafe for fast driving.
    Both victims were from  Wilder.  Ernest Rowland, 45, was reported killed almost instantly.  Eleven-year-old Jean Smith, daughter of Mrs. Jean Smith who was driving the death car, died shortly after reaching the hospital.  Skull fractures and internal injuries were said to be the causes of each death.
    The Smith machine collided with a car driven by Jack Marshall of Vale, Oregon.  Marshall escaped with two fractures of the left leg although  the tangled wreckage made it seem impossible that anyone could survive.  He was alone.
    Mrs. Smith, who suffered severe lacerations of the leg and chin was reported recovering today.  Marshall suffers from intense shock although his condition is said to be improved by Dr. W. B. Handford who treated the victims immediately upon their arrival at the hospital.
    Witnesses who were approaching the scene from a distance of about two hundred yards described the accident graphically.  Both cars, they related, seemed to be engulfed in a bright flash, almost like an explosion immediately before the terrific crash.
    The Marshall car rolled over and stopped upside down.  The windshield was in fragments and flung into the front seat.  The fronts of both machines were unrecognizable masses of twisted metal.
    Rowland is survived by his father, Winfield Rowland; a brother, Scott Rowland of Cleveland, O., who is on his way here to arrange the funeral service; a sister, Mrs. Smith, mother of the dead girl, Fred Rowland of Caldwell is a cousin of the dead man.
    According to latest reports Coroner William Talley will not call an inquest into the accident.


Also this article in
The Caldwell News-Tribune
18 December 1937

Double Funeral To
Be Held For Car
Accident Victims

     A double funeral service will be held Sunday afternoon at 1:30 at the Peckham Chapel for Ernest Rowland and Jean Waite Smith, victims of an auto smash-up wich occurred on the Wilder highway Tuesday evening.  The Rev. Merle Burres of the Wilder Methodist Episcopal church will be in charge.  Interment will be in the Wilder cemetery.
    Rowland, who was 46, is survived by his father, W. S. Rowland; his brother, Scott Rowland, who arrive here last night from Cleveland, O., and Mrs. Jean Smith, mother of the little girl.
    Besides her mother, grandfather and uncle the girl is survived by her father, Wayne Smith and her grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. D. N. Smith.






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