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Charles A. Stratton

Stratton Services

Charles A. Stratton was born February 9, 1904 in Jefferson county, 
the son of Roscoe and Jessie Yost Stratton.  He formerly was a shoe 
cutter at the International Shoe Company but at present was employed 
by the Missouri-Pacific railroad. 

Funeral services will be held at Hawkins Funeral Home at 2 p.m. 
Saturday, conducted by the Rev. R. B. Guthrie, and burial wil follow 
in Oakwood cemetery.  Friends may pay their respects at funeral home 
after 6 p.m. today.  The casket will not be opened.

Vicims of Tragedy in South Part of City Tentatively Identified as
Lydia Jackson and Charles A. Stratton

Flames Had Engulfed House When Firemen Arrived Sparks Ignite Another Home
Two Blocks Away

Two horribly charred bodies were recovered by firemen about 3 a.m. today 
from the smouldering (sic) ruins of a house which burned to the ground in 
the south part of Mt. Vernon.

Fire Chief Paul Partridge said positive identification had not been made 
but that the victims of the early morning blaze had been tentatively identified 
as Lydia Bell Jackson, 58, and Charles A. Stratton, 38.

Identification of the bodies was impossible. Firemen said that only charred 
torsos, bones and skulls were left when the bodies were dragged from the burning 
hot embers by use of ?(unreadable word).

The ?(unreadable word) at 1:30 a.m. ?(unreadable word) at the Anchor ?(unreadable word)
over two blocks from the scene of the blaze he immediately summoned firemen. On 
their arrival they found that the roof had toppled in and that the house was a mass of 
flames ?(unreadable word) ?(unreadable word) ?(unreadable word).

The house, alongside the Missouri Pacific railroad, was situated between Lamar and 
Conger and between 13th and 15th streets.

About 3 a.m. when the building had been reduced to a pile of smouldering (sic) embers, 
a boy in the crowd saw a skull in the northwest corner of the ruins. Firemen used a 
spike pole to drag the body of the man clear, after Coroner Ben Roeder had been summoned 
to the scene.

A short time later the body of the woman was found near the southeast corner of the ruins. 
Her body was dragged clear by the same method.

The heat from the wind-whipped flames was so intense that it was and hour and a half after 
the arrival before firemen were able to begin their search for the bodies.

Shortly after daylight this morning, firemen again visited the scene of the tragedy and
armed with shovels, searched the ruins to make certain that only two persons had burned
to death. Auxiliary firemen, who serve the city without pay, helped search for the bodies.

A brisk wind whipped the flames carrying sparks over houses in the immediate neighborhood.
Firemen were spotted at different places to guard against other homes catching fire.

This precautionary measure was credited with saving the home of Arthur Randolph, 1125 S. 13th, 
which is two blocks from the scene of the fire. A fireman saw the wodden shingle roof of the 
Randolph home ignite from a spark.

Firemen immediately climbed to the roof and extinguished the blaze with a fire extinguisher. 
The sleeping family was awakened.

Source: Mt. Vernon Register News
Date: March 27, 1942
Submitted by Brenda Hereford and Nancy E. Davis 

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