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DeKalb County Indiana Obituary

Mrs. Vesta (Kimbel) Brown
Contributed by Sally Kimbel

Transcribed from The Waterloo Press July 22, 1920, p. 1+

Mrs. Val Brown Struck By Fast Train Friday

Driving a Ford Car Which Was Totally Wrecked

Death Comes at Hospital Frightful Accident Casts a Gloom
Over the Entire Community - Year-and-half Old Babe Sustained Serious Injuries

     A frightful crossing accident occurred at the Washington street crossing last Friday evening at five o-clock. Mrs. V.N.E. Brown was driving south on Washington street in their Ford run-about and was caught at the N.Y.C. Ry. crossing by the second section of west bound train no. 23. In company with Mrs. Brown was her year-and-a-half old daughter, Ruth, and Maxine, the six year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed McEntarfer.
     Mrs. Brown was driving south toward their home, and she did not see the train until the front of the auto was close to the tracks.  There were several eye witnesses to the accident from a distance, and it appears from the investigation that followed, that Mrs. Brown did not see the train until she was close to the tracks and tried to stop and reverse the machine, and in doing so killed the motor. Being unable to get the motor started their escape was next to be considered. Maxine quickly jumped out and started to run from the danger and escaped. Mrs. Brown realizing the danger hastily picked up her child from the seat and gave her a toss out of the way of the train, and before she could get out of the auto the train struck the car and demolished the same, and Mrs. Brown was pinioned beneath the automobile, her left arm and shoulder being badly crushed and her skull fractured. The baby was fractured about the hip and otherwise bruised.
     The sudden stopping of the train attracted the attention of people about the town and many rushed to the scene of the accident. Members of the train crew and others raised the Ford car and set it upright to find the body of Mrs. Brown motionless and bleeding profusely about the head. At first it was thought that she was dead, but it was soon discovered that was life in the body.
    A Press reporter was among the first ones on the scene and rushed with an automobile after a strether on which Mrs. Brown was placed and carried to the office of Dr. E.A. Ish. The baby was also found bleeding and crying and taken at the same time to the office of Dr. J.C. Fretz, adjoining the office of Dr. Ish. Attention was given them and it was soon decided that was best to remove the victims to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Garrett. The Byers & Childs ambulance was called and Mrs. Brown placed in the ambulance, accompanied by Dr. Ish, was rushed to the hospital, while Mr. Brown accompanied the little baby in an automobile and made the trip to the hospital at the same time. As soon as they reached the hospital Mrs. Brown was placed on the operating table and the fractured skull was raised and for a time she seemed to rally consciousness. There were internal injuries and other complications setting in that soon caused her death, and she passed away at shortly after nine o'clock.
     At the time of the accident Mr. Brown, the husband of the unfortunate woman, was working at the S.L. Goodwin residence doing some electrical work. He was informed of the accident and was told that Mrs. Brown had been injured, but it was not until his arrival at the office of Dr. Ish that he knew the extent of the injuries. He was almost prostrated with the shock and realized that there was but little hope for her and then began a heroic effort to save his little babe.
    Little Maxine McEntarfer, who narrowly escaped, as soon as the accident occurred ran to her father's barber shop and on reaching there was crying and told her father that Mrs. Brown had been killed. Mr. McEntarfer was shaving a man at the time and the shock of the accident made him so nervous that it was difficult for him to finish the shave.  
     The accident was the saddest of the kind that has ever befallen this community. The effort of the victim to save the McEntarfer child and her own and then suffer death herself adds to the saddness, and then, that she was such a favorite among her friends, being a very pleasant and popular young woman, only twenty-seven years of age, it was a striking blow to her many friends as well as to the community in general. The husband is grief stricken and heart broken. He may yet have one great comfort if his child survives, and it is thought that the little one is doing nicely and will live.
    The Ford runabout was a new one, and is demolished, beyond repairs.  
The body of the deceased was brought to Waterloo Saturday morning and the funeral was held from the U.B. church on Monday morning at nine o'clock.
     There was a large attendance at the funeral and it was one of the saddest funerals ever held in Waterloo. Many were the expressions of sympathy and all of the expressions were from the heart and carried with them a comfort to the stricken husband.
The remains were taken to Leonidas, Mich., the former home of the deceased for interment. The funeral cortege went overland in automobiles, a distance of about sixty-five miles.

Vesta (Kimbel) Brown, the daughter of John and Emma Kimble was born at Fairfield Center, DeKalb county, Indiana, June 15, 1893, and died July 16, 1920. Age 27 years 1 month and 1 day.
She was united in marriage to Valma Brown, January 11, 1911. They had one daughter, Ruth.  Soon after their marriage they came to Waterloo. Here they made many friends, who are saddened by her untimely death.
She was a member of the Church of United Brethren in Christ at Waterloo.
She is survived by her husband, the only child, Ruth, her mother, seven brothers, two sisters and many other relatives and friends.

Card of Thanks
I wish to thank the many kind friends and neighbors who help and sympathized with me in my sorrow.
V.N.E. Brown

Mrs. Vesta (Kimbel) Brown
(Daughter of John W. Kimbel and Emma Brand Kimbel)

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