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