Search billions of records on


Obituary of Smith Gillins

Struck by Train

The Nebraska Signal

01 February 1923, page and column not known

Transcribed by Sharlene Miller


In the tragic death of Grandpa Smith Gillens [sic], Ohiowa last one of the eldest men of the village..

Thursday, January 25, was the farmers' union annual meeting day in Ohiowa and Mr. Gillens [sic] was a joyous participant in the great gathering at the Hotel Rachel at the dinner hour he seemingly enjoyed meeting and conversing with friends. Shortly after partaking of the dinner he left, directing his steps to the framers' union elevator office. His daughter, Mrs. Beatrice Schafer, concluded he had gone home. As the west-bound passenger was about due Mrs. Schafer and her daughter walked to the Burlington depot to let the latter's son watch the coming in of the train, Mrs. Schafer was startled with horror at seeing her aged father nearing the track as the train was approaching the station. He was not able to see very well and perhaps thought the train was farther away than it appeared.

Mr. Gillens [sic] attempted to cross and was struck that as he was on the edge of the depot platform. The engine hurled him to the platform, rolling him over several feet. The doctor was summoned and the mangled body was lifted and carried into the waiting room. His injuries included a broken limb, arm and crushed chest with flesh torn from the ribs and were so severe that death occurred about fifteen minutes after. His body was taken in an ambulance to the home of his daughter, Mrs. B. Schafer.

Smith Gillins was born in Yorkshire, England, December 1, 1832 and died at Ohiowa, Neb., January 25, 1923, aged 90 years, 1 month and 25 days. He lived in England until he was twenty-one years old, when he came to America. He went to Delaware, where he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Green in 1856. To this union were born seven children, two of whom died in infancy. One son, Albert, died in 1917 and George a year later.

From Delaware the family moved to Peoria county, Illinois, where he dug coal for thirteen winters. From that time on he farmed until he was sixty. He then moved to Cissna Park, Ill., where he lived until 1906, when he moved to Tobias, Neb. His wife died May 30 1911. After this he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Beatrice Schafer of Ohiowa.

He leaves to mourn his death one son, Walter of Milford, Ill., and two daughters, Sarah Markwalder of Cissna Park, Ill., and Beatrice Schafer of this place, twenty-one grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren, besides a host of friends.

Grandpa Gillins ways stood for that clean and righteous living which would count for the betterment of the community. His relation to his large circle of friends was ideal and his going will be a distinct loss in the various places of business where his friendly face was often seen. In spite of his ripe age of ninety years he was devoted to the church, always having time and strength to give his attention to the things of the Kingdom.

His funeral was held from the Methodist church Saturday, January 27, at 3 p.m. Rev. E. A. Knight had charge of the service, and the former pastor, Rev. A. G. Stearns of Bruning, offered prayer.

He was laid to rest in the Pleasant Ridge cemetery beside his wife.


Card of Thanks

We desire to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who assisted us in any way at the time of our bereavement in the death of our father and for the floral offerings especially to the farmers' union.

Also, from the Ohiowa Brevities Section
The Nebraska Signal
01 February 1923

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Markwalder of Cissna Park, Ill., Mrs. Laura Gillins and sons Carl, Earl and George of Villa Grove, Ill., were among the relatives from out-of-town who attended the funeral of Grandpa Gillins Saturday. Carl Gillins left for his home Sunday evening and Mrs. Laura Gillins left Monday.

Return to Fillmore County Homepage

Copyrightę 2000-2004
Sharlene K. Miller. All rights reserved.
Last Update: 10/06/2004