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Carolyn Griffith
County Coordinator
Elaine Stone


Obituaries 1931

Achfelt, Gerhard

Gerhard Achfelt, 32, succumbed to a snake bite while alone in his field Tuesday morning. Mr. Achfelt had left his home early in the morning to do some work in the field, and his wife, returning to her home late in the evening, found that the noon‑day meal she had prepared for him was untouched. She summoned neighbors, who began a search. About 7 p.m. the body was found between the place where he had been working and the house. Indications were that he had made an effort to reach the house, after being bitten on the leg by a poisonous snake. The ground where the body was found showed that he had evidently died a very painful death. His leg had been bound by binder twine above the wound, but this did not prevent the spreading of the poison, as doctors say the wound was in a main artery, causing the rapid spread of the poison. Achfelt, who had been in this country only about three years, coming from Germany, was married, and his wife and one baby girl survive him. He was a son‑in‑law of Ludwig Irlbeck, who lives southeast of Happy. His home was located four miles south of Happy. Funeral services were held at 9 o'clock Thursday morning, and interment made in the Nazareth Catholic Cemetery.  The Happy Herald, 2 October 1931.

Allen, Joe A. Joe A. Allen, resident of Happy, died in Denver, CO Wednesday of accidental asphyxiation, according to a telegram received here by the family late Wednesday afternoon.  Funeral services will be held from the First Methodist Church this evening at 3:30, with Rev. H. C. Smith conducting the services.  The deceased is survived by his widow of Happy and six children, three sons and three daughters. They are: Hugh Allen, Santa Fe employee of Happy, Roy C. Allen, Frisco employee, Monette, MO; Garrett Allen, ranch employee, Hachita, NM; Mrs. Floyd Swearingen, Calhe Allen, and Elvira Allen, all of Happy.  He is also survived by his mother Mrs. W. H. Allen, three brothers and a sister. They are: G. T. Allen and A. T. Allen of Gainsville and Dillard Allen of Cincinnati, OH. (Sister not named)  The Happy Herald, 30 October 1931.
Bice, Joe L. Joe L. Bice, 57, farmer and prominent citizen of near Vigo Park, was instantly killed last Friday afternoon, September 18, while loading feed in his field. According to members of the family, it was Bice's habit to carry a shotgun with him to kill rabbits, when working in the field, and according to reports, the following version of the accident was given:  It is thought that, just before beginning to load some feed, he started to take the gun through a fence, and in pulling it through, holding the barrel, the trigger was caught in the wire, causing the discharge, the entire force striking him in the right chest and ranging upward.  After an investigation, a coroner's verdict of accidental death was rendered.  Funeral services were held at 10 o'clock last Saturday, under the direction of Rev. Plant, of the Methodist Church at Vigo Park, and interment made at Wayside.  Surviving are the widow and four children, one son and three daughters, a brother Johnny Bice, and a nephew Henry Bice, all of this section.  The Happy Herald, 25 September 1931.
Sims, Lawrence Lawrence Sims died Monday afternoon at 7:15 at his home in Seminole, Texas.  This was the word received in Happy Monday night by relatives. A. L. Sims and M. J. Sims of Happy were at his bedside when he died.  His death had been expected by physicians for two days, and the immediate family had been notified. The remainder of the family that live in Happy, Mr. And Mrs. R. Sims, Mrs. A. L. Sims and Bill Sims, and Mrs. M. J. Sims left Tuesday morning for Seminole where the funeral was conducted. The deceased was at one time a resident of Happy.  He is well known by most of the older settlers of Happy and trade territory.  The Happy Herald, 22 May 1931.
Walters, D. P. Reports by long distance telephone calls are to the effect that D. P. Walters, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Walters of Tulia, was killed in an airplane accident in Phoenix, Arizona last Monday.  While it is not definitely established as to the boy's identity, later reports confirm the belief that his is the one that was killed.  Press Walters and Dick Tucker left Monday afternoon for Phoenix to investigate and if it is D. P., they will ship the body back to Tulia for burial -- from the Tulia Herald.  The Happy Herald, 2 October 1931.
Wesley, H. E. H. E. Wesley, 74, pioneer of the Plains, died Friday at eight p.m. after an illness of four days at his home one mile east of Happy.  Mr. Wesley was born in Troy, Alabama in 1875 and at an early age upon hearing the many stories of the wonderful Lone Star State came to Texas in 1875 and settled at Weatherford.  The lure of the West drew him farther west and he moved to Amarillo in 1887.  Here he made a model western home in the side of a hill at Cliffside six miles northwest of the present city of Amarillo.  The old dugout, which is a living monument to the pioneers of this county, is yet a site of wonderful ruins.  He was the first man to carry mail out of Amarillo.  The route extended from Amarillo to Estacado on the South Plains.  The route required a whole week to cover and no trading posts were between Amarillo and Estacado.  Water was bought in barrels at five cents the barrel in those days, was one of the many things that Mr. Wesley liked to talk about in reciting about the frontier days.  When the town was moved to the new site (Happy), Uncle Henry, as Mr. H. E. Wesley was called, did his part.  In 1891 he settled on a ranch eighteen miles northeast of Happy where he lived until two or three years ago when he moved to Happy where he could have the conveniences of town life.  He lived on his Happy ranch for forty years.  Funeral services were held at the Wayside Church at two o'clock Saturday, Rev. Scott officiating.  Interment was made in Wayside Cemetery.  The Happy Herald, 20 November 1931.

Special thanks to Zoe Smith for her many contributions and to Elaine Stone for her many submissions.  Ladies, without you, this page would be blank.

Swisher County Obituary Index



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