11 May 1909
Killed by Train Last Night
Ben Habeck was killed by the 8 o’clock train last night. The body was found this morning. The coroner’s inquest before Justice Bold this morning brought out the following facts. Habeck was in the city yesterday and had been drinking considerable. He bought a ticket for Belle Plaine, where he has been working the past few weeks and got on the 6:43 train. He was standing on the platform and the conductor asked him for a ticket. He would not go inside, give his ticket or pay his fare, so the conductor put him off at the junction at the paper mill. It is thought that he started to walk to Belle Plaine and got as far as McComb’s crossing and laid down on the track and went to sleep. His arm was cut off and his head crushed, which would show that he was laying on the track. The deceased lived in Clintonville but moved by Caroline a short time ago. He was about 35 years of age and leaves a wife and four children. He has a brother living in the city.
Thursday 13 May 1909
Ben Habeck Killed
Monday evening Ben Habeck of Caroline met a shocking death on the Northwestern track a little west of the McComb crossing which is just west of Larson’s brick yard. The train that killed him was the evening passenger from Clintonville. The manner in which the accident occurred will never be known nor even more than crudely guessed at.
Tuesday morning as Max Pahl a splitter in the ground wood mill, was coming to his work, he discovered the body of a man on the railroad track between the rails. Word as at once sent to the railroad agent, to undertaker Bauerfeind and to the county officials.
It was easy to see by the pieces of his skull and fragments of clothing that the man had been dragged a couple of hundred feet were the train left him.
The left arm was almost completely severed and the body maimed and bruised in too many ways to admit of description. The skull and brain was entirely gone and the head was mutilated in a most shocking manner, in fact it at first appeared before the body was lifted up that the head had been completely beat off.
A coroner’s jury viewed the remains and the hearing went over to Wednesday to permit a railroad attorney to be present.
Agent Mierswa sold Habeck a ticket for the 6:40 p.m. train to Belle Plaine. He was going there to work as stone mason for Herman Hubert on Albert Braatz’s new barn.
A search of the body for some means of identification disclosed his ticket to Belle Plaine, pocket knife, a small sum of money and several small articles he had purchased while in Shawano Monday. It appears that Habeck was so much under the influence of liquor that he told the conductor he had no ticket and he was told to get off at the paper mill which he did. It is hard to surmise how the accident occurred but it must have been the passenger from Clintonville as no other train passed over that track after Habeck was seen get off at the paper mill.
Habeck’s hat was found close beside his body. The conductor was told that Habeck had a ticket shortly after he was put off the train. The conductor then said the walk would do him good abut that he would not have put Habeck off had he known he had a ticket.
C.L. Young, a Northwestern claim agent, was here to look after the railroad company’s interest at the hearing. Attorney Fred Eberlein represented the deceased man’s family.
Deceased was a son of Ferdinand Habeck. His father is dead but he is survived by his mother, three brothers—S.O. of Belle Plaine, William of the town of Washington and Otto of Pella. Also three sisters—Mrs. Wm. Koepke of Marion, Mrs. Ferdinand Roloff and Mrs. Henry Zirble of Clintonville. Habecky’s wife was formerly Miss Anna Marquardt and their two daughters are aged 4 and 8 years.
Mr. Habeck was aged 38 years, 5 months and 2 days. The body will be taken to Marion and from thence to Caroline for burial.
The funeral will be held at the Lutheran Church Friday afternoon.