Casper Homer Dittmar Obituary

Clark County Clipper, August 4, 1927


Night Operator At Englewood Mangled When Freight Car Runs Over Him

Last Thursday night about 9:30 while assisting in shunting cars and loading cattle, C. H. Dittmar, night operator at the Englewood station, was instantly killed.  It is not known just how the accident occurred as others there did not see him fall, but it is known that he climbed up to set a brake on a car and it is presumed that he either slipped or fell off the car and fell under the wheels. It was raining and mud on his shoes may have caused him to slip.  Or, having loaned his lantern to a cattleman, he may have taken one step into space.  He was missed at once and when he did not answer calls a search was made and it was found that three wheels had passed over, the fourth standing on his body.

His left arm was severed at the shoulder, the wheels passing diagonally across the body severing the heart and shredding his right arm from just below the elbow to the wrist.  The cars were being moved by hand on an inclined track.  From wounds on the head and face it is thought that he was unconscious before the wheels struck him.

M. G. Stevenson, local undertaker, was called to Englewood to take charge of the body.  It was brought to the Stevenson undertaking rooms in Ashland, Thursday night, and prepared for burial.  Although the body was horribly mangled and disfigured, Mr. Stevenson so efficiently plied his art in repairing and preserving the body and effacing the scars and wounds that the appearance of the body was so life like that there was no visible evidence of the violent cause of death remaining.  The appearance of the body on the day of the funeral was as if the deceased had met death while quietly reposing on his bed.

Monday afternoon the body was brought to Englewood for funeral services in the M. E. church which the deceased attended while living.

Mr. Dittmar was relief agent at Ashland for a short time and has been night operator at Englewood for about two years.  He was of a genial disposition and well liked by all who came in contact with him in business or socially.

Mr. Dittmar was married here at the close of school last year to Miss Juanita Withrow, whose Englewood friends deeply sympathize with her.  Casper Dittmar, father, and Mrs. Margaret Vanzant, sister, were here visiting the son and brother when the terrible tragedy happened.  It was a terrible blow to them as Homer was the third and last son to be killed within the past few months.  A second funeral service was held in Topeka, Wednesday after which the funeral party will proceed to Idana.


Casper Homer Dittmar was born at Idana, Kansas, September 8, 1898.  He was called to his haven of rest at Englewood, Kansas, July 28, 1927, at the age of 28 years, 10 months and 20 days.

He grew to manhood at Idana and received his schooling at that place, later attending a school of telegraphy at Topeka, Kansas.  He was sent as an operator to Bernalillo, New Mexico, in the early part of the year of 1917.

Being a son of a Civil War veteran, he was anxious to do his bit in the great World War and in October 1917, he enlisted in the signal corps and was sent to Ft. Leavenworth for training.  In February 1918, he was sent overseas.  He was in the second battle of the Marne, the battle of St. Mihiel, the battle of Chatteau Thierry, besides several others.

In May 1919, he received his discharge from the army at Camp Funston and after a time again entered the service of the Santa Fe railway as an operator.

When a young boy he united with the Presbyterian church at Idana, Kansas, and remained ever true to his faith and call of his Master.  He was a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge No 42. Idana, Kansas.

On June 11, 1926, he was united in marriage with Miss Juanita Withrow of Englewood, Kansas.  He is survived by his young widow, his aged father, Casper Dittmar of Topeka, Kansas, and four sisters, Mrs. Emmett Johnson and Mrs. Roy Vinzant of Topeka, Kansas, Mrs. Margaret W. Wadsworth of Idana, Kansas, and Mrs. Adolph Pavlis, Geddes, South Dakota.  His mother passed away September 6, 1905.  Two brothers preceded him in death, John E. Dittmar passing away Dec. 31, 1923, and Frank A. Dittmar, April 21, 1924.

Contributed By ~Shirley Brier~ October 18, 2005.

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