Bio: Schipper, Katie (22 June 1933)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Schipper, Montag, Tinsman, Bartell, Ure, Martin, Skroch, Lewrenz
----Sources: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 22 June 1933
Schipper, Katie (22 June 1933)
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Death came six and a half hours later.
Her son, Ed. Schipper and family of Onalaska, arrived shortly 11 p.m. and wend directly to his mother who was resting. She was not disturbed at that time, but at 12:30 a.m. she became conscious enough to recognize her son. Reuben Schipper, her son who lives at Oshkosh, arrived with E. A. Tinsman, a friend at 3 a.m. Frank Bartell of Chippewa Falls, by whom Mrs. Schipper was employed for several years as cook, also came down.
Mr and Mrs. Herman Montag, Chili, old friends of the Schippers, were called from Onalaska by Ed. Schipper as soon as he received word of the accident. He asked them to go to the hospital to stay with his mother until he arrived. Mr. and Mrs. Montag and children, Harold and Genevieve, came as quickly as possible and remained with her until the end.
Mrs. Schipper had been deeply impressed by the tragic death of Mrs. W. D. Martin by fire two weeks ago, and spoke to friends several times since that "death by fire must be terrible," and she hoped she would never meet such a fate. She expressed a fear of gasoline stoves.
Everett Skroch, in describing the explosion, said he was eating his lunch, looking down at his plate when a noise like a big firecracker sounded under the counter. Before he had time to glance up a flash of flame struck him and knocked him off the seat.
"Everything is the Shoppe was afire," said Mr. Skroch. "I heard the crackle of flames. I thought my clothes were afire and I began brushing my arms. I didn’t see the gasoline tank hit the ceiling over my head. I don’t know what happened to Mrs. Schipper. I heard her scream, but saw nothing of her although she had been standing a few feet in front of me. On the way out I took a breath. The flame and gasses burned my throat. After reaching the outside I still thought I was afire and continued beating my clothes. I saw Melvin Ure coming, across the street. We ran back to the Shoppe and Melvin went in and helped Mrs. Shipper to the door."
Nothing definite as to the cause of the accident has been determined. The exploded gasoline tank was attached to the air system used for filling tires at the Lewerenz Station. One theory was that the valve between the air line and the tank may have leaked allowing too much pressure to enter the gasoline tank. The bottom of the tank was found to have been blown out.
The force of the blast shattered seven lamp globes in the Shoppe, broke windows and scorched almost every combustible article in the place. The curtains at the south end of the building were seared, tops of the napkins and soda straws were burned brown from the terrific heat. It was the opinion of Otto Lewerenz that the blast would have wrecked the building if it had not been that most of the windows were open.
**Mrs. Schipper’s obituary was followed after this article. Look under obituaries for her obituary.
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