Obit: Cummings, Mrs. C. E.(1838 - 1917)
Surnames: CUMMINGS WILSON
----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 12/20/1917
Cummings, Mrs. C. E.(1838 - 9 DEC 1917)
Note: Colby Cemetery Record says her name is Margaret
Mrs. C. E. Cummings, living with her son Charles in the town of Colby, Wis., three miles west and a mile and a half north of this city, met a horrible death last Sunday afternoon at about two o'clock, when her clothing caught fire and the terrible flames claimed her before help arrived. The fearful accident also resulted in the total destruction of the residence and all of its contents.
The unfortunate woman was alone in the house at the time of the tragedy and it is not definitely known in what man it occurred. The evidence seems to show that whe was in the act of replenishing the fire in one of the stoves when her clothing caught fire. She had the presence of mind to rush to a nearby bedroom and pul a quilt from the bed and wrap it about her, but being made of cotton tatting it was good food for the flames and had been almost entirely consumed about her when she was found lying dead on the floor, her body frightfully burned and scorched.
Mrs. Cummings' son Charles was in the barn doing chores at the time and was not aware of what had happened until his neighbor, Wm. Wenfer, gave the alarm. Mr. Wenfer was walking past the house to another neighbor's when he noticed the smoke from the burning building. He rushed over, giving the alarm, which attracted the attention of Charley, who came out of the barn to see what was the matter.
The two men rushed to the house and, upon opening the outer kitchen door, the first thing that met their gaze was the burnt and blistered body. They hurriedly carried here to the residence of the nearest neighbor, Herbert Gray, but it was realized that she was beyond all human aid.
By this time the house was in a mass of flames and, with practically no facilities for fighting the fire, it was but a short time until it was burned to the ground.
Mrs. Cummings was 79 years old and had been almost totally blind for years. It is more than probable that had she been possessed of eyesight she would have been able to help herself and escape such a horrible death rather than from the effect of bodily burns, it is thought.
The body was removed to the home of Mrs. H. Wilson, at Abbottsford, daughter of the unfortunate woman, Tuesday morning, and the funeral held from the residence yesterday afternoon, Rev. O'Neill officiating. Interment was made in the Colby Cemetery.
(Additional Note provided by Linda Mertens)
You might also add that she and her husband and family were already living in Clark County in 1875. They were in Town of Colby, Section 4. According to the 1880 census, C. E. and Margaret had four children (at that time): Albert (17), Minnie (15), Charles (10), and Maggie (6)
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