Obit: Verkuilen, John Jr. (1900 - 1920)
----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 08/12/1920
Verkuilen, John Jr. (8 NOV 1900 - 2 AUG 1920)
John Verkuilen Jr., eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Verkuilen of the town of Worden, Clark County, Wis., accidentally met death on Aug. 2, 1920, at the age of nineteen years, eight months and twenty-four days. Death was caused by the collapse of the two-hundred-foot bridge across Black River at the edge of the city of Neillsville, Clark County.
He was employed in driving a truck for the county and at the time was hauling shale from the pit near Neillsville. He had to cross Black River each trip, and on the morning of Aug. 2nd was returning to the pit for a second load, when he met one of the other drivers on the bridge and a few minutes conversation as to directions ensued. The other driver went on and John got out to crank his engine. Just then, without any warning, the bridge swayed and fell, one of the upper iron trusses hitting his head, causing death almost instantly.
John was born on Nov. 8, 1900, in the town of Worden, in which his home has always been. He shared in the family life there at all tiems, as he was never away except for a few weeks at a time when at work. His last visit home was the day before the accident. He graduated from the Thorp High School with the class of 1918, and since that time his work was on the home farm, except for a month spent in taking the census in the town of Worden and the few months spent at Neillsville. His death is the first to break in an unusually happy family circle and he will be sadly missed by his father and mother, six sisters and two brothers.
The funeral took place from St. Bernard's Church in Thorp on Thursday, Aug. 5th, Rev. John Neises officiating, with Rev. Korczyk of Posen and Rev. Novak of Willard assisting. The Catholic Foresters, of which deceased was a member, were pallbearers and acted as a bodyguard from the church to St. Bernard's Cemetery, where interment was made. The presence of hundreds of friends and a wilderness of beautiful flowers expressing their silent sympathy helped the bereaved family feel better.
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