Obit: Decker, Arthur (1886 - 1919)

Contact: Allan Wessel

----Source: Broadus Montana Paper

Newspaper account of Arthur Decker's Food Poisoning in Montana.

Two Victims Succumb to Deadly Germs

Sayle Ranchers Die from Eating Cold Canned Spinach.

Funeral services were held in Broadus on Monday afternoon for the Late Lee Anderson at the Broadus community church with the Rev. John Duncan of Coalwood officiating. Lee Anderson died last Thursday night in an ambulance within 10 miles of Miles City, a tragic victim of botulin poisoning. On Tuesday noon Lee Anderson and Arthur Decker had a cold lunch at the newly purchased Anderson ranch on Bradshaw Creek near Sayle. Included in the lunch was some home canned spinach. Both men were taken violently ill on Wednesday, and on Thursday a doctor fro the Otter CCC Camp was called. Dr. Brody of the camp immediately upon seeing the men sent for serum to counteract the poisoning and the serum was delivered to Otter by airplane. The toxin had advanced to a stage where nothing could be done for the men but in a last hope they were placed in an ambulance and taken to Miles City. Anderson died in the ambulance when within 10 miles of that city and Decker died two hours after reaching the hospital.


Arthur Decker was buried in Miles City on Sunday with A.F. & A.M. Yellowstone Lodge No.26 in charge of the services assisted by members of the Masonic Lode of Broadus, of which lodge Mr. Decker was a member. Mr. Decker was born in Greenwood, Wis., January 29, 1886, and came to Montana in 1921. He is survived by three brothers, Alfred Decker of Passic, Wyo., Louis Decker of Gerard, Mont., Gustave Decker of Snohomish, Wash., and by two sisters, Augusta Franz and Clara Abel, both of Greenwood, Wisconsin. Pallbearers at the Decker funeral were Albert W. Heidel, Hr. R. Straiston, A. O. Pemberton, S. A. Holt Jr., W. H. Deffenbought and W. H. Goodspeed. Lee Anderson was born in New Mexico and came to Montana when a small boy. He was 33 years of age at the time of his death. He is survived by the widow, two brothers and two sisters. Pallbearers at the funeral were Rex Schwind, Fred Yonkee, George Smith, Calvin Thex, Max Drocker and Buster Trussler.


Because of the conflicting stories that have been printed concerning the fatal illness of Lee Anderson and Arthur Decker, Mrs. Lee Anderson has prepared the following statement to tell the facts of the poisoning. Mr. Anderson with the assistance of Mr. Decker, was moving household goods to the Cann ranch on Bradshaw Creek, which he recently purchased. He had not set up a cook stove and the two lunched on cold home canned spinach and other foods on Tuesday. They left immediately after lunch to et another load of furniture and when Mrs. Anderson came to the place from her school on Indian Creek she found the food on the table and being hungry helped herself but took only a bite of the spinach as it tasted queer. She immediately emptied the spinach and when the men returned a short time later supper was prepared after which Mr. Anderson took Mr. Decker home. Mr. Anderson first noticed his eyes feeling queer about 9 o'clock Wednesday morning but as he ad a trip to make went on and returned that evening. He complained of seeing double and having a headache, but went to bed saying he was going to Sheridan to see a doctor if he was not better by morning. When morning came he didn't feel able to make the trip and sent Mrs. Anderson after the CCC camp doctor who immediately sent for serum and supplies for treatment of botulism poisoning. Mrs. Anderson phoned in to the Love Mtoro Company at Miles City for the medicine to be sent out by airplane, which was done. Arthur Decker became ill about 11 o'clock Wednesday morning. He had some stomach trouble and vomited some that day.


On Thursday morning Pete Simpson, who lives on Mr. Decker's ranch, went after two nephews, August Decker and Emil Franz. When it was learned that Dr. Brody was attending Mr. Anderson, they had him see Mr. Decker also and when the ambulance from the CC camp arrived Mr. Decker was removed to the Anderson home where serum and other treatment was administered to both. The medicine arrived shortly after 23 o'clock in the afternoon and Dr. Brody assisted by one of the CCC boys and Mrs. Anderson worked until nearly 6 o'clock that evening and did all that was humanly possible for the stricken men. About 7 o'clock or as soon as the stretchers were made ready, Dr. Brody started with them on the trip to the hospital at Miles City, but Mr. Anderson died when about 10 miles out of Miles city while Mr. Decker lived about two hours after reaching the hospital. The doctors were anxious over the case of Mrs. Anderson who they feared would later show symptoms of poisoning from the mouthful she took so she was persuaded to spend the night in the Miles City hospital to be under observation but as she showed no symptoms and after 60 hours had elapsed, she felt perfectly normal, it was concluded the poisoning would not take effect on her.


Friends of the two men wish to express thanks and appreciation to Dr. Brody for his efforts on behalf of the two stricken men.



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