Obit: Rath, Floyd C. (1894? - 1936)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Rath, Hoffman, Frei, McCredden

----Sources: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 21 May 1936

Rath, Floyd C. (1894? - 1936)

Details of the death of Floyd C. Rath, Madison, brother of Dr. R. R. Rath of Granton, which were incomplete at the time of going to press last week, disclose that Mr. Rath was killed at Portage, Wis., when he entered a building he had been fumigating with hydrogen cyanide gas, a deadly poison.

Mr. Rath, who was a Madison city chemist and dairy and food inspector, had been engaged for some time in the fumigating business as a sideline and with two assistants, Alois Frei and Leo Hoffman of Madison, had gone to the apartment house to make their inspection. The building had been sealed up on Friday night and Mr. Rath and his men arrived on Tuesday night to ventilate the building.

Mr. Frei, in telling of the death, said Mr. Rath had told him to put on a gas mask and run through the house and open the front and rear doors. He said he told Mr. Rath the smell of gas was still strong, but Mr. Rath did not think there was enough to harm anyone and he and Mr. Hoffman went to the roof to take the seals off the chimneys.

After Mr. Frei had worked for some time clearing the gas from two downstairs rooms he said he heard someone running downstairs and supposed it was Mr. Rath. When he went outside to get a breath of fresh air, he asked Mr. Hoffman where Mr. Rath was and he said he thought he was outside as he too had heard him running downstairs. When they were unable to find him outdoors they went inside and found him lying on the floor of the bathroom.

They immediately called a doctor and for three hours resuscitation methods were applied in an effort to save his life.

The coroner stated that Mr. Rath had been doing this kind of work so long that he probably became careless.

Mr. Rath was 42 years old and was born at Cataract. He was graduated from the Sparta High School and entered the university in 1911.

He enlisted for service in the World War in July, 1917, and was discharge Oct. 22, 1918, because of disabilities. He was active in Madison civic and business affairs and served as commander of the American Legion post there in 1927-28. He was a 32nd degree Mason and was awarded the Purple Heart by Congress for wounds received in action.

Mr. Rath had been with the Madison health department since March 1, 1921. Just before leaving his office Tuesday he wrote a letter to his sister, Mrs. McCredden at Sparta.

He is survived by his widow and two daughters, Jeanne, 12, and Alice, 10, Dr. Rath of Granton and his sister at Sparta.

The funeral services were held Friday from the Rath home at Madison with burial in Hillside cemetery in that City. Dr. and Mrs. Rath of Granton attended the rites.



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