Obit: Schmittfranz, Joseph (1892 - 1932)
Contact:  Stan


----Sources: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 07/21/1932

Schmittfranz, Joseph (13 JUL 1892 - 13 JUL 1932)

Joseph Schmittfranz, a resident of the town of Reseburg (Clark Co., Wis.) for the past ten years, met death by accidental discharge of a 22 caliber rifle on Wednesday of last week. Mr. Schmittfranz and wife and little son James had been the guests of Mrs. Schmittfranz’s sister, Mrs. Geo. Ness, at Black River Falls for several weeks, where the accident happened. The body was brought here (Thorp, Clark Co.) on Thursday and funeral service took place on Friday afternoon, the ame being conducted by the officers of the Thorp Lodge 264 A.F.&A.M. Interment following the services at the Masonic Hall in the village cemetery.

Deceased was born July 13, 1892 at Chelsea, Wis. He received his education in the public school at Chelsea, the Medford High School and also took the Dairy Course at the University of Wisconsin. In 1930 he was elected Member of the Assembly and in 1931 State President of the American Cheesemakers’ Association.

He was affiliated with the A.F.&A.M. Lodge No. 264 of Thorp; Medford Chapter No. 70; Chippewa Falls Comandery; Eau Claire Consistory, and the Modern Woodmen of Thorp. Delegations from each lodge were present at the services.

Deceased leaves his wife and son James, aged six years; two brothers, Albert and Henry, of Chelsea; two sisters, Mrs. Mary Huddleston of Cleveland, Ohio, and Mrs. Andry Kaiser of Cold Water, Mich., to mourn his untimely death.

The following from the Black River Falls Banner-Journal is taken from the issue of July 14:

"The community was shocked this morning to learn of the death at about 1 o’clock of Assemblyman Joseph Schmittfranz of Thorp, who, with his wife and six year old son, James, were guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Ness. Mrs. Ness and Mrs. Schmittfranz are sisters. Her passed away at the Krohn Clinic about two hours after he was taken there.

Mr. and Mrs. Ness occupy the top floor of the home of Mrs. Annetta Trygg, situated on the hill above Rock Spring Park, and bordering on it. The Schmittfranz family and spent a few weeks here and had planned on returning home Monday of this week, but when Monday came Mr. Schmittfranz said he had enjoyed the quiet and rest here so much that he was prevailed upon to remain for a longer visit.

Mr. Schmittfranz and Mr. Ness and little James had been practicing target shooting earlier in the evening, James standing between his father’s knees while his father held and helped him aim the 22 rifle. Afterward James left and the two men sat and talked for a time. Later in the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Ness went for a walk, and were picked up by friends and taken for a ride. Mrs. Schmittfranz put James to bed and joined Mr. Schmittfranz, who still sat on the grass in the same place. It had grown dark, but the evening was so warm that they continued to sit there and talk. Mr. Schmittfranz still held the gun they had used earlier in the evening across his knees, and whether he accidentally struck the trigger or started to use it as a support to get up from the ground is not known, for the weapon discharged. Mrs. Schmittfranz called to Mrs. Trygg, who was in the house, and she called a doctor. Dr. Irwin Krohn arrived and took him to the hospital, where it was ascertained that the bullet had pierced the right temple and brain. He passed away about two hours later. Mr. and Mrs. Ness arrived home a few moments after the accident.

Mr. Schmittfranz died on his birthday anniversary, as he was forty years old today.

There is no way of expressing the sympathy felt for Mrs. Schmittfranz to whom the sudden death of her husband is a terrible shock. It is the second time that she has been called upon to endure a tragedy, as some eight years ago when riding in a car along the road near Thorp, a cyclone struck them, killing their little daughter, Marian, whom she held in her arms.

Arrangements are not completed but eh family plans on returning to Thorp tomorrow and funeral services will probably be held Friday."



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