Obit: Cox, George Elwood (1911 - 1955)

Contact: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: Cox, Peterson, Kutsche, Bergemann, Shuckart, Seiminski, Severson

----Source: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 07/28/1955

Cox, George Elwood (7 July 1911 - July 1955)

The heroic efforts of George Elwood Cox, 44, to save 13-year-old Bonnie Peterson from an electric fence line proved fatal to him instead. Cox tried to free the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Peterson of Owen, Wisconsin, Route 1, his employers, when she brushed up against the fence line near the barn and became frozen. Acting impulsively, Cox ran through the water soaked barn yard toward the fence line to aid the girl and in so doing brushed his left arm on the fence line before he got to the youngster and met sudden death.

It was about 6 p.m. when the tragedy occurred. Bonnie was going to help her mother who was bringing the cows in from the pasture and her father was in the barn. Perhaps three or four minutes elapsed before the plight of the two was known and then Mr. Peterson immediately pulled the current. Cox immediately fell backwards to the ground dead.

Bonnie was saved from the same fate fortunately by her clothes and the fact that one of her arms was on the fence post, thus reducing the charge going into her body. She suffered severe burns to both wrists of her arms, shock and was unconscious when the power was cut off.

Ray Kutsche, Clark county sheriff and John Bergemann, Clark county coroner, visited the farm and said the fence line hook-up is not a regular fencer unit but a direct 110 volt charge tied in from the granary. Although not an approved fencer set-up this practice is sometimes used on farms but with a 7 ½ volt light bulb tied into the line. Their preliminary investigation failed to produce a bulb of this size anywhere in the granary according to a statement from Sheriff Kutsche but they did find a 25 and 40 volt bulb.

At 6:25 Mr. Peterson called the city ambulance to his farm where the resuscitator was used on Cox for 42 minutes. Dr. J. W. Koch of Colby was called but it was impossible to revive Cox. Bonnie was treated for burns to her wrists and she and her parents were also treated for shock.

The deceased was born on July 7, 1911, at Havannah, N.D. It’s just a little over a year ago that he was united in marriage to Mrs. Leslea Shuckart on July 7, 1954, in a ceremony performed in Owen. The couple have been living on a small farm south of Owen on DD and since the 1st of June he had been employed on the Peterson farm while his wife worked at the Havenet Nursing Home in Owen.

Mourning his tragic death are his wife, one daughter, Edythe; two brothers, Roy of Orangevale, Calif., and William of Doran, Minn.; two sisters, Mrs. Agnes Seiminski of Owen, and Mrs. Mable Severson of Aberdeen, N.D., and his father, George Cox of Brainerd, Minn.

 

 


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