Obit: Krueger, Eli Arnold (1936 - 1955)

Contact: stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org

Surnames: Krueger, Hodges, Woodward, Boehning, Hughes, Meyer, Dins, Bradtke, Leffel, Wiersig, Ebert, Staffeil, Frome, Schumann, Goelden, Markus, Mellenthin, Schmidt, Koffarnus, Karsten, Borchert, Moen, McNaul

----Source: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 11/10/1955

Krueger, Eli Arnold (20 Mar. 1936 - 6 Nov. 1955)

Eli A. Krueger, age 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Krueger of Marshfield, formerly of the town Green Grove, Clark Co., Wisconsin, was killed early Sunday morning when the car he was driving overturned and then burst into flames. A passenger, Kenneth M. Hodges of Marshfield, age 19, was seriously injured.

Hodges, who was taken to the Marshfield, Wisconsin Hospital by an unidentified motorist, suffered multiple lacerations of the head and face, burns about the body, a fractured left ankle and a dislocation of his right wrist.

Marathon county police reported that the Krueger car was headed east on County Trunk C when it left the road on a curve, one mile east of Highway 97 and about six miles northwest of Marshfield. The auto traveled on the right shoulder, entered the ditch and then rammed a concrete culvert and road abutment.

The crash, at an intersection with a town road, caused the vehicle to overturn. Coming to a rest in the ditch facing west, the car was demolished.

It burst into flames as rescuers began to extricate the trapped Hodges from the tangled wreckage. They were unaware that Krueger was still in the vehicle.

One of the investigating officers, Harvey Woodward, said Sunday that Krueger’s body was not identified until about 5 o’clock Sunday morning, and then it was through his wristwatch. License plated on the car were so mutilated that they were not identifiable.

Witnesses who did not actually see the crash but were on the scene minutes after it happened, were questioned Sunday afternoon by Marathon authorities at the Marshfield police station. They said they had seen Hodges and Krueger at a wedding dance in Rozellville earlier that night.

They were, however, unable to give the county officers an explanation as to why the dead youth’s car was headed back for Rozellville.

Investigation at the police station at Marshfield revealed that Jerry Boehning, of Marshfield, Route 1, age 23, pulled Hodges from the flaming car. Boehning and a passenger in his car, Dick Hughes, of Marshfield, age 23, stopped at the scene about 1:05 A.M., they said.

Another auto containing Ronald Moen, of Marshfield, age 23, and Gerald McNaul, 21, airman third class, Chili, had halted there a few minutes earlier. The two men attempted to remove the injured Hodges from the wreck, but failed.

As they attempted to pull out the injured youth, the auto "poofed" into a raging inferno. At about that time, Boehning and Hughes arrived. They raced to a nearby tavern, produced a fire extinguisher and returned to the overturned car.

Hughes operated the extinguisher while Boehning successfully retrieved Hodges. Moen said he thought the interior had burned enough so that Hodges was no longer pinned in the vehicle. He said earlier that the injured youth was tightly wedged and he (Moen) and his companion found it impossible to budge him.

At that time, none of the persons at the scene were aware that Krueger was also in the car. They heard Hodges moan and scream, but no sound was heard from the other youth. Marathon police said it would be impossible to determine if Krueger had been killed outright or if he had died as a result of the flames. The body was burned beyond recognition.

Boehning told police he dragged Hodges about 10 or 15 feet from the car, where he was covered with jackets and coats. Hughes said that he and four or five others picked up the injured youth and carried him to a car which had stopped on County Trunk C.

The rear seat of the auto was removed, and Hodges was placed on the floor. Huhges said that he had never seen the driver before and doubted if he would remember his face. Hughes rode back to the hospital with the injured Hodges.

Another motorist, Norbert Meyer, of Marshfield, Route 5, age 23, told Marathon police at Marshfield Sunday that he was alone in his car when he stopped at the scene. He also helped carry Hodges to the car and returned to Marshfield in his own auto. Meyer aided in getting Hodges on a cart in the hospital.

Boehning, Hughes and Moen said they are currently employed in Milwaukee; A3-c McNaul told police he was on leave and expects to be sent to Japan in the near future. Marathon County Traffic Officer Kenneth Talcott added in the investigation with Woodward at the scene of the crash and in Marshfield.

It was snowing at the time of the accident and the roads were wet, but not slippery with ice. There were no skid marks on the pavement to indicate that an attempt had been made to halt the 1952 model automobile before it left the concrete.

Eli Arnold Krueger was born in the town of Green Grove, Clark county, where his father operated the Oakland cheese factory, on March 20, 1936. He moved to Marshfield with his parents in 1946. He graduated from Marshfield Senior High in 1954. He had worked at the Bauman Auto Company and for Wendelin Merkel, building contractor, at Marshfield for about a year but for the past five weeks had been employed by the West Bend Aluminum Company at Hartford.

Surviving are his parents, a brother, Gerald, age 11, and a sister, Audrey, age 17, both at home, and by his maternal grand mother, Mrs. Otto (Louise) Dins of Colby, Wis.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at Christ Lutheran church in Marshfield, Rev. T. P. Bradtke officiating, and internment was made in the Hillside cemetery.

Attending the funeral from Colby were Mrs. Otto Dins, Miss Dorothy Dins, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Dins, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Krueger and Russell, Mr.and Mrs. Mac Leffel, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wiersig, Miss Eveline Wiersig, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dins, Allen Dins, Mr. and Mrs. William Ebert, Mrs. Emma Staffeil, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Frome and William, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schumann, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Goelden, Mrs. R. H. Markus, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Mellenthin, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Staffeil, Mr. and Mrs. Garry Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. William Koffarnus, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Karsten, Mrs. Art Wiersig, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schuman, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Frome, Jr., Mrs. Carl Borchert, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Krueger.

 

 


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