Obit: Burnie, Tom (? – 1907)

Contact: Michelle Melcher

Surnames: Burnie

----Source: Fairchild Observer (Fairchild, Wis.) 9/26/1907

Burnie, Tom ( – 1907)

Tom Burnie, a brother of Matt and formerly a resident of Fairchild was found dead in a car at Grand View, Wis. Mr. Burnie had been at work driving a team in one of the logging camps near that place and had come into town for a day or two. Grand View is a small place and there being no hotel the company had fixed some box cars with bunks for the convenience of their employees and it is supposed that when night came Mr. Burnie had gone to bed in the car, which was standing near an elevator. During the night a thunder storm came up, the elevator was struck by lightning and it is thought that the bolt passed through the car, which was open at both ends, and the shock killed him instantly. In the morning one of the employees passed through the car and noticed Mr. Burnie, but as he looked as though asleep he did not disturb him. Later in the forenoon, as he did not make his appearance, another visit was made to the car and efforts were made to arouse him when it was discovered that he had been dead for several hours. There was no evidence of any struggle and as the body almost immediately turned black it is thought lightning ws the cause of his death, but as there was neither undertaker of coroner it was impossible to ascertain to a certainty. There was no one in the town who knew of his relatives, but as he had been heard to speak of Eau Claire frequently a message was sent to the Chief of Police at that place giving a description of the deceased. The name, however, had been spelled Burny instead of Burnie, and had it not been for that mistake his relatives here would probably have received the word sooner. As it was Sunday forenoon before any information was received here, Matt Burnie did not arrive in Grand View until Sunday night. The body had been buried as thre was no way of keeping it longer. Matt had it exhumed on Monday morning to satisfy himself as to the identity, but it was impossible to bring it here for burial as decomposition had advanced too far, and it was again cosigned to the grave.

Tom Burnie was well known here as he worked in the logging camps in this vicinity for several years. About four years ago he left here and only occasionally has be been heard of since.



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