Clark County, Wisconsin



Romadka; Staffordsville


Records of York Township, Clark County, Wisconsin (1873 - 1980)


"Clark County Illustrated" History of York Township


The Centennial History of the York United Methodist Church" (1880 - 1980)

Political History of York Township, WI (1880 - 1980)



Changing Times



Poor Farm Facility & Cemetery; History; Index


Tragedies We Faced


June 24, 1881



Accidental Shooting of Ida Turner

Perhaps one of the earliest York Township tragedies was the accidental shooting of Ida Turner.  Ida Turner was the oldest daughter of Horace and Lorinda (nee Windsor) Lawrence.  They came to York Township in mid-1870s from Sheboygan County.  Prior to her untimely death, Ida had married William H. Turner (known as Pint Turner) on December 1, 1879.  Pint Turner was a son on Abel Turner.  The Turners had come to Clark County in the late 1850s and settled near an area in the Pine Valley Township known as Staffordville; although Abel eventually settled in York Township.

Apparently on Friday, the 24th of June in 1881, Ida Turner was at the residence of Pint Turner's uncle, Samuel Way, located in Pine Valley Township near Staffordville.  Family research indicates that Samuel Way's wife, Angeline, was a sister to Pint Turner's father, Abel.  It was during the evening that Pint's cousin, Seward Way, took two revolvers and pretended to shoot them, presuming that they were both unloaded.  However, one revolver did contain a round and consequently, Seward accidentally shot the round into his cousin's wife, Ida Turner.  Although a doctor attended Ida as soon as possible, her wound still caused her to pass away on Sunday, the 26th of June.

At the same time, the York Center Cemetery near the York Center Methodist Church had just been established.  Therefore, Ida (Lawrence) Turner was the first person buried at that cemetery.

After Ida's death, it is believed that Pint and Ida Turner's infant daughter, Meda, went to live with relatives. Meda passed away as a young woman in 1898.  In 1885, Pint Turner married Ida's cousin, Bessie Livingston.  Ida's mother, Lorinda Lawrence, and Bessie's mother, Esther Livingston, were Windsor sisters.  Pint Turner passed away in 1919.

Seward Way married Amelia Raether.  She passed away in 1905.  Seward lived to be an elderly man and died in 1947 at Watertown, South Dakota.

Compiled by Steven Lavey from Lawrence family records and research.


Republican and Press Article

 (1 July 1881 issue)


A sad case of accidental shooting which resulted in the death of Mrs. Ida Turner, wife of W. H. Turner, happened at the residence of S. M. Way, about two miles north of this place, last Friday evening between five and six o'clock.

The sad story briefly told is this: Mrs. Turner, who is in some way connected with the Way's had been visiting there for several weeks and at the time of the accident was helping to prepare the evening meal. While placing the chairs at the table in the dining room, Seward Way, a boy nineteen years of age, came into the room with a revolver in his hand and taking another from the top of the clock in that room cocked both of them and holding one in each hand, pointing in opposite directions, snapped them, supposing them, as he claims, to be empty. One of them, unfortunately, proved to have been loaded, and the shot took effect in the body of Mrs. Turner, the ball striking her in the left side passing under two ribs an the through the lower lobe of the left lung and coming out, passed around and lodged against the spine.

Dr. Templeton was called and succeeded in finding and removing the ball, but could not stay the hand of Death and on Sunday evening about half past nine o'clock Ida Turner was numbered with the dead. The deceased was twenty years of age and leaves an infant child to miss a mother's care and husband to mourn her death.

An inquest held on the body established the fact that the shooting was not intentional, also that it was the result of carelessness too reckless to be excusable, if it does not deserve to be classed as a crime.






Neillsville, Oct. 31---Three hours before the beginning of his trial in circuit court here, Gust Handke, recluse, pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree before Circuit Judge E. W. Crosby, and today he stands in the eyes of the law as the murderer of Mrs. Laura Handke, a sister-in-law, whom he clubbed to death in her home in the Town of York, seven miles northeast of here on September 29.  Judge Crosby sentenced Handke to life imprisonment in Waupun penitentiary.


The prisoner's iron nerve which had stood steadfastly by him through the grilling days of preliminary examinations, deserted him a few hours before the trial was to begin. Through his counsel, Attorney A. L. Devos, Handke requested an audience with Judge Crosby.  His request was granted immediately.  Without displaying any emotion, Handke appeared before Judge Crosby and declared his desire of pleading guilty to the crime with which he was charged.




Floyd Schoen barn fire (12 October 2008)




A fire destroyed a Granton barn Sunday, Oct. 12, (2008), in the Town of York.


The Neillsville and Granton fire departments were called to Floyd Schoen’s residence, located at N4966 Halle Avenue, at approximately 1:56 p.m. Sunday afternoon.


The barn was destroyed, as were a couple head of cattle, by the fire, said Roger Nitchke of the Granton Fire Department. All property in the barn was also destroyed.


"[The barn] was fully engulfed when we arrived," said Nitchke.


Both fire departments spent three hours extinguishing the blaze. The Neillsville Fire Department shuttled approximately 30,000 gallons of water to the fire; the Granton Fire department used approximately the same amount of water to control the fire as well.


The cause of the fire and the amount of the damage is not known.







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