Hello my friends, I’m back after nearly a month of graduation festivities and work commitments. I got an email last night that my microfilm FINALLY arrived. I cut out of work this morning to go take a peek.
There it was, in the May 18th edition of the Wahoo Independent.
The text is quite difficult to read – the quality of the microfilm imagery was poor to begin with, and the scans and copies I tried to capture only seemed to make things worse.
So here is the transcription.
TWO LITTLE CHILDREN BURNED TO DEATH
A Horrible Sight.
On Tuesday we listened to the saddest account of the death of little children we ever heard. Mrs. Greno, a neighbor of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Pehrson, was in town Tuesday and related the facts concerning the sad death of the infant child, four weeks old, and a little boy, seventeen months old – the only children of Mr. and Mrs. Pehrson. Mr. Pehrson is a Swede engaged in farming and resides about 9 miles southwest of Wahoo in Chapman Precinct. On Monday, he was engaged in the farm as usual. Near sundown, Mrs. Pehrson went to the garden leaving the baby on the bed and the little boy in the house, closing the door to keep the little boy in. A few minutes only had elapsed when the mother noticed the house enveloped in smoke and flames and rushed to the relief of her children. She opened the door when the flames met her with such force as to prevent her entrance. The neighbors and the husband were soon on the ground to assist if possible, but assistance came too late. The house was almost instantly consumed and the little sojourners perished in the flames.
Mrs. Perhson had been burning cornstalks in the stove and as the chimney was made of tin it is thought that the fire caught in the ceiling and was burning before Mrs. P. left the house and shortly after, the ceiling fell in on the children. The baby was found on the bed and the little boy near the door, both burned to a crisp. There is no language to give expression to the feelings of these parents, when they could, as the building fell apart, see their darling children perish in the flames.
The poor unfortunate people also lost most all of the grain that they had stored away in the house. The good neighbors are doing all they can to make things as comfortable as it is possible to do under the circumstances. The people of Wahoo contributed to their wants in many ways, in clothing and other assistance. It is poor consolation but it is all we can do to extend our sympathy to the bereaved parents.
I have some commentary that I will share another time.
Here is a copy of the article in PDF format, I know there are many who are interested in this.
Click to download article transcription: 1876-05-18 Wahoo Independent Article