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John Elmer Lantz
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Birth: Sep. 9, 1914
Clay Center
Clay County
Kansas, USA
Death: Apr. 12, 1953
New Cambria
Saline County
Kansas, USA

From the Salina Journal, Monday, 13 Apr 1953, page 1.

Funeral Wednesday For Six Victims Of Train-Car Crash

The funeral for six persons who died in Sunday's train-auto crash at a New Cambria railroad crossing will be at 2 pm Wednesday at the Rush Smith Funeral home in Salina.

The Rev. Arno A. Lehmann, pastor of the Peace Lutheran Church, New Cambria, will officiate. Burial of five of the six victims will be in the Gypsum Hill cemetery.

The body of S-Sgt. Phillip Seagrove will be sent to Long Beach, Cal., for burial.

The dead include a New Cambria family of four Mr. and Mrs. John Lantz and their children, Frances and Eddie and S-Sgt. Seagrove and his father, Merideth [sic] Seagrove.

The crash occurred at a rail crossing at the west edge of New Cambria, just after noon Sunday. An automobile driven by the elder Seagrove was struck by a Santa Fe freight train enroute to Abilene from Salina on the Union Pacific tracks.

Mr. and Mrs. Lantz, Meridith [sic] Seagrove and the two Lantz children were killed on the spot. Phillip Seagrove died at Asbury hospital about an hour and a half after the crash.

The car, owned by Seagrove's wife, Thelma was demolished.

There were no other passengers.

According to the only eyewitness of the crash, Hubert Martin, New Cambria, the Lantz family and the Seagrove father and son left the Lantz residence, about 75 yards from the crossing, and drove north onto the tracks, apparently headed for the Seagrove home nearby.

The car had some difficulty moving along a muddy road, Martin said. Investigators believe the racing motor may have drowned out the whistle of the approaching train.

The train was traveling about 45 miles an hour, the engineer Russell King, Emporia, told Sheriff Bob Rous. The engine hit the middle of the car, carrying it down the track for nearly one-quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

About 100 yards east of the point of impact, the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Lantz and Merdith [sic] Seagrove were thrown from the wreck.

The train passed over Mrs. Lantz.

The other three persons were found in the battered car when the train came to a stop.

Phillip Seagrove was unconscious but alive and was taken to Asbury by a Salina ambulance. He did not regain consciousness.

Martin said he was sitting near a window in his apartment when he saw the crash.

Paul Bell, a nearby resident said he heard the crash but did not pay any attention to it until his daughter, Nancy, ran to him saying:

"Daddy, there's a car on the front of that train!"

A large crowd gathered as motorists along highway US40 stopped to examine the wreck.

Francis Lantz, 12 was The Journal's carrier for New Cambria.

Phillip Seagrove was visiting his father while on leave from George Air Force base in California.

His father, Merideth, [sic] leaves five other children.

Phillip Seagrove, 22, was born Oct. 30, 1930, in Texas. He was the son of Meridith [sic] Jackson Seagrove, New Cambria, and Mrs. Lucille Green, Long Beach, Cal.

Meridith [sic] Jackson Seagrove, 45, a carpenter, had lived in New Cambria a year. He was born Jan. 3, 1908, in Tyler, Tex. He is survived by his widow, Thekna [sic]; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Seagrove, Tulsa, Tex.; three daughters and two sons, LaFae, Joy, Ada, John and George Seagrove, all of New Cambria., and Eugene, Oklahoma City, Okla., and three sisters, Mrs. Belle Diggs, Columbia, Mo.; Mrs. Lola Gruver and Ruby Seagrove, Tulsa, Okla.

Mrs. Mamie Ruth Lantz, 33, sister of Meridith [sic] Seagrove, had lived in New Cambria 13 years. She was born Oct. 29, 1919, in Texas.

Her husband, John Emer [sic] Lantz, 33, was born Sept. 9, 1919 in Clay Center. He was an employe [sic] of the Union Pacific railroad and had lived in New Cambria 14 years. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John O. Lantz, New Cambria; three brothers, Fred Hawarden, Ia.; Ed, Downey, Cal.; and Bill, New Cambria, and two sisters, Mrs. Ralph Seagrove and Mrs. Charles Shank, New Cambria.

Frances Inez and Eddie Eugene Lantz, killed in the same crash, were their only children.

Frances Inez, 12, was born in New Cambria Apr. 30, 1940. Her brother, 3, was born Mar. 16, 1950.

Bodies of the six victims are at the Rush Smith Funeral Home.

The families of the victims have requested the caskets of the dead be kept closed and the funeral home has announced the caskets will not be opened.

Raising Fund For Survivors
The widow and five children of Meridith [sic] Seagrove, killed in the Sunday auto-train crash at New Cambria, will benefit from a fund now being raised through contributions by neighbors.

Frank Divelbiss of New Cambria, started the plea for contributions for the fatherless family Monday morning.

At noon he had $24 with promises of considerable more.

Family links: 
  Mamie Ruth Seagrove Lantz (1919 - 1953)*
  Frances Inez Lantz (1940 - 1953)*
  Eddie Eugene Lantz (1950 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship


Note: Shares a marker with Mamie R. Lantz.
Gypsum Hill Cemetery
Saline County
Kansas, USA
Plot: Block 29, Lot 42, Space 15
Created by: sister7a
Record added: Jun 17, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19947793
John Elmer Lantz
Added by: sister7a
John Elmer Lantz
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sarah Lee
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