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 Duane Eddie Smith

Duane Eddie Smith

Birth
Hartford, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA
Death 19 Apr 1923 (aged 34)
Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA
Burial Hartford, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA
Plot Sec 3, Lot 73 fag member reports no headstone on his plot
Memorial ID 100152009 · View Source
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1st Spouse, Ada M Broadfoot, Married 01 Jul 1911 Hartford, Van Buren, Michigan. She was 18 and he was 24. They divorced 31 May 1917. Ada, the daughter of May Stafford and George Broadfoot.

2nd Spouse, Dola M. Boze, Married 02 Apr 1919 St Joseph, Berrien, Michigan. She was 18 and he was 31. Dola, remarried after the death of her husband Duane Smith. Dola's 2nd husband is Burnham Hammond they Married 26 Nov 1924.


Michigan Deaths & Burial Index 1867-1995
Name: Duane E. Smith
Birth Date: abt 1889
Birth Place: Michigan
Death Date: 19 Apr 1923
Death Place: Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Death Age: 34
Occupation: Furniture Salesman
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Gender: Male
Father Name: Willard Smith
Father Birth Place: New York
Mother Name: Emma Grton (Orton)
Mother Birth Place: Michigan
FHL Film Number: 2074999

Sudden unexplained death from an explosion of a gasoline tank

Below article added by: ambs (#46814643)

Hartford Soldier is Killed By Exploding Gas Tank. Duane Smith Met Death while watching Mechanic Weld Tank. Had Right leg blow off when gasoline was ignited by acetylene torch. Lawrence Scene of Tragedy,Village Six Miles East of Hartford Was Rocked By Explosion That Caused Local Man's Death. Duane E. Smith, aged 35, a Hartford World war veteran, was fatally injured at Lawrence last Thursday afternoon when an exploding gasoline tank completely shattered his right leg. He died two hours later, just after he had been rushed to Old Borgess hospital at Kalamazoo and had been placed on the operating table. The accident which caused the young soldier's death occurred while Wynn Hewitt, a Lawrence mechanic, was attempting to repair an underground gasoline storage tank by the acetylene welding process. Hewitt had been told that the gasoline tank, which was a new one, was entirely empty. He had been at work on the tank with his acetylene torch for several minutes when a quantity of gas and gasoline in the tank exploded with deafening report that startled the entire village of Lawrence. Smith Was a Bystander. The Hartford soldier, who was conducting a harness shop and secondhand store in Lawrence, had strolled down the street and saw Hewitt at work on the tank in front of a brick blacksmith shop in the north part of the village. He stopped to watch the welding and stood against the front of the blacksmith shop, about six feet from the end of the tank, when the explosion occurred. The end of the tank, a heavy metal plate more than 30 inches in diameter, was blown out with terrific force and struck Smith in such a way as to literally tear away his right leg. His knee was completely shattered and the flesh and blood smeared against the brick wall, while the upper and lower portions of his leg and his hip were so completely mangled that the splintered bones protruded through the flesh in several places. His abdomen was badly bruised, inflicting probably internal injuries.
Was Conscious to the End. When rescuers rushed to the scene they found Smith lying on the sidewalk, nearly eight feet from where he stood when the flying portion of the tank struck him and crying loudly for help, Despite his mangled condition he retained consciousness and was carried down the street to a physician’s office. A few minutes later he was placed in a Stutz car, driven by a Decatur man who proffered it for the trip, and accompanied by the physician and the injured man’s wife. The trip from Lawrence to Kalamazoo to was made in twenty three minutes. Smith was still conscious when he was carried into Old Borgess hospital but he died as an anesthetic was being administered after being place on the operating table. “I feel as though I am dying.’ The injured man repeatedly told his attendants, both at the physician’s office and on the hospital trip. Others escaped Injury. Wynn Hewitt, who was operating the welding equipment, was hurled by the explosion through the doors of the blacksmith shop and landed on the floor several feet away, but he escaped with nothing more than a bruised shoulder, although his eyesight and hearing were impaired for a few hours. One of the owners of the blacksmith shop stood leaning on the tank. He was also hurled through the doors of the shop, but was uninjured and suffered no more serious effects than a severe headache. No other persons were near the exploding tank. The concussion was so terrific that practically, all window glass in the front of the blacksmith shop was shattered. People about town felt the tremor, while in one store a block away, packages were said to have rattled from the shelves. A strange feature of the accident was the fact that Hewitt did not know that Smith was watching his work. He was wearing black goggles and the roar of the acetylene torch was such that he did not hear Smith's approach. It was not until he recovered from the shock of the explosion that he learned of the tragedy.
Was Standard Oil Tank. The exploding tank is said to have been the property of the Standard Oil Company. It was intended for installation at a new gasoline station being installed on the angling road, about half way between Lawrence and Bangor. It had been delivered at the scene when the discovery was made that it was leaking. Hewitt was asked to go into the country to do the welding, but refused to take his welding outfit there. The tank was then hauled to the village and left just inside the sidewalk in front of the blacksmith shop to be repaired. Although Hewitt insists that he was told there was no gas in the tank, it is believed to have contained several gallons. Following the explosion burning gasoline was scattered over the street, while the fire inside the tank burned for about three minutes.
Victim Was Local Boy. Duane Smith, the unfortunate Victim of the accident, was well known in Hartford, having spent practically his entire life here. A few months ago he moved to Lawrence and opened a little shop which he was conducting only a few doors south of the scene of the tragedy. He was a veteran of the world war, having made several attempts to enlist before he was finally accepted and sent to Camp Custer where he remained but a few weeks before being discharged because of his physical condition. He was of slight build and never in rugged health. Surviving him are his wife, formerly Miss Dola M. Boze, of this village, and his father, Willard Smith, and two brothers; George and Lewie Smith, all residing in Hartford. His body was brought to the home of his father-in-law, George Boze, southeast of Hartford, where funeral services were held Sundae afternoon Captain Morrison of Kalamazoo, a Salvation Army officer officiating. The members of Stoddard Post of the American Legion accorded a military burial, conducting their rites at the grave at the old cemetery on West Main street. Hartford Day Spring, page 1, April 25, 1923.


Family Members

Parents
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Gravesite Details Accidental Death/WWI Soldier

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  • Maintained by: Linda ~ In Loving Memory Of My Son ~ Harold
  • Originally Created by: Lance Righter
  • Added: 4 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100152009
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Duane Eddie Smith (1 Dec 1888–19 Apr 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100152009, citing Hartford Cemetery, Hartford, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Linda ~ In Loving Memory Of My Son ~ Harold (contributor 46931690) .