Source: Montgomery Messenger
Published: Aug 20, 1920
LOCAL BUSINESSMAN MEETS DEATH IN THRESHING ACCIDENT SATURDAY P.M.
EDWARD J. POLAK INSTANTLY KILLED AT THE JOSEPH JANOVSKY FARM
This community was shocked and sorely grieved when the word reached this city last Saturday afternoon that Edward J. Polak had been killed, while working with his threshing crew on the Joseph Janovsky farm on the northwest corner of the city. The machine, which was the property of Mr. Polak and Mr. Frank Filipek, was finishing up the work in close proximity of this city before moving out further in the country. They were at the farm above mentioned and had moved the separator into the last settling and were pulling forward with the engine when the accident happened. The shut-off valve on the pump was giving them some trouble and Mr. Polak reached over to close it while the engine was moving. He lost his footing and fell upon the bull-wheel. He was carried ahead by the guards on the large wheel and his body passed between the wheel and the water tank above, through an opening of about six inches. Albert Filipek, who was running the engine at the time, immediately brought the engine to a stop, but it proved to be too late. The men of the crew came to the unfortunate man's aid and experienced some trouble in extricating his body from the position in which it was wedged. Medical assistance was called but upon arriving found that the life was extinct. Coroner Dr. Thomas, of Le Sueur Center, was called and upon close examination found that the body was badly mangled, the head and chest being crushed, his neck and back broken, and the whole side of his body bruised by the cogs in the large gear.
The body was removed to this city and prepared for burial. The remains were taken to the home of his parent, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Polak, in this city where they lay in state until the morning of the funeral.
The funeral, which was attended by a large throng of relatives and friends, was held from the church of the Most Holy Redeemer in this city at 9:30 o'clock on Monday morning. Rev. Emil Polak, pastor of the church, conducted the services and entoned a requiem high mass. The Knights of St. George, of which society he was a member, attended the funeral in a body; the St. Elizabeth's lodge and the Catholic Workmen were also in attendance. The interment was in Calvary cemetery. The pall-bearers were: F. J. Turek John Chalupa, F. J. Moudry, Joseph Franta, John Pelant, and Charles Havel; J.F. Janutka, and Frank Rehor acting as guards – all members of the Knights of St. George.
The deceased was born in Montgomery Township in November 1889. When a small boy he moved with his parents to this city. He attended school here for a number of years and later found employment as a packer in the local flourmill. On February 6, 1912, he was united in marriage to Miss Bessie Tuma, in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in this city. The following year in company with Frank Tuma he purchased the general mercantile business from J.J. Taraba. This establishment they were operating with success at the time of his death. Of late years he spent his time during the fall operating the threshing machine.
His death has brought the bitter cup of sorrow to the lips of relative and friends. His was a heart of gold. He was one of nature's noblemen in the truest sense – brave, generous, manly. His was the soul of honor and his friends and friendships were sacred to him. There was a daily beauty about his life which won every heart. In temperament he was mild, conciliatory and candid; and yet remarkable for an uncompromising firmness. He gained confidence where he seemed least to seek it. He was truly a good man and in his loss Montgomery has lost a noble citizen.
The floral offerings and the attendance at the funeral were proof of the high esteem in which he was held in this community.
He leaves a wife, a daughter, Elsie, eight years of age, a son, Aaron, two years old; his parents, three sisters – Mrs. Rose Fried of this city, Mrs. Anna Slavik of Erin township, and Mrs. Mary Houska of St. Paul; two brothers – Frank of this city, and Joseph of Webster, and a multitude of friends to mourn his loss.
The following from out-of-town attended the funeral: Thomas Dvoracek, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Panek, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Janovsky and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dietz of New Prague, Sophia Tuma of Redfield, S.D., Mrs. E.J. Slavik of Kilkenny; Thomas Skluzacek, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Parkos, Mr. and Mrs. James Bastyr of Lonsdale, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Houska of St. Paul, and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Polak of Webster; Joseph Panek of New Prague, and Frank Kohout and Joseph Parkos of Lonsdale.
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