The remains of John C. Barchus.who died from injuries received by the explosion of the boilers on the United States battleship Bennington in the harbor of San Diego, Cal., July 21st, arrived in this city Monday evening, and a sad home-coming it was to his parents Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Barchus, and brothers and sister. John's brother Clarence Barchus, also a soldier sailor boy with him, but who escaped with a slight scald on the foot, was given a furlough to accompany the remains home, arrived Monday morning and thus his safety and presence added much comfort to the parents and family. Tuesday at 3 o'clock p.m. the funeral services were held at the home in south Clarinda, conducted by Rev. Fisher, and the remains laid to rest in the city cemetery. John was a young man of steady habits and good disposition, and his record as a soldier boy in the navy was among the best. PAGE COUNTY DEMOCRAT, Clarinda, Iowa, Aug 3, 1905
John Barchus was killed by the explosion of the boilers of the government man-of war vessel anchored in the harbor of San Diego, Cal.,was the sad message received by his parents in this city Friday afternoon. John and his brother, Clarence, both enlisted in the U. S. navy a year ago last November and had since been constantly in the service. Only a short time before the steamship, Bennington, with Commander Lucien Young in charge, arrived at San Diego, on their return trip from Honolulu, and had received orders to proceed to Panama, In the meantime the ship was ordered to go to the relief of a disabled steamship near Santa Barbara, Cal., before starting on its Panama trip. Commander Young had ordered the vessel put in readiness to leave at 10:30 Friday morning, and in the meantime left for the city to settle for supplies purchased during their stay. While on the streets about 9:45 he heard a terrible explosion from the harbor but thought nothing of it until a few moments later the terrible news reached him of the havoc that befel [sic] his vessel. Reaching the scene he did everything possible to relieve the distressed soldiers and officers who had been hurled into the water or jumped overboard to escape the burning steam and fire from the three exploded boilers. At the time of the terrible holocost there were aboard the steamship 185 men and officers—Commander Young and an ensign alone being absent. Of this number of human beings 59 were hurled to death or died soon after, 50 are now in hospitals and 16 still missing—leaving only 60 rescued by life-saving boats and other crafts near at hand who were picked up and saved from a watery grave. John Barchus was about 22 years old and a very quiet and respectable young man. His father,W. J. Barchus, effected arrangements with the War Department whereby his remains will be brought home to this city, arriving here tonight or tomorrow evening, accompanied by the brother, Clarence. It is a sad affair and the whole community sympathize with the bereaved family. PAGE COUNTY DEMOCRAT, Clarinda, Iowa, Jul 27, 1905
The funeral of John C. Barchus was held at his fathers home Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock. A very large number of the friends and neighbors of the bereaved family attended. The family have the sincere sympathy of all. Clarence who accompanied the remains of his brother here came on a leave of absence allowing him ten days from the service, but the time seemed so short to his parents in their sorrow that Mr. Barchus telegraphed to the Navy Department at Washington yesterday morning asking for an extension of the leave of absence and an answer came granting the request, giving Clarence twenty more days at his home with his parents before returning to the Navy. Where he will go he does not know. The telegram from Washington stated that he would be notified later as to the place where he would be sent. CLARINDA HERALD, Clarinda, Iowa, Aug 4, 1905
A Clarinda Boy a Victim of the Disaster on the Bennington in San Diego Bay
Yesterday, forty-seven of the Bennington's dead were buried in a common grave near San Diego. The ceremony was simple but very impressive. Each casket was draped in the flag and the floral contributions were very profuse, thousands from far and near bringing their last tribute and in the most solemn silence strewing the long' row of caskets with bouquets and floral designs. The most impressive mourners were the fifty-two shipmates of the Bennington, and to these were given the sad task of lowering and arranging the caskets in the grave. The grave is sixty-two feet long and fourteen feet wide, being wide enough to admit the bodies in two rows, feet to feet. Three volleys and a bugle call ended the services.
The cause of the accident as reported by Commander Young was due to a small leak in boiler "B" and this being forced into contact with boiler "D" caused both to explode almost simultaneously. At once the vessel, was filled with scalding steam and ashes, causing many who were not blown overboard to jump overboard for air, and the commander thinks that in this way a good many were drowned. The ship is now covered during high tide but they hope to pump out the water as the tide recedes and stop the leak so that the bodies still under the debris can be rescued.
The first word received here by Mr. Barchus concerning the fate of his two boys, John and Clarence, who were on the gunboat Bennington at the time of its destruction in San Diego Bay, was a telegram stating that John was burned but not badly. That was soon after the accident which occurred at 10 in the morning, and on the next day another telegram came from Clarence saying that John had died from his injuries at eight o'clock on the night of the accident. In this telegram Clarence also said that the body would be sent here for burial by the government and Clarence would be given leave of ten days' absence to accompany the remains of his brother to their resting place. He further said that he would wire his father when he started from San Diego with the body, but up to eleven o'clock today Mr. Barchus had not received any such message, so it is not known when the body will arrive. CLARINDA HERALD, Clarinda, Iowa, Jul 25, 1905
Stella Keller Williams
1884–1946 (m. 1901)
Daisy Helen Barchus Bruce
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