Edith Mary (Lineback) Crofutt

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

(1895 - May 25, 1938)


The Lusk Herald
May 26, 1938


Mrs. Charles Crofutt Succumbs to Injuries

Fire Destroys Home Northeast Hat Creek

Just as the Herald is ready to go to press, word reaches us that Mrs. Chas Crofutt passed away shortly after six o'clock this (Wednesday) evening at the Lusk hospital.

No arrangements in regard to the funeral have been made as yet.

An early morning tragedy swept the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crofutt, who reside about 26 miles northeast of Lusk on the Hat Creek road, on Tuesday morning of this week when a fire resulting from a kerosene explosion completely destroyed their home, taking the life of their ten-year-old daughter, Lois, and leaving both Mr. and Mrs. Crofutt in the Lusk hospital suffering with burns, the lady in a critical condition.

According to reports received here Mrs. Crofutt had arisen about 5 a.m. and was building a fire with kerosene, an explosion suddenly followed enveloping the woman in flames and setting her clothing afire, her husband hearing the explosion rushed to the aid of his wife, smothering out the flames by wrapping her in a quilt. The flames spread quickly over the log constructed home as the father and mother went to the aid of a daughter, Lois, who was in a bedroom off the dining room. Presumably panic stricken, the child had left her bed and sought to escape the flames and smoke. The frantic parents struggled to a window in the room, Mrs. Crofutt kicking out the glass, but before she could make her way outside was overcome by the smoke and fumes of the fire which had by then became a raging inferno.

The other children of the family, sleeping in nearby bunkhouse, hearing the noise and discovering the blazing home rushed to their assistance. Reaching in through the broken window the eldest daughter pulled her unconscious mother out into the open. A son, Gerald, reached inside and managed to get hold of his fathers feet, he too, being overcome, dragging him to safety. Thinking that the small sister had probably been overcome (while asleep, reached in one) window of her room and managed to get a hold of the mattress and blankets on her bed dragged them out into the open, however, as stated above, the child no doubt panic stricken, had left her bed and her little body was taken from the ruins later, burned beyond all recognition.

Realizing the seriousness of the mother's burns the children brought her to Lusk immediately. Mr. Crofutt not realizing how seriously he was injured stayed at the home until help from the neighbors had arrived. Ray Freeman later brought him to Lusk and he was placed in the hospital for attention, suffering considerable pain although it was stated that his burns are not as serious as those of his mate.

The ranch home was a three room log and frame structure with but one door opening to the outside. From appearances the mother and father had their sleeping quarters in the living room and the daughter, Lois, had been sleeping in the lone bed room.

Two nearby bunkhouses serve the other children of the family with sleeping quarters, the boys and girls each having a separate bunkhouse. Only this fact, and the fortunate awakening of the children who were able to rescue their parents kept the tragedy from being even worse than it was.

Mr. and Mrs. Crofutt have been residents of this county more than twenty years and have a host of friends over the entire community who grieve with them in the tragedy which has befallen them. Besides her parents, Lois is survived by eight brothers and sisters, they being: Mildred, Gerald, Lawrence, Keith, Enis, Iris, Glen and Lola, the youngest children being about three year of age.

The Peet Mortuary was called and took charge of the remains of the little daughter. No funeral arrangements had been announced at the time this paper went to press early Wednesday evening.



The Lusk Herald
June 2, 1938


The tragedy of last week, in which little Lois Crofutt, 9 was burned to death when the Crofutt ranch home was destroyed by fire and the father and mother terribly burned, resulted in more tragedy when the mother, Edith Mary Crofutt, 43 passed away at the Lusk hospital last Wednesday evening, May 25th from the effects of her burns and the father Charles Crofutt, 42 died the following evening, pneumonia having developed from the effects of inhaling quantity of smoke while trying to rescue his wife.

Funeral services for all three victims were conducted from the Congregational church in Lusk on Saturday afternoon, with Rev. Jenkins officiating.

Music was furnished by a quartet composed of Mrs. H. J. Templeton, Mrs. Abdon DeCastro, J.M. Hungate and F.B. Kuns, with Mrs. J.P. Watson presiding at the piano.

The little daughter was buried with her mother and the pall-bearers were Dan Hanson, George Story, Lloyd Younkin, John Anstice, Harry Wampler and Albert DeGering.

The pall bearers for Mr. Crofutt were Max Heth, Pat Miller, Ben Seikert, Wilbur Wampler, Albert Olinger and Ray Freeman.

The Peet Mortuary were in charge of the arrangements and burial was made in the Lusk cemetery.

Complete obituary will be published next week.








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