Obituary Details

Blanche Mattie Kirk

(12/02/1903 - 10/26/1937)
Courtesy of From the Tom Weigand Genealogy Collection, 10/12/2006

Ed Kirk Kills Wife, Takes Own Life; Tragedy Enacted at the Sam Joss Horseshoe Ranch Tuesday Afternoon; Double Funeral to be Held

As the culmination of a domestic disagreement, Ed Kirk, for many years a resident of the county, shot and killed his wife, Mrs. Blanch Joss Kirk, and then took his own life at the Sam Joss Horseshoe ranch in the north part of the county, at about 3:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon.

Although there were no eye witnesses to the tragedy, there is little doubt as to the details of this tragedy.

Mr. Kirk, who was formerly assistant superintendent of the Huber Carbon Plant at Lance Creek, has been in the mining business in Nevada for the past year or more. Mrs. Kirk, who was about 30 years old, had been spending the summer with her father, Sam Joss, at the Horseshoe Ranch. It is believed that Kirk came here to effect a reconciliation with his wife, following a disagreement, and they had been engrossed in a series of conferences for several days.

Friends believe that they had agreed to a separation, but were in disagreement as to who should have custody of their only child, Sam Kirk, 12 years old.

When the tragedy happened, both were in the yard at the ranch. The only other occupant of the house was Mrs. George Joss, sister-in-law of the deceased woman, who was lying down in the house. She heard Mr. Kirk say to his wife, "are you going to give me Sammy?"

The answer was an emphatic "no". In a few minutes she heard a shot, and within the space of a few seconds more, another. She then hurriedly went to inform her husband, George Joss, who was working on a dam a short distance from the ranch.

Kirk shot his wife with a .32-calibre automatic, the bullet striking her just above the heart and came out under the shoulder blade and embedded itself in the house. Kirk then shot himself through the heart, dying instantly. It is possible that Mrs. Kirk lived a few minutes, but she had expired when her brother George and his wife reached her.

Sam Joss, prominent Niobrara County stockman, father of Mrs. Kirk, was in Omaha with a shipment of cattle when the tragedy happened, and left at once for Lusk arriving here today.

Coroner George Earl Peet took charge of the bodies, but there being little doubt as to what happened, no inquest will be held.

A double funeral service will be held at the Lusk Congregational Church at 2:00 o'clock Friday afternoon. Mrs. Kirk will be laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery, and the body of Mr.Kirk will be shipped to his old home in Tooele, Utah, where he was born and where his father, who died last year, is buried.

Rev. George Jenkins will officiate at the funerals. Honorary and active pallbearers for both have not yet been finally decided upon.

Mrs. Kirk is survived by her father, Sam Joss, and two brothers, George and Arthur. Her mother passed away several years ago.

Mr. Kirk is survived by a son, Jack, by a former marriage, and another son of that marriage burned to death a few years ago. Jack lives at Parma, Idaho.

Both are survived by their son, 12 years old, Sammy, who is a student in the seventh grade at the Lusk School. The tragedy came as a shock to a host of friends of both Mr. And Mrs. Kirk, who were held in high esteem by a legion of friends in the county.

Funeral Rites for Mr. And Mrs. Ed Kirk Held Here Friday With a Double Service

Funeral rite were held here last Friday afternoon for Mr.and Mrs. Ed Kirk, at the Congregational Church, with Rev. George Jenkins officiating in a simple but impressive service, the Peet Mortuary in charge of arrangements.

One Hymn, "Lead Kindly Light", was rendered by Mrs. Templeton and Mrs. Ab DeCastro, accompanied by Mrs. Jenkins. A prayer by the minister and Scripture reading from the 46th and 121st Psalms concluded the services.

The remains of Mr. Kirk were shipped to his old home in Tooele. Utah, for internment, and Mrs. Kirk was laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery.

Active pallbearers for Mrs.Kirk were Lester Peyton, Homer Huges, George Mill, Robert Crowe, Melvin Peet and Donald Peet. and the honorary pallbearers were Ab Decastro, Wm. J. Mill, Lowell Crowe, Thomas O. Miller, Earl Maxwell and Don Emery.

Active pallbearers for Mr. Kirk were Lyle Fullerton, Ray Baughn, Lee Hegglund, S.W. Boyd, Joe Traphagan, and Athel Pearce, and the honorary pallbearers were Elmer Nelson, Melvin Nelson, Wm. McKillip, Fred Kettler, T.L. Cantwell and Everett Miller.

Two brothers of Mr. Kirk- Jack and Fred Kirk of Tooele, Utah- were here for the funeral. The remains were shipped to Utah by express, the remains being taken to Orin Junction by the Peet Mortuary ambulance Friday afternoon. The two brothers returned to Utah by car.

The church was filled to overflowing by sorrowing friends and relatives of the deceased.

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