Obituary Details

Ruth Alice Sturman

(06/02/1911 - 08/25/1925)
Courtesy of From the Tom Weigand Genealogy Collection, 01/17/2007

Local Girl Dies of Burns in Wheatland

Ruth Alice Sturman, 14 year old Lusk girl, victim of explosion
Clothing set ablaze when she attempts to hurry fire in cook stove at sister's home

The grim reaper has once again invaded our community and taken away the life of one of our youthful citizens, Ruth Alice Sturman, age 14 years, 2 months and 23 days, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Sturman, who reside four miles east of Lusk.

The girl's death was a tragic one, being caused by burns incurred in the explosion of a small quantity of gasoline when she attempted to enliven a fire in the cook stove at the ranch home of her sister and brother-in-law, Mr .and Mrs. Damrow, about 30 miles south of here, early Tuesday morning.

Fire had been started in the stove by Mr. Damrow and the girl was left at the house while the elder folks went to the barn to milk the cows. Mr. Darmow had told Ruth that the fire would be slow in starting, and cautioned her against using kerosene.

Seeing a can near at hand and supposing it contained kerosene, the girl lifted the lid from the stove, and began to pour it on the smoldering pieces of wood. Unfortunately, the can's content was gasoline and although there was but little, the gas ignited and blew the can to pieces.

In a moment the girl's clothing was in flames as was also the room in which the accident occured. Hearing the explosion, Mr. Damrow rushed towards the house and was met by the human torch. He grabbed her and rolled her on the ground until the flames were out and then extinguished the blaze in the kitchen.

Immediately after, they started to Wheatland with the suffering victim, and at Guernsey a hypodermic was administered. Although she was conscious until the time that the party reached Guernsey, she complained but little of her pain.

Upon reaching Wheatland she was taken to the hospital where another hypodermic was injected. Examination showed that her body was charred from her breast to her feet and little hope was held for her recovery. Death relieved her suffering at 5:40 o'clock Tuesday evening, August 25.

As soon as possible after the accident, word was rushed to her parents here and they at once started for Wheatland. Although they arrived there before death came, Ruth never regained consciousness.

The body was removed to the undertaking establishment at Wheatland and prepared for burial. The remains will be brought to Lusk and funeral services will be held at Baptist church tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. Internment will be made in the Lusk cemetery.

The deceased is survived by parents, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Sturman, three sisters, Mrs. Ollie Damrow, Emma and Orian Sturman, and three brothers, John, Ben and Kenneth.

Ruth was a favorite in the Lusk schools, having been graduated from the eighth grade this spring. She was to have entered high school this fall and her class mates will greatly miss her happy presence.

The Herald-Standard joins with the host of friends who extend their sympathy to the bereaved ones.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

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