Homer "Bert" Bowers
Accidents Kill Two Men
Homer Bowers, 26, working 20 miles north of Lusk, was instantly killed at 5:30 Tuesday evening when a .22 pistol he was carrying in a shoulder holster, fell to the ground and discharged the bullet through his heart.
The accident occurred on the old Berggren ranch owned by Dan Hanson. Bowers was cutting wood with his father-in-law, Herman Michaud, employed on the Hanson ranch. He had come here only recently from Rapid City to be with his wife who had been staying with her mother, Mrs. Michaud. The two women were in the nearby house when the accident occurred.
Michaud told officers that Bowers collapsed immediately after the bullet struck him. He and the women got the young man into their car and started for town, but when the lights went out they managed to get to the Dan Hanson ranch home and Mr. Hanson brought them on into Lusk.
An autopsy was performed under the direction of Coroner George Earl Peet by Dr. Walter E. Reckling, with County Attorney James Barrett and Sheriff Ben Brown assisting in the investigation. The bullet pierced the left chest, went straight through the heart and lodged in the back. No further inquest will be held.
Bowers was in town Tuesday and contacted Sheriff Brown to attempt to register his gun, but no registration is necessary in Wyoming. He explained he liked to carry it while working around a ranch. Sheriff Brown and Deputy Bud Cantwell went to the ranch about 8:30 and found the gun near the stick of wood Bowers was splitting. The axe was set in the wood.
Bowers leaves, besides his wife, a 5-month-old baby. His father, Bert Bowers, and his mother, Helen Rose Newman, live in Oklahoma.
Note: The other accident referred to in the headline involved James Robert Voirol, whose obituary is also included in this data base.
Lusk Free Lance
November 6, 1952
Accidental Gun Shot Takes Life of Ranch Worker
His return to the home of his stepfather after a 30-day absence in South Dakota spelled doom to Bert Bowers, 26-year-old ranch hand, early Tuesday evening at the old Berggren place north of Hat Creek. Bowers was fatally hurt when the .22 automatic pistol he was carrying in a belt holster fell out and was accidentally discharged, the bullet hitting him in the chest and piercing his heart. He was chopping wood at the time of the accident. The Berggren place is now owned by Dan Hanson.
His stepfather, Herman Michaud, who was assisting him in piling the chopped wood, stood but a few feet away when the gun was discharged. He rushed to the side of the youth, and then jumped in his car and went to the Hanson ranch, several miles north, from where Dr. W. E. Reckling and the sheriff's office were notified. A rush to the scene was made, and meanwhile the stepfather had placed the victim in his car and started for town. Met by the physician, a hasty examination revealed that Bowers had succumbed to the bullet wound. The remains were brought of this city.
In the house at the ranch were his wife, Donna, their infant child and his mother, Mrs. Herman Michaud. The two women did all possible while Mr. Michaud raced to the Hanson ranch, but were unable to save the man's life.
The remains were taken overland from here Wednesday to Crawford, Nebr., and forwarded from there to Seminole, Okla., where funeral services were tentatively set for Saturday, Neb. 8th. The immediate relatives accompanied the body, it is understood.
Ironically, Bowers had been to Sheriff Ben Brown's office Tuesday morning asking for a permit to carry the gun, and was informed that the laws made no provision for issuance of such permits.