Obituary Details

Marguerite Hartman

(11/08/1910 - 05/22/1936)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/28/1936


Funeral Services for Popular Lusk Girl Held Here Monday; Cause of Accident Not Determined

A month to the day from the time she became the bride of E. G. Hartman of the J.C. Penney & Co. organization, Marguerite Intveen Hartman was laid to rest amid a bank of floral tributes from her legion of friends, in the Lusk Cemetery.

Her life was snuffed out, along with three others, in a tragic automobile accident, about 6 miles west of Cheyenne, on the Cheyenne-Laramie road, about 3:30 o'clock last Friday afternoon, as she was returning to her home in Laramie from Lusk.

A few days after her marriage to Mr. Hartman on April 25th, he was transferred to the Laramie store of the Penney Co., and she had been in Lusk two days before, where her friends had given her a bridal shower at the C. W. Erwin home.

It was while she was returning from Lusk to Laramie that the accident happened.

All four who figured in the accident are dead. They are:
Mrs. E. G. Hartman, 26, of Laramie
Thomas C. Wixstead, 38, Cheyenne filling station operator.
Arthur Speese, 42, well known Cheyenne salesman.
An unidentified man, about 55 years old, probably J. C. Wilson of Baltimore, Md., who was riding in the car driven by Speese.

Funeral One of Largest Ever Held in Lusk
The funeral held here for Mrs. Hartman, on Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., was one of the largest ever held in the city. Over 400 people were in the church, where there was standing room only, and more than a hundred others stood on the outside of the church, unable to gain admission. Two hundred and fifty people registered at the Peet Mortuary as callers, and there were almost a hundred cars in the procession to the cemetery.

The Peet Mortuary had charge of arrangements. Pallbearers were Harry Turner, Arthur Keller, E. R. Werner, Glen Cates, Bennie Updike and A. L. Peyton. Interment was made in the Lusk Cemetery.

Rev. Geo. Jenkins had charge of the church services. Music was rendered by a mixed quartet composed of Mrs. H. J. Templeton, Mrs. C. E. Marvin, Ford B. Kuns and Alger Johnson. Mrs. A. F. Vogel was the accompanist. Mrs. Templeton rendered a solo, "Alone With Thee." The quartet gave two selections, "Beautiful Isle" and "Jesus, Kneel Beside Me."

Cause of Accident Probably Will Never Be Known
The exact cause of the tragic accident probably will never be known. Death silenced all the principal characters in the tragedy.

Mrs. Hartman was traveling west toward Laramie in her new Ford V-8 coupe which Mr. Hartman had purchased in Lusk two months ago. Coming from the east was the Pontiac sedan, driven by Speese occupied by Wixstead in the front seat, and the hitchhiker in the rear seat.

According to those who examined the tracks in the road shortly after the accident say Mrs. Hartman was well over to the right of the road. Something apparently happened to the Speese car - a blowout, or a break in the transmission which caused the rear wheels to lock, the driver losing control of his machine. The theory given general credence by those who arrived first on the scene is that when the Speese car veered to the left, coming toward Mrs. Hartman's car, she attempted to avoid a collision by swerving sharply to her left, but the Speese car evidently took another veer to the right, striking the Ford squarely. Both machines showed their right sides received the greatest force of the collision, which tends to bear out the theory that Mrs. Hartman was making a desperate effort to avoid the careening Pontiac as it hurtled toward her.

Another theory, but it's merely a theory, and has little to substantiate it - is that the hitchhiker in the back seat was attempting to hold up Wixstead and Speese, who were in the front seat of the Pontiac car, and his attempts caused Speese to lose control of the machine. The only spark of corroboration to this theory is the report that during his conscious moments before his death, Speese is said to have "cussed" the hitchhiker, blaming him for the accident.

Mrs Hartman was known as a fast driver, but was an exceptionally good one. She had driven cars since a small girl, and had driven her father's car and truck in all kinds of weather while he had the mail contract between Lusk and the Lance Creek oil field.

Conductor Alexander W. Campbell of Laramie (estimated that they had) been traveling between 55 and 60 miles an hour. When he arrived, Speese was lying in the driver's seat, with his head, shoulders and arms out of the car, and his feet and body inside. Wixstead was in the seat beside Speese. The unidentified hitchhiker was in the rear seat of the Speese car. Mrs. Hartman was thrown clear of her Ford coupe and was lying on the bank of the road.

The Speese machine, almost completely demolished, was cross-wise of the road, facing the ditch, and the Hartman machine was in the ditch facing south. Both cars remained upright on their wheels, in spite of their wrecked condition.

Mrs. Hartman Passes Away On Operating Table
Mrs. Hartman died about 40 minutes after the accident, from loss of blood, shock, and chest injuries. She suffered severe facial lacerations, a large gash across her forehead, causing concussion of the brain. Both of her legs were broken, the right one in two or three places and the left in one place. She also suffered from a crushed chest. She did not regain consciousness after the accident. Her identity was unknown when the ambulance took her to the Cheyenne hospital. Death came as she was on the operating table at the Cheyenne hospital. The only identification possible was a key ring on which was the name, "E. G. Hartman, Lusk, Wyo." Cheyenne authorities called manager Peyton of the Lusk telephone exchange, and the identification was made. Mr. Peyton then called Mrs. Hartman's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Intveen of Glenrock, and gave them the first news of the accident. Mr. Hartman did not hear of his wife's death until he saw a brief bulletin in an evening edition of the Laramie Republican while he was eating his supper in a restaurant, saying that an unidentified woman had been killed. Knowing that his wife was on her way to Laramie, he called the Penney manager at Cheyenne, who informed him that his wife was the victim. Both Mr. Hartman and Mr. and Mrs. Intveen rushed at once to Cheyenne.

Wixstead died instantly of a fractured skull. The hitchhiker died at about 1:00 o'clock Saturday morning without regaining consciousness. Speese died at 4:00 o'clock Sunday morning. He had a few conscious moments before death, but was unable to give a coherent account of the accident.

Officers Give Version of Fatal Crash
In his official report, Highway Patrolman v. H. Montgomery, who investigated the crash, said the collision occurred on a straight stretch of road. Visibility was good for at least three-quarters of a mile in either direction from the scene of the accident and the straight stretch of road was from a quarter to a half-mile long between two curves. The accident happened about the middle of the straight stretch.

Sheriff George Carroll's theory is that one of the cars had a blowout and swerved to the left side of the road. The other car also swung to the left in an effort to avoid the collision, and the two machines collided at an angle. He said both cars gave evidence of being damaged most on the right side.

Marguerite Intveen was born at Clearwater, Nebraska, November 8, 1910. In April, 1901 (as published) she came to Niobrara County with her parents, residing on a homestead in the Royal Valley community until August, 1926, when they moved to Lusk. She graduated from the Lusk High School in the spring of 1927, ranking high in scholarship and ability. While attending high school she was employed in the office of U. S. Court commissioner D. E. Goddard, yet found time for her school and social activities.

In the fall of 1927 she registered at the University of Wyoming, attending school there until June, 1928. During the next two years she held responsible positions with the Lusk Table Supply, the County Treasurer's and County Assessor's offices. In 1930 she was appointed to the position of stenographer in the County Agent's office, working there with County Agent Reeves until the fall of 1933, when she was appointed accountant of the CWA by Will G. Metz. Later she held the position of Certifying Officer of the ERA and Supervisor of the WPA until April, 1936.

She was united in marriage with E. G. Hartman, manager of the Lusk store of the J. C. Penney Co., on April 25, 1936, at Douglas, Wyoming, removing to Laramie, Wyoming, where she resided until her death on May 22, 1936.

Marguerite was loved and esteemed by all who knew her. Her happy and vivacious nature radiated sunshine and affection to those she met in conducting the business of her office to her close personal friends, and to the little children on the street.

She leaves to mourn her loss, her husband, mother and father; one sister, Dorothy; two grandmothers, Mrs. W. J. Noble and Mrs. Mary Owens; Numerous relatives and a legion of warm personal friends.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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