As many of you know, I am a Kleiss researcher. My ancestor, Philip Kleiss was a Tavern keeper in Lancaster in the late 1700′s. After his death his sons ran the Tavern located on the corner of Vine and Queen Streets in the heart of Lancaster. Today the Tavern is incorporated in the Convention Center, but that is on another blog. This blog is about the two women referenced above.
I periodically put my surnames in search engines and tonight I was playing around with Genealogy Bank, one of my favorite sites. I’ve got a lot of information from the old newspapers on this site and an a big fan of it! When I found the following article, I thought it sounded familiar ~
New York Herald
26 December 1895
KILLED BY A MOTOR.
Mrs. Louise Kleiss Struck While Walking
On the North Hudson County
Mrs. Louise Kleiss, forty-five years old, of No 27 King street, West New York, was struck by a motor of the North Hudson County Railway Company early yesterday morning and instantly killed.
Mrs. Kleiss came to Jersey City Tuesday evening to make some purchases and took the midnight boat back on the Forty-second street ferry. She had a number of bundles and started to walk home up the company’s tracks on the old Fort Lee road. When between Niles avenue and Twenty-third street, motor No. 191 came up behind her at a rapid rate and striking her hurled her to one side of the track. So rapidly was the car going that it ran three hundred feet before the motorman could stop it.
When the trolley men picked her up she was dead. The body, which was not cut, but badly bruised, was brought to Hoboken where it was identified yesterday morning by the woman’s husband. The woman left a daughter, besides her husband.
As I read this it rang a bell. I knew I had a Louise Kleiss who had died the same way, and thought perhaps the information was wrong and this one really died in Lancaster. So I went to the books, my Kleiss books that is, and found what I remembered. Several differences though:
- My Kleiss was born as Louisa Kleiss, but married a Zecher
- My Louisa Kleiss Zecher died exactly 15 years and 10 days after Mrs. Louise Kleiss
- and of course, my Louisa Kleiss Zecher died in Pennsylvania, not New Jersey.
The similiarites are:
- Their names
- The month of the year they were killed
- The way they were killed
- and they both had been shopping!
15 December 1920
TRAIN KILLS WOMAN
RETURNING TO HOME
Mrs. David Zecher Meets Instant
Death When Hit by Express
WALKED UNDER GATE
DIRECTLY INTO TRAIN
Body Severed But Glasses Stay
on Nose When Searchers
Find Upper Portion
IDENTIFICATION IS SLOW
Eight Mistakes Cause Alarm in
Homes — Son Passed Soon
Killed by a west bound express train at Prince and Walnut streets last night while on her way home from the evening market at the Northern Market House the body of an aged woman cut in half under the wheels of the train at 5:33 o’clock was not identified as Mrs. David Zecher, aged 72, of 239 Elm street, until near 10 o’clock by her son. In the meantime eight false identifications were made and much anxiety was caused among relatives of per (sic) victim.
The train which struck the aged woman was No. 639, bound for Altoona, the accident occurring within a minute of the time the train had left the station.
Mrs. Zecher’s son, Charles J., 328 Pine street, passed the scene of the accident a few minutes after it had happened while on his way home from work, but did not stop to mingle with the curious crowd that had gathered round the crossing. Had he done so identification of the dead woman would have perhaps been immediate. As it happened the body laid for a time in the freight station near the crossing and later at Fisher’s undertaking establishment until 1o o’clock last night where the son finally was brought to identify his mother. In the meantime efforts on the part of the railroad officials to identify the woman resulted in eight false identifcations before the truth was known.
Witnesses to the accident stated that Mrs. (more…)