Sunday, April 1, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 12: Misfortune: Martin Gleeson’s Accident

I am working on this year-long prompt, hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. I will write each week in one of my two blogs, either Mam-ma’s Southern Family or at My Trails Into the Past. I’m looking forward to writing about my children’s ancestors in new and exciting ways.

The Bend Bulletin, 18 August 1924
Martin Gleeson had an accident while working at the Brooks-Scanlon planing mill in Bend, Oregon. According to the Bend Bulletin:

The injury of July 24 came when a board going through the planer split, and a large jagged splinter was thrust into Gleeson's hip. Infection lowered his vitality and he was in no condition to make a successful fight against pneumonia, contracted later.[1]

The death certificate gave the cause of death as “myocardial degeneration, contributed by infected wound buttock” and the doctor also stated an operation on 28 July 1924 had preceded death.[2]

The injury at the mill was on July 24 and his death was 18 August. 

Another obituary, in the Mitchell Evening Republican, stated additional information about the injury, calling him a victim of blood poisoning:

According to letters received by John Gleeson last week, his brother was injured when a band saw in the mill broke. A splinter was deep into Mr. Gleeson's hip and poisoning resulted.[3]

Martin Gleeson was 65 years old at the time of his death.[4] He married Hanna Kane in 1893 and she died in Mitchell on 3 Feb 1917.[5] They were the parents of three children: Marguerite, Florence, and Frederick. He had been a farmer in Mitchell, South Dakota, before moving to Bend, Oregon.  Funeral was held at St. Francis Church and he was buried in Pilot Butte Cemetery.[6]

It was over three weeks between the injury and his death. There must have been great pain to his hip area during that period. Today with antibiotics, he might have survived the injury.

[1] "Fatal Complication Sequel to Injuries," The Bend Bulletin, 18 August 1924, Martin Gleeson.
[2] Oregon State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, Deschutes Co, 1924, Martin Gleeson.
[3] "Martin Gleeson, Pioneer of City, Poison Victim," Mitchell Evening Republican, 19 August 1924, Martin Gleeson obituary; Newspaper Archive ( : accessed 15 June 2016).
[4] St. Philips Church, Richmond, Carleton Co, B2, Feb 1859, Martin Gleeson "Ontario, Canada, Parish registers, 1836-1917," digital images, FamilySearch  (, film 1304679.
[5] "Mrs. Gleeson Called Beyond ,” Mitchell Daily Republican, Sat, Feb 3, 1917, pg 5.
[6] "Fatal Complication Sequel to Injuries," The Bend Bulletin, 18 August 1924, Martin Gleeson.

Copyright © 2018 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

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