Delaware County NY Genealogy and History Site

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Newspaper article submitted by John Whitney

Sidney, Delaware County, New York, April 1912


Delmer Wheat Killed Instantly While Playing Ball At The Riverside Park.

On Saturday afternoon, the l3th inst., at about 4:30, at the Riverside base ball park, occurred one of the most distressful fatalities known to this village, causing the instant death, while playing baseball with a number of comrades, of Delmer T. Wheat, aged 18 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Wheat, who are highly respected residents of this village.

Delmer, who all his life was highly fond of field sports, good at base ball and Captain of the Sidney High School team, together with companions of his age, were engaged at the time in a practice game of ball. At the fatal moment, Delmer was at the bat and Tony Marone was pitching. The ball thrown was not of any remarkable speed but a trifle high. Delmer dodged the ball in such manner that it struck square and with full force on the left side of his neck. He dropped to the ground. His horrified companions rushed to his assistance. He had uttered no cry and gave no sign of consciousness. A telephone message brought physician Day to the ball ground. Although there was no fracture, or even an abrasion, it was clear that the unfortunate boy was lifeless. The sharp and direct impact of the ball had severed the nerve control of the heart, causing practically instant death. The body was carried from the ball ground to the family home near the Cong'l church.

This sad misfortune thrills the entire community with a sense of the deepest sympathy in behalf of the parents and family, whose deep grief finds an echo in every heart. There were three children, Charles, Elmer and Delmer, the last two being twin brothers of marked resemblance and constant companions. Elmer was on the ball ground and a witness of the fatal accident.

Delmer had been the victim of several minor but dangerous accidents. At Bainbridge he was badly injured while playing at basket bail; he was accidentally shot in one of his ankles, and while coasting down hill about one year ago, he sustained severe injuries. Otherwise, he was a bright, clean and companionable boy, always well up in his school studies, good to his parents and well liked by a large circle of good friends. His loss indeed causes a most bitter regret.

At 9:30, Tuesday morning, services were held at the M. E. church, which was filled by a large congregation of mourners. At the church entrance a double line of scholars of Sidney High School and Faculty had been formed to receive the funeral cortege. The casket of gray, embossed plush was borne by Delmer's comrades of the Philolgian Society, John Bundy Stanley Angell, Ray Vanderwalker Frank Dimicco, DeWilton Bassett Raymond Newton. It was covered with beautiful tributes of flowers, while about the chancel were ranged large floral designs.

Rev. D. L. MacDonald, assisted by Rev. O. T. Fletcher, conducted the services, which were most impressive. The music by the quartette was rendered in a manner that proved most im-

(illegible due to tear in paper)

dered duet "Some Fair Day," was sung by Mrs. Weeden and Mrs. Hare.

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy Youth ," was the theme of the pastor's address, who paid a worthy tribute to the life so suddenly and sadly cut off, a message that added a glint of heavenly cheer and hope to the deeply bereaved family and friends. Reference was made to the terrible disaster of the ocean to illustrate how very uncertain is the tenure of life and the necessity of being prepared for a call that any moment may come.

As the family and friends took a last parting look of one so well loved by all, a pathetic incident was witnessed as poor Tony Marone, the pitcher who threw the fatal ball, became grief-stricken. It was no fault of his, as all are well aware and there is none to blame.

The interment was held in the beautiful Ouleout cemetery at Franklin, where the family had long owned a plot, the services there being conducted by Rev. N. H. Lofthouse.

A large number of friends from Treadwell and Franklin attended the services at the grave. The school at Treadwell closed to attend. The flowers were strikingly beautiful, artistic designs, about thirty contributions in all, including a beautiful piece from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Marone and Tony Marone.

In closing his sermon, Rev. D. L. MacDonald read the following appropriate and beautiful verses

No time for a last farewell,
No time for the shock of fear
Scarcely a moment's bait on the shore,
With the guide and the boatman near
Dear, how surprised you were to go,
With little to suffer, little to know.

Only a moment of dark,
A dream of the fleeting night,
And then the beautiful break of day,
And the quiet place of light
And you round yourself in the place
where you longed to stand
In the repose of the Fatherland.

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