Adams County Illinois


The Quincy Daily Whig
May 13, 1908

Elmer Hugh McCune and Son Lose Lives in Ursa Township
Were Under A Tree
Tree Was Struck by Lightning and Both Were Killed.

       The Electrical storm which swept over this city and county Monday noon proved fatal in at least two cases. Hugh Elmer McCune, aged about 40, and his 10-year-old son, James, while seeking the shelter of a cottonwood tree along the road in Ursa township, adjourning their farm, were killed when the tree under which they were sitting was struck by lightning, and the dead bodies were not discovered until early yesterday morning, when a neighbor, F. Beaty, driving along the road, found them pinioned under the trunk of the tree. Beaty was the only witness, before the coroner's jury, and his testimony merely was to the effect that he saw the bodies and notified the coroner. The latter went to Pontiac last night where he is to be a witness before the grand jury in the Hamlin case and therefore was inaccessible.

                                       Sought Shelter from Storm
So far as could be learned by telephone, McCune and his young son were at work in the field on his farm when the heavy storm, which swept over the city, Monday about 1 o'clock, judging from the appearance of the position of the bodies, there was only one deduction to make, and that was that they had sought shelter under the tree, and that the tree, when struck by lightning which is evident, fell over on them.

     Beaty says he did not stop and attempt to extricate the bodies, but made for the first telephone to notify the coroner. He says he called up the sheriff's office at the court house and asked that official to notify the coroner. The latter official arrived on the scene about noon and at once held an inquest. Beaty being the only witness who was summoned.

                                         Testimony was Slight.
     From all appearances, judging from the written testimony before the coroner's jury, when McCune and his son failed to appear at their home in the evening there was no attempt made on the part of their relatives to find them. Such an attempt may have been made but it does not appear in evidence discloses is that both were found under the trunk of a  cottonwood tree and that they were seen there by F. Beaty.
     There will be a meeting of the directors of the Quincy Boulevard and Park Association at the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce Wednesday afternoon, at 4:30 o'clock.

E. J. Parker, President
F. W. Monroe, Secretary

Quincy, Illinois
Wednesday, May 13, 1908


     Mendon, Ill., May 13 - Our undertakers, C. H. and A. D. Nutt, who went down yesterday to embalm the McCune bodies, stated last night that death was caused by a heavy limb falling on High McCune crushing his skull. He was found in a sitting position with his head bent down to his knees, with the boy's head under it and resting on his father's leg.
     The funeral was held this morning at 10 o'clock from the home of William Anderson, 1 1/2 miles west of Marcelline. Burial was at the New Providence cemetery.






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