Claude Guseman, aged 33 years and 21 days, and who was well known all over Comanche-co. and the northern half of Woods-co, Oklahoma, met with a tragic death on last Saturday evening, February 27, 1926, not far from his home about 27 miles south and six miles east of this city, about three miles over the line in Oklahoma. His dead body was found by his wife in a canyon nearly a mile northwest of the home. She at once notified neighbors, and assistance was called. The exact manner in which Claude met his death is still a matter of conjecture, but the circumstances seem to justify the belief that death was accidental. As nearly as we can learn the facts, they are as follows:
Sometime during Saturday afternoon Claude left home on horseback. His wife thought nothing of her husband's absence, as his farm and ranch duties required his attention most every day, but when the hour grew late and her husband had not returned, especially when the horse he rode was seen returning without its rider, Mrs. Guseman became uneasy, and she at once mounted the horse and proceeded to make a search. She had not searched long until she came upon a scene which gave her both surprise and horror. Near the head of a canyon, where a spring gushes out of the ground, lay the dead body of her husband, the right side of hs face badly mangled and his body badly burned, the entire body being almost beyond recognition. As stated, Mrs. Guseman hurried to summon help, calling first E. E. Parker and Mr. Parker notified Martin King. The neighbors proceeded to make an investigation, and to notify the authorities. The Woods-co. coroner and other officials arrived Sunday forenoon and took the body to Alva, where an inquest was held.
It seemed apparent that death was the result of the explosion of a gasoline pressure tank, in which was a quantity of gasoline. The tank had been partly buried in the ground, and seems to have rusted some near the bottom, thus possibly permitting a small leakage. The tank was connected by a hollow wire with a gasoline stove, which apparently was being used for heating mash. Either some of the escaping gasoline caught fire, or too much pressure having been applied caused an explosion, throwing the tank upward, striking Claude on the right side of the face and scattering gasoline over his body, which, evidently, soon became enveloped in flames. One small piece was blown out of the tank, and it is said that some hair and blood were found on the tank. It is quite evident that death was almost instantaneous. Not far from the tank were two pools of blood. The body, when found was about 16 feet from the tank.
Claude Curran Guseman was born in Williamstown, Mo., on February 3, 1893. At the age of 6, he came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Guseman to Comanche-co., and settled 9 1/2 miles southeast of this city. He attended school on his home district and devoted his time principally to farming and stock raising. On October 31, 1915, in Greensburg, he was united in marriage with Miss Flossie Stubbs, daughter of L. L. Stubbs, now of this city.
Six or seven years ago Mr. and Mrs. Guseman moved to the former Dan Schultz farm, in Oklahoma, where they continued to live. Claude was industrious and always showed much interest in his work. When he was a child he was baptized in the Catholic church, but later united with the Presbyterian church in this city. He is survived by his wife and two sons, James Leslie, aged 9, and Rex, aged 7, also by his parents, and by two brothers, Cecil and Denzel, and by one sister, Mrs. B. F. Arnold, the latter of this city. One brother, Ferdie, died several years ago. Funeral services were held on Tuesday forenoon at the home of Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Guseman, and were in charge of Rev. W. T. Walker of the Presbyterian church of this city. Burial was made in Crown Hill cemetery.
The bereaved relatives, whose hearts are heavy with sorrow because of the loss of a loved one, have the sincere sympathy of all.
Thomas J. CURRAN
Surnames: Dodson, Curran, Gilchrist, Guseman, Holcomb, Lonker, Macomb, Murphy, Rader, Sauerenson, Sullivan & Walker.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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