Frank Brochtl Loses Life In Flames
About 1:30 a.m. Friday a fire alarm was turned in and the siren summoned the fire boys to action, but it was too late to prevent one of the most deplorable tragedies ever to have visited our city. It was the small home of "Big" Frank Brochtl which was ablaze and he lost his life in the flames. The house was practically destroyed when the firemen arrived. They used chemicals to extinguish the blaze after the house had already fallen in moveed what was left of Frank's body from the embers.
Very few people knew Frank's name; we all called him "Big Frank." He was a native Austrian, having moved to the United States when a young man, and had lived in or near Ralls since this city was quite young.
He lived alone, never having married, and was somewhere in the neighborhood of 78 years of age. He had been ill for a few days and it is presumed he either turned over a kerosene lamp while up building up a coal fire or that the lamp probably exploded. His body was two or three feet from his bed.
"Big Frank" harmed no person. He attended strictly to his own affairs, was able to provide means for his own livelihood and was noted for his "big heart." He was a subscriber to the Banner as well as many other newspapers. He always knew when his "time was out" and came in and handed us the money for another year. He was well informed as to world affairs and spoke several languages. He had many friends in this city who were indeed shocked at his tragic demise.
Frank had no relatives in America. He worked for Mrs. R. W. Rutherford's father for many years when she was just a child and growing up. He apparently thought more of her than any other individual and she visited him frequently in his home here.
Funeral services were held friday afternoon at the L. L. Rutherford home in this city, Father Louis Boulay, Catholic Priest of Lubbock, reading the ceremony of his church both at the residence and the grave. frank had many times told friends and acquaintances that he desired that a priest officiate at his funeral. Interment was made in Ralls Cemetery.
Ralls Banner. Republished in The Crosbyton Review, Friday, January 25, 1929.
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