Emma E. I. Ochsner

Emma's Tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery
Emma's Tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery
Maurice and Charlene Carson collection
  • May 12, 1887 - Born.
  • 1891 - Moved with her family to Joliet, Illinois.
  • July 2, 1897 - Died in Joliet of accidental electrocution.
  • Buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet.

At the age of ten years old, while walking down the street with her older brother, William, to watch a funeral procession, Emma was accidently killed by coming in contact with a guy wire holding up a telegraph pole. She was thrown completely over a fence and was killed instantly. The palms of her hands were badly burned. Her father was sent for immediately. Upon his arrival, Albert Ochsner noticed the wire and thought it must be electrified. In order to prove his assertion, he took hold of the wire. He was then thrown over the fence more than ten feet into the yard. He was unconscious for several minutes. His neck and hands were also burned.

Emma's death was reported in the Joliet Daily News. According to the article, the guy wire and telephone pole had been in place for several years and had not caused any trouble, but on the day before Emma was killed, another child - a small, unidentified boy - was shocked by the same wire. Presumably, some insulation had recently worn off of an electric cable and the cable came in contact with the guy wire.

Emma is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet. The inscription on her tombstone reads: "Here rests in peace Emma E. I., daughter of A. &. E. Ochsner, born May 12, 1887, died July 2, 1897." Her tombstone, a beautiful cement statue in the likeness of a young girl holding a bird, has captured the heartfelt imagination of adoring visitors. People adorn the stone by hanging necklaces around the neck of the young girl and by placing stuffed animals at her feet. The stone, sitting next to the road, is clearly visible from Cass Street.

Book Exceprts

Germany and Switzerland
Journey to America
Joliet, Illinois
Tillman County, Oklahoma

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