Stella Seeley


Gender: Female

Date of Death: August 13, 1916

Death Place: Lincoln, NE

Stella Seeley



Tragic Event in Lincoln Costs Lives of Two

Lincoln, Neb. Aug. 14 – A street car accident here last night cost the lives of 8 year old Verna Seeley and her mother, Mrs. J.A. Seeley, 839 North Twenty-seventh street.

The little girl, playfully teasing her brother that she had secured a bigger piece of ice from a passing wages than he had, ran directly in front of a Havelock car in front of her home last night and was so badly crushed and mangled that she died within a short time after being removed to the hospital.  Her mother died yesterday afternoon from the shock of seeing the accident.

The mother and eldest daughter, 17 years old, who had just recovered from a serious sickness, were standing in the doorway of the home when the car struck the girl.  They became hysterical and had to be removed to the hospital in the same ambulance that took the girl there.  The mother never recovered from the shock, but gradually grew worse until death came yesterday afternoon.

Conflicting stories are told of the accident.  The majority of witnesses say the car was moving, slowly at the time and the little girl, apparently looking in a different direction at the time she was crossing the tracks did not observe the approaching car.  The motorman stopped within a few feet after he had struck the girl.

Published in the Fremont Tri-Weekly Tribune (Fremont, Nebraska) Thursday August 17, 1916

  – – –



Mrs. Stella Seeley, Whose Child Was Killed by Street Car, Passes Away

The death of eight year old Vera Seeley, whose body was ground under a street car Saturday afternoon, was followed by the death of the mother, Mrs. Stella Seeley, 839 North Twenty-seventh street.  The heart broken mother died at St. Elizabeth’s hospital at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, exactly twenty-two hours after the death of the child.  A double funeral will be held, probably Tuesday.

Mrs. Seeley was removed to the hospital at 9 p.m. Saturday.  She had witnessed the tragedy which had crushed out the life of her child and was one of the first to reach the car track.  She gathered up the small battered body and after the child had been taken from her and rushed to a hospital, she lost her reason.

The little girl died less than two hours after the accident.  The mother was spared the knowledge of the death, but the shock from witnessing the accident and from guessing the inevitable result, broke down the mother reason and the mother heart.

According to drivers of the ambulance, which took Mrs. Seeley to the hospital, she seemed in a delirious condition.  She kept repeating to her son and the nurse, who attended her “I don’t want to go,  I don’t want to go.”  She was very weak at that time and had to be carried to and from the ambulance.

Death due to Shock

Dr. C.W. Parks, who attended Mrs. Seeley, said death was due to collapse from the shock.  He said the mother was in a stupor from the time of the accident and that she was wholly unconscious from 3 a.m. Sunday up to the time of death.  The physician believed that Mrs. Seeley had been in her normal health prior to her witnessing the crushing of her child.  He was of the opinion that a highly nervous temperament may have operated as a contributory cause.

J.A. Seeley, the father and husband, was not present at the bedside at either death.  He was out of the city at the time of the accident and did not reach town until after his daughter had died.  Sunday afternoon after spending the morning at the hospital at his wife’s bedside, he left for a short time to go to Castle, Roper & Matthews’ to make arrangements for holding the child’s body, saying when he arrived that he would have to hurry because his wife’s condition was serious.

He had not been gone a minute when a phone call to the morgue said she was dying.  Three minutes later, before he had time to reach the hospital, another phone message said the wife had died.

A child two months old and seven other children are left by Mrs. Seeley.  One of the oldest, Mrs. W.C. Patton of Friend, was prostrated when she learned of the tragic death of her little sister.  When she was given the second shock, work of the death of her mother, Mrs. Patton broke down completely.  It was said late Sunday that she was in a critical condition.

Of Nervous Disposition

Mrs. W.G. Bassett, near neighbor of the sorrow stricken family, and who has been a mother to the smaller children since their own mother was taken from them, said late Sunday afternoon that the shock, and that alone, killed Mrs. Seeley.

“She was not a strong woman – was of a delicate and nervous temperament,” Mrs. Bassett said.  “She had not been sick, however, and was in her usual health up to the time she saw her daughter crushed under the wheels of the street car.”

Mrs. F.D. Weddle, Thirtieth and Huff streets, sister-in-law of deceased, took charge of the two-months-old babe.

All the children with the exception of Mrs. Patten lived at home.  In addition to eight surviving children the deceased leaves a husband, J.A. Seeley; a brother, F.D. Weddle of this city, and a father, who is in Colorado.  Mrs. Seeley was forty years old.  The family moved to Lincoln from Friend about a year ago.  They had formerly lived at Crete and resided in Friend for two years.

Published in The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Monday August 14, 1916

Funeral services for Mrs. Stella Seeley and Verna Seeley, mother and daughter, were held from Castle, Roper & Matthews’ chapel Wednesday morning.  Rev. Mr. Sidel of Friend, where the family formerly lived, conducted the services for the little girl who was crush beneath the street car Saturday afternoon and the broken hearted mother who passed away Sunday.  Scores of friends crowded into the chapel to pay their last respects.  A double funeral procession passed out along O street and both caskets were lowered into one grave in Wyuka cemetery.

Published in the Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Wednesday August 16, 1916

[Wife of grandson of SGS # 3606 – John W.; John Baker; William (#3606); Israel (# 1608); William; Jonas; Ebenezer, Jonas; Obadiah]