Two deaths at Deer Creek

For this post, I want to relay a newspaper article from 1910, and give it what context I can from other sources.  I have several second-, third-, and even fourth-generation photocopies of the article, but I have not yet found a physical or digital copy of the original article.

In the span of about a week, the lives of Frank Scott and his four daughters were turned upside down. Frank’s wife Margaret got sick and died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her funeral was immediately arranged, and when her funeral procession passed Frank’s house, where his infirm step-father Nathaniel was staying, Nathaniel died. His step-father’s funeral was arranged and held two days later, and then Frank was left alone with his four young girls, aged 3–12.

The article was probably published on or immediately after the date of the story, June 15, 1910. I do not yet know the name of the newspaper in which it appeared, or on which page, but it was probably either the Wadena Pioneer Journal (1897–present), the Wadena News (1910–1913), the Deer Creek Mirror (1905–1947), the Battle Lake Review (1884–present), the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (1883–1972), the Fergus Falls Free Press (1900–1920), the Fergus Falls Ugeblad (1882–1938), the Fergus Falls Weekly Journal (1881–1941), or the Fergus Globe (1887–1910).

Two Deaths at Deer Creek

Deer Creek, June 15th.  It seems as though Deek Creek is having its share of sorrow just now. The community was shocked beyond expression Saturday morning in learning of the death of Mrs. Frank Scott, after an illness of only a few days. Margaret McAllister was born in Canada 38 years ago, coming to Minnesota while yet a young girl. She was married to Frank Scott [17] years ago, and has resided here ever since. She leaves, besides her husband, four little daughters: Gertie, aged 12, Mabel ged 9; Cassie aged 6, and Eva, aged 3. Also five sisters and one brother, four living in this immediate vicinity. Her funeral was held Sunday morning at ten o’clock from the German Church, Rev. Nauman officiating, and was one of the largest ever held here. Interment was made in the cemetery just north of town.

On Sunday afternoon, about one o’clock, occurred the death of N. A. Peck, at the home of his step ston, Frank Scott. He had been ill of dropsy for several months, but had been improving of late. The death of Mrs. Scott was more than he could bear, and, after watching her funeral procession pass the house, he became unconscious and passed away shortly after.

Nathaniel A. Peck was born in Michigan, 68 years agao. When he was 5 years old his parent immigrated to Le Seuer [sic] Co., Minn. When he was 21 years of age, he enlisted in the 4th Minnesota Regiment, and served till the close of the war, receiving his discharge July 10, 1865. He was one of the first settlers in this part of the county, coming here about 31 years ago. He was married in 1862 in Fergus Falls, to Mrs. Caroline Woodruff Scott, who died a number of years ago. He leaves an adopted son, A. D. Peck, and two step children, Mr. Frank Scott and Mrs. A. D. Peck, all of this place. The funeral occurred from the M. [E.] church Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. Rev. Green and Rev. Nauman officiating, and interment made in the Deer Creek cemetery.


Using a date calculator, we can learn that Margaret McAllister’s death on “Saturday morning” translates to dying on Saturday, June 11, 1910—the Saturday before the article’s date of June 15, 1910.

Frank Scott’s wife Margaret became ill in the days before June 11, and died on Saturday, June 11, 1910. Her funeral was held on Sunday, June 12, and his step-father Nathaniel Peck died during her funeral procession. Frank buries his wife and then makes arrangements for his step-father’s funeral.  His step-father is buried on Tuesday, June 14, 1910.

Additional information comes from photocopied notes I have of an interview Gordy and Geri Askew had with Frank’s daughter Eva, around March, 2000. Here’s an excerpt of the interview notes:

On Mar. 19, 2000, we went with Eva and drove by the house where she was born. It was painted yellow trimmed in black with black shutters with a horse & carriage carved in the shutters. It is a two story house with an open front porch.

N. A. Peck was at home with his step son, Frank Scott[,] when Eva’s mother died & watched the funeral procession out of the front window & soon after that became unconscious & died.

. . .

Eva was 2 years old when her mother died.  She went to live with her dad who was a sawyer working for Joseph Askew.

I’ll add more details to this tragic story as I find them.

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