Tuesday, August 10, 2010

John Gench

John Gench (sometimes spelled Gensch) was born in 1875 to J. Martin Gensch and Julia Timm Gensch. John was the family's oldest son, and it is believed that he was born in Posen, Germany. Later, the family would move to the United States, settling in Sandusky, Ohio. Martin and Julia had a family of nine children, and Martin stated in the 1900 Census that they entered the U.S. in 1882.

John Gench died in a tragic railroad accident on July 26, 1893.A portion of the Sandusky Register article from July 27, 1893, is pictured below:

It appears that Monday, July 26, 1893, after John told his family that he had some work to do, he would decide to go fishing instead. He and a friend stopped at Murshchel's hotel to purchase some sandwiches and a pail of beer.

Later that day the body of John Gench/Gensch was found a short distance from the train depot on a sidetrack of the Lake Shore Railroad. He was found decapitated by railroad engineer Charles Scheutler and fireman P. Dietrich. Coroner Hubbard stated this in his report of the death of 18 year old John Gench: "Having heard the evidence and examined the body I find that the deceased came to his death by being crushed beneath the wheels of a Lake Shore & Michigan Southern pony engine, No. 443, on a side track in the company's yard in Sandusky, O., on the morning of July 26, 1893, between the hours of two and three o'clock. It is evident that the accident was the result of the young man's carelessness and from the evidence taken no blame can be attached to the fireman and engineer in charge of the pony engine at the time the accident occurred."

To date, there is no record found of the name of the friend who was seen with John Gench/Gensch before his fatal accident. John Gench/Gensch was buried in Range F at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. There is no stone found in grave 13 of Lot F at Oakland Cemetery today. Below is a photo of the eastern portion of Range F, where he was originally buried, according to Oakland Cemetery interment records. How sad for his family, that John Gench/Gensch died while still in his teenage years.

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