Autos Kill Two Great-Grandfathers

Family stories provide great clues for genealogy research. Even if the whole story turns out to be slightly less than factual, there is often a kernel of truth contained therein.

The 29 Feb 1956 issue of the Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune 29 Feb 1956

My paternal great-grandmother’s 2nd husband died 27 Feb 1956. My dad’s recollection of Charlie Otto’s death was that he had stepped off a curb and was hit by a CTA bus.

An accident involving a CTA bus would be newsworthy, wouldn’t you think?

I didn’t see anything in the Chicago Tribune about the incident, but the Chicago Daily News ran the following article on page 13 of the 28 Feb 1956 issue:

“CHARLES OTTO SR. died Monday night in Manor hospital of injuries suffered several hours earlier when he was struck by an auto at Addison and Long.

Police said he was hit by a car driven by Alice R. Pickartz, 54, of 3819 N. Laramie. She was charged with failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian.”

Perhaps Charlie was at a bus stop. Or he was crossing the street to catch a bus. Maybe there was a bus in the area. Or maybe the car simply turned into a bus during multiple re-telling of the story.

However, there’s an even more interesting twist to this topic in my family tree. Charlie Otto is one of two of my great-grandmothers’ second husbands that were killed by automobiles.

Twenty years earlier my maternal great-grandmother’s second husband Harry Flood died after being hit by a car:

2015 01-27 DC Flood, Harry

Note to self – look both ways before crossing a street.

6 thoughts on “Autos Kill Two Great-Grandfathers

  1. I notice that Harry Flood was killed by a hit and run driver. Have you been able to find out if they caught the driver of the car and charged him with manslaughter?


    • Hi Louise and thanks for your comment! The coroner did indeed deem the death manslaughter, but I don’t know if the driver was ever found and charged.

      Harry is one of those shirt tail relatives that took me skipping down a road other than my direct line. I was surprised that his brother was a witness, hadn’t realized they lived that close to one another. Soon after that realization I found myself immersed in the Flood family tree. STOP! I had to let this line go and return to my own family tree. LOL

      Those shiny objects in our trees sure are distracting, aren’t they!

      Liked by 1 person

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