Vormbrock, John Phillip

John Phillip Vormbrock
June 27, 1879-June 18, 1953

Niles Daily Star, Thursday, June 18, 1953, page 2, col 3, microfilm Niles District Library

John Phillip Vormbrock, 3127 Church street, Bertrand, Died at 1:30 p.m. today in Berrien Center Hospital, after being in ill health for a number of years.

He was born on June 27, 1879, in Germany, and came here from New Jersey five years ago. He was retired. Friends may call at the Pifer Funeral home, where services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday by the Rev. Orlen L. Njus, pastor of Bertrand Bible Church. Burial will be in Silverbrook Cemetery.


Welsher, Royal

Royal Welsher
Jan. 16, 1895-May 10, 1932

Niles Daily Star, Thursday, May 12, 1932, page 2, col. 3, microfilm Niles District Library


Dies in Pontiac After Operation for Appendicitis; Was Born in Dowagiac


Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon in the Troost and Augustine chapel for Royal Welsher, 45, of Pontiac, who died on Tuesday evening in a hospital in Pontiac after an operation for appendicitis. The deceased is a son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. William Asmus, 1312 N. Front street. Mr. and Mrs. Asmus, their daughters, Mrs. Harry Atkins and Mrs. Merle Gresham, also Mr. Atkins and Mr. Gresham, went to Pontiac Tuesday evening upon receiving word of Mr. Welsher's death and they returned to Niles to day with Mrs. Welsher and her children. The body was shipped to South Bend and will be in that city at 5:15 this evening. Mr. Welsher was operated upon for appendicitis on Tuesday, May 3, or just one week preceding his death. His condition had been considered favorable until shortly before his death.

Mr. Welsher is survived by a widow, who was formerly Miss Jessie Asmus, by five children, the eldest of whom is a boy of 12 years, by his mother, Mrs. Nelson Phelps of Dowagiac, and by a brother, who lives in Michigan City and who is in Niles today to meet the funeral party. Mr. Welsher was born in Dowagiac and had spent his early youth and early young manhood there. In Pontiac he was employed by a telephone company.

Niles Daily Star, Friday, May 13, 1932, page 4, col. 5, microfilm Niles District Library

Funeral services for Royle[sic] Welsher were held this afternoon. The Rev. G.W. Simon, pastor of the Presbyterian church officiated. Burial was made in Silverbrook cemetery. The body of Mr. Welsher was brought to Niles last evening from Pontiac.

[He died] Tuesday evening, May 10th at 9 o'clock at St. Joseph's hospital in Pontiac, following an operation for appendicitis. Mr. Welsher was born in Decatur, Jan. 16, 1895.  He leaves a widow, formerly Jessie Asmus of Niles and five children, William, Margaret, Dorothy, Jack and Barbara Jean; also his mother, Mrs. Nelson Phelps, a sister, Mrs. John Fischer, his father, D. Welsher and a brother, James Welsher.  He has been in the employe of the Michigan Bell Telephone company for 16 years. He had been in Pontiac for the last 13 years.

Short services were held in Pontiac on Thursday morning. Fred Roth and Proctor Coates, employees of the telephone company and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hill, all of Pontiac accompanied the funeral party to Niles.

The pallbearers were: Fred Roth, Proctor Coates, Clarence Benjamin, Joe Cain, Edgar Adams and John LeRonge.

On Saturday Mr.and Mrs. Harry Atkins will motor to Pontiac with Mrs. Welsher and the children, also Mrs. Welsher's mother, Mrs. Wm. Asmus, who . .illegible]. .until the close of the school year, when they will move to Niles to  make their home.

Mrs. Welsher is a sister of Mrs. Harry Atkins and Mrs. Muriel Griffith.

Many friends sympathize with the family in their sorrow.


Wurz, Edward Charles

Edward Charles Wurz
May 19, 1880-June 17, 1953

Niles Daily Star, Thursday, June 18, 1953, page 2, col 3, microfilm Niles District Library

Edward Charles Wurz, 320 Pokagon street, died at noon Wednesday in Pawating Hospital. He had been in poor health for several years.

Surviving are two brothers, Herman, of Niles, and Frank Wurz, of Mishawaka, Ind.  He was born on May 19, 1880, in Niles, and had lived here all his life.

Wurz was a manager of the Babbitt Coal Yard and was a member of St. Mary's Church.

Friends may call at the Pifer Funeral home. The Rev. Cletus Rose, pastor, will conduct services at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Mary's Church, and  burial will be in Silverbrook Cemetery. Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Friday at the Funeral Home.


Wyant, Oscar M.

Oscar Wyant
May 7, 1862-Feb. 15, 1940

Niles Daily Star, Friday, February 16, 1940, page 2, col. 1, microfilm Niles District Library



Oscar M. Wyant, 77, prominent Niles township farmer, died suddenly Thursday afternoon at his farm home on Pucker street road, Route 3.

Mr. Wyant had been ill two years, but his illness was not considered serious.

He had operated the farm where he died for 56 years, coming there in 1884 after his marriage to Miss Anna Ranft.  Mrs. Wyant survives; also two sons--Clarence, Berrien Center; William, Schoolcraft; and two daughters--Mrs. Norman Sossoman, South Bend, and Mrs. LaRue Gillette, Niles. He also leaves a half-sister, Mrs. Leroy Morley, Niles.

His lifelong interest was good horses. He always owned several of fine appearance and breed and took special pride in exhibiting them at county fairs and at farm contests. He had an imposing array of awards which he been presented in various competitive exhibits.

Mr. Wyant was born in Pipestone township May 7, 1862. He was active in affairs of the community, serving 16 years as justice of the peace. He was a member in his younger days of the old Union church, a Baptist congregation.

The body was taken to the family home where friends may call. Services will be in the Price and Kiger chapel Saturday afternoon at 3. The Rev. G.W. Simon will officiate and burial will be in Silverbrook cemetery.

Niles Daily Star, Saturday, February 17, 1940, page 2, col. 6, microfilm Niles District Library



Services for Oscar Wyant, 77, who died suddenly Thursday afternoon . . .[illegible]. .. were held this afternoon at the Price and Kiger chapel. The Rev. G.W. Simon officiated.

A younger generation of the family bore the casket to the grave at Silverbrook. Acting as pallbearers were five grandsons, John Wyant, Floyd Hinkle, Dale Gillette, Harry Wyant and Oscar Wyant, and a nephew, Artur Morley.

The Niles township farmer was prominent in the community and in Berrien county. He had served 16 years as justice of the peace in Niles township.

Niles Daily Star, Tuesday, February 20, 1940, page 2, col. 3, microfilm Niles District Library


Petition for probate of the estate of Oscar Wyant, of Niles township, who died Feb. 15, was filed today in probate court. There was no will. Heirs are his widow, Anna Wyant, Niles; and four children, Margaret Gillette, Niles, Clarence Wyant, Berrien Center; Almedia Sossman, South  Bend, and William Wyant, Schoolcraft. The estate was valued at $10,500.

Doersam, William

William Doersam
Nov. 30, 1858-April 1, 1889

Niles Daily Star, Monday, April 1, 1889, page 2, col. 2-3, microfilm Niles District Library


Wm. Doersam Instantly Killed by the



The Community Shocked


A most terrible and heart-rending accident occurred in this city shortly after nine o'clock this morning.  It was about 8:30 o'clock when Wm Doersam bade his beloved wife and affectionate sister good by, kissing his little son in a loving manner, and stated  to them that he was going to the second ward polls to cast his ballot.  Mr. Doersam resided in the second story over his place of business on Front street, two doors south of Main.  He passed south on Front street to the election polls at Lardner hose house, and cast his ballot.  After remaining at the polls for a few minutes, in company with Dennis Murphy, they started north towards Main street by the route whence Mr. Doersam had passed only a few minutes previous. Both men were walking leisurely along side by side, when in front of the building just vacated by Wm. A  Reddick, which he occupied as a shovel factory, one of the large stones of which the walk is constructed gave way, and both men were precipitated below, a distance of about ten feet, into the cellar.  Mr. Doersam was



The huge stone broke in two, both parts going down in a glancing manner, struck on their edges, tipped over in an instant, and while Mr. Doersam fell flat on one piece, the other fell squarely on top of his prostrate body, crushing his skull in a terrible manner, so the brains oozed from the mouth. The accident was witnessed by several from a distance, who hurriedly went to the scene to lend assistance. It took the combined strength of five men to lift the stone from his lifeless body, when it was pulled from beneath.

Hundreds of people were soon at the place of accident, and the news spread like magic to all parts of the city. Physicians came hurriedly to the scene, as it was first thought that Mr. Doersam was still alive.  Coroner Winborn was summoned, a jury empanelled, and they adjourned to meet at the call of the coroner, although the cause of death was very plain to all.  In half an hour the remains were removed on a stretcher to the residence, where the Knights of Pythias took charge. Here is where sorrowing hearts were moaning and wailing for their husband, father and brother.  When the news was first broken to these loved ones, it made strong hearts shudder to witness the agonizing scenes.  Lady friends had called at the house, and rendered every assistance possible.
Wm. Doersam was born in Canada, Wellesley village, Waterloo county, on November 30, 1858, and consequently was 30 years of age last November. He came to this city a few years since, where he followed his trade, that of a blacksmith.  He afterwards engaged in the liquor business, and through his honesty pf purpose, and integrity as a man and citizen, he had succeeded in making friends two-fold. There never was a better citizen, socially or intellectually, than Wm. Doersam.  He had an extensive acquaintance, and all were his friends, who will be pained and shocked at this untimely death. The stone that crushed out his life weighed one ton, was six inches thick and about five feet square.  It first struck him on the back of the head, for when found, his face was downward, and crushed into an almost shapeless mass. He has a brother and sister in Canada, also a brother in Kansas, and relatives elsewhere, all of whom have been telegraphed to. "In the midst of life we are in death."  Mr. Doersam was a member of the Knights of Pythias, and also a member of the Royal Arcanum, in which order hw held an insurance policy on his life of $3,000.  The funeral will probably take place next Wednesday afternoon. The deceased leaves a wife and two children, a son and a daughter, aged respectively 8 and 2 years old.

Dennis Murphy, who was on the outside of the walk, went through with Mr. Doersam, but was caught partly by the stone on the the right side.  By a mere accident he was saved from severe injury, or an instant death, but he was injured to a greater or less extent internally, because when picked up he was bleeding very badly from the mouth.  His physician could not yet give the reporter a correct diagnosis of his case, but it is quite certain that no bones are broken. Mr. Murphy is confined to the house, and the result of his injuries are not fully known.  Thus it is that one of the most fearful accidents that ever occurred in the city is chronicled.