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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Catherine Golbach Balmes

Barrington Review November 13, 1930

Grade Crossing Claims Life of Man and Two Women

A tragic accident that bowed the heads of all Barrington residents occurred last Friday night when grim death stalked a Barrington automobile and claimed the lives of a man and two women. The victims were:

Bayard T. Falter, 52, of 536 Grove Avenue, Barrington.

Mrs. Peter J. Balmes, 36, of 600 E. Hillside Avenue, Barrington.

Mrs. William Murphy, 22, of 922 Dakin Street, Chicago.

Mrs. Balmes and Mrs. Murphy were instantly killed when the automobile in which they were riding collided with the end of the of the rear gondola of a gravel train on the C. & N. W. railroad at a crossing on the outskirts of Crystal Lake. Mr. Falter had his skull fractured and his left leg nearly severed from his body. He died at 3 o’clock Saturday morning, 5 hours after the accident at the Woodstock hospital without recovering consciousness.

Mr. Balmes, the driver of the car, had his right knee cap fractured and suffered minor cuts and bruises. He was taken to the Woodstock hospital with Falter, but returned to his home in Barrington the same night. He is at present at home and is making a satisfactory recovery.

Mr. and Mrs. Balmes and their guest, Mrs. Murphy, started out from Barrington shortly before 10 o’clock Friday night to attend a church function and dance at Crystal Lake. Mr. Falter, who frequently accompanied the Balmeses on an evening ride, was invited to go along.

As they approached the Rout 10 crossing of the Crystal Lake-Elgin branch of the C. & N. W. they saw no train and proceeded across. The train that struck them was a gravel train backing up without a caboose or lights on the rear. The car struck the automobile just back of the front wheel and hurled it to one side. The automobile was almost completely demolished and its occupants pinned in the wreckage.

Return Open Verdict

At an inquest held at Crystal Lake by Coroner E. H. Cook of McHenry County Saturday morning employees of the railroad of the railroad company testified that there was a flagman and brakeman on the crossing with lanterns and that another brakeman rode the rear car of the gravel train with a white lantern and that an attempt was made to signal the oncoming automobile.

There were no other witnesses to the accident and Mr. Balmes was unable to attend the inquest. The coroner’s jury returned an open verdict. McHenry County newspapers pronounce the crossing one of the most dangerous in northern Illinois.

The Balmes family has been resident of Barrington for four years. Mr. Balmes is a well known contractor and has built several built several fine country estate homes in the Barrington district. This year, with Herman Mass he formed the firm of Mass & Balmes. They are at present engaged on a $45,000 bridge contract for the C. B. & Q. railroad at Princeton, which is nearing completion.

Mr. Falter has been a resident of Barrington for about 15 years. He was a tailor by trade but had been employed by the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois for the past six years and was the driver of a line-gang truck for that company.

Mrs. Murphy spent most of her life in Lake County. Her husband operated a drug store here in the Dayton Hotel Building for several years. They moved to Chicago last March.

Funeral Services at St. Anne’s

Funeral services for the three victims of the accident were held at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Services for Mr. Falter took place at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. Fr. F. P. Gahagan of Wauconda officiating and burial was in Evergreen Cemetery.

Services for Mrs. Murphy were held Monday morning at 10 o’clock and burial was in All Saints Cemetery at Des Plaines.

Services for Mrs. Balmes were held at 10 o’clock Tuesday morning and burial was in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Wilmette.

Fr. J. C. Duffiey (sp), pastor of St. Anne’s Church officiated at the funerals of Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Balmes.

Mrs. Catherine Balmes

Mrs. Catherine Balmes, the daughter of Bernard and Katharine Golbach was born in Wilmette March 24, 1894, and was married there to Peter Balmes on May 19, 1915.

Besides her husband and the five children - Bernadine, Ruth, Robert, Patricia and Gerald - she is survived by one sister, Mrs. Gesina Koepber of Wilmette and two brothers, Peter Golbach of Evanson and John Golbach of Dallas, Texas.

She was a member of the Alter and Rosary Society of St. Anne's Catholic Church and of the Barrington Women's Club.

Wedding Photo of Peter and Catherine Golbach Balmes - May 19, 1915

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