Private John Bentz, Company C

Obituary from the Kenosha Evening News, pg. 1, col. 1


John Bentz, a Well Known German Citizen, Was Asphyxiated Sunday Morning.


        Mr. Bentz Went to the Newell Home on Saturday Evening and When he Did Not Return on Sunday a Search for Him was Made and Resulted in Finding His Body in a Room Filled With Illuminating Gas. - Verdict of Accidental Death.
        John Bentz, one of the best known German residents of the city, was found dead at 10 o'clock Sunday morning at the residence of O. S. Newell, on Prairie Avenue.
        The death was accidental, resulting from asphyxiation. The deceased had been a great friend of the Newell family and when Mrs. Newell and her daughters left for a trip abroad a few months ago Miss Augusta Bentz, a daughter of the deceased, was left in charge of the Newell home.
        Saturday afternoon Miss Bentz went away for a visit with friends in another city and she asked her father to stay at the house Saturday night. Mr. Bentz left his home on Grand Avenue early in the evening, stating that he desired to go over ho the house and read awhile before retiring. As he was not accustomed to the use of illuminating gas he was cautioned by his daughter to be very careful and use a kerosene lame.
        Mr. Bentz was seen to enter the house and the light in his room burned until late in the evening. Then it is supposed he blew out the gas and retired. Sunday morning the family at home waited for his coming and the morning meal was delayed until the father should arrive. When 10 o'clock came and he was still absent his daughter Tillie sent a man over to the Newell home to wake him. When the man reached the house he could not awaken the old man and he went the residence of Mrs. Charles Matthews in the neighborhood to secure a key to the house. He explained his mission to Mrs. Matthews and she returned to the house with him. When the door was opened the gas rushed out and the two went to an upper room and found Mr. Bentz lying dead for several hours.
        Every indications went to show that death had been accidental. The one gas jet in the room was turned on full and the entire house had been filled with the fumes of the gas. The undertaker was at once summoned and Justice J. C. Slater called to hold an inquest. Later in the day the remains were removed to the stricken home of Grand Avenue.
        The deceased was well known in this city. He was 77 years old a German by birth, but had come to Kenosha in the early fifties after a short residence in the northern part of the state. Since then he has made his home in this city and was honored and respected by all his friends and neighbors. He was a member of the Fred S. Lovell Post, G. A. R., and was always active in the work for the Post. At the time of the breaking out of the war he was one of the first German citizens in the state to volunteered and he served with honor to the close of the war as a member of the 26th Wisconsin. His death has caused profound sorrow among the German people of the city. He leaves a wife and six children all grown. The children are as follows: John Bentz and Mrs. Caroline Watson, of Chicago; Albert, Frank, Augusta and Tillie Bentz, of this city.
        The funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon. A short service will be read at the house at 2 o'clock, after which the remains will be taken to the German Lutheran church, where the service will held at 2:30.
        The coroner's inquest was held on Sunday afternoon and returned a verdict of accidental death.