These accounts were sent to us by Diane (Alexander) Pietenpol of Suamico, WI She wrote, "The farm where the accident occurred was my grandfather's, Alvin Alexander. The article about the "airships" stopping in Baraboo mentions that the pilots first landed at the Henry Alexander field. Henery Alexander was my great grandfather and had acerage in the area of where St. Clare Hospital now stands. Alvin was one of his sons. Lois Biege, who helped guide the pilots to the correct landing place, was a grand-daughter of Henry Alexander."
Baraboo Daily News – October 11, 1920
Fatally Hurt by Propeller
Passenger Too Hasty In Getting Out of Aeroplane and is Struck
Injured is in Hospital
BLADE BREAKS AS IT STRIKES MAN ON HEAD
First Serious Accident These Planes Have Had While Taking Passengers
Earl E. Bowe was struck by an aeroplane propeller Sunday afternoon just before four o’clock as he was getting out of the cockpit to the ground after taking a ride. The young man was stuck on the head, knocked unconscious and fatally injured, by the propeller blade, which nearly scalped him. Part of the skull bone was severed and no hope is held for his recovery. He was taken to the Baraboo hospital soon after the accident where he has been in an unconscious state since.
Mr. Bowe went up in the plane driven by J.F. Hyde, one of the aeroplanes from Sheldon, Ill. Near the Willis Ryan farm, and have been making flying exhibits and also taking up passengers for short rides. Mr. Bowe was strapped in the seat and upon arriving on the ground at the end of the journey unstrapped himself to get out quickly. In spite of the pilot’s warning to wait he kept on going, and instead of stepping out over the side of the aircraft went out over the front. One of the mechanics on the ground waved his hand frantically for him to stop, just as he ran squarely into the propeller on the front of the aircraft which had not entirely stopped revolving. The metal portion of the propeller struck the man squarely on the head, and broke in two.
Mr. Bowe was formerly employed in the woolen mil but since it closed has been employed at the storehouse of the C&NW railroad. He is married. Mr. Bowe’s mother, Mrs. Eleanor Bowe also resides in this city.
O.B. Freeman, chief pilot of the aeroplanes that stopped in this city states that this is the first serious accident they have had of its kind with passengers. Thomas Hood of this city was up in the other plane at the time of the accident.
Wisconsin State Journal –October 11, 1920
Near death after Leap from Plane
Earl Bowe, Passenger, Overanxious to Reach Ground,
Struck in head by Propeller
Baraboo—Fright and over anxiety to quit the airplane in which he had ridden as a passenger probably has cost the life of Earl Bowe, aged 30, of this city. Bowe lies at the point of death at the Baraboo hospital, with the upper portion of his skull shorn away.
Unwilling to wait for the stopping of the plane, which was one of two sent by the Sheldon company of Chicago yesterday to stage passenger flights at the Alvin Alexander farm, near Baraboo, Bowe unstrapped himself and leaped just after the machine landed. He was struck in the head by a propeller blade.
Bowe was an employee of the Island Woolen Mills. He is married and the father of three small children.
Appleton Post Crescent – October 12, 1920
Pays with Life for Jumping Out of Plane
Baraboo, Wis—Earl Bowe, the top of whose head was shorn away by an airplane propeller Sunday, died last night at the Baraboo Hospital.
J.S. Hyde, of Sheldon, Ill., pilot of the passenger plane in which Bowe rode, tried to restrain Bowe as the plane landed at the Alvin Alexander farm [location of St. Claire Hospital today] but the frightened man unstrapped himself and crawled out of the machine while it was still in motion.
Wisconsin State Journal – October 12, 1920
Airplane Victim Dies in Baraboo
Earl Bowe, Struck in Head by Propeller, Succumbs to Injury
Baraboo—Earl Bowe, the top of whose head was shorn away by an airplane propeller Sunday, died last night at the Baraboo Hospital.
J.H. Hyde of Sheldon, Ill. Pilot of the passenger plane in which Bowe rode, tried to restrain Bowe as the plane landed at the Alvin Alexander farm, but the frightened man unstrapped himself and crawled out of the machine while it was still in motion.
Bowe was about 30 years old. He is survived by his mother, his widow and three small children. He will be buried in Baraboo.
Skull Fracture Causes Death
Earl E. Bowe, died Monday evening shortly after six o’clock at the Baraboo hospital as the result of a fractured skull, when struck by a blade of an aeroplane propeller. Deceased did not regain consciousness after the accident which occurred Sunday afternoon about four o’clock as he was getting out of the plane after taking a ride.
He is survived by his wife and mother, Mrs. Eleanor Bowe.
No Inquest held on Plane Mishap
District attorney H.R. Bohn after an investigation of the death of Earl E. Bowe decided the mishap was purely accidental and exonerated the aviators from all blame. The district attorney did not hold an inquest over the case. Mr. Bowe’s death resulted from a blow on the head Sunday from the propeller of one of the aeroplanes that have been giving exhibitions in Baraboo.