Bernard Smith

Type Value
Name Bernard Smith
Born 1895 Iowa
Gender M
Died 1908
Buried St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Danbury, Woodbury County, Iowa
Type Value
Father Peter Smith b. (1856-04) d. (1932)
Mother Gertrude Merfeld b. (1857-08-13, Bettingen, Rhineland, Germany) d. (1928)


Type Value
Gertrude Smith nee Diimig and brother, Bernard Smith
Portrait photo
This photo was listed as “Diimig” unknown 21.
Thanks to Carol Bacon for the identification.
Gertrude, Bernard and Caroline Smith
Portrait photo from J.L. Umphreys Studio, Odebolt, Iowa
This photo was listed as ‘Diimig’ unknown 22.
Thanks to Carol Bacon for the identification c. 1905


Bernard Smith was accidentally shot in a farm accident.

The following was taken from Battle Creek Iowa Publication, “The Times.” Published Thursday, July 23, 1908

Dr. Carl Cohn made a record run in his automobile last Thursday evening. Having been called to Ida Grove to see Robt. Lipton’s child, he received a hurry call to Danbury where the 14 year old son of Peter Smith had accidentally shot himself in the head, making the drive at night and over rough roads, including a stop at his office here in 55 minutes.

The following was taken from Danbury Iowa Publication, “Danbury Review.”

Boy Accidentally Killed

One of the saddest accidents in the history of Danbury occurred last Thursday evening about 7 o’clock, when Bernard, the 13 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter F. Smith accidentally shot and killed himself.

The day’s work had just been finished on the Smith farm west of town and supper eaten when Bernard thought he would shoot a few rats that could be seen at the barn and corn cribs. The older members of the family were sitting in the yard resting and the smaller children were at play, when a shot rang out and Bernard fell, shot through the head. Just how the accident happened, no one will ever know. One supposition is that he was stooping over to pick up a cartridge he had dropped on the ground and some part of his clothing caught the trigger and discharged the gun.

Another idea is that he was closing the gun, which is one of the kind that breaks like a shot gun, and that the firing pin struck the cartridge with enough force to explode it. This is borne out by the fact that the empty shell shows a scratch across the head.

The 22 caliber bullet struck squarely above the right eye and ranged backward, lodging in the back of the skull. The boy never regained consciousness after the fatal shot, dying about 9 o’clock.