Johnny & Margaret Thon Files
February 6, 1941
J. Maynard Bishop Dead In Car Crash Thursday
Thon Book 9
John Maynard Bishop, 57, a resident of Lusk since 1921 and a prominent business man of this city, met instant death last Thursday evening, January 30th about 5:14 p.m. when the car in which he was riding alone crashed into the rear of a stock truck about 12 miles south of Lusk on highway 85. The car struck the truck on the right rear side, the terrific impact smashing the radiator, motor, hood and windshield in the driver's side of the car, stripping the windshield and top almost back to the rear seat. The driver was caught by the violent impact and from every indication death had been instantaneous.
The stock truck driven by Palmer Miller and accompanied by Morgan Decker, both of Cambridge, Nebr., was traveling toward Lusk with five head of horses. The truck was traveling along the highway at approximately 20 miles per hour according to Miller. It being early evening the truck did not have lights on since the visibility was quite good at that time of day.
Since the accident occurred in Goshen county it was necessary to call Coroner Lewis Collyer from Torrington who came to Lusk to conduct an investigation and hear the testimony of the men in the truck. According to Miller's testimony they were unaware of the car approaching from the rear and without warning the car crashed into the rear of the stock rack throwing the rear of the truck violently to the right side of the highway and the front of the truck toward the center stripe. The sudden impact stopped the motor of the truck and it came to rest diagonally across the highway.
Miller stated that he and Decker immediately alighted from the truck to see what had happened and found the Bishop car overturned in the barrow pit to the right of their machine with the driver crushed in the wreckage. Not being able to detect any signs of life they decided that he was dead. They immediately set their light flares out on the highway and had decided to set out for help when a car approached from the south and he was flagged down and sent to Lusk to notify the authorities and send aide to the scene of the accident.
Deputy Sheriff Cantwell and Coroner Peet rushed to the scene and upon their arrival several other cars had gathered and it was at that time the body was removed from the wrecked car after it was uprighted, it being necessary to use a heavy pry to extricate the body from the badly smashed wreckage. The remains were brought to Lusk and the Goshen county coroner was notified to come here to conduct the inquiry. From the testimony heard at the investigation no blame was placed up the driver of the truck and the death of Mr. Bishop was declared an unavoidable accident.
In reconstructing the accident at the scene, the authorities stated that it was evident that the Bishop car was traveling in the vicinity of 60 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Since he was alone in the car the cause will never be known; however, it has been stated by friends and relatives that Mr. Bishop had not been feeling well for several days previous and that on Thursday noon he had told friends he was not feeling well. Indications are that he may have been seized by a sudden heart attack while traveling along the road and that he had passed away before the crash, and that it was only fate that he came upon the truck when he did.
Since there was no car approaching from the opposite direction, and the visibility was comparatively good at that point of the highway, there seems to be no cause for the Bishop car to have tried to pass the truck on the right side, going into the barrow pit. Bishop was known as a steady and competent driver, and it is the belief that had he been alive and in control of his physical powers there would have been no cause of the crash.
Patrolman Metz made a complete investigation of the accident and reported it to the state headquarters. Time of the accident was set at approximately 5:14 p.m., a watch carried by Bishop being found on the floor of the car had stopped at 5:14 o'clock. Although the passenger car was completely demolished the truck was not as seriously damaged as at first believed. The frame of the truck was sprung and the stock rack and cab shoved out of place and the rear wheel and axle jolted out of line. Only one of the five horses was injured, they being freed from the truck following the accident and placed in a nearby pasture.
Mr. Bishop had been a resident of Lusk for the past twenty years, coming here in 1921, from Valentine, Nebraska where he had spent most of his earlier life. He was one of the more prominent business men of this city and was one of the respected and esteemed citizens of this community.
He was associated in the pool hall business with Jerry Dull and several years ago the partners had opened the Oasis Bar continuing their business enterprises until his untimely death. Mr. Bishop took a prominent part in the business and civic welfare of this community and gave freely of his time and money to worthwhile community affairs, which along with his inspiring personality and friendly disposition brought him a legion of friends and admirers.
John Maynard Bishop, son of Warren and Amanda T. Bishop, was born at Fayetteville, Arkansas, November 26, 1883 and passed away at Lusk, Wyoming, January 30th, 1941 at the age of 57 years, two months and four days.
When a lad of five he moved with his parents to Nebraska and later in 1898 moving to Valentine, Nebraska where he grew to manhood. In 1905 he was united in marriage to Bessie M. Miller of Valentine and to this union one child was born, Leta, who with his widow survive, together with three brothers and a sister. They are Mont S., of Valentine, Nebr., W. M., of Valentine, Nebr., and Darrell of Lusk, and Mrs. Blanche Rodriques of West Shokan, New York.
In 1921 the family moved to Lusk and they continued to make their home in this community ever since. Mr. Bishop took an active part in the business life of Lusk and was an active worker in many enterprises for the welfare of his home town.
Funeral services were held Sunday, February 2, at 2:30 o'clock at the Peet Mortuary Chapel with Rev. M. H. Marshall in charge. Mrs. H. J. Templeton sang two solos, "The Rosary," and "I Love You Truly," with Mrs. Otto Koeberlin, accompanist.
Pall bearers were friends and associates of the deceased, the active casket bearers being J. W. Christian, James Hoblit, Frank Gorman, Dogy Meade, T. A. Godfrey and Wm. Delahoyd. Honorary pall bearers were: H. J. Templeton, Andrew Christian, Hugo Payne, George Kuns, D. A. Shoopman, Glen Cates, Paul Miller and Arthur Root. Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery.
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