Mrs. Helen Hillman Near Farmington Fatally Burned

Mrs. William Hillman died at her home near Farmington, Thursday night at 9:15 o’clock from the effects of severe burns received at 5 o’clock that morning, when her clothing became ignited as the result of re-kindling a fire in the range cook stove with gasoline. Mrs. Hillman was formerly Miss Helen Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Moore of Astoria.

Mr. and Mrs. Hillman resided three and one half miles west of Farmington on a farm. Mr. Hillman arose early Thursday morning and as usual, started a fire in the range and had gone about doing his chores about the barn. Later his wife arose and finding that the fire had died down, started to rekindle it. She took a peach can and went to a nearby out house where both coal oil and gasoline were kept. It is supposed she mistook gasoline for coal oil and that while pouring the oil in the stove, an explosion followed. The bottom of the can was blown out and her clothing from head to foot was saturated with the oil. With her clothing in flames, Mrs. Hillman fled into the yard and rang the dinner bell and started to the barn yard when she fell and rolled in some loose ashes to extinguish the flames. Her husband was attracted by her screams and when he reached her side, her clothing was practically burned from her body and she was literally burned to a crisp from head to foot.

He carried her into the house and twice while he was telephoning neighbors to come to his assistance, she, crazed with pain, fled into the yard. Drs. Dimmitt and Plummer of Farmington were called, also a specialist from Peoria and everything possible was done in the hopes of saving her life, but all proved in vain. At 9:15 she quietly passed away.

Mrs. Hillman was fully conscious to the very end. Feeling that the end was near she instructed her mother and sister in caring for her little two and a half year old daughter, who is the only child.

It was, indeed, a terrible tragedy and the full measure of sympathy of the entire community goes out to the bereft husband, daughter, father, mother, brothers and sisters in the hour of their great sorrow.

The poet has suggested that life be measured, not by the heart beats or ticks of the clock, but rather by the ideals and ambitions that dominates one. He lives best, who loves most, lives well and laughs most. Measured by this standard the life of Mrs. Helen Marie Hillman stands the truest test of life.

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Helen Marie Moore, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Moore of Astoria, Illinois, was born in Astoria January 9, 1893, and departed this life at her home in Farmington, Illinois, July 31, 1924 at the age of 31 years, 6 months and 22 days. Most of her life was spent in Astoria, where she received her education, graduating from the public schools and the High School of that community. Some ten years ago she left the residence of her birth and went to Farmington, where she taught both in the country schools and in the public school of that community. In March 1916 she was united in marriage to Mr. William Hillman of Farmington. To this union was born one child, named Dorothy. Since their marriage they have lived on the farm west of Farmington.

On January 31, 1909 the deceased united with the Methodist Episcopal Church of Astoria, under the ministry of Rev. S. M. Wilson. The departed was a young lady of pleasing personality, and of sterling character, possessed of noble and exalted ideals. She made a wide circle of friends, who were greatly attached to her by reason of the nobility and sincerity of her character. Her untimely departure in the bright noon of life comes as a terrific shock to her host of friends and acquaintances.

The decedent is survived by her husband and little daughter, also by her father and mother, two sisters, Mrs. Chas. Jenkins of Vermont and Mrs. Mark Peterman of Canton, by three brothers, Ralph and Claire of Astoria and Deane of Maywood, as well as by a multitude of friends and acquaintances who deeply mourn her loss.

Funeral services were held at the home at 2:00 o’clock, Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Crapp, pastor of the M. E. Church, Farmington. The body was brought to Astoria Sunday noon and taken direct to the cemetery where short services were held, conducted by Rev. E. T. Palmer. Burial in the Astoria cemetery.

The floral tributes were many and most beautiful.


Published in the Argus-Search Light on 8/6/1924

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