Ernest Lockard, Farmer Residing Southeast Summum Found Dead Under Tractor

Ernest Lockard, a farmer residing southeast of Summum, was found dead beneath his tractor Saturday, which had overturned, pinning him to the ground. His body was found by his wife.

Ernest had gone to a crib, located about a fourth of a mile from the house to get a load of corn. In backing the wagon into the crib, it is said, a pin was out of the brake on one side of the Fordson tractor he was operating, causing the machine to back down a twelve- or fifteen-foot embankment. The tractor turned over on him, one rear wheel resting across his body, killing him instantly.

Dr. Raymond J. Mercey, Fulton County coroner, conducted an inquest at the Shawgo Memorial Home here Monday evening at 7 o’clock, with the following jury: Carroll Weaver, Gary Heath, Virgil Kingery, Frank Slaight, Terrance Kingery and Ben Grover.

Several witnesses testified, after which the jury returned the following verdict: “We the jury, find that Ernest Lockard came to his death at about 8:30 a.m. October 2, 1954 on his farm located about three miles southeast of Summum, in Woodland Township, Fulton county, Illinois, from crushing injuries to his right chest, accidentally sustained when his tractor backed over an embankment and upsetting, pinning him beneath it.

“It is the opinion of the jury that a loose bolt on the left brake rod of the tractor, caused the brakes to fail on that side, resulting in the upset. Signed by the jurymen. — Carroll Weaver, foreman.”

The following good expressions, which speaks well of Ernest, was furnished us to print, which we are happy to do. It says:

“He was a member of the Summum Christian church. On October 3, 1948, he was elected deacon and later as trustee of the Summum Christian church, which offices he held until his Saviour called him home.

“Ernest was a kind, considerate, and loving husband, a good neighbor, always ready to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

“He was a close observer of nature, being familiar with all the trees, plants and animals of his community. He was a great lover of livestock, being an excellent feeder. He often said, ‘Nature was God at work.’

“In visiting and observing his home, you could see evidence on every hand of his plans for a day when he would have more convenience for he and his wife. When the crops would grow better, when the flowers would bloom more bright, that he might use those things to aid his family, neighbors and friends.

“He was continually striving that many in this community would accept Christ as their personal Saviour. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

Ernest Lockard, son of John and Lillie (Slaight) Lockard, was born in Woodland township, Nov. 2, 1906. His age at the time of his passing was 47 years, 11 months.

On October 30, 1929, he was united in marriage to Miss Ila Ferne Thompson.

Besides his widow, he leaves to mourn his passing, his father and mother, together with the following brothers and sisters: Ollie Lockard of Lewistown; Arthur Lockard of Los Angeles, Calif.; Mrs. Birdie Blue of Astoria; Miss Myrtle Lockard, at home; Clifton Lockard of Havana and Ross Lockard of Ipava. One infant sister preceded him in death.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock at the Christian church in Summum, conducted by Rev. Fred Thompson, and assisted by Rev. Hobart Scrogum, the pastor. Burial was in the Summum cemetery.


Published in the Astoria Argus-Searchlight on 10/6/1954


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