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Momentary absence.Flames prevail. Mother burned, and grieving

Momentary absence.Flames prevail. Mother burned, and grieving

By Sue Hunter Weir In the early years of the last century the Minneapolis Tribune”'s coverage tended toward the sensational, especially when it came to covering tragedies involving children. But every now and then a reporter captured the sense of loss and grief, like in this excerpt from a story written by an unidentified Tribune reporter on January 14, 1911: A white hearse wound its way between snow-covered mounds and marble shafts at Layman”'s cemetery yesterday and stopped at the door of the vault room. From the three carriages that followed it a little group of people stepped and moved silently toward the vault. A man in a black cassock led. Following close came two old men, each looking straight ahead, their eyes dim with something besides age. Last came a little figure in deepest mourning, toil worn hand clutching the sleeve of the man who walked beside her. The door of the hearse opened and a square white coffin was borne out and carried into the vault room. It was very light. The last rites over the bodies of the three Rooth babies had begun. Three days earlier the three children of Andrew and Ellen Rooth had been killed in a fire at their home, 3234 41st Avenue South. It was cold that day, and Ellen Rooth had left the three children alone for a moment while she ran an errand to one of the family”'s neighbors. When she looked out of the window to make sure that everything was all right, she saw flames and smoke coming from the back of her house. Mrs. Rooth ran home and tried to open the door but was forced back by the intense heat. She tried again, but was again unsuccessful. A neighbor prevented her from trying a third time. Mrs. Rooth, burned on her face, neck, and arms and in shock, was taken to the City Hospital. Her husband, Andrew, was called home from work. When he reached home and learned what had happened, he, too, collapsed and was taken to the hospital. The “two old men” referred to in the story were [...]

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