James Rettinger…”Blown to Atoms” 1909

Oregon City Enterprise, January 29, 1909, front page


James Rettinger of Central Point, Blown to Atoms

James Rettinger, a young man 26 years old, who lived with his step-father and mother at Central Point, ten miles from this city, was blown to atoms Wednesday by a charge of dynamite that exploded prematurely. Rettinger was engaged in blasting stumps at the time.

Coroner Holman decided no inquest was necessary, as the cause of his death seemed plainly evident. The funeral is to be held Friday from his home.

George Randall, a neighbor, went by a few minutes before the fatal blast went off, and Rettinger hailed him with the remark that he had better look out, or he would be blown up. Randall answered that Rettinger had better be careful himself, and the latter made a jocular remark to the effect that he was going to blow up the whole world.

When he did not come home to supper, a search was made, and his mangled remains were found. It is said he had five blasts to set off, and when the last missed fire he went to investigate.

Young Rettinger adopted the name of his step-father when his mother was married the second time, and leaves besides his parents a small brother. He was a member of Company G, Third Regiment, Oregon National Guard, and last summer went to American Lake with the militia.

Oregon City Courier, February 5, 1909, front page


The funeral of James Rettinger, the young man who was killed while blasting stumps on his step-father’s farm at Central Point last Wednesday afternoon, was held at 10:30 Friday morning from the family residence. The services were conducted by Rev. W. R. Kraxberger, pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church. The casket was draped with the American flag and was covered with numerous floral offerings. The funeral was attended by a large number of mourning friends, most of whom followed the remains to Mountain View Cemetery, where they were laid to rest. At the grave, after the prayer had been said, a firing squad from Co. G, 3rd Infantry, under command of Captain Franklin A. Loomis, and consisting of First Sergeant Hidy, Quartermaster Sergeant Spagle and Privates Bowen, Bruce, Green and Ream, fired a salute over the grave of their departed comrade, and Musician Blanchard sounded “taps,” following which the grave was closed. The pall bearers were Privates Millard Gillette, Merrill Scripture, W. W. Bruce, Clifford King, Charles White and Philip J. Sinnott, all members of the local company of the Oregon National Guard.

Oregon City Enterprise, March 12, 1909

Oregon City, Oregon

A. B. Combs, Manager, National Life Insurance Company

This is to certify that I have this day received from your company a draft in payment of my son, James G. Rettinger’s life insurance, taken out with your company on October 24th, 1908 and was accidentally killed January 27th, 1909. The policy was only in force about three months. I am pleased with the prompt settlement of the same.

Carrie Rettinger

Oregon City Enterprise, August 7, 1908


The members of Company G, Third Regiment Infantry, Oregon National Guard, 45 men strong, under the command of Captain Franklin A. Loomis, First Lieutenant William R. Logus and Second Lieutenant Chas. E. Burns, departed Monday morning for a 10 days’ encampment at American Lake, near Tacoma, where they go into camp with the regulars and National guardsmen. They departed on the special car on the Second section of the Southern Pacific Overland. In addition to the commissioned officers the members were: First Sergeant Charles Hidy, Quartermaster Sergeant J. C. Spagle; Sergeants A. L. Kuehl, Gaylord Godfrey, L. C. Miller; Corporals Carl S. Moore, E. Blanchard, R. C. Woodward, L. P. Barnes; Privates Andrews, Berry, Bowen, Brown, Bruce, Crandall, Critiser, Farnell, Green, Gillett, Harris, Ketchum, King, Kellogg, Nelson, Mead, McDonald, McLoughlin, Ream, Rettinger, Shape, Scripture, Shaw, Summer, Shannon, Sinnott, White, Wink Truscott; Musicians Blanchard, and Young; Cook J. C. Dollar.

The boys presented a very pretty picture at the station before boarding their car and were subjected to inspection by Mayor Carll. Many townspeople were present to say farewell.

Rittenger American Lake WA 1908


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