AUGUST 17, 1887

CLYDE FOUNTAIN DEAD - Struck by Lightning and Instantly Killed on a Wyoming Stock Range

Mrs. J.W. Eastman received during the week particulars of the death of her son, James Clyde Fountain, who died on Saturday, July 30, 1887 from a stoke of lightning.  Deceased was in the employ of John Siers, of Lewiston.  Mrs. Siers in writing of the occurrence says:

"We had a very heavy storm yesterday evening, and Clyde was struck by lightning, which resulted in instant death.  We looked for him and did not find him for 30 minutes after the accident, about half a mile from camp.  It struck him on the head and followed his clothing down to the seat of his saddle and through and through the horse's back to his head.  His clothing was turn to atoms.  I am sorry that under the circumstances we are unable to send his remains home, as we are 100 miles from any town, but we will do what we can, as we thought a great deal of Clyde and he was a general favorite among us.  We will give him as good a burial as we possibly can on a ranch near by.  I expect to be home this fall."

Mrs. Laura M. Clarke, on whose ranch Clyde was buried, also wrote a very sympathetic letter to Mrs. Eastman giving the following details of the burial:

"He was buried in our pasture with an enclosure around the grave so that it is well protected.  We had no prayer book, so that we could not have a church service, but we sang the hymn "Just as I am without one please," and my husband read a passage of scripture.  John XI, XXVII and Psalm X and offered a prayer.  We felt so much sympathy for the old man, your friend; he seemed to feel as much grief as though it had been the death of his own son.  The coffin was rough and we all were strangers but one or two, yet your son was buried with gentle hands and hearts that felt nothing but friendship and sympathy.  When my husband went with the old gentleman to the scene of the death the men had him dressed and ready for his burial, and the old man put his own pillow under his head.  There was so little we could do that it seemed very mournful; though we know that the souls of our dead are in need of  no help from us, it is a comfort nevertheless.  It was 11 o'clock when they left here to bring the body and at 2 o'clock on Sabbath afternoon, July 31st he was laid to rest.

My husband and I desire to extend our sincere sympathy and earnest prayer that our heavenly father who sent his own son to bear our sorrows may be to you a comfort and a solace.

The accident happened on the headwaters of the Belle Fourche in Wyoming territory.  James Clyde Fountain was born November 27, 1859, near Harrisburg, Linn co., Ogn, and was 27 years and 8 months old at the date of his death.  He came to Camas prairie with his relatives when he was nine years of age, and grew up to manhood among us.  He drove stage for a long time and was general favorite among the people.  About fifteen months ago, he left here for Montana with a band of cattle and finally hired out to John Siers, in whose employ he was at the time of his death.  The friends of the family extend their sincere sympathy to his afflicted relatives at his untimely taking off.



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