The Huntsville Daily Times
The Huntsville Daily Times
Contributed by klstacy_home

Description: Spree Ended In Death To Four

Date: February 23 1930

Newspaper published in: Huntsville, AL

Source: Library

Page/Column: Section 2, Page 1, Column 8

Young Men Thought They Were Drinking Wine But It was Poison Solution
LYONS, Neb., Feb. 22 (AP) – A midnight spree, during which the principals celebrated with what they thought to be wine but which proved to be poisonous automobile radiator solution, had ended fatally for four young men today. Another who imbibed less freely was reported to be near death.
The dead:
Lawrence Kohlmeier, 24, a farm hand.
Nelson Jarvis, 20, a pool hall employee.
Leon Jarvis, 18, high school football player and a brother of Nelson Jarvis.
Hollis Cleveland, 17, another high school player.
Reuben Roberg, 22, section hand was not expected to recover.
A coroner’s inquest yesterday afternoon following the death of Kohlmeier, the first to succumb, found that death was caused “by a poison which the drinkers had mistakenly believed to be wine.”
Sheriff Phipps said a number of those who had been drinking the radiator solution, had obtained it by breaking into the home of Ed Snethen, a local railroad agent, while he was absent from home. The young men had broken into the abasement where the solution was stored, tasted it, and mistaken it for wine.
Pouring a quantity of it into several smaller bottles, the entire party went to a dance at Oakland, Neb., where they proferred it liberally to a number of friends.
No ill effects were noted until shortly before noon yesterday when Kohlmeier complained of feeling ill and he died four hours later. Nelson Jarvis died soon after him, and the third death followed shortly before midnight last night.
Roberg, writhing with pain, gave authorities the clue which enabled them to solve the mystery surrounding the first two deaths.
“Snethen’s basement,” were the only words the youth could speak. An investigation revealed the missing jug in Kohlmeier’s room at home.
Hollis Cleveland, star football player of Lyons high school was the fourth victim of the poisonous solution.

Submitted: 07/19/10

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