Ora Cyrus Gove b. 10 Sep 1868 - d. 2 Dec 1928,

The son of George Dennis & Sarah (Bay) Gove

Merced Sun-Star Newspaper, Monday December 3, 1928, Park Edition, Vol. LXXVI.




"Father Braves Death In Futile Attempt To Rescue Daughter"

Trapped in a burning building after he had once been free, O. C. Gove, 60,(*fn1) together with his three year-old daughter, Ethna, were burned to death yesterday morning in their home five miles southwest of Merced in El Capitan colony. Gove rushed from the fire and when he discovered the baby was still in bed he dashed back only to be caught in the fire trap.

The baby was burned to death in her father's arms and the two fell about three feet from a door which would have meant life.

Mrs. Gove became alarmed when her husband failed to return immediately and she made an attempt to get into the burning house. She failed and received first and second degree burns(*fn2) and injured also by poisonous fumes, lies near death at the county hospital. All her clothing was burned from her body.

* * *

Twin Sisters Injured

Olga 12, was slightly burned and her twin sister, Ora received a cut foot when they escaped from the house through a window. Two other girls, Lucy 9, and Jean 5, were uninjured.

The cause of the fire was not determined by Deputy Sheriff J. F. Gilbert who was called to investigate the case.

Mr. and Mrs. Gove and the baby were sleeping in one room when Mrs. Gove was awakened by the smell of smoke. She aroused her husband and the two went into another room and got their four daughters out safely.

* * *

Baby Found Missing

They were putting them in another building when it was discovered the baby was still in the house and Gove returned.

Deputy Sheriff Gilbert took Mrs. Gove and the four children to the county hospital. Lucy and Jean are being taken care of by Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Hilton, friends on thirteenth street and Ora and Olga are at the home of Mr. and Mrs. N. P. Blakeman in Carol court.

* * *

Alarm Is Given

Attracted by the lights of the fire from Merced Joe Martinez 15, and Mike Cota 15, went to investigate. They found the burning building and rushed back to Merced, notifying the city officers who called Gilbert. Deputy Coroner H. H. Houston recovered the bodies from the building which was burned to the ground.

Gove is said to have carried $300 insurance on his home and $400 life insurance.(*fn3) Besides the widow and the four children a sister Mrs. Jane Powell of Burbank, survives. Mrs. Powell has been notified and expected here today.

The family came here eight years ago from Kansas and settled on the 20-acre farm where little Ethna and Jean were born. Gove was a native of Illinois and a member of a Masonic temple in Kansas. Coroner C. E. Welch said today he would not hold an inquest. However he will continue an investigation.


*footnote 1.(His full name; Ora Cyrus Gove & was married to Grace Blanche (Ostrom/Ostrum) Gove)

*footnote 2.(Her back suffered third degree burns, she carried the remained of her life.)

*footnote 3.(While my Grand-mother was recuperating, the Merced Masonic Lodge, gathered donations of Materials and money and proceeded to go to the homesite, and in a combined effort of those lodge members, re-built the house and presented it to my Grand-mother and her children upon her release and her rejoining with her children.


Contributed by William "Bill' Rogers