Oscar "Cap" Garland
Taken in the late 1880's/early 1890's
Cap's Adult Life, From Age 20+
Cap, and his team of horses worked out on other farms for several years, and Cap became the engineer of the threshing crew, known as "Ed" to most of the crew.

In 1887, Cap's sister, Florence left home and married Charles Lansing Dawley, leaving Cap and his mother the only ones in their small boarding house, on the corner of Joliet Avenue.
In 1886/87 Cap's sister, Vena had a baby girl, Madge, making Cap an uncle.

He was still popular in De Smet, though it is unknown whether he had a girlfriend or not in the early 1890's.

On the third day of November, in 1891, Cap set out to what seemed like relatively normal day, threshing at August Larson's homestead.
Well, the day was going pretty much as normal, when at around 4 o'clock that afternoon, the boiler of the threshing machine exploded.

Article taken from the Watertown News-Rustler, November 6th, 1891.
On Monday, about 4 o'clock, while threshing at August Larson's place ten miles north of Arlington, the boiler exploded, killing two men and injuring two others. They were moving from one setting to another, and both ends of the boiler blew out with terrible force. Horace Holcomb, a brother of the owner, Walter Holcomb, of De Smet, was struck by a section of the boiler, crushing his skull and terribly mangling him. Capt. Ed Garland, of De Smet, the engineer, was blown into the air about 30 feet and carried several rods. Both legs were broken and his entire body frightfully scalded. There was plenty of water in the boiler, having been filled but a short time before the explosion, and it had been tested by an expert but a few days previous. The cause of the explosion is ascribed to the water taken from a hole in the ground, which probably was strongly alkaline and foamed excessively when boiling.

Capt. Garland was a brother-in-law of Mr. Bert Cornwell, of Berlin township, this county, and also of C.L. Dawley, of De Smet, where he has been a resident for several years, and was well known to many in this vicinity. The funeral services were held at De Smet yesterday morning, Rev. Trent officiating, and the remains brought to Willow Lake for interment, followed by a large number of friends from De Smet and this vicinity.

Horace Holcomb was a young married man who had just arrived from Iowa, it being his first day with the machine.

Years later, Vena's daughter, Madge wrote to Florence's grandaughter, Mary Dawley Fugate. Madge was a little girl when Cap died and remembered the funeral, which was the first one she had ever attended. She wrote "... for some reason the engine exploded throwing Cap way over the seperator and killing him. ... they sent for his mother and she was taken out to the field where he lay with all the rest of the crew standing helplessly".
Cap is buried in Collins' Cemetry, Willow Lake, South Dakota, with his mother, Margaret, who dies in 1913, and his grandmother, Eliza Franklin Petit, who moved to De Smet with one of her sons, George.

Pictures of Cap's gravestone

His Grave Reads:
Oscar E.
son of
W.B & M.F. Garland
Nov. 3, 1891
26 Y's, 10 M's, 6 D's
On the side of the gravestone, it reads:
In my father's house are many mansion

Cap has 3 known close realtives who are living today, his sister Vena's 2 grandchildren, who are both in their 70's and live in California, and his sister, Florence's grandaughter, Mary, who lives in Arizona.

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