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Louise Summerfield Hartwig

Former Springfield girl killed in rodeo accident in Chicago. Springfield Republican August 21, 1926

"While riding in the Tex Austin rodeo in Chicago yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Louise Hartwig, 29 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Summerfield of 1350 North Florence Avenue of this city, received injuries that resulted in her death at 6 o’clock last night, according to word received here late last night."

The headline of the Chicago Daily Tribune of August 21 reads “Rodeo Bronco Kills Girl”. Louise Hartwig, cowgirl from Big Sandy, Mont., had successfully ridden her bronco, Keno, and had loosened her grip expecting the cowboys to lift her off the horse. There was some delay and the horse gave a lunge and twist throwing her to the ground where she was trampled.

It was rumored that Louise had been despondent, due to the estrangement of her husband, John Hartwig, and because she had had to leave her five year old son, Clarence, with her parents in Springfield.

Tex Austin announced that he would take care of all funeral expenses and arrange for the body to be taken to her father, Charles Summerfield, in Springfield. The rodeo held services in Chicago.

The Springfield Republican reported that Mrs. Hartwig was survived by her husband, John E. Hartwig, of Glasgow, Montana, and her son Clarence. She was also survived by her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Summerfield, and by two brothers, August and Carl Summerfield, and one sister, Clara Summerfield, all of Springfield. Interment to be in Hazelwood cemetery.

The Illinois State Archives death index lists Louise Hardwick instead of Hartwig as does the Hazelwood Cemetery. 

Tex Austin was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1886. Originally his name was Clarence Van Nostrand. From 1925 to 1929 he was promoter, manager, and director of the Chicago Roundup.


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