Norbert William

Born: January 15, 1882

Died: Sept. 30, 1928

Picture Page

Oct. 8, 1928: Newspaper Article:


Car Crashes Against Head of Concrete Abutment Half Mile from Village.

The funeral of Norbert William Martens was held from St. Mary's church on Wednesday morning at 9 O'clock. Rev. Father Alger celebrated the requim mass. Interment was in the family plot in Mt. Olivet cemetery. The pallbearers were Herb. J. Smith, Emil Lueke, Willliam Desmond, Ed. Kiley, Peter Allcox and Math. Lieberman. The services were attended by a large number of people including relatives and friends and acquaintances of the decedent and the other members of the Martens family, and a long procession of automobiles filled with mourners, followed the remains to their last resting place in Mount Olivet cemetery.

The following out of town people were in attendance at the funeral: Mrs. Chas. Van Oss, Channing, MI, Math Martens, son Clement, and daughters Bessie, and Mrs. Ed Daly, Coleman; Arthur Botcher, Kaukauna; Mrs. Nick Hirm, Mrs. Felix Lemmens, Mrs. frank Van Oss, Green Bay,; Joan Janssen, Kimberly; Mrs. Vern Fax, Kewaunee; Mr. and Mrs. H. Peters, Milwaukee.

Surviving are two sisters and two brothers. They are Miss Gertrude Martens and Fannie (Mrs. Frank Wanninger) both at the family home, 436 N. Huron street; August (Bud) Martens, N. Huron street, and Martin Martens, Ventura CA. Owing to the distance, the latter was unable to come to attend the funeral.

Norbert Martens was the son of the late Albert Martens and Mary Cook well known early pioneers of this community. Norbert was born in De Pere on January 15, 1882, and received his early education at St. Mary's school graduating in 1900. He then completed a course at the Green Bay Business college after which he became associated with the Dousman Milling Co., in whose service he continued until its dissolution. He has since been employed in serveral local business houses and at the time of his fatal accident was employed by the Lange Co.

Mr. Martens died on Sunday night in St. Vincent's hospital from injuries received about 7:30 o'clock on Sunday evening. He was riding toward Greenleaf with Henry Smits, S. Michigan Street, in the latter's light Ford truck, and when about half a mile this side of the place, the driver was blinded by an oncoming car, and the car ran too far off the concrete, and smashed squarely into the abutment. Mr. Martens was thrown violently against the iron part of the windshield and his skull was crushed in, the bone being forced into the brain. The victim also received some scratches on his face and bruises on the chest. Smits was only slightly injured. The two were able to get out of the car and they lay down on the grass alongside the road. A passing autoist saw the wrecked car and the men and speeded to Greenleaf, where Dr. Titel was summoned. He went to the scene and put the victims in his car and took them to St. Vincent's hospital. Their injuries were dressed, and both expressed a wish to be removed to their homes; but the hospital authorities deemed it best to keep them so as to be ready if complications set in. Mr. Martens' brother, August, was informed and he went to the hospital remaining there for some time and talked to his brother, who again asked to be taken home. August Martens was informed that his brother did not appear to be fatally injured, and he returned to De Pere. Soon afterward Norbert's condition became critical and shortly after 12 midnight he passed away.

Henry Smits was able to leave the hospital the following day.

Coronor Frank Hodek held an inquest in the case on Tuesday. The jury was composed of Harry Gasway, George Vander Zanden, Tony Devroy, Herbert Goemans, Henry Bangert and John Moran. After hearing the testimony of Smits, Dr. Titel and other the jury returned a verdict to the effect that "the accident was unavoidable."