Saturday, January 28, 2012

Joel Leonard Dennis was the brother of my great grandfather, John Joshua Dennis, who also died in a fall a few years before Joel's. Joel's wife was Susan Addie Shults, and the couple had seven children.

Newport Plain Talk, 3 February 1931, page 1:

Fall Saturday Afternoon is Fatal to Joel Dennis

Floor on which several men were working at Chilhowie plant gives way with serious results

Jim Douglas also suffers injuries while others have narrow escapes from accident

Joel Dennis of Knoxville, fifty-one years of age, was almost instantly killed, and Jim Douglas of Newport was seriously injured about three o’clock Saturday afternoon when a floor on which they were working at the plant of the Chilhowie Co. gave way. The men fell about 20 feet to a concrete foundation below. Cecil and Charles Ailey and Homer Sweeten, all of Newport, were on the floor at the time of the accident. Sweeten saved himself by catching the rafters. The part of the floor where the Ailey brothers were at work did not fall.

The two injured men were rushed to the Northcutt Hospital where Dennis expired in a few minutes. Douglas had his injuries dressed and was sent to his home. Both men had fractures of the skull, they haven fallen upon their heads. A new leach house is being built at the plant and the old one town away as the new one progresses.

Dennis until about seven years ago resided in Newport. A brother, Joshua Dennis, lost his life about three years ago when he fell from a tree in Northport while climbing after a squirrel.

Relatives of the dead man who reside in Knoxville were notified of his death and they made arrangements for the funeral to be conducted here. Services were held at the First Baptist Church Sunday afternoon at two o’clock, being in charge of Rev. Mark Harris. The interment was in Union cemetery. Mr. Dennis was a member of the Junior Order and Grace Council, D. of A, both of Knoxville. Members of these two organizations were in Newport for the funeral Sunday afternoon, having charge of the services at the grave. A number of years ago Mr. Dennis joining with the Baptist Church at Jones Chapel in Sevier county, and his church membership has been their since. Surviving Mr. Dennis of his immediate family are the widow, Mrs. Susie Dennis, one son, Carey Dennis, and four daughters, Mrs. Frank Teague, Misses Bertha, Evelyn and Mary Dennis, all of Knoxville. The following brothers and sisters also survive. Thomas Dennis of Alabama; Mrs. Malinda Henry, Newport; Mrs. Margaret Smith, Orlando, Fla.; Mrs. Bettie Mahaffey and Mrs. Sarah Shults, Knoxville; Mrs. Millie Justus of Boyd’s Creek.

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