William Pierce Fitchpatrick was the only surviving son of Joseph A. and Harriet (Pierce) Fitchpatrick. He was born September 12, 1868, in
W. P. Fitchpatrick graduated from Nevada High School in 1885 and attended Commercial College in Des Moines. On August 14, 1895, he married Miss Ada J. Ringheim. Ada was born in 1883, the daughter of I. A. Ringheim of Nevada. The couple was blessed with the birth of four children, Jeanette (who died in infancy), Harriet, Elizabeth, and Joseph.
Even though Mr. Fitchpatrick’s death came at an early age, he had an exceptional talent to impact the community, not only in business matters, but also serving in voluntary commitments. He was a councilman and mayor in Nevada, delegate from the state of Iowa to the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, member, secretary, and chairman
of the Republican State committee, and grand trustee of the Knights of Pythias.
During the year of his untimely death, he had put up a building at a favorable location on Lincoln Highway close to the Lynn Street businesses. He operated a garage and automobile business from the site. It appeared to be an exceedingly promising business venture. At 5:45 on the afternoon of July 8, 1913, this tragically came to an end.
W. P. Fitchpatrick along with an automobile expert from the Hupmobile agency in Des Moines and I. R. Kempkes and C. C. Montgomery of Nevada
left for a quick drive to Fernald. When Mr. Fitchpatrick was clear of all crossings and upon reaching the Lincoln Highway he sped up. It is not
known whether there was an error in judgment or a defect in the automobile. The car began to veer and the steering wheel was wrenched loose. W.P. gave a warning for all to jump, the emergency brake was set, and the three passengers were thrown clear and survived. The automobile rolled and crushed Mr. Fitchpatrick. The broken spoke of the steering wheel
punctured his head and his neck was broken. He died instantly. The funeral was held July 11, 1913, at his residence on Locust Avenue (now 5th Street) with a large attendance of mourners. Ada died in 1921.
They are buried in the Nevada Cemetery.
Pioneer Families >