Tunis Melvil Bever was born 16 September 1865 in Dallas County, Iowa, to Joseph Bever and Ruth Payne Bever. He moved with the family to Medford, Oregon in about 1884, and then to Washington Territory in 1887. Tunis married Miss Cora Wagner, and they had one son, Earle. PHOTOS OF EARLE
I own a small book titled "The Victory. A Story for Boys." published in Boston in 1872. It is inscribed "To My Grandson, Tunis - aged 9 yr. Merry Christmas". On the next page is written "From Grandma Payne, Sept 16 - 1874 -"
Tunis died in a work-site accident on 13 August 1890, just a month before his 25th birthday; the following is an article which has been handed down to me. Newspaper writing styles change over the years -- the "gory" details in this article, as well as the obvious sympathy and compassion, are missing in modern news accounts.
This morning about 7:30 an accident happened which has darkened a happy home and thrown a dark shadow of gloom over many hearts.
Elmer Beaver and brother, Tunis Beaver, sons of Joseph Beaver, of Toledo, have been engaged in hauling logs from Wilding Street, in the east part of town, to Newton's mill. This morning they started to work as usual. Two monster logs lay side by side. The wagon was driven alongside the logs, skids put down and preparations made to roll a log onto the wagon. Elmer fastened the "dog," or hook, into the center of the log, hitched a team to the rope and started to pull the log up the skids.
Tunis stood by the log ready to block it, so that another hitch could be taken with the "dog." As it started up the incline away from the other log, Beaver grabbed a chunk and dropped on his knees between the two logs, and just as he was about to place the block in position the "dog" slipped and the log started back. Not doubting but that the block would stop it, he shoved it in place. Not so, however; the log bounded over the chunk and in an instant struck the other log with poor Beaver's head between them. His brother uttered a note of warning, but it came too late.
W.S. Feed and C.H. Manning were eye witnesses of the sad occurrence and hurried to the scene. With the assistance of Elmer Beaver the two gentlemen rolled the log away and Mr. Freed pulled the unfortunate man out, when it was found that he was dead, his head being completely crushed, with blood rushing from his mouth, nose, eyes and ears. Death must have been instantaneous.
Dr. Minkler was hastily summoned, but he could not do anything, as life was extinct. Mr. Butterworth, the undertaker, was immediately sent for, who took the remains to the deceased's late residence on Walnut Street, between Oak and Alder, and prepared them for burial. His father was telegraphed for and will arrive as soon as possible.
Mr. Beaver, who was a young man of steady habits, about 25 years of age, leaves a wife and one child, who have the sympathy of the entire community. His brother and wife are nearly heart broken over the sad accident, which was one of those wherein no one can be blamed, and an inscrutible providence guides things as it will.
Photo of Tunis Melvil Bever