Joseph J. Schnebly, age 62, prominent Fairview District rancher and valley native son, was killed when a team he was driving to a hay rake on his farm bolted and threw him under the machine [June 27, 1947]. This was the second similar accident this week in the Kittitas Valley.
Ira Johnson, driving a second team on a rake in the same field, was thrown from his machine and knocked unconscious when his team ran away after Schnebly’s horses bolted but he escaped serious injury.
Schnebly was breaking in a young horse on the team on his rake. This horse bolted and the team ran away throwing Schnebly under the machine and crushing him. His son, Joseph C. Schnebly, was working at a distance in the same field. His father was unconscious when he reached him and died within a few minutes. He was rushed to the Ellensburg General Hospital, but death had been almost immediate.
Johnson was driving the leading rake. He said he heard a crash and turned around to see the Schnebly team running. He said the team was on him immediately and his own team likewise bolted when the Schnebly team crashed into his rake. He was thrown to the ground and knocked out.
In the other similar accident this week, Robert T. Mathews was killed Monday when the team of horses he was driving to a hay rake ran away on his farm in the Denmark District.
A son of the late Mr. and Mrs. P. H. Schnebly, Northwest and Kittitas Valley pioneers. Schnebly was born in Ellensburg April 20, 1885, and had lived in the valley all his life. He was active in community organizations, particularly the Fairview Farm Bureau, throughout his adult life.
Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Schnebly; two daughters, Mrs. Junior (Doris) Clymer of Westport, Conn., and Miss Lorraine Schnebly, nurse and author who only recently returned to Seattle from South America; one, Joseph C. Schnebly, of Ellensburg; four sisters, Miss Lillian Schnebly, Mrs. Jean Paul and Mrs. Edna Howell, wife of Mayor T. J. Howell, all of Ellensburg; Mrs. C. C. McGranahan of Centralia; five brothers, Fred, Phillip, Frank, Rufus and Robert Schnebly, all of Ellensburg, and two grandchildren. Rufus Schnebly is president of the Ellensburg Rodeo, and Frank Schnebly is president of the Kittitas County Fair Board.
Funeral services were held last Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Honeycutt-Evenson Chapel, with burial in the IOOF Cemetery.
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman