Ernest Peets
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Ernest Peets (1911 - 1939)

Ernest Peets
Born in Massena, St. Lawrence County, New Yorkmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 22 Aug 1929 in St. Lawrence Co. New York USAmap
Died at age 28 in Massena, St. Lawrence, New York, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Sep 2009
This page has been accessed 377 times.


Ernest was born to Frank Peets and Elizabeth Hammill.

Ernest m: Evelyn LaBarge in St. Lawrence Co New York on August 22,1929

Ernest and his three sons died in a house fire on 11 April 1939.

Four Lose Lives In Fire Near Massena
Brother Of Local Woman And Three Sons Perish In Early Morning Blaze
    Smoking ruins, a few charred household effects and four stilled forms on marble slabs bore mute testimony yesterday to one of the most disastrous fires in the history of Massena and vicinity.
    A father and three sons, who ranged in age from 18 months to five years, met a ghastly death, when flames virtually destroyed the family residence, four miles east of Massena on the South racket River road early in the morning.
    Victims of the blaze were:
  • Ernest F. Peets, 29, the father.
  • Robert F. Peets, 5, a son.
  • Lyle E. Peets, 3, a son.
  • Hugh E. Peets, 18 months, a son.
Local Woman's Brother
    The father, Mr. Peets, was a brother of Mrs. Anna J. McElheran, wife of Hugh McElheran, a barber residing at 34 King street, Ogdensburg. Mrs. McElheran has been a patient at Hepburn Hospital since April 2.
    Mrs. Peets was at the home of a neighbor, Mrs. Clara Malone, 70, with whom she stayed during the night due to the serious illness of Mrs. Malone. Betty Peets was at the residence of an uncle and an aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Peets, Racket River bridge.
    The cause of the fire, the worst to occur in this section in years, remains a mystery although Mrs. Peets is of the opinion that the burner must have failed in some manner, exploding and setting fire to the six room, two story frame house.
Blame Burner
    "It is hard to explain the reason for the fire, but I believe that it must have been from our oil burner," Mrs. Peets told the fire department officials.
    Mrs. Peets left her home at 11 last night to go to the residence of Mrs. malone. Mr. Peet worked on the 4 o'clock shift in the Massena plant of the Aluminum Company of America and reached home about midnight and retired. The three boys already were in bed.
    At 6 o'clock this morning Mrs. Peets left the Malone residence for her own home. When she had nearly reached her home she saw smoke and flames pour out of the windows and shoot toward the burning roof.
    Frantically the woman ran to the scene of the burning building.
    "I could hear the cries of my husband and three boys," she sobbed this morning to the authorities. "I broke out several windows that had not yet been shattered by the heat and tried to enter but was beaten bnack by the flames."
    Mrs. Peets said that the members of the family slept upstairs. She was burned about the hands.
    Neighbors hurried to the fire but were unable to enter due to intense heat and smoke.
Volunteers Called
    The Massena volunteer fire department made a quick run to the scene and with their booster tank did all possible. The firemen used surface water near the home to try to stem the blaze but to no avail. The firemen, together with Sergeant Edward Soowyra and Trooper Robert Gaffney of the Massena unit of the state police, found the four badly burned bodies as soon as the runis were approachable.
    Rev. Father Kennedy, an assistant pastor of Sacred Heart church, was at the scene and administered the last rites of the church.
    Dr. Robert H. Gelder, Winthrop, coroner, was called to the scene and after viewing the bodies and the scene allowed that removal of the bodies to the J. L. Phillips undertaking parlors in Massena.
    Mr. Peets built the home which burned this morning, about three years ago and had lived there since with his wife and family.
    Funeral services for the four fire victims will be held at 10 Wednesday morning at Sacred Heart church, with interment in the vault in Calvary cemetery. The bodies were taken this afternoon to the home of Lawrence Peets, Racket River bridge, brother and uncle of the victims.[1]


Calvary Cemetery
Massena St. Lawrence New York United States[2]


  1. Ogdensburg Advance-News (Ogdensburg, New York); digital images, NYS Historic Newspapers ( : accessed 6 September 2023); citing Wednesday, 12 April 1939, pg. 6, col. 3.
  2. Find a Grave, database with images, (Find A Grave: Memorial #74280286 : accessed 6 September 2023), Memorial page for Ernest F. Peets (1911-11 Apr 1939), citing Calvary Cemetery, Massena, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA; Maintained by Ann M Mc Grath (contributor 47122407).
  • New York County Marriages 1847-1848, 1908-1935

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