Home Cemeteries In Memory of Dirk Groen

In Memory of Dirk Groen

by Jennifer Jones
Dirk Groen - The Dead History

Often when I go walking in a cemetery, I’ll spot a headstone that grabs my attention. Maybe it is an unusual style, or maybe the name is unique, who knows?  I’ll go home and do some quick research on the name to see if there is any mention in local newspapers or genealogy websites. I have found many interesting stories about people who lived in Ogden and died long ago. People whose stories have become lost to time. Some of them turned out to be well-known watchmakers like

Some of them turn out to be famous watchmakers like William Samelius, while others led quiet lives and their stories have been lost to time.  One day while taking a stroll around the Ogden City Cemetery I happened to see the grave of Dirk Groen.  While not terribly unusual, I found the inscription interesting and noticed he died at a young age and was curious about the cause of death.

I found that Dirk Groen, who often went by Dick, was a 20-year-old man who had recently been discharged from the Army after serving during WWI.  He first got a job for the railroad and then was hired by the Globe Milling & Elevator Company as a carpenter.

Globe Grain And Milling - The Dead History
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
Dirk Groen - The Dead History
Ogden Standard, 1919-09-03, Deaths and Funerals

While working on scaffolding on Saturday, August 30th, 1919 Dirk somehow fell suffering a skull fracture of which he would not recover.  He was declared dead at 4 pm, having lived about an hour and a half after the fall.  

Groen’s father and step-mother filed a workers compensation claim against the Globe Milling & Elevator company asserting they were dependent on a portion of Dirk’s wages.  Workers compensation laws were new at this time in the United States.  Utah didn’t pass the Workers Compensation Act until 1917 and the Groen’s claim was one of the first of its kind in Utah. Since Dirk had no dependents his father asserted that they were dependent on a portion of his income.  

Initially, the courts agreed and the insurance company awarded his father $2,192. The insurance company appealed to the state supreme court and the award was overturned stating dependency had not been established. Instead of his father receiving any money, $750 would be sent to the state treasury per law.

Dirk Groen - The Dead History
Ogden Standard Examiner 1920-11-17
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innervoiceoutloud September 6, 2015 - 11:46 pm

Omg. Someone else does this too. I spent an entire morning at Ogden Cemetery last week. I take photos of the graves that call to me, and search for whatever story the life behind the name wants to share with me. I clean the graves of the forgotten, lay flowers, and honor the soul whose body rests below by saying “I’m sorry your story has been lost. I am here to listen.” Cemeteries are incredibly peaceful to me, and the best place to hear stories. Wow. I thought I was the only one who did these random things lol

Debra R Emery July 14, 2016 - 12:39 pm

Hello! My maiden name is Groen. I am working on my family tree. My Grandfather Dirk “Dick” Groen came to the USA in 1923 from the Netherlands. His father was Laurens Groen. We thought our family in the United States was very small as he was the only one to come to America. In doing my family tree, I recentlty found out that my Great Great Grandfather Korstiaan Groen was married two times. With his first wife Maria Roos he had seven children. With his second wife Jobje Kruithof he had three children…no name Groen, Jakob and my Great Grandfather Laurens Groen. I never knew that we might have half relatives out there and especially in the USA!!! Dirk Groen’s father was Martinus, his Grandfather Dirk and his Great Grandfather is Korstiaan. So my father and this Dirk you wrote about share the same Great Grandfather….Korstiaan Groen. I would really like to have a copy of this story to add to my research and if possible put on the gallery in Ancestry.com. Thanks you so very much for taking interest and writing an awesome story!!!!

Jenn July 17, 2016 - 2:21 am

Thank you for the comment! I love when people connect like this. Feel free to use this for your research and save to Ancestry. You can email me at jenniferATthedeadhistoryDOTcom and I can send you a copy.


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