Last Tuesday morning, April 10, 1917, about 1 o’clock, William Heady, who resides about five miles east of Berlin, son and daughter received burns that resulted in their deaths, when the Heady residence caught fire and was destroyed together with all its contents. The origin of the fire is unknown.
The Heady family awakened only after the house had burned to the point of collapsing. In the confusion for a while the absence of one of the children was not noticed. When it was found that one of the children was still in the burning structure, Mr. Heady, disregarding the fact that almost certain death would be the result, went through the flames to the bed where his small son was lying nearly suffocated by the smoke, and bore him outside. However, both he and son were burned so badly that death soon followed. The little girl died Tuesday night, April 10, 1917.
Cheyenne Star, April 12, 1917
From the Berlin, Ok History Book published in 1977
Will Heady was born in 1876 and reared in Indiana; his health was very bad there and when a young man, a doctor recommended he come west to a better climate. He lived on a farm just east of the Kent farm house, four miles east and one south of Berlin. His health did improve and he was soon able to help dig wells and excelled at other heavy work.
He married Georgia Hanger. On the night of April 10, 1917, the family retired for the night in the shed room of their two room house. They had four children: Louceal, Born 1906, Francis A., Born 1907, Lee Albert, Born 1909 and Bernice. They soon discovered the front part of the house was on fire. Mrs. Heady escaped through the one window in the bedroom with the baby, Bernice and the father helped the children through to her. The baby kept crawling to the mother, so she had to put it in the cellar to save it. She also put the little girls in the cellar, badly burned, but they couldn’t find Lee, the little boy and he burned to death.
Mr. Heady walked to the Kent home for help. They could hear him calling and got up as he fell in at their door. Mr. Kent (the father in law of Mrs. Kent who wrote this account) hitched a team to the wagon and went after the young mother and children. One little girl and the father lived a few days and passed away in the Kent home. The other one seemed to have a better chance and was moved to an Elk City Hospital, but soon died. A nurse, Alice Crabtree, came out to the Kents and stayed until the tragedy was over.
Georgia went home with her parents after the funerals and has never been back to that place. Her father and Mr. Kent took care of the sale of her livestock and tools and the neighbors rented the land.
Bernice was the only surviving child and when a few years later, after much encouragement, Georgia recovered, she married a fine man, Will Strickland of Anadarko. Bernice sold the land to Harrel Kent.