116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Today’s Piece of History is a photo from the Sept. 22, 1933, funeral held in Cedar Rapids for three members of the Kacere family. An estimated 1,500 people attended the funeral at St. George Syrian Orthodox Church.
The Kacere family was on its way to Mason City to attend a Sunday afternoon Syrian picnic on Sept. 17 when their vehicle and another collided near Waverly. Both cars were hurled more than 75 feet and rolled several times.
The Rev. Joseph Kacere, pastor of St. George Syrian Orthodox Church, and his 10-year-old son Frank died before reaching the hospital. Kacere’s mother, Anna, died two days later.
Surviving the crash were Kacere’s wife and son Michael, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kacere and their son, John.
The three Waterloo men in the other car — Vern King, Harry Kiester and Howard Harrington — also died in the crash.
A Bremer County grand jury indicted Charles Kacere, who was driving, on a manslaughter charge. At his 1934 trial, witnesses said they saw him speeding through the intersection where the crash occurred. The jury found him guilty, but the trial judge overturned the verdict, saying there was insufficient evidence to support that verdict.
Tara Templeman is curator at The History Center. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org