1953 ; Former Michigan Governor Kim Sigler Dies in Plane Crash

December 1, 2018 all-day

Kim Sigler former Michigan Governor.jpg

December 1, 1953, former Michigan Governor Kim Sigler and three passengers were killed when Sigler’s personal plane crashed into a radio tower near Battle Creek.

Kim Sigler, who rocketed to the Michigan governor’s chair seven years ago after a sensational grand jury expose, plummeted to his death late yesterday in a fiery plane crash. Three companions died with him.

Sigler’s own four-place plane, threading its way through a dense fog, snagged onto a guy wire supporting a 540-foot television tower. The impact sheared off one wing and sent the fuselage hurtling into a woods three quarters of a mile away, where it chrashed and burned.

The 59-year-old Republican ex-governor presumably was at the controls.

The other victims were Sigler’s secretary, Mrs. Ruth Prentice, 41; her sister, Mrs. Virginia Schuyler, 28; and Mrs. Schuyler’s husband Harold, 37, of Lansing.

The crash scene was near Augusta, in northeast Kalamazoo County.

Sigler and his party were returning from a combination business-pleasure trip to Louisiana.

It was believed that because of the fog Sigler might have been coming in for a landing at Kellogg Field, only three miles from the tower.

In the mid-1940’s Sigler, as special prosecutor for a one-man state graft grand jury, was responsible for indictments against more than 100 legislatures and lobbyists. Many of them went to prison. Bribe taking to influence votes was exposed.

After a bitter feud over continuance of the grand jury, Sigler took a fling at politics in 1945.

By a thumping majority of 340,000 votes, he defeated Democratic Incumbent Murray D. Van Wagoner.

But after one two-year term, Sigler, was unseated by present Democratic Gov. C. Mennen Williams by 164,000 votes in a surprising political nosedive. He returned to his law practice in western Michigan.

Sources :

Jefferson City (Missouri) Post-Tribune December 1, 1953.

Michigan Marker

Ken Sigler wikipedia entry

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