Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Terrible Accident

In a previous post, I said the only thing I had ever known about Hiram L. Smith, my great grandfather, was that he had been kicked by a horse and died in 1929.  I had always just assumed he was kicked, died, end of story. While searching the microfilm of The Scranton Journal, I learned much more.  Great Grandpa Smith was in the newspaper weekly for three weeks. In the March 7, 1929 newspaper there was a report of his accident.  The following week detailed his death and the third week the paper printed his obituary. Guess what my next three posts will be.

From the Scranton Journal

"H.L. Smith was the victim of a terrible accident last Saturday, having been kicked by a horse which he was treating for a wire cut.  The kick must have been a vicious one, as it resulted in the breaking of a leg and two ribs for Mr. Smith.  Hiram was taken at once to the hospital in Carroll and the break in his thigh bone has not been set as yet, on account of a severe cold with which he is suffering.  This fracture is reported as a very bad one.  Friends are at a loss to find words with which to extend the deep sympathy they feel for Mr. Smith at this time, as this sad affair is a continuance of a long line of hospital experiences which have brought sadness and much expense to the Smith home.  If the good wishes of this community could prevail, this accident, which is near tragedy, would be the last, and Mr. Smith would be speedily restored to strength and usefulness."

Now I have no idea what the "continuance of a long line of hospital experiences" means.  Looks like I will need to take a trip to the genealogy library and look through earlier editions of the local newspaper. I will let you know what I find out.  

In the past few years, I have come to learn that the horse that kicked Grandpa was named "Buckskin Sally". My uncle who was only around three remembers that Buckskin Sally was supposed to someday be his horse. I think as a child he felt responsible.

Don't forget to talk often with your older relatives.  Their memories make our family stories come alive. As our family has experienced  this year, time is precious. 

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