Way Back When

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
(January 15, 1896)
A Little Boy at Big Run Accidentally Shoots His Brother

A frightful accident occurred at Big Run last Friday, as a result of which Samuel A. Greene, a photographer of that place, is crazed with grief.

On Friday about noon, Mr. Green, who had been out with his gun, came home, Placed the gun in a corner and proceeded to take off his gloves.

While his back was turned his little son Guy, between six and seven years of age, took the gun, carried it into the next room, and laid it across the cradle. Another little son, between five and six years of age, began playing with the hammer, while a third little fellow aged about three years and six months, stood in front of the gun, trying to look into the barrel.

At this moment, a loud report was heard and the parents rushed into the room to witness a most horrifying sight. Their little three and a half year old son was lying on the floor with his face almost blown off.

The charge entered below the mouth, blew his chin and nose off, and one eye out, and came out just above the ear. The little fellow’s teeth were scattered about the room, and a portion of his brains had been blown out.

Two shot struck the youngest boy in the face, and a glancing shot entered Mr. Greene’s leg.

When the parents realized what had happened they were frantic with grief. The first thing Mr. Green did was to take his gun and smash it to pieces. He said he had never before brought a loaded gun into the house, and he could not imagine what made him do it this time.

Those who arrived early on the scene of the tragic accident say that it was the saddest sight imaginable. The grief stricken parents, the frightened children, and the dead and mutilated child altogether, formed a group that was the picture of extreme misery and despair.

(January 22, 1896)

Policeman Clayton Palmer, while having a merry bout with a friend on Monday evening, made misstep and severely sprained his left ankle. The pains from the swollen member ruffled his otherwise good nature considerably. He now wears a cane, and Park Walker has authority to wear his official badge until Clayton recovers.