Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thriller Thursday: Sexton C. Vestal

My great-granduncle Sexton C. Vestal was born in 1879 and died in 1923, at the age of 43.  During the 43 years of his life, there are at least 2 major accidents that I know of, the 2nd one was the cause of his death.

The first incident, I was able to find a description of through an old news article printed in The Sedan Lance on July 16, 1896 describing the accident.  In July of 1896, he was bringing a hay rake from one field to another on his father's farm.  While coming down a hill, the horse ran away, turning the rake over on him hurting him internally.

I received a copy of a letter, sent to me by a distant cousin in the Vestal lines.  The letter was sent from Hillary Vestal to his mother Delanah (Gross) Vestal.  He wrote it in October of 1896 and it confirmed the accident, mentioning that Sexton was badly hurt on the 6th of July.  According to my great-great-grandfather Hillary Vestal, Sexton was just getting able to return to school in October and his accounting of the hay rake accident was that a horse had run away with him  and threw my great-granduncle Sexton against a tree.  The letter says that Sexton had been close to death for several days, but given the great care he had been given and a good doctor, he was able to "get up one more time".

The second accident was the fatal one.  My great-granduncle owned a coupe that had to be crank-started.  On January 25, 1923, farmers found his body crumpled under his own car at the bottom of a hill a few miles from Winfield, Kansas.  Apparently, the car either died or was stopped on an incline and he had to get out to hand crank it to get it to start.  When it did start, it ran him over, dragging him to the bottom of the hill and killing him.  According to the article, Sexton's wife and relatives were notified by phone of the accident and they were going to go into town to claim the body.

1 comment:

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