Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lackey Killed by Mail Bag 1891

Sumner Press
January 8, 1891
Fatally Injured

New Year's afternoon, we regret to say that Andrew Lackey, one of our oldest citizens, was fatally injured.

The westbound Accommodation train which comes first, was late, the fast mail coming ahead. Mr. Lackey supposing it to be the Accommodation started over to the depot to buy a paper. Instead of going through the city as the state law and city ordinance requires, at a rate not to exceed 12 miles per hour, the train ran about 30 mph. The mail messenger instead of throwing off the mail on the ground at the end of the platform, threw it out on the platform striking Mr. Lackey below the knee throwing him down-- his head striking the platform with such force as to render him unconscious. He was as tenderly as possible taken home, and though everything was done for him that medical skill of Doctors French and Bosart, of our city, and Thompson of Olney, could suggest, he never regained consciousness--one side being paralyzed at once, and the other on Friday.  Saturday forenoon he quietly passed away.

Coroner French impaneled a jury and held an inquest Saturday evening, the verdict of which was in substance that he came to his death by being struck by a mail sack, causing him to fall, his head striking with such force as to cause his death.

Dr. Thompson came over from Olney Saturday night, and Sunday assisted by Doctors Stoltz, Stokes, and Dale, held an autopsy. A large clot of blood was found in the brain about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick on the side opposite from which he was struck; a small hemorrhage was also found on the other side; the wonder is he did not die at once.

The sad affair has caused considerable feeling here against the railroad for running their trains through town so fast.

Mr. Lackey was about 78 years of age and resided in Lawrence County for 60 years. He was well respected by everybody; in fact we do not believe he had an enemy. There is a general feeling of sadness over his being taken without a moment's warning.

His remains were taken to Shiloh for interment Monday followed by a large number of sorrowing friends and relatives.

Editor note:  An accommodation train is one that stops at all or nearly all stations, sometimes called a Local train 

Sumner Press
November 5, 1891

The Andrew Lackey Trial

The jury brought a verdict of $2000 against the O. & M. Railroad

The suit of William Simms, administrator of the estate of Andrew Lackey, against the O. & M. Railroad, claiming $5000 damages for killing Mr. Lackey was begun Friday. Pritchett, Gee, and Barnes prosecuting while Werner and Huffman and Huffman defended the railroad.

The testimony plainly showed that the train was running through town at an unlawful speed.  No witness estimated it  at less than 30 miles an hour. Mr. Lackey was indeed standing on the platform and was struck by the mail sack with such force as to cause  him to fall with  his head striking the platform, causing a concussion of the brain which ended in death. The jury brought in a verdict of $2000 damages, which is generally regarded here as a fair one, neither exorbitant nor parsimonious.

It is very rare that a trial is held that there is not something to excite the risibillities (Editor Note: inclination to laugh) of those present; the Lackey trial was no exception to the rule. Our bachelor friend J. W. Stanley, was all torn up while giving his testimony. The railroad attorney having asked him, "you have something to do with post offices had you not?" "Yes sir," replied Stanley", "I have but it was while Cleveland was president." "I suppose" said the attorney "that your connection to the post office was before Cleveland had his baby, was it not?" The question caused friend Stanley to blush furiously, raising a general laugh.

For any of you readers who are not Presidential historians-- ok that might be everyone but Mike N:
While campaigning for his first term, reporters revealed that Cleveland  possibly was  the father of  a child born to Maria Halpin, who named the boy Oscar Folsom Cleveland.  There were apparently two other men who could have  been the father including Cleveland's business partner, but she chose Cleveland (and his name…) probably in hopes that he would marry her. He didn’t.   
But Cleveland never denied it, mostly because the other two men were already married.  And he provided somewhat for the child’s care. When the scandal broke, Cleveland chose a controversial strategy:  He told the truth.  And, surprisingly, it worked.  He won the election. 
Oscar Folsom, one of the other two men with whom Miss Halpin was involved, was also the father of Frances Folsom, the young lady whom  Grover married in 1886, during his first term as President.  She was just 21;  Grover was 49.  Because Cleveland had been the executor for Oscar Folsom's estate, he had supervised France's upbringing after her father's death.  Thus he was his wife's own godfather....
But the comment  at the Lackey trial was referring to  the gossip that Cleveland had fathered Maria Halpin's child.....Republican slur campaign slogan:   Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to Washington, Ha ha Ha!