September 30, 1897
His Life Crushed Out
Monday afternoon just at recess, the traction engine of George Mowry, with Van Gilder's Clover huller behind, passed the Sumner Public School building. As customary a dozen or more boys made a rush to climb on the separator to ride, be it ever so short a distance.
Among them was Marion, the little six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Rayburn, who attempted to climb on the tongue of the separator to ride. Slipping off, he fell and the wheels of the separator were upon him, crushing out instantly his young life, passing as it did over his neck and back of his head.
The accident was seen by a large number of school children. The excitement was intense, some fainting. Mothers who lived near and had children in school, came running, not knowing until the blood and dust were cleaned off, whose child it was.
The body was picked up and carried into William Schuders yard where kind hands washed the dust from the little face, while others were forced to convey to the poor parents the sad news of the death of their only child. After the body was cleaned from the dust in which it was rolled in, it was taken to the now desolate home of the bereaved parents, preparatory to interment in the city cemetery.
We cannot say that any blame should attach to the men in charge of the engine, they having warned with all their power, the boys to keep off but it being so customary for Sumner boys to jump on moving wagons that a file of soldiers, with fixed bayonets could scarce have kept them off. When larger boys jump on, it is quite natural for the younger boys to imitate them. We should be glad to see a short, sharp stop put to this very common, though dangerous practice. The sympathies of all are with Mr. and Mrs. Rayburn in this great trial.