Danger of Traveling by Horse

Horse and wagonToday we think nothing of getting in a car and driving to local stores to pick up groceries and everyday necessities.  If we get into an accident, we are rarely severely injured due to the safety features on our cars.  A hundred years ago the simple chore of going to a store while riding in a horse and buggy or wagon had some danger that could prove deadly. The following two old obituaries highlight the dangers of using this mode of transportation.

Published in the Wisconsin State Journal, Jan 30, 1922

Samuel McCune, about 30, town of Fitchburg farm hand, was killed Saturday night when his horse ran away while he was driving back to the farm after a shopping trip in Madison. The death of McCune was not discovered until about 9 Sunday morning, when his mangled body was found beside the road. McCune drove to Madison Saturday night, and purchased a number of articles and started back to the farm, near Syene, about 9. The condition of the body shows that McCune was caught in the buggy as the horse bolted and was dragged for a considerable distance. The body was badly bruised and lacerated. The horse ran back to the farm. It passed the driveway leading to the farm and crashed into a tree about 20 rods beyond. McCune was employed by an Italian farmer about two miles from Syene. The body was removed to the Gill undertaking parlors and Coroner W. E. Campbell notified. McCune was formerly a resident of, Madison.

Published in the Wisconsin State Journal, Oct 8, 1866.

Many residents of the county will be pained to hear of the sudden death of John Beath, an old and respected resident of the town of Verona. Last Tuesday while driving home, his team started to run and when opposite his father-in-law’s house, he was violently thrown from the wagon on one of the wheels, severely injuring his spine. He lingered until Saturday, when his pain, which did not seem to be great, ended in death. His age was 44 years….  Click here to see the full obituary.