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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Killed by Mail Bag 1891

Sumner Press January 8, 1891

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”.

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