Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thriller Thursday - The Runaway Horse & Robert S Kirtley, Part One

From the Kansas City Star, July 9, 1895.



The Occupants were Dragged for a Block on South Penn Street - Mr. Kirtley so Badly Hurt that His Life is Despaired of.

R. S. Kirtley of Kirtley Bros. plumbers at 1213 Walnut Street, wife, daughter, and James Millhoff of Louisville, Ky., hired a carriage at W. F. Cantwell's livery stable at Eighth and Walnut streets and started out for a drive this afternoon. The party drove in the southern part city and was returning by way of Penn street when an accident occurred at Twenty-Fifth street, which nearly caused all to lose their lives.

At the corner of Twenty-Fifth and Penn streets the bolt which holds the left side of the carriage tongue to the axle dropped out, letting that side of the tongue fall to the ground. There is a steep hill at Twenty-Fifth street, sloping northward to the railroad tracks at Twenty-Third street. The carriage bumped against the heels of the horses, which so frightened them that they started to run down the hill at a frightful pace. Mr. Milhoff had hold of the lines, but he could not manage the horses. At Twenty-fourth Street the carriage upset throwing the occupants out in a heap. The excited animals dragged the carriage to the bridge at Twenty-third street, where they collided with a stone wagon driven by H. C. Garton. Some men who were grading near by ran to the assistance of the occupants of the carriage.  Mrs. Kirtley and her daughter had fallen on Mr. Kirtley and Mr. Millhoff and were found to be suffering only from a few bruises on the face, arms and body. Mr. Millhoff's chin was badly gashed and his clothes were torn in a number of places. His body was also bruised and scratched. Mr. Kirtley, on whom his wife had fallen, was badly injured. He was unconscious, suffering from internal injuries and a probable fracture of the base of the skull.

Mrs. Kirtley and her daughter and Mr. Millhoff were carried to the home of Mr. Duris Clay, at 2448 Penn Street, where their injuries were attended to. Mr. Kirtley was taken to police headquarters and then sent to All Saints hospital. At noon today he was still unconscious and it is thought that he cannot recover. He is 47 years old and has been in poor health for the past few months.

Mr. Millhoff lives in Louisville, Ky., where he is engaged in the iron business. He has been visiting Mr. Kirtley's family.

One of the horses was so badly injured that it had to be killed. The carriage was a total wreck.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. What a terrible accident! Did you do research to find out if Mr. Kirtley died shortly after the accident?

  2. Yes, I did. Stay tuned for next weeks Thriller Thursday blog.

  3. How many more thrillers do you have?? Amazing! LOL

  4. Absolutely shocking. Imagine the bystanders who could do nothing to stop it as it was happening. J.

  5. Yeah, and it seems accounts were so much more graphic then.