Gene Notes

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

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thriller Thursday: The Real Story?

I finally found newspaper accounts of my great-great-great grandfather's death - Alexander Oliphant that is. Alexander was a surveyor and often traveled into Kansas. These are the accounts of his accident.

From the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times, September 21, 1878:

Out of the Second Story

A Guest at the Continental Falls From the Window of His Room in the Second Story.

Yesterday morning, about four o'clock, Mr. A. Oliphant, of Ray county, Mo., fell from the window of his room in the second story of the Continental hotel, and received injuries, while painful and severe, will not by any means prove fatal. Being unable to unfasten hi door, he went to the window to call the porter, and leaning too far out lost his balance and fell to the ground, a distance of perhaps thirty feet. He was picked up and taken to his room again, where an examination was made, but no bones found to be broken.

Well, okay, doesn't sound too bad, huh? The man was 72 years old, let's be real. Here is the follow-up.

Same paper, September 24, 1878:

Died of His Injuries.

Mr. A. Oliphant, of Ray county, Mo., who fell from the window of his room in the second story of the Continental Hotel, last Friday morning, died from the effects of his injuries on Sunday morning. His son arrived Sunday morning, but after his father's death. The remains were embalmed and shipped to the late home of the deceased in Ray county. Mr. Oliphant was about seventy-six years of age.

So apparently, the first account was not that accurate. The story varies from what my dad's aunt told him, slightly. I like this version better, but who really knows.

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