N&W in 1907 -- Emergency Care

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue May 13 07:56:09 EDT 2008

Fatally Hurt Trying to Board a Freight Train
Elliston, Va., April 29--While trying to board a freight train Sunday afternoon at Singer tower [see attached image of Singer Tower from Va Tech collection] William Sidney Barnett (generally known as "cat"), aged 17 years, was seriously, if not fatally, injured by being knocked down by the train, receiving a severe wound on the head and one hip; also haveing one foot cut off and the other badly mashed.
His brother was telegraphed for and left on No. 14 and picked him up at Singer, taking him on to the Roanoke hospital, where one limb has already been operated on.
His mother, Mrs. Willie Barnett and brother, Sam, left on No. 2 for his bedside.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 30, 1907

[This item is posted as another illustration of how lacking emergency medical care was in rural areas in those days. Based on the article, the unfortunate victum had to suffer through the following time-consuming events:
Send telegraph to a station near the brother
Deliver telegraph message to brother
Brother get to station
Brother wait for No. 14
Brother ride No. 14 (with all scheduled stops)
Brother help load victum onto No. 14
Both ride No. 14 to Roanok (with all scheduled stops)
Transport brother from station to hospital.
It's wonder that the victum survived long enough to be operated on at the hospital.]

Gordon Hamilton
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