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Mother of Charles L. Decker Seriously Injured

[Charles L. Decker, Minnesota, Pennsylvania]

The Bemidji daily pioneer., August 06, 1907

Bemidji, Minnesota
About The Bemidji daily pioneer. (Bemidji, Minn.) 1904-1971

 Retrieved September 3, 2012 from Chronicling America

Persistent Link http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063381/1907-08-06/ed-1/seq-1/

Mother of C. L. Decker was Seriously Injured


While Riding With Mr. and Mrs. Decker at Towanda, Pa., Team Runs Away, Throwing Aged Lady Out and Demolishing Buggy.


The many Bemidji friends of Charles L. Decker, exalted ruler of Bemidji Lodge, No. 1052, B. P. O. E., will learn with regret that his aged mother was seriously injured in a runaway at her home, Towanda, Pa., recently, while enjoying a ride with Mr. Decker and his wife and little daughter.

The editor of the Pioneer today received the following letter from Mr. Decker, enclosing a clipping from a Towanda paper:

“Towanda, Pa., Aug. 2, 1907.

“A. G. Rutledge, Bemidji, Minn.

“Friend Doc: - “I promised to write you on my trip, but did not think I would have to tell you of bad news.  But such is the case, as you will see by the enclosed clipping, taken from the Towanda Daily Review.  I expected to leave here tonight for Stillwater, but I will now have to give that up and stay here for another week or so, as I am afraid the shock will be fatal to my mother, as she is in very bad shape today, and her health has been poor for many years.  I am afraid she won’t survive.  Well, I hope she may regain her health, and that I will be with you soon in Bemidji.

“With best wishes to you and all the boys, I am

“Sincerely yours,

-“Chas. L. Decker.”

The following clipping, taken from the Towanda Review, tells of the incident to Mrs. Decker, Sr.

“Mrs. Ezra L. Decker sustained the fracture of both of her arms and was otherwise bodily injured in a runaway accident on the Towanda hill roads Thursday afternoon.  That she was not instantly killed is truly a miracle.

“Mrs. Decker has been a great sufferer with rheumatism, and for a long time has been practically helpless.  Her son, Charles Decker, wife and little daughter of Minnesota, who have been spending a few weeks in Towanda, arranged a pleasure drive for Thursday, and during the morning started out in a surrey and his little daughter occupied the front seat while his wife and his mother were in the rear seat.

“They drove out in the hill district, and shortly after one o’clock, stopped near the old Bowman tavern in Monroe township for lunch in the shade of a tree.  The party alighted from the surrey with the exception of Mrs. Decker who decided to remain in her seat, it being difficult for her to get in and out of the surrey.  The lunch had just been spread when the horses took fright, and with a spring started on their mad run.  Mr. Decker made an effort to get the animals but from where he was it was impossible to reach the bits.  He was knocked down by the rear wheel of the surrey as the team dashed away.

“Along the road down the hill past the Gregg school house the horses galloped at a terrific pace.  At the turn from the Gregg road onto the Plank road, the surrey upset turning on its end, throwing Mrs. Decker to the ground with great force.  The horses broke loose from the surrey and run to Martin Bowen’s where they were stopped.  Charles Mace and others living nearby hurried to the scene, and the injured lady was brought to her home in Towanda by Mr. Mace.

“Dr. T. Ben Johnson was summoned and assisted by his father, Dr. T. B. Johnson, made a thorough examination of her injuries.  They found both bones in the left arm broken above the wrist, and the larger bon in the right forearm and two small bones in the right wrist also broken.  Her face was badly bruised and scratched and she was more or less injured about the body.

“To ride nearly two miles over a rough road behind two frightened horses and be thrown from a carriage which was reduced to kindling wood, is an experience which but few pass through and live to tell of.  That Mrs. Decker escaped instant death, is indeed a wonder.”

Mr. Decker had intended going direct from Towanda to Stillwater to attend the state meeting of the Elks and assist in boosting Bemidji in getting the 1908 meet for this city.  Charles will be greatly missed by the antlered bunch in the “Prison City,” as he is a fun-maker of the best kind, and as a booster he has no peer.

However, the boys all sympathize with him in his trouble.

September 5, 2012