Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Trouble for a Corn-Husker Victim

A month after he lost his older brother John to tuberculosis, William Witt found himself with a medical problem of his own.

We first met William when he lost an arm to a corn husker in November 1901. Fifteen years later, we find him, in spite of his loss, able to earn a living as a teamster, managing a team of horses and a wagon. But in August 1916, he began suffering such severe pain in the amputated arm that Dr. L.M. Friedrich of Hobart decided to take him to Chicago to be seen by a specialist.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Dr. L.M. Friedrich circa 1955. He is standing on Main Street opposite the office of the Hobart Gazette. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The Gazette did not report the results of that visit. But it may be significant that a month later William began placing ads to sell his team and wagon "Team of bays," one of his ads said; "weight about 2,800, good pullers, good wind, gentle, drive single or double, also harness in good condition, and Birdsell wagon and 2-yard Studebaker dump box. Price right."

Early in November he sold the whole outfit to William Raschka.

♦    ♦    ♦

Meanwhile, farm machines continued their bloody harvest. For example, on September 30, 18-year-old Kenneth Humes was working a corn shredder on the Walter Blachly farm west of Ainsworth when he got his fingers too near the machine's blades. That mistake that cost him part of his right index finger and all of his left middle finger. His left index finger was severely cut up, but his doctor hoped it could be saved.

♦ "Gets Fingers in Shredder." Hobart Gazette 6 Oct. 1916.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 29 Sept. 1916; 20 Oct. 1916; 10 Nov. 1916.
♦ "Personal and Local Mention." Hobart News 26 Oct. 1916.
♦ "To Consult Specialist." Hobart Gazette 18 Aug. 1916.

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