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Fitzgerald's Town

Sources and Notes 1. The

Sources and Notes 1. The Press 14 July 1873. See Papers Past. 2. Ibid 19 September 1873. See Papers Past. 3. Ibid 22 September 1873. See Papers Past. 4. Ibid 10 July 1874. See Papers Past. 5. Ibid 9 November 1875. See Papers Past. 6. The Weekly Press 5 August 1876. 7. The Press 10 September 1875. See Papers Past. 8. Ibid 19 May 1879. See Papers Past. 9. Lyttelton Times. 14 April 1881. See Papers Past. 10. Library Minutes 21 May 1900. 11. Ibid 18 June 1900. 12. Lyttelton Times. 27 September 1900. See Papers Past. 13. Library Minutes 22 October 1900. 14. Ibid. See minutes for 22 October 1900. 15. Ibid 31 January 1906. 16. Ibid 21 June 1911. 162

ACCIDENTS AND OTHER DISASTERS When one reads accounts of events in the early days of Lincoln they are often presented as short paragraphs with little or no indication of the impact the event may have had upon the local population. Many of these seemingly insignificant events, such as accidents, sudden deaths, fires, and criminal acts must have been locally sensational and discussed in people’s homes, over the dinner table and at work. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss some tragic events and some not so tragic, in an attempt to understand something of the hazards and concerns faced by the early settlers, and to relate something about the doctors who attended them. Accidents The death of a young man who was working on the Springs Run in 1861 certainly affected everyone who knew him. Apparently he had been drinking at a local establishment and as FitzGerald wrote to a friend, he had “got some brandy and not a little fresh”. 1 In this condition he rode back to the run and on the way made the mistake of dismounting to herd a notoriously unpredictable bull with his dogs and in the process struck the animal on the head with a stick. The enraged animal attacked and gave him no chance at all. There were other accidents involving young people who were playing or working around horses. In February 1871 two Lincoln lads were injured in separate incidents One was kicked in the head and so severely injured that he had to be taken to hospital, while a second was treated at home after being kicked in the leg. 2 Five years later the 11 year old son of Henry Major was killed when he fell from a horse. At the time he was employed at the railway station and on this particular day caught the station master’s horse and was thrown as he tried to mount it. His legs became tangled in the tether and he died after being dragged along the ground by the startled horse which was stopped by passing workmen. 3 These accidents, and especially the last, would have been, widely discussed and some may even have commented about the practice by the Railway Department of employing an eleven year old. Or was the job a private arrangement between the Station Master and Henry Major? Other tragedies included drowning and suicide. John Blair was found drowned in a creek near his home by his daughter, and despite the best efforts of neighbours and Dr. Durham, the 163

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