Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, March l0, l904
The citizens of Davis City were startled Monday morning when the word was phoned in from the home of ROBERT FRANCEY, who lives five miles southwest of Davis City, that J.B. ADKINS, one of the best known citizens of that part of the county was lying in the road near his house dead.Quite a number from Davis City drove at once to the scene and the report proved only too true.
The story of the terrible accident, which was witnessed by no one, is not a long one.Sunday morning, MR. ADKINS, who owns several fine farms, hitched up his team of ponies to his buggy and left his home in Davis City for the purpose of going to one of his farms just across the line in Missouri to meet Jesse Wishong and sell him some corn.Before leaving home he remarked to his family that he had not felt so well for a long time and was feeling in fine spirits.It appeared from the evidence before the coroner's jury that after driving to the farm and transacting his business he had driven to Andover, where he remained until eveing, and then drove to the home of his sister, MRS. THOMAS RAINS, who lives about five and a half miles southwest of Davis City.He arrived at the house about seven o'clock and unhitched his team, but would not put the team up.The evidence showed he had been drinking.After eating his supper he remained at the house until ten minutes before twelve when he started home, refusing to remain all night, although the family urged him to remain until morning.When he left the house he whipped up his horses and was driving pretty reckless.Near the residence of ROBERT FRANCEY, a half mile east of the RAINS home, there is quite a little hill in the road, and evidently while going down this hill either the peck yoke broke or the tugs came down, letting the buggy tongue fall, as the marks where the tongue fell could be plainly seen in the roads, as it had run deep in the ground and broken a short piece off of the end, the tongue running into the ground and just at the foot of the hill the tongue ran into the ground and turned the buggy over.
The buggy fell right side up, the tongue being bent back under the bed, and MR. ADKINS was thrown out.He was a very large man, weighing 265 pounds, and must have struck the ground with great force, falling on his face, the physicians who examined him stating that the fall had ruptured a blood vessel in his brain and he was killed instantly.The position of the body when found indicated that he had never moved after striking the ground.The team had gotten loose from the buggy and were found the next morning at the home of JOH HAGAN, a mile and a quarter northeast of the scene of the accident.
The body was discovered about 8 o'clock Monday morning by FLOYD FRANCEY, the fourteen-year-old son of ROBERT FRANCEY, who was watering some stock near the place and noticed the wrecked buggy with a man's foot sticking out from under it.He was naturally frightened and ran at once to the house and told his father, who went down and saw that it was MR. ADKINS, and from appearances he was dead.He did not touch the body but went at once and phoned THOMAS RAINS, a brother-in-law of MR. ADKINS who lived a half mile west, and also notified other neighbors.When MR. RAINS arrived he found MR. ADKINS lying on his face under the buggy, and upon examination it was found that he was dead, his body being cold.He turned the dead man over on his back, on a quilt taken from the buggy and later the body was removed to MR. ADKINS' home in Davis City.
Coroner Fred A. Bowman was notified and went to Davis City on the noon train and held an inquest, the coroner's jury being composed of L.A. Brown, W.L. Severe and J.N. Gates.The evidence of the various witnesses examined all went to show that the accident occurred as narrated above, there being no evidence of any foul play, MR. ADKINS' watch, pocket book containing $l5 and other valuables being found intact on his person, and at the conclusion of the evidence, the jury returned the following verdict: . . . . .deceased came to his death by a contussion of the brain, caused by being thrown from a buggy. . . . . . . . . .
The deceased was one of the most popular and well known residents of Decatur County.He was born on the farm which he owned at the time of his death, on Dec. l0, l857, being 46 years, 2 months and 28 days old at the time of his death. He was married in Mercer County, Mo., to MISS EMMA GILPIN, on December 25, l880.The wife and three children, ARTHUR aged 22, OTHO aged 2l, and LITLLIE aged l9, are left to mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and affectionate father.He is also survived by one brother, JERRY ADKINS, living near Cainsville, and two sisters, MRS. THOMAS RAINS of New Buda Township, and MRS. JANE WOODWARD who lives at Blackwell, Okla.Jovial, good natured and friendly with everyone, MR. ADKINS did not have an enemy in the world, and his untimely death is regretted by many friends.He was well fixed financially, owning something over 600 acres of fine farm land in this county and just across the line in Missouri, the farms being well stocked, and he was out of debt.
The funeral was held from the family residence in Davis City Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock, the services being conducted by Rev. I.N. Woodward, Pastor of the Leon M.E. Church, assisted by Rev. Briggaman, Pastor of the Davis City M.E. Church, the interment being in the Hamilton Cemetery near Davis City.
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
April 12, 2003