John S. Wilkes uncle to W. L. Wilkes

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Some of you may already know this story; however, it’s quite touching so its worth repeating. Grandpa’s uncle John S. Wilkes died on Jan 6, 1895. He was 17 years, 4 months and 2 days old.

Grandpa wouldn’t have known his uncle John S. Wilkes because Grandpa wasn’t born until Nov. 20, 1898.

Here’s the text of the article that reports on the death of John S. Wilkes:

Falls Under the Wheels of a Passenger Train.

“I don’t care much for myself , but I do feel sorry for my poor mother, who told me not to go skating to-day. These were the brave words uttered by John Wilkes, a lad 16 years of age, who had both legs crushed this afternoon by the wheels of a passenger train on the Maple Leaf. The lad went on to Soldiers Home to skate on Lake Jeanette this morning, but being not permitted to go upon the ice he returned to the railway depot to and there boarded the North-bound passenger train on the Maple Leaf. Whether he attempted to jump off or not is not known, but he evidently fell between the car platforms, two coaches passing over his limbs. The accident occurred near Home mine, about 11 o’clock this morning. The police headquarters were promptly notified, and the patrol wagon with a detachment of police sent to the scene of the accident. He was placed on a stretcher and conveyed to his home on South Broadway, two doors south of Pennsylvania Ave. On the way to his home the little fellow was quite rational, and appeared to suffer little pain. He asked the officers if “his legs were hurt” and it was then when he gave utterance to his sorrow about disobeying his Mothers wishes. Both parents were absent from home, having gone to church. They were notified of the accident, and the mother’s anguish and tears upon reaching the side of her brave little boy can better be imagined than told. Police officers, used to all sorts of scenes, say they could not remain in the room, and while the mother was kissing the poor lad he tried to pacify her and tell her all would soon be right. He died about five hours after the accident. In the evening Coroner McGill and Dr. VanTuyl held an examination.

For those that are interested here is a digital copy of the article:

newpaper article

One Response to “John S. Wilkes uncle to W. L. Wilkes”

  1. fcwilkes Says:

    What a touching story, very moving. There must be a moral of some kind here, but I can’t quite grasp it. Does anyone care to offer their perspective on what the moral of this story may be?

    Great post Brad! thanks for sharing this.

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