Barber County Kansas

Barber County Index, January 6, 1909.


Carl Rankin Lost His Life Horse-back Riding at Aetna Last Wednesday Night.
Lived 20 Hours After Accident

Again the pages of Medicine Lodge's history are draped in mourning and another tragedy saddens the hearts of the members of another of our most respected families.

Carl Rankin died at the home of John Platt in Aetna township, thirty-five miles southwest of this city at 4 o'clock P.M., Thursday, December 31, 1908, aged 21 years, 8 months and 5 days.

During the week prior to his death Carl had been working at carpentering on Wm. Fuller's ranch near Aetna. He had done considerable work in that vicinity during last summer and fall and became well acquainted among the people there. On the last trip being in the holiday season, there were numerous social gatherings and Carl was always one of the first to respond to an invitation. On this fatal night a surprise party on Miss Hope Hodge had been planned. All the young people of the neighborhood were planning to go. Curtis Parsons of this city was also doing carpenter work at the same time and place with Carl, and was also preparing to attend the party.

It was arranged for Carl and Oris Fuller and John Platt, Jr., to go horseback while Mr. Parsons and two lady friends had arranged to drive over, all starting from the Platt ranch. The three young men started first.

On the way, the horses were permitted to run at a very high speed and at a certain point in the road there was a turn, but the horses, having often been ridden and driven over the road, were accustomed to going straight, through a gate. It happened that on this night the gate was closed and the horses were going at such a speed that the riders were unable to turn them when the turning place in the road was reached.

Carl's horse was in the lead and struck the gate first. Horse and rider fell over and through the fence and the horse rolled over Carl. Fuller and his horse also fell but Fuller was unhurt. When order had been bought out of the chaos Carl was found prostrate on the ground and unconscious.

John Platt quickly rode back to the ranch and notified Mr. Parsons, and the Platt family while Oris Fuller remained with Carl. Mr. Parsons and Mr. Platt hurried to the scene with the spring wagon and took the injured man to Mr. Platt's home. This was about 8 o'clock P.M. Dr. Coleman of this city and Dr. Bruce of Deerhead were phoned immediately. Dr. Bruce arrived at 11 o'clock and Dr. Coleman at 1:30 and each pronounced the injury fatal as soon as making an examination.

Carl lingered until 4 p.m. the following day when he died without regaining consciousness. Dr. Coleman remained with him until an hour before his death.

The cause of death was concussion of the brain and a probable rupture of a blood vessel near the brain. The skull was not fractured and there were no external bruises of consequence.

W. L. Parsons drove to Aetna Thursday night and brought the body home on Friday. Chas. H. Rankin, Carl's father, went to his son's bedside as soon as he heard of the accident and was there when he died. The mother was unable to go on account of the distance and the cold weather, which is the more distressing.

The funeral was held at the Baptist church in this city on Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. T. J. Hudson, assisted by Revs. Moore and Duckett. It was very largely attended by sympathizing friends of the family.

Death is always attended with sadness but this one is sadder than usual. Carl was just entering on the responsibilities of life; he was hearty, robust and had apparently many years of promise in the future, and to be cut down in his youthful vigor and buoyancy without a moments' notice, away from his folks, brings a feeling of sadness that cannot be expressed.

He is mourned by his parents, C. H. Rankin and wife, two sisters, Mrs. Jessie Laughead of Dodge City and Mrs. H. E. Luallen of Sharon, and a half brother, W. E. Lusk of Anthony, all of whom attended the funeral.

He carried an accident policy of $300 payable to his parents.

At Aetna where he made many new acquaintances, the people join with his friends of this city in deploring his death. Carl had often told his Aetna friends that he had spent some of the happiest days of his life among them the past year, and that he should have lost his life there while on his way to a social function is especially sorrowful to them.

In this very sad ordeal, the Index extends to the parents and other members of the family most profound sympathy.


While our hearts are heavy and our grief is deep, we are not unmindful of the debt of gratitude we owe to our innumerable friends for their assistance and sympathy. We especially desire to acknowledge our appreciation of Mr. and Mrs. Platt who were in constant attendance at the bedside of our beloved son and brother during the hours that he lived after his injuries. Their tender solicitude, their earnest watchful care over him, their hospitality, and their kindly sympathy will forever be held in sacred remembrance by us.

C. H. Rankin and wife,
Jessie Laughead,
Maude Luallen,
W. E. Lusk.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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