Barber County Kansas
The Barber County Index, October 6, 1882.
Last Monday afternoon about 2 o'clock on North Elm Creek, 18 miles from this place, a bolt of lightning struck and killed a young man named Ulysses G. Maxon, 19 years old, at the same instant striking and stunning Mr. R. L. Carter and killing instantly the horses the two were riding.
Mr. Carter and young Maxon, who had been working with him some time, were out four miles north of his ranch gathering up a lot of cattle which had been sold to W. W. Cook, of this city. A storm was suddenly on them and instantly both were stricken down. The bolt struck Maxon in the back part of the head, making a large hole, passed through his body, through his saddle and into the horse. The horse and rider fell in opposite directions, Maxon with his arm up raised, as if he might have had it in that position before the stroke.
Mr. Carter was about fifty yards from the young man, and when his horse fell he was partially under it, and when he returned to consciousness, which was not until two hours, he found that he could barely move a limb, and that he was pinioned under the horse. At one time he gave up hope and wrote a few lines telling how he came to his death, and the paper he tied to the bridle rein.
But he gradually gained strength and with his knife cut his saddle off and dug the dirt from under the horse until he could pull his legs out. Then he could not stand on his feet, but could crawl. He looked around, and not seeing anything of young Maxon or the cattle, he concluded he had gone on. He started for home, on his hands and knees, only being able to go a short distance at a time. By 8 o'clock at night he was near enough the ranch of Street Jones to make himself heard by the people there, who went to the assistance of the unfortunate man. He was taken to the house completely exhausted and a messenger sent to town for Dr. Kessler, who at once went out.
In the meantime search was commenced for Maxon. He had not arrived at home, so Messrs. Stock, A.. Wilson and Street Jones with lanterns started out on horses to search the prairie. About 1 o'clock the body was found. A terrible sulfuric smell pervaded the vicinity where the accident occurred and the men were rendered very sick. They returned to the ranch for a conveyance to remove the body, but they could not again locate the spot until daylight, when the body was taken to Carter's ranch, and prepared for burial.
The electricity had torn the clothing on Maxon into shreds, had torn the blades from his pocket knife and slightly melted the handle, and turned the body nearly black. The knife blades were not found, and no trace of the "quirt" which he was known to have had in his hand. The body was buried Wednesday at Lake City in the presence of a large number to the friends of the deceased.
Mr. Carter was removed to his home, where he is at present doing well under the treatment of Dr. Kessler, who feels confident of bringing his patient out in a few weeks. The severe shock stopped circulation temporarily and caused partial paralysis, which would naturally go hard with a man of Mr. Carter's age, he being 60 year old. His friends, and he numbers them by the score in this county, are rejoicing that the accident was no worse, and are hoping to see him well soon.
Ulysses Maxon was a son of Jacob Maxon, who formerly lived on Elm Creek, but who now resides in Washington Territory.
KILLED BY LIGHTNING
OCT. 2, 1882
AGED 19 YEARS.
A.H. "Gus" JOHNSON
Struck by lightning.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site and to Kim Fowles contributing the above photo!