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NEWSPAPER UNKNOWN, 29 December 1896
Obituary of WILLIAM REED

William Reed an Old Citizen, Falls Over an Embankment and Breaks His Neck.

When the news spread over the city Wednesday morning that William Reed, one of our oldest citizens had met his death by accident, the night previous, it caused many an eye to moisten and many a heart to beat in sorrow. Mr. Reed was one of the pioneer citizens and was highly respected by young and old.

His death was caused in this manner: On Tuesday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Reed had been writing some Christmas letters to their friends, and about 8 o'clock the old gentleman started with the letters to the post office, a distance of some three blocks. The night was very dark and drizzling rain. Mrs. Reed held the light to the window and after he had gone a short distance, she called and asked him if he was "all right". He replied "he was" and these were probably the last words he ever uttered.

Mrs. Reed become engrossed in reading and did not become alarmed until some time between nine and ten o'clock, when it occured to her something had happened. She hurriedly came up town and summoned friends to assist her in a search for Mr. Reed. Some five or six persons with a lantern started out with Mrs. Reed to make a search and it was decided to go first in the vicinity of Mr. and Mrs. Reed's home, as it was known there was an embankment there.

On reaching the spot, the light of the lantern revealed a sad sight, Mr. Reed was lying at the bottom of the culvert dead. A doctor was speedily summoned, and upon examination found his neck had been broken in the
second joint, and he must have died instantly. There were few abrasions of the skin on his temple, and his lower limbs. The letters he had started to mail were still in his pocket showing he had never reached
the post office, but had wandered off the road within 15 rods of his home, gone a few steps down an incline, and fallen headlong into an open culvert, with the result above stated. It was between 10 and 11 o'clock
when his body was found and conveyed to his home.

The road leading from the Reed home to the post office is very wide plain road, but in the inky darkness the deceased lost his bearings. The fall he received was not a great one, and it appears a little singular that he should have broken his neck. When found he was lying on his back and left side with his head to the north.

A coroner's jury was impaneled Wednesday morning, and an inquest held. The jury rendered the following verdict: "We the coroner's jury in the case of Wm. Reed, deceased, find that he came to his death by accident from falling over an embankment and breaking his neck."


William Reed was born in Washington county, Pa., on Jan., 31st, 1821 and had he lived another month would have been 76 years of age. His parents
moved to Ohio when he was about 3 years of age. He has been twice married, and has a son by his first wife, Theodore Reed, now living in Moscow, Idaho. He married his second wife, Mary A. Bird, who survives
him, at Philadelphia, Pa., 42 years ago. From this union one daughter survives him - Mrs. Bianca Cline, of Medford, Ok. The deceased moved from Winfield, Cowley county, to this city 12 years ago, and lived here
continuously till his death. Besides his wife and two children, the deceased leaves two brothers and many friends to mourn his death.

The Funeral

Friday, Jan. 1st, the funeral took place from the family residence at 10 o'clock a.m., services by Rev. E. E. Robbins. It was largely attended by the citizens of Coldwater and vicinity, all wishing to do honor to a
good citizen. Coldwater mourns his death. And yet, those who knew him well, feel that his lot is now happier; that he is free from the cares of life and has entered the home "not made with hands, eternal in the
heavens." His remains were laid away in the Coldwater cemetery.
Transcribed and Contributed by Shirley Brier

Last Updated:  Wednesday, December 14, 2005 22:22:58

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