Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Shot Through the Knee"

My Great Grandpa Arthur McGrath was involved in a little excitement in his younger days (he was almost 20 years old). This happened May 23rd, only three weeks before his mother passed away on June 14th in 1896. 

Cozad Tribune, Friday, May 29, 1896, pg 1 

On last Saturday evening Leonard Whaley while on his way to Harry Burnett's farm 6 miles east of town where he was employed, accidentally shot himself through the knee joint of the left leg.
He and Arthur McGrath had come to town in the evening after supper, and Burnett had told Leonard to shoot a dog which had been breaking up setting hens, and while going home, thinking that would be a good time to kill the dog, he drew a .38 self-cocking revolver from his pocket and shot at the dog.  The noise of the gun frightened the team and they started up so suddenly as to cause the spring seat to tip over backwards and Leonard, with the revolver in his hand and his body in the reclining position caused by the upturned seat, grabbed for a tighter hold on the lines, the grasp causing the revolver to be discharged the ball entering the inside of his leg above the knee and passing through the thigh bone and knee joint lodging in the top of the shin bone.
McGrath, returned to town and summoned Dr. Fochtman, upon whose advice Burnett brought Whaley to the Commercial hotel.  Dr. Rosenberg, of Lexington, was sent for and arrived Sunday afternoon; Dr. Smith, of Gothenburg, was also wired and the ball removed, also some small pieces of fractured bone.
It was decided not to amputate the leg.  The accident is a very serious one and under the most favorable circumstances will at least result in a stiff knee joint.
Leonard is resting very well and the prospects are that he will recover as speedily as could be expected.

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