A Runaway Tragedy

From a 1903 Glasgow Times’ newspaper:

“The breaking of a bridle bit going down a steep hill at the edge of town last Wednesday afternoon caused an old family horse to run away throwing Miss Lucille Hays, of Knob lick, Metcalfe county, out of the buggy and killing her almost instantly.
“In company with her cousin, Miss Retta Wright, Miss Hays left Glasgow in a buggy about one o’clock Wednesday afternoon for her home near Knob Lick. They were driving a horse that was considered safe, and felt perfectly secure behind him. While going down the hill, just beyond Mrs. MR Williams’ residence on Edmonton Road, a half mile from town, the bridle bit broke in two and the horse started to run. Miss Wright at once jumped out of the buggy and called to her cousin to do likewise.
“The poor girl was evidently so badly frightened she did not hear her or else was so badly scared she could not jump. She at once began to wave her arms frantically and screaming for help, the frightened horse all the time dashing down the road. At a point near Mrs. Frank Warder’s residence the horse ran against a wire fence and Miss Hays was either thrown out or fell over in front of the buggy beneath the horse’s feet. When help reached her, she was dead, and an examination showed the print of the horse’s hoof at the base of the brain, where the skull had been crushed by a kick from the infuriated and frightened animal. Her face was also badly cut and bruised, showing that she had fallen on her head. Drs. Botts and Rowe were hastily summoned, but the poor girl had been dead several minutes before they arrived.
“The remains were brought to the residence of Mr. AG Drane, near the depot, and prepared for burial. Yesterday morn at 4 o’clock they were taken to the home of her father, Mr. John Hays, near Knob Lick, for interment. The dead girl was about 20 years of age, and was quite pretty. She was a general favorite in the community in which she lived, and the news of her tragic death caused a gloom to fall over that entire section. Miss Hays was to have been married in a short time, and her trip to Glasgow was for the purpose of buying a wedding trousseau.”


Lucille Hays was the daughter of JH and EJ Hays. She was born on 4 May 1878, and she died on 24 June 1903. She was buried in the Hayes Cemetery on Hwy 1243, about 2 miles SW of Savoyard, in the northern corner of Metcalfe County.
The Mrs. MR Williams’ place was located on the left (north) side of the road going out Columbia Avenue, about where Botts’ business is. This accident occurred as you top the hill after Broadway turns into Columbia Avenue, about where McKenna and East Cherry Streets join Columbia Avenue.
In today’s time, this is a heavy residential area, joined at the top of the hill by the Family Dollar store, two churches, and the former EB Terry Elementary School. Back in the days before the school was built, there were tales of late night excursions that would lead to hearing horses racing down the street, only nothing was there. A startling auditory hallucination to say the least! But it does make you pause and listen… and wonder….


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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