Sunday, April 5, 2009

Body Hurled from Coffin

My Walker line is not from Cocke County and is documented on a different Web site. However, two brothers, James Harvey Walker and Milton Green Walker, sons of my 3rd great grandfather, Edward Walker, Jr., and his second wife, lived in Cocke County for a number of years, where both were principals and teachers, among other things. Green served in the Tennessee State Legislature from Cocke County.

Jim, the older of the two, owned a grocery store, a hotel, and two livery stables and perhaps other properties. He married Mary Adelia Phillips in Grainger County and moved to Cocke County in the very early 1890s. I am reasonably certain that he is the undertaker mentioned in the following article. For more information about him, see my Biography of James Harvey Walker.

This article was published on page 1 in the Atlanta Constitution on June 16, 1902. The photo here, including Jim, his wife, and probably their two oldest children, was probably taken about a dozen years before the events in the article. The photo was not in the paper but was provided by Adelia (Guthry) Knight, his granddaughter. Despite the dire description, Jim died at age 85 in 1939. Correction: The photo here is probably of his brother's family; see the full correction.


Funeral Car Breaks While Descending Steep Hill.


Another Casket and Hearse Had To Be Obtained – Undertaker is Hurt.

Newport, Tenn., June 15. – (Special.) – Today while bringing the body of the small son of Hunley LaRue from Parrottsville where he had died while visiting his relatives, Undertaker J. H. Walker suffered a painful and peculiar accident.

He had started down a long hill, with the coffin containing the body inside the hearse, when some part of the hearse suddenly broke and it toppled over, throwing the casket out and spilling the remains on the ground. The undertaker was caught under the wreck and dragged to the bottom of the hill by horses that at once ran.

The funeral procession following was compelled to view the horrible sight without being able to furnish aid. Undertaker Walker was seriously injured about the head and body and is in a very precarious condition.

Another casket and hearse were obtained and the funeral continued.

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Parrottsville to Newport (about 7 miles)

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