Will Gammon

 
The Courant American
Cartersville, Georgia
August 23, 1900, page 1
 
Transcribed by:  
 

Mangled Under Car Wheels.
Awful Fate of Young Will Gammon, of Rome.
After Swinging Freight Car
He Jumps to the Ground and Falls Beneath the Wheels
Which Run Over Both Legs.

Young Will Gammon, of Rome, met with a tragic death last Friday.

A base ball club composed of young men of some of the best families of Rome, of ages ranging along about seventeen and calling themselves the Rome Juniors, came over to Cartersville to play a series of three games with the younger ball players here.  The first two games were played Thursday afternoon, the Rome boys winning, and Friday morning the Cartersville boys being the victors.  The rub game was to have been played Friday afternoon.  The Rome and Cartersville boys had got real chummy, and while on the way to the grounds that afternoon some of the reckless and daring of our boys proposed to the Rome boys that as a freight train was passing that would go by the grounds they swing on and jump off, thus saving the walk.  Several Cartersville boys swung the train at the crossing about the E. & W. depot and also two of the Rome boys, one of whom was Will Gammon. The speed of the train had increased considerably by the time it reached the Wilkerson crossing nearly 400 yards away, and here the boys all jumped off.  They had swung to the ladders on the sides of the freight cars.  Some of the boys were whirled around violently as they jumped, one turning a summersault.  Young Gammon spun around like a top as he hit the little bridge at the crossing.  It had been raining and the bridge was slippery.  The youth’s feet shot under the car and in an instant the ponderous wheels went grinding over his legs.  Jim Baker, a Cartersville boy, was near by and jumping to his rescue, pulled him from under the train.  The boys who were walking to the grounds saw him fall and went quickly to where he was and as soon as possible, the two doctors, Dr. Calhoun and Dr. Griffin, were with him.  He was carried to the Bartow house. It was found both legs were terribly mangled, the left one being mangled higher up and mashed to a pulp.  Young Gammon bore his injuries heroically, talking with the other boys around him until the physicians reached him.

A telephone message was sent to his father in Rome and the request came that amputation of the limbs be postponed, as the father and Dr. Battey wished to come over on a special.  The special could not be arranged for, so the young man’s mother, with his brother, Professor Montague Gammon, and Dr. Battey came over on the regular train reaching here at 5:47.  The doctors here saw the young man’s condition was critical and expressed belief that he would die under the nervous shock received, in which opinion they were correct and Dr. Battey agreed with them.  The operation was abandoned with the hope that possibly he could be brought through the shock.  The local doctors administered nitroglycerine to keep the young man alive.

The physicians and relatives and friends could only await developments.

The young man’s mind began to wander before his mother arrived.  He never recognized her after she came.  He died at 8 o’clock.

Mrs.  Sam Jones evinced an anxious interest in the young man as soon as the accident occurred.  As soon as the body was dressed she made the request that it be carried to her home, which request was granted, the mother and brother accompanying.  The remains were carried to Rome on the 10 o’clock train Saturday.

Will Gammon was 17 years of age and was the son of Mr. J. A. Gammon, a retired clothing merchant of Rome.  He was a manly young fellow, of fine moral character, and was popular with all who knew him.  He played second base in the first of the match games here and pitched in the second.  He was pronounced the handsomest boy on the team.

A singular fatality seems to attach to the family of which he was a member.  He had a sister horribly burned and a brother, Von Gammon, lost his life from injuries received in a football game in Atlanta in 1897.

Speaking of the arrival of the remains in Rome the Tribune says:
“The remains of young Will Gammon, who died in Cartersville Friday night, were brought home yesterday morning at 11:30 o’clock over the Rome railroad.

“The train stopped in front of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Gammon’s home at the foot of Third avenue.  The young boys composing the Rome junior base ball team, and of which the dead lad had been a member, bore the silent form of their companion from the car to the grief-stricken home.

“Through the rose-embowered yard and under the grateful shadows of the great trees they walked with bowed heads and saddened hearts bearing the casket wherein lay the still and tranquil body of he who had gloried in this beautiful home only a few brief hours before.

“It was a sorrowful home coming for the mother, father, brother and sisters, and few can understand their terrible anguish.  It was so akin to that awful tragedy of three years ago, when Von Gammon, strong, beautiful and brave in his splendid young manhood, was brought to the same home, cold and voiceless in death.”

 

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