(7) A collection of transcribed documents relating to the accident and death of
Welborn Healey in 1874. The reports were orininally carried in the local Spiceland,
The following accounts of testimony were recorded to a
Court record paper on June 1st, 1874, Henry County,
Indiana – County Auditor.
Death of Welborn Healey.
Welborn Healey, whose critical condition from a terrible accident was noticed in our
last issue, breathed his last on Saturday. Although the news of his death has been
hourly expected its announcement was a shock to a large circle of acquaintances.
We believe it is regarded as doubtful if he were fully conscious at any time after the
accident although there were moments when hopeful friends thought he had taken a
turn for the better. Mr. Healey was about 50 years old ans was widely known and a
valuable citizen, a peaceable, pleasant and upright man, a prominent and active
member of the Christian Church, a member of the I.O.O.F. (International Organization
of Odd Fellows) and was for some time a district deputy in the order. For two years
past he has been appraiser of the real and personal property of the County. His tragic
death together with the high estimation in which he was held as a citizen brought
together at his funeral on Sunday afternoon the 5th one of the largest gatherings that
ever attended a funeral in the south part of the county (Henry County, Indiana). His
remains were interred in the Friends burying ground at Spiceland, with the Odd
Fellows ceremony and afterwards services were held in the church with Elder Mavity
delivering the discourse. His family consisting of a wife and five children, four of them
minors, can rest assured in their bereavement of the sympathy of a host of friends.
On last Saturday afternoon Welborn Healey of Franklin Township was returning to his
home from Dunrieth in a spring wagon having with him in the wagon Elder Mavity of
the Christian Church, along with Elder Mavity's wife and son. About one half mile
north of Dunrieth Mr. Mavity attempted to raise an umbrella to shade off the scorch-
ing rays of the sun, as last Saturday was an excessively warm day. Finding that Mr.
Healey's horse was likely to become frightened he began to lower it again. When Mr.
Healey, getting a firm grasp upon the lines remarked to Mavity “Raise it, I can hold
him.” But as soon as the umbrella was spread the horse jumped forward and began
to run. Mr Healey threw his weight upon the lines and attempted to rein up. Then
both lines parted at or near the bits, throwing Mr. Healey backward with a tremendous
force, his head striking first it is supposed on one of the numerous small stones that
are embedded in the pike. Mr. Mavity was also thrown from the wagon but not
injured. Mrs. Mavity and son crouched down between the seats and the horse ran
from one half to three quarters of a mile when he was stopped by young Mr. Picket
and Mrs. Mavity and son were rescued unhurt. Mr. Healey was taken up in an
insensible condition and conveyed to his residence two and a half miles east of
Spiceland. Medical aid was called and it was found that his skull was badly fractured.
On Sunday morning a council of physicians, consisting of Barry and Hunt of
Spiceland, Van Mays of Lewisville and Rae and Mendenhall of this place decided to
cut out a portion of the skull bone. The operation was successfully consummated
and the pressure thus taken from the brain. The membrane covering the brain itself
was found to be ruptured and the case is considered almost or quite hopeless.
During this time Mr. Healey has been entirely unconscious and apparently without
feeling. He is still living today and there are some indications of a returning
consciousness. Mr. Healey is a most estimable citizen, the present Real Estate
Appraiser and County Assessor. He has many warm friends in every part of the
county whose prayers will go up for his speedy recovery.
Account of Elder Mavity
Dunrieth, July 6th, 1874. As our worth brother Welborn Healey has passed off the
stage of action I thought it proper to give to the reporter a detailed account of the
circumstances concerning his death. On Saturday, June 27th he came to my house
about one o'clock and at half past two o'clock myself, wife and son who is eight years
old got into his spring wagon. My wife took my umbrella and I took his and we
hoisted them and as we did so the animal he was driving seemed to be frightened
and I remarked to him that we had better put the umbrellas down. He said no and
that the animal was perfectly safe, so we drove out of the village on the pike leading
to Spiceland. The animal seemed to be uneasy all the while and about half way
between Maxwell's and Grouse's she gave a sudden spring and I lowered the
umbrella and brother Healey said to me “Raise it a quick as you can”. I did so and at
the same instant the animal sprang forward. The lines both breaking at the same
time. Brother Healey fell backward on the pike and I, supposing but one line was
broken as the animal turned to the left, the side upon which I was sitting, so I jumped
from the wagon thinking I might assist holding the animal. But the next thing I knew I
was on my back in the ditch and when i got up and looked after the wagon and saw
the condition of my wife and son. Then I turned and saw brother Healey lying
speechless, no pen could describe my feeling. I hesitated but a moment and sprang
to his relief and raised him up. He caught his breath and I then called to Mr. Edgerton
who was in sight. He came to his relief and I went after the wagon to see what had
become of my wife and child as the animal ran away with them in the wagon. I know
not but what I might find them by the wayside either killed or badly wounded but I
found the animal stopped at John Picket's about three quarters of a mile away from
where we had fallen and to my great joy no injury to my wife and child had happened.
Then we returned to brother Healey and assisted in getting him into mr. Gause's door
yard, and sent to Dunrieth for J.T. And A.G. Crum to come and assist in getting him
home. They came speedily with two horse spring wagons and we put him into it and
took him home. He lived just eight days and died. He died as he lived, a good
Chrisitan. What a blessed thought may God's blessing rest upon his dear family is my
By John A. Mavity
Death of Welborn Healey
The sad but anticipated duty devolves upon the papers of the county to announce the
death of Welborn Healey, which occurred at his residence about four o'clock PM on
last Saturday. Last week we gave an account of the accident by which it was then
supposed he would loose his life. After Thursday morning he occasionally exhibited
signs of returning consciousness but on Saturday began to sink away rapidly and died
near the time above indicated. He was buried at Spiceland on Sunday afternoon, the
procession forming at his residence at two o'clock. The funeral was very large with
over 180 carriages and wagons being in the procession. The ceremonies were
conducted by the Order of Odd Fellows of which fraternity Mr. Healey was an honored
and constant member. Ten lodges and several encampments were represented in the
Mr. Healey was about 50 years old, a man of the most sterling integrity. He had
many personal friends and had been frequently called to positions of honor by his
fellow citizens. At the time of his death he was Appraiser of Real Estate for this
County. Mr. Healey had long been a member of the Christian Church. The funeral
was preached at the Friends church in Spiceland by Elder Mavity of the Christian
Church who with the his wife and child occupied the wagon with Mr. Healey at the
timing of the accident.
Mr. Healey leaves a wife and five children. In his death the county has lost a valuable
public servant, his family a gentle and loving parent and husband and society a very
useful member. Peace to his ashes.
Testimonial of Report to Welborn Healey
The following testimonial was read at Spiceland Lodge IOOF on last Friday night. It
was ordered to be recorded on the minutes of the lodge and a copy to be presented
to the widow. Also a copy to the Spiceland Reporter with a request for publication.
Our hearts are again sad for death has a second time visited our lodge. Our worthy
brother P.G. Welborn Healey has been called to his rest. We deeply feel the loss, for
in him we recognized a pillar in the lodge, and a man whose life was characterized by
good works and words. His heart was ever speedy to sympathize with the needy and
distressed and his hand was open for the relief of the unfortunate. In him the
community recognized the highest type of citizenship, a Christian gentleman. The
many excellences of character possesed and shadowed forth in the life of brother
Healey are but the exemplication of the principles for good. In this expression a
tribute of love respecting the inestimable worth of our departed brother, we feel that
we give utterance to the convictions of who were favored with his acquaintance.
While we recognize in his death the wisdom, justice and love of providence, we bow in
humble submission knowing that “he doeth all things well”.
The heartfelt sympathy of the lodge extended to the family of brother Healey in this
their deep affliction and irreparable loss.
Let us as brothers resolve to emulate the virtues of our departed brother and cherish
his memory in our hearts.
Emory C. Bogue
James W. Sears
(8) A letter from Mrs. R.E. Stevenson, dated 14 August 1968, giving information on
Christopher Bundy, son of Gideon Bundy. It then confirms the earlier information
given in the De Waard letter, important because it comes from a separate source.
(9) An earlier letter from Mrs. De Waard, dated 28 October 1966, relating the same
information on the Bundy family.
(10) Several pages from a longer letter written by Lula Clifton in the early 1950's to
Bea Miller Wilkinson. Information on the Hayes family line and the Harrold family line
are documented. Bea's mother was Lillian Harrold.