Miller Database - Page 3
(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, Indiana
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
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 scorching 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 prayer.
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 procession.
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 husbanc 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.