Archive for Thursday, June 20, 2013

100 years ago: Widow wins suit against Bowersock for fatal accident at paper mill

June 20, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 20, 1913:

  • "The jury in the Smith vs. Bowersock damage suit for $10,000 returned a verdict this afternoon at 2 o'clock, awarding the plaintiff, Mrs. S. I. Smith, judgment for the full amount of the suit.... The suit was brought by Mrs. Smith against Mr. Bowersock soon after her husband, Sumner I. Smith, was killed in the machinery at the paper mills. Mr. Smith was at that time superintendent of the paper mill and on November 28 he in some way was caught in the big rollers of the paper machine and crushed to death. In her petition Mrs. Smith charged that the machine was dangerous and was not properly guarded. In an effort to prove this the attorneys for the plaintiff attempted to show that immediately after the accident the machine was fully equipped with guards, which they contended went to prove that the machine had been inadequately equipped before.... Attorneys for the defendant attempted to prove that the machine was safe at the time and that the accident happened through carelessness on the part of the deceased.... This is one of the largest judgments that has been awarded in this court for some time and has created considerable comment. The case will probably be appealed to a higher court by Mr. Bowersock but as yet no statement has been given out to that effect."
  • "A large number of civil engineers of this year's class on the hill have accepted splendid positions already. There is a big demand for these engineers and the graduating classes are watched for good men. A number of this year's class have accepted positions with Railway companies."
  • "Lawrence is scheduled to have a 'Sane Fourth' this year. Last year the city fathers passed an ordinance carrying such a provision, this ordinance to go into effect this year.... It concerns both the discharge of fireworks and the sale of the same by dealers in the city. The Fourth is only a few weeks off and Lawrence parents are wondering what will be the results of the new law. The youngsters are also concerned over the matter; to them it seems as if the liberties and rights of young America are being threatened. A Fourth of July without any noise.... Yet it seems as if Lawrence has reached that stage in civilization where it is willing to give up the pleasures attendant with the cannon cracker and the torpedo for the safety of her children and the peace and comfort of the inhabitants of the city.... Under the provisions of the new ordinance it shall be illegal to sell any cannon cracker or fire cracker longer than five inches. Percussion canes, blank cartridge pistols and toy cannons are absolutely barred.... The same ordinance prohibits the discharge of fireworks on any of the streets or alleys or any public grounds in the city meaning that the boys must celebrate in their own yards."


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