Obit: Gorsegner, Ernest (1842? - 1902)

Contact: Ken Wood


----Source: MARSHFIELD NEWS (Marshfield, Wood Co., Wis.) 07/24/1902

Gorsegner, Ernest (1842? - 18 JUL 1902)

A fatal runaway accident, as sudden as it was shocking, occurred on Central Avenue last Friday noon, in which Ernest Gorsegner, a prominent farmer living near Chili, Clark County, Wis., instantly lost his life. It all happened so quickly that but a few persons who chanced to be in the immediate vicinity saw how the unfortunate man met his death. Among the number was a representative of the News.

Mr. Gorsegner and his daughter, Hannah, nineteen years of age, drove to Marshfield early Friday morning to do some shopping, among the purchases being a double harness, which was put on and adjusted in Thomas Mersch's yard. Simon Pflum, Jr., held the horses until father and daughter became seated in the wagon and the old gentleman signified that all was in readiness to start. The moment the horses were given their head they dashed off at breakneck speed with no apparent use for alarm, the young lady screaming with fright while the father exerted all his strength at the reins. In passing over the raised sidewalk between the Mersch and Kleinheinz buildings, the dashboard fell out, against wich Mr. Gorsegner had braced himself in standing position. This caused him to lose his balance and he was thrown forward onto the evener and then to the ground. His injuries undoubtedly would have been slight but for the fact that a rear wheel struck his head with crushing force before he had time to recover himself. Miss Gorsegner was thrown out fifty feet farther on and having escaped with slight bruises ran at once to the prostrate body of her father. He was already dead and presented a shocking sight with face and head covered with blood. Kneeling at his side the girl gave vent to her grief in agonizing screams. Later she was supported to Mersch's hotel and a physician summoned to make certain that her excitement did not conceal serious injuries.

The team with the wagon intact went around the block and turned south on Central Avenue. To the surprise and admiration of all spectators, Charles Yahn leaped into the wagon from the rear, gained possession of the reins, and kept the horses headed down the center of the street, doing his utmost to bring them to a standstill. About the same time Fred Heall?, with the agility and strength of which he alone is capable, ran out and grasped one of the hoses by the bridle, and clung to him with remarkable tenacity. Thanks tot he bravery of the two men, the frightened horses were brought to a standstill and the possibility of further accidents avoided.

Ernest Gorsegner was sixty years of age and a prosperous farmer who had lived in the town of Fremont, Clark County, one mile south of the village of Chili, for the past eighteen years. John Henning who moved to this city recently, lived directly across the road from Mr. Gorsegner for many years. He is survived by a wife, one son and three daughters, William and Hannah Gorsegner, Mrs. Jacobson of Ebbe and Mrs. Herman Hertoldt of Granton, a sister, Mrs. Chas. Fredricka of Thorp, and a brother, Wm. Gorsegner of Milwaukee. The last named visited the family of deceased on July4th. The funeral was held at Chili Sunday afternoon.

William Gorsegner stated to a News reporter that the runaway team had heretofore been very tractable and the only reason he could assign for the runaway was the fact that the new harness did not have blinds. The team had never been driven with open bridle and the change filled them with fright.



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