Friday, May 14, 2021

Motor madness invades the Chariton Cemetery

Pesky automobiles were proliferating in Chariton as Decoration Day 1911 approached --- and one of the principal perpetrators in this transportation revolution was the Schreiber Carriage Manufacturing Co., broadening its market by offering the mighty Chalmers. This advertisement was published in The Leader of April 13.

Six weeks later, motor madness had spread as far as the Chariton Cemetery, where two ladies out for a pleasant drive among the graves in their horse and buggy were among the innocent victims. Here's how The Herald-Patriot of June 1 reported the incident:


Decoration Day seemed to be an unfortunate day with the autos. Mrs. Elsie Graves and Mrs. Guy Graves were driving their horse through the cemetery in the afternoon when M.V. Adams and Sherman Miller, in their autos, met at a corner and frightened the horse, which turned quickly and upset the buggy, badly bruising Mrs. Guy Graves and breaking both of Mrs. Elsie Graves' arms, the left arm near the shoulder and the right one near the wrist. The injured ladies are resting well now.

Mr. Jos. Griffin's horse also was scared in the afternoon by an auto on north Grand street that was standing still, and swerved to one side of the street, over the curbing. In his efforts to stop it, Mr. Griffin had three ribs broken.


That edition of The Herald-Patriot also included this stiff warning to speed-crazed motorists, under the headline: "Speed Limit Ten Miles."

Mayor Larimer is planning an enforcement of the speed ordinances and the state law on the speed of automobiles inside city limits. He does not want an accident in Chariton such as happens in nearly every town where auto drivers are allowed to run as they please. Drivers of autos become speed crazy, and otherwise thoughtful and considerate men seem to forget all about the safety of pedestrians, and especially children, when they get behind the steering wheel of an auto. There are dozens of autos in Chariton that have been in the habit of running 30 miles an hour or faster through the streets. Many old people are getting afraid to send their children down town on errands. The speed craze ought to be stopped. There is no need of it.

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