Near Drowning in Little Kanawha in 1895


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/12/1895.

Fred Gibs, Reese Blizzards driver, had a hair lifting experience in the river last Wednesday.  He undertook to drive the young horse, "Blue Dick," across the river in a cart, but it turned out that the river was too deep to wade and a few feet from shore the colt began to plunge and swim.  It being in a swift current the horse, cart and man all rapidly drifted down stream where the banks of the river on either side were so high and steep that to get out, if the shore was reached, was utterly impossible.  After fighting the water for quite a distance, sometimes up and sometimes down, the trio finally found a spot where they could touch bottom, but it was so miry that the horse had to be held up.  This Gibs could not do and get him lose from the cart.  Levi Pettit happened to be in sight at the time he started in the river and as soon as possible came to his assistance.  By means of a boat they swam the horse across to the other shore and made a road by which he was gotten out and the cart was boated back to the road.  The fact that the horse and driver did not both get drowned was the merest accident and due, solely to Gibs coolness.  The horse had one hind leg over a shaft and was tightly reigned.