TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY A HORSE
By S. C. Turnbo
The following old time pathetic account was furnished me by Elias and Peter Keesee sons of Paton Keesee who settled on Little North Fork in Ozark County, Mo. in 1823. After our father settled here in the year named a man of the name of Smith settled on the creek a short distance below where Theadaosia now is. The family consisted of man and wife and two or three small boys. The man was a native of Poland and had served in the army of Napoleon Bonapart and took part in the great Battle of Waterloo fought on the 18 of June 1815. Soon after the defeat and disastrous retreat of Bonaparts army Mr. Smith made his way to the United States and come to Southwest Missouri and to Little North Fork as stated which was in 1830. As the man had formerly lived in Poland the settlers called him "Polanaer" Smith. His wife was named Sallie and she was quite industrious and a rustler among stock and was a better manager in caring for the cattle than her husband was. It was not long before they owned a nice head of cattle which thrived well on the cane in the creek bottoms. One day in 1838 Mr. Wm. Holt who had just arrived on Little North Fork from Tennessee was employed by Smith to work a few days for him. Mr. Holt owned a good horse and he used it to haul rails on a sled for his employer. At noon one of little boys rode Holts horse to the creek to let him have water. While the boy was gone to the creek another one of Smiths boys who was also quite small got at the side of the path and waited for his little brother to come back from the creek and when he saw him coming. The child for mischief not thinking of the harm it would make took off his coat and as his brother rode up to him he threw the coat at the horse which frightened the animal and he leaped around and the child fell off and the horse trampled him to death. It was a great shock to Smith and his wife and they grieved very much at the loss of their child. They had a grave dug in the grave yard at the mouth of Brattons Spring Creek while a little coffin was being prepared and they laid the little form of their dead child to rest there.
Springfield-Greene County Library