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The Ringgold Record, 1894

FATALLY WOUNDED.

Mack WEST of Benton Township
Accidently Shoots Himself
with His Own Gun

And Dies from Hemorrhage, Shock and Exposure,
at 7:30 O'clock the Same Evening

M. West gravestone.jpg One of the most shocking accidents that has occurred in Benton township for some years took place last Friday afternoon about two o'clock. It was equalled only in sadness by the tragic death of Miss [Hattie] BARCHUS a few years ago who was accidentally shot and killed by her brother and the facts in regard to which are probably still fresh in the minds of the majority of our readers.

On last Friday after dinner, Mack WEST who lives about three miles northwest of Benton, hitched up to his sleigh, took his gun, a double-barreled one, and started out to hunt quails. He had driver over into the DILLE field where he spied a flock of quails, and proceeded to empty one barrel of his gun in the midst of them while in his sleigh, killing many and wounding some. He got out of the sleigh to kill some of the wounded birds by knocking them down with his gun. To do so he grasped the gun by the muzzle, apparently forgetting this it was a double barreled one, with one load still in, and made a sweep at a bird with the butt. Just as the muzzle of the gun was in front of him, the trigger caught on a twig or weed and the entire contents of the gun lodged in the front part of the left thigh, three inches below the groin, severing the large blood vessels and nerves in that region. All the tissues in the course of the shot were horribly lacerated, the hemorrhage being profuse and loss of blood great.

It was a about two o'clock when he shot himself, and he lay there reeking in his own blood and suffering from the pain of the wound and the severe cold, until he was found by Messrs. D. L. GLEASON and Chas. DILLE a few moments before 4 o'clock. Mr. GLEASON had heard a person hallewing of some time, but supposed it was some one calling or driving cattle; but when Mr. DILLE came up they decided to investigate matters and did so with the above shocking result.

Just what thoughts must have passed through his mind as he lay there on the snow with the life blood flowing from the gaping wound is hard to determine. But as a drowning man's whole past life passes in review before him, so Mack must have seen his past life as only God and himself could know. The fruitless efforts to raise himself and the apparently hopless task of attracting help must have indeed chilled the stoutest heart and driven it back to its Maker. We can scarcely conceive of a more hopless case than the above nor one more calculated to call forth all the sympathy in the human heart towards him. Luckily for him there was aid in hearing distance which finally came as mentioned.

These gentlemen took him to his home in his own sleigh and on the way he told them how the accident happened and all the attendant circumstances. He was rational then and continued so until the last an recognized the doctors when they arrived.

As soon as they arrived at Mr. WEST's home, Chas. DILLE came to Mt. Ayr as fast as he could possibly travel, after Drs. BAILEY and HORNE. Fortunately these gentlemen were intheir offices and went out to Mr. WEST's together, arriving there at 6:20 and found him in a collapsed condition. He was pulseless and very restless. The surgeons made a hasty examination of the wound to determine his condition, but before a complete examination could be made he commenced to sink and in a short time passed away. The reaction from the would never set in and his death occurred at 7:30 from hemorrhage and shock.

His death came suddenly although expected from the nature of the wound which was in a round shape similar to the gun barrel only in outer size narly the circumference of a silver dollar, and clear cut. But then anyone who has ever seen a gun shot would, and especially one made by a shot gun at close range can picture to themselves the rest.

Mr. WEST was a young married man about 27 years and leaves a wife and two children aged 4 and 2 years respectively to whom this awful calamity comes with crushing weight. All the relatives and friends who resided in the vicinity were present to soothe the dying pillow, but he was beyond medical skill when the doctors arrived.

The funeral occurred Monday in the new Methodist church at Benton, being conducted by Rev. B. D. HIMEBAUGH, assisted by Rev. THARP and Mrs. ZIKE. The interment was the first in the new cemetery at Benton.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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