New Jersey Obituaries - July 13, 1898 - Arthur Smock

A Boy Killed By A Fall

Arthur Smock Falls From The Southern Bridge

Death Caused by an Internal Hemorrhage - He Had Just Finished Counting the Carriages at a Funeral - The Funeral To-Morrow

Arthur Smock, son of Walter Smock of Bridge avenue, fell from the Southern railroad bridge on Monday afternoon and received such injuries that he died a few hours afterward. He fell from the bridge at the Red Bank end. His arm was broken by the fall, and he received an internal injury which resulted in a hemorrhage. He was nine years old.

Arthur Smock, Clifford Mullarvey, Harold Lippincott, Clayton Scott, George Hackett, Willie VanPelt and Leon Pennington, all of whom live in West Red Bank, crossed the Southern railroad bridge on Monday and went in swimming on the Middletown side of the river. After coming out of the water they played around the shore for an hour or more, and then started home across the bridge.

While they were crossing the bridge, a funeral crossed Cooper's bridge. The boys sat down to watch the funeral, and Smock began to count the carriages. One of the other boys told him not to do this, as it was a sure sign that there would be a death in the family of any person who counted the carriages at a funeral. Smock laughed at the boy and continued counting.

After the funeral had crossed Cooper's bridge the boys continued on their way home. When they were near the Red Bank end two men started to cross the bridge. They passed the boys and after they had got by they turned around. One of them held his finger up and said he was going to shoot the boys. The boys say that this man was Joe Stewart of Red Bank. Stewart was probably trying to scare the boys "for fun."

Most of the boys started to run. Smock ran ahead on the stringpiece of the bridge. This timber is bolted down to the ties, and the bolt heads project above the surface of the timber. Smock stubbed his toe on one of the bolt heads and fell off the bridge. He caught hold of the ties with one hand and hung there for a moment, and then fell to the ground below. The ground is sandy where he fell, but the fall was a high one. He got up after the fall apparently dazed and began to call for his mother. He walked part of the way home, accompanied by the other boys. When about half-way home he was picked up by a man who was going along in a wagon, and was carried the rest of the way home by him.

As soon as he got home his mother sent for Dr. Sayre and Dr. Rush. His arm was found to be broken and Dr. Sayre, who arrived first, set the broken bone. A severe bruise was found on the side, and Dr. Sayre discovered signs of an internal hemorrhage. The boy lingered until quarter to nine o'clock, when he died. He was unconscious at times from the time he got home until his death.

Walter Smock, the father of the boy, is an engineer on the southern railroad. He moved to Red Bank recently from Toms River. The body will be taken to Toms River to-morrow morning, where the funeral will be held.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, July 13, 1898