Universal York

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York County Judge Rules in Favor of Mule

In a previous post I pointed out that traffic accidents made the news long before automobiles were invented.
Click here to read about some pre-auto mishaps.
The advent of the motor car caused just added to the mix, as shown by the March 1908 Gazette account below:

The jury gave Leander Blouse, of Chanceford Township, yesterday a verdict of $739 after deliberating about a quarter of an hour. The case was heard before Judge Wanner.
It was shown that the farmer, while driving on the Chanceford turnpike near Spry, was struck and hurled about thirty feet over a fence, thereby breaking a rib or two, bruising his head and giving him internal injury, and the question whether it was Arthur Geesey’s automobile or Mr. Blouse’s own mule team which furnished the propelling power was decided in favor of Mr. Blouse, and the mule was exonerated.
Mr. Blouse had sued for $1,000 damages for personal injuries. K.W. Altland appeared for Blouse and John A. Hoober for Mr. Geesey.”
The Chanceford turnpike is today’s route 74, and it was a turnpike. You had to stop and pay a toll at specific places to continue on your way. (Guess why that little shopping center in Spry is called Tollgate village.)
It certainly didn’t take the jury long to come to a verdict. I wonder why the jury decided on $739 instead of the $1,000 asked. The account doesn’t mention if the mule was called to testify.
Click here to read about the horsepower under the hood of early York automobiles.