A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

History: Matawan Doctor in Car Accident, August 1911

1911 Runabout
Below is an interesting report from a hundred years ago this week of a car accident that seems to have taken place at the intersection of Bethany Road and Holmdel Road in Hazlet. A doctor from Matawan was making his rounds in his runabout when he was plowed into by a guy from Philadelphia who was allegedly speeding through the unregulated intersection in his touring car at 45 MPH. People were supposed to blast their horn as they approached such an intersection, something the Philadelphian claimed to have done.

1911 Packard Touring Car
The doctor and the 7-year old daughter of a Matawan paper salesman along for the ride were not seriously injured despite being tossed from the vehicle like rag dolls. The boorish out-of-towner showed no interest in the victims' condition or how they would get home, so a guy from Red Bank ended up taking them home. The paper noted for the record, in case we couldn't infer it, that the doctor's "feelings toward the man who caused the collision are not of the kindest."

The article appears in the far left column of the front page of the 24 August 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal. I've provided photos of new vehicles (above) from that model year to give you an idea of what their touring car and runabout might have looked like.

His Runabout Struck By Touring Car—Doctor Slightly Hurt.

Monday morning Dr. Nathan Ervin of Matawan was making professional calls in his runabout automobile and was accompanied by Margaret Hulsart, the young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rezeau B Hulsart. As he was turning from the back road to Hazlet to the Keyport and Holmdel road at Mr. Harvey's blacksmith shop his car was struck by a big touring car owned by Fred W. Fisher of Philadelphia.

Mr. Fisher's car was said to be running at the rate of forty-five miles an hour and to have approached the intersecting roads without giving any warning alarm. This Mr. Fisher denies and alleges he was running slowly and that his horn was being blown continuously at the time. He acknowledged that he had not seen the doctor's car until he was upon it.

Both Dr. Ervin and Miss Hulsart were thrown from the former's car by the impact and that neither of them was seriously hurt is a matter of congratulation. The doctor was bruised on his right leg, while the girl's injuries were slight. Mr. Fisher showed but slight interest in the condition of Dr. Ervin or his companion and made no offer to assist them to their homes. The runabout was wrecked and they were taken to Matawan in a Red Bank man's car. The doctor has been able to look after his practice without much discomfort, but his feelings toward the man who caused the collision are not of the kindest.
The 1910 Federal Census shows Nathan Ervin (47), a physician, and his wife Georgiana (44) living on Main Street in Matawan. Georgiana was Nathan's second wife and they'd been married only 3 years. Nathan's son Millard Ervin (16) was residing at home.

Razoe B Hulsart (33), a salesman for a paper house, with wife of 12 years Nellie (32), sons James (10) and Reginald (9), and daughter Margaret were living on Cork Avenue in Matawan.


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