A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

History: Car vs Horse; Henry S Terhune Suspected of Hit n Run in Holmdel, 1907

The front page of the 2 May 1907 edition of The Matawan Journal contains this rendering of one incident that took place at the nexus of times as the newfangled car and the old reliable horse struggled to find their place on our local roads.

On April 16 one of the horses at H. R. Thomas' stock farm at Holmdel was so badly hurt that it was shot. The horse was ridden to the village by one of the boys on the farm and at the bridge at the foot of Ely's Hill he became frightened at an approaching automobile and backed right into the path of the car. The horse was knocked down and one wheel passed over his leg, breaking it. He regained his feet and after throwing his rider the horse ran home.

The auto was one formerly owned by Henry S. Terhune of this place, but which he sold several weeks ago to President Morris of the Jersey Central Traction Company. It was in charge of its latter's chauffeur, who was being instructed how to run it by Mr. Terhune's chauffeur, and was under control and going at a slow pace when the horse backed into it.

George Tash, manager of the stock farm has written Vice-President Brown asking him to pay for the horse, but the latter denies any responsibility and has replied to Mr Tash that he will communicate with Mr Morris, who is on the Pacific Coast, regarding the matter. The chauffeur denies responsibility for the accident and before any damages are paid it is probable that the question of liability will have to be settled in a court of law.

The 24 Apr 1907 edition of The Red Bank Register tells of the same event but with different details. The horse was one used to train aspiring jockeys but on this date was being ridden into the village to pick up provisions. The article describes a hit and run committed by four persons in a vehicle owned by Henry Terhune of Matawan.

The number of the automobile was secured and it was found that the machine belonged to Henry Terhune of Matawan. Two men and two women were in the automobile when the accident occurred. They stopped the machine a few minutes to see if the boy was hurt and when they found that he was not they started off again at an increased speed up the road. George Tash, manager of the stock farm, has written a letter to Mr. Terhune asking him to pay for the horse.

Reference is made in both articles to Ely's Hill. The location is in Holmdel, based on a front page article in the 7 Jun 1911 edition of The Red Bank Register.

The most excitement that Holmdel has seen in a long time occurred on Saturday when one of the county steam rollers came within an ace of crashing through the bridge at the foot of Ely's hill.


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