Monday, April 27, 2015
1922 :: Death of Little Velma Ashby
Rockdale Child is Victim of High Powered Electric Wire
Little Velma Ashby Meets Instant Death by Electrocution When Hand Comes in Contact with Texas Power & Light High Voltage Line.
One of the most distressing tragedies that has ever happened in Rockdale occurred Friday, resulting in the death of little Velma Ashby, thirteen year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. Ashby, who met her untimely end by coming in contact with a high powered electric light wire.
The child was across the street from her home in the yard of J.D. Hamilton, playing with the Hamilton children. She climbed into a chinaberry tree to gather some of the sweet-smelling blossoms. It so happened that two uninsulated wires of the Texas Power & Light Company ran through the foliage of the tree, and little Velma evidently grasped one or both of the wires, receiving the full charge of the 2,200 volts of electricity, and evidently resulting in instant death. Her body slipped and caught by the feet in a tangle of small limbs, leaving her hanging by her feet, head down, some eight or ten feet from the ground.
The children gave the alarm and Tom Marrs, from across the alley, ran over with a ladder and assisted by his son, Wynette, and Miss Laura Hamilton, got the body down. Life was then practically extinct the child gasping once or twice after being taken down. Physicians were soon on the grounds and pronounced death due to electrocution.
The funeral was held Saturday morning at ten o'clock, being conducted by Rev. B.B. Blaylock of Temple assisted by Rev. G.S. Tumlin of this city, and the unanimous interest and sympathy of the people of Rockdale was evidenced by the large attendance and many beautiful flowers. The attendance of children was particularly notable. Velma was in the sixth grade at school and was popular with her classmates who grieved sorely at her death. Interment was at the New City Cemetery [i.e., Oaklawn], the religious services being conducted at the grave, where the consoling words of Bro. Blaylock, and the tender prayer of Bro. Tumlin brought comfort to the bruised hearts of the stricken family. The Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, Thursday, April 27, 1922