Mount Union Stories: Ezra Wyatt (1844-1897)

Published as it appeared on Oct. 20, 1897 in the Corvallis Times, Page 3, Column 3.

DANGEROUS IF NOT FATAL.
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The Terrible Injuries of Ezra Wyatt —
His Horse Ran Away.

Ezra Wyatt, resident of Philomath and a brother of Samuel, John and Frank Wyatt, lies dangerously and in all human probability, fatally injured at Plainview, Linn county. One cheek is literally torn from his face, one ear is torn completely away, the jaw is fractured and the base of the brain, the doctors say, is injured. There are also internal injuries, the extent and nature of which are not known. While persons as badly injured may have in single instances recovered, there is not one chance in a hundred that Mr. Wyatt will recover. He has been since Sunday evening totally unconscious, unable even to recount to relatives about his bedside the tragic story of how he was hurt.

Mr. Wyatt’s injuries are supposed to be the result of an accident. He is a minister in the United Brethren church and last week went to Linn county to attend conference. He traveled in a cart, and during Sunday afternoon had preached a sermon at Hamilton Creek. In the evening he was to preach at Plainview, midway on the road between Lebanon and Brownsville. He was en route to Plainview when the accident happened. Among several other persons that he passed along the road were two men. Two hundred yards from the spot where they last saw him the attention of these two men was attracted by heavy breathing along the roadside. They investigated and found Mr. Wyatt in an unconscious condition, covered with blood, injuries and bruises as described above. The horse and cart were nowhere to be seen. An investigation of the surroundings indicates that the horse had run away, and that, being thrown out of the vehicle, the injured man had been dragged a distance of 70 or 80 yards. The men quickly secured help and the sufferer was taken to Plainview, six miles south of Lebanon, where he now lies.

Dr. Starr, of Brownsville, and Dr. Foley, of Lebanon, were both summoned and Monday afternoon Dr. Davis, of Albany, was also called into the case. It had been planned to attempt a difficult operation Monday evening, but after consultation the plan was given up by the surgeons as useless or impossible.

The news of the accident reached Corvallis by telephone from Brownsville to Officer Skipton at ten o’clock Sunday night, and a messenger was at once sent to relatives west of Corvallis and in Philomath. An hour later a messenger from Plainview also passed through Corvallis en route for the home of Wyatt. During the night Samuel and John Wyatt, with a portion of the family of the injured man, passed through Corvallis en route for the scene, and early the following morning the wife and the rest of the children crossed the Willamette bound east on a sorrowful trip.

Mr. Wyatt is the eldest son of William Wyatt, the well-known Benton County pioneer. His home is in Philomath and besides himself, a wife, two sons, and two daughters are its inmates. He is aged about fifty-seven years. The dreadful accident has aroused profound interest and much sympathy is expressed by friends and acquaintances.

Published as it appeared on Oct. 23, 1897 in the Corvallis Times, Page 3, Column 6.

DRAGGED TO DEATH.

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His Injuries Proved Fatal—The Fun-
Eral of Rev. Wyatt—A Curious
Remark

Rev. Ezra C. Wyatt, so seriously injured in an accident near Plainview Sunday evening, is in his grave. His death occurred Thursday evening at 11 o’clock, and members of his family in charge of the body passed through Corvallis Wedneday night en route for the bereaved home in Philomath. The funeral occurred from Keezel Chapel at one o’clock Thursday, and the services were conducted by Bishop Barkley of the United Brethren church. A large concourse of relatives, acquaintances and neighbors assembled to pay a last tribute of respect to the deceased. The interment was made at Newton cemetery.

Later information confirms the Times story of the terrible accident. Rev. Wyatt had only a few minutes previously separated from a number of friends, and had started up the road for Plainveiw, when the dreadful trouble happened. Tracks in the road showed that the horse had shied at sight of some object, and had swerved to one side a distance of sixteen feet. It was noticed that at this time the cart was running only on one wheel. Marks left along the roadside showed that the feet of the victim had been caught on some part of the cart and that the head hung down, striking the ground. In this position the unfortunate man was dragged a distance of seventy-three yards. At one place it was seen where the head had struck against a big rock, this being the spot doubtless where the ear and cheek were so mangled. The victim never regained consciousness, and died without being able to tell to the sorrowing relatives about his bedside the frightful story of his last experience on earth.

A curious fact connected with the affair is, that as he crossed the Corvallis ferry, en route to attend conference, Mr. Wyatt remarked to Fred Blumhart, “This may be the last time I shall ever cross this ferry.” Whether a foreboding of death prompted the remark or not, it turned out to be prophetic, and the trip over was the last trip in life this pioneer citizen made over the beautiful Willamette.

Ezra C. Wyatt has been since the late forties a resident of Benton county. In early childhood he reached the state with his father. William Wyatt, and, perhaps, in 1847 located on the well-known Wyatt donation claim west of Corvallis. As boy and man he lived in the vicinity where his remains were laid to rest, and no tongue has been heard to say that he was aught but a most estimable citizen, a beloved neighbor and a relative ever to be mourned.

Published as it appeared on Nov. 12, 1897 in the Corvallis Gazette, Page 2, Columns 3-4.

A Christian Gentleman.

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In the death of Rev. Ezra C. Wyatt, Benton county has lost a valuable citizen. Mr. Wyatt was thrown from his wagon recently, while going from a quarterly meeting at Waterloo, Linn County, to Plainview, where he was to preach in the evening. His injuries were fatal, and he never recovered consciousness. He died the second night after he was hurt. His family and two brothers were with him and he received every attention and was given all the care and medical aid that loving ones could summon, but the good Lord saw best to call him from his earthly cares and place him on a throne in heaven, where he is free from all sorrow and pain. The funeral sermon was preached by Bishop H.L. Barkley, to a large concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends.

Ezra C. Wyatt was born in Henderson county, Illinois, October 26th, 1844, and with his parents crossed the plains to Oregon in 1874. He died at the age of 52 years, 11 months. He was converted at the early age of thirteen years and ever after lived a christian. He was called to the ministry about 19 years ago. Most of the time he has been presiding elder in Oregon conference and at one time was pastor of the Salem church. He has preached over the greater part of western Oregon. He was always found at the … (indecipherable text) … heaven wear a crown set with bright glittering stars for each soul he was, on earth, so anxious to have saved. He dearly loved his family, consisting of his loving wife and four children — two sons and two daughters, who are grief-stricken with their earthly loss. They miss his gentle greetings, his many counsels, his loving words, his fatherly care and kind advice.

Mr. Wyatt had a noble considerate heart. When starting on a journey he always said: “I can not go until I bid my aged father and mother good bye. I may get word of their death when I am far away from them, and would be grieved if I had not bid them good bye before I left home.”

Three brothers and three sisters survive him and with a large number of other relatives and friends, will e’er remember him and will ever miss his gentle clasping hands and his good counsels in the church and at home.

His life was a sweet benediction,
Scattering kindness and love all the way,
Cheering hearts that were sad, with sweet counsel,
And the will of the master each day,
Was the will of his life to accomplish.
So patient, so gentle and kind,
And the place that the Father has promised,
In His true heart was-ever enshrined.

Philomath
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