Despite the constant reports of violence we are inundated with every day, we live in a low-violence society compared to the 1800s in the Oil Region! In particular, 1874 was a very violent year.
It was the year after the Civil War. Veterans were still recovering. Thousands of Pennsylvanian children were in soldiers' orphanages as a result of the carnage, and three more children were about to be thrown to the winds as a result of their father's actions.
"Horrible Homicide!" the August 15th, 1872 edition of the Titusville Morning Herald screamed from page three. "A man had his head chopped off in the Corry Lock-Up. The Slayer an insane man!" Comforting words to read while sipping your morning tea, no?
Imagine going to the dentist. You know you need a root canal and boy is it going to hurt. But you aren't too worried because you know that a simple injection of Novocaine will do the trick to eliminate the majority of the pain. But, that's today. Now, imagine you need a root canal, but the year is 1860. Feeling slightly more nervous? You should be.
A Thousand Ways to Die in the Oil Region, Episode 3 April 5, 1873: William Barry was burned beyond recognition in an accident on the Jamestown Railroad at Oil City. He was only able to be identified by a pistol which he carried. He was 17 years old.