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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
January 18, 1900

Accident Near Greenwich Greatly Affects William Rockefeller, Whose Vehicle Was Responsible.

Special to The New York Times.

GREENWICH, Conn., Jan. 17.—William Rockefeller a few days ago rode over from North Tarrytown to his Greenwich farm in an automobile. He was accompanied by an engineer, who was giving the Standard Oil magnate points regarding the running of the carriage, so that Mr. Rockefeller might secure a license as an engineer. All went well until Byram Hill was reached, when a horse driven by Mrs. Herbert Smith, of Round Hill, became fightened at the horseless vehicle and ran away. The carriage was overturned and Mrs. Smith and a young woman who was with her were thrown out and bruised.

Mr. Rockefeller immediately brought his vehicle to a stop, and, alighting, went to the ladies' assistance. Several small boys of the neighborhood gathered, and in the excitement of the moment Mr. Rockefeller drew from his pocket a silver half dollar and dispatched one of the youngsters to Merritt's stables in Greenwich for a carriage to take the ladies to their home.

"Who'll pay for de rig?" queried the youngster, as he started off.

Mr. Rockefeller had forgotten this important adjunct and called the boy back. He again went down in his pocket and, handing the boy a card, remarked, "You hurry off; and present this card to Mr. Merritt, and that will be sufficient." Mr. Rockefeller remained at the scene of the accident until the carriage arrived, and was so nervous and excited over the affair that, although within a mile of his farm, he abandoned the trip and returned seventeen miles to his home.

Since the accident Mr. Rockefeller has had the damaged carriage repaired and has also sent a neat check to the injured ladies.

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