Lat week I was researching a Post Canyon land claim of a man named Fred Hertz when I ran across the intriguing headline in The Hood River Glacier "Read of His Own Death." "Click Bait" in modern parlance, but as Mr. Hertz was the subject of my research I had to read.
Read of His Own DeathMr. Fred Hertz will make final proof on his homestead at The Dalles land office next month. Mr. Hertz about three years ago had an experience that not often happens. He read of his own death and was mourned by his friends as having crossed the dark river. The circumstances of his reported death were as follows: He had met with an accident in a saw mill and received injuries to his head which caused loss of memory, and he sometimes was unable to recognize acquaintances. Realizing that something was wrong with him, without saying anything to his friends he decided to go to Portland and consult the advice of physicians. None of his acquaintances saw him leave, but the last seen of him he was sitting on a rock on the river bank near Viento. A few days after his disappearance the body of a man was found washed ashore on a point of land some distance below Viento, on the opposite side of the river. Some of his most intimate acquaintances pronounced the find the body of Fred Hertz. Hertz read of his death in the Oregonlan. After spending a few days in Portland he went to California and placed himself under the care of the skilled doctors in the asylum at Stockton. The doctors trepanned his skull and he got well. On returning to Hood River be found that his old neighbors had believed the report of bis death. His cabin had been broken into and all his personal property, including a kit of millwright tools, and even the top of his cook stove, was carried off. His trip to California cost him $500, but he will never begrudge the money, as he is now a sound man and his memory is as good as ever.
For those of you unfamiliar with trepanation, it is the practice of drilling or cutting a hole in the skull for therapeutic purposes. It is my understanding it was one of the earliest forms of surgery known, with evidence of trepanation found on skulls at Cro-Magnon sites. Perhaps someone with medical knowledge can weigh in on whether Mr. Hertz' full recovery was actually aided by the trepanning of his skull. In any case, he did survive to proof his homestead up in Post Canyon, which will be the subject of a future HHR discussion.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
A number of interesting things here. I find it so remarkable that during that era everyone seemed to know what everyone else was doing or had been doing.
My cousin, who would be a great-great grandson of Ed Underwood will be very interested as to the item about them, when I relate it to him.
Charlott on 6th September 2016 @ 7:15am
Old Glacier issues are fascinating reading if you like history. Thanks to Arthur and others for making it possible for us to read years of past events.
The date is Oct. 7, 1898 and there is a paragraph at the top that says Doug Langille can't get back to Cloud Cap Inn because of a big snow storm the night of September 29th. Two feet of snow with strong winds.
That's not as interesting as reading about your own death, but...we are in the month of September.
L.E. on 6th September 2016 @ 7:44am
Multiple train connections, and boats to Lewiston, Corvallis, Dayton, Astoria etc. What an interesting and relaxing time it must have been to travel.
Kenn on 6th September 2016 @ 8:25am
and how about that "are you interested" OR&N article.....get folk to do your advertising for you.
Arlen L sheldrake on 7th September 2016 @ 8:42am
Arlen, I think that "article" was actually a paid advertisement. Newspapers in this era weren't quite as careful noting which items are "news" and which are advertising, though I can't say the line is remarkably clear today either.
Arthur on 7th September 2016 @ 10:53am
Very good chance the procedure could have "cured" him. A head injury often causes bleeding into the brain or into the membrane covering it, which causes pressure on the brain and can cause memory loss along with headaches and other symptoms. The drilling of a hole could have allowed the blood to drain out, thereby relieving the pressure and allowing him to return to normal
Darlene Boggs on 31st December 2016 @ 8:18pm