Cecil Whig first edition

ELKTON — Each week, we take a look back in time to examine what was on the minds of Cecil County readers. Rotating through the Whig’s 177-year history, we hope to not only provide direct text from our archives, but also context as to why the issue was important at the time.

Join us as we thumb through the pages of our history.

July 21, 1894 (125 years ago)

Last week we wrote about the saving of Mabel Merritt, who fell off of the Singerly Wharf and was saved by good Samaritans. So we were surprised to see one of the heroes from that incident followed it up with an encore less than a week later as he saved two young girls from a train. We wonder what happened to young Mr. Hitchens after these episodes.

A Boy’s Bravery

Two eleven year old Elkton girls, Mary A. Morgan, daughter of Harry C. Morgan, and Nannie Thomas, daughter of Harry Thomas, narrowly escaped death by being struck by a train on the P. W. & B. railroad on Thursday afternoon, and which accident was averted by the coolness and bravery of young John Hitchens, assisted by Philip Hall, both Elkton boys.

The girls were on their way blackberrying, and were crossing the railroad bridge east of town unconscious of an approaching freight train running down the steep grade at a rapid rate. Hitchens, who was walking toward the bridge appreciated their danger and called to them, at the same time hurrying up to the bridge. The girls, upon seeing the train bearing down upon them were almost paralyzed with fright. Nannie Thomas fell upon the track of the approaching train, while little Mary had the presence of mind to stop off the track and attempted to hurry off the bridge upon the footboard between the tracks. Hitchens seized the prostrate girl and lifting her up with the other arm and with some help from Hall, succeeded in getting them off the bridge just as the train flew past.

Young Hitchens shows himself to be a boy of nerve and courage, it only being last week that he assisted Andrew Rambo in his rescue from drowning of Miss Merritt at the Elkton wharf.

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