Thursday, 16 February 2012

George Bailey

Today is the 79th anniversary of the death of George Bailey -- 16 February 1933 -- following an accident on the elevator in the Galt Hospital. Rather than re-telling the story, I thought I would simply post the Lethbridge Herald account of it from the next day's paper:

"MAGRATH MAN DIES FOLLOWING ACCIDENT
GEO. BAILEY FALLS FIFTEEN FEET WHEN GALT HOSPITAL AUTOMATIC ELEVATOR FAILS
Prominent Magath Farmer is Victim of Unusual Accident on Way to Operating Room -- Lift Rises Suddenly When Portable Bed Only Half On and Patient Jammed in Door -- Succumbs at 9:10 O'clock Thursday Night

Believed to be a victim of a most unusual accident caused when the automatic elevator on which he was to be taken to the operating room started suddenly, in Galt Hospital on Thursday afternoon, George Bailey, prominent Magrath farmer, passed away that evening at 9:10 o'clock. An autopsy was performed by Dr. E.V. Spackman on Friday morning at 10:30 and an inquest has been ordered by Coroner Dr. J.E. Lovering to inquire into the circumstances of the death. Results of the autopsy will be made known at the inquiries. The inquest will be held in Martin Brothers funeral parlors on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Details of Fatal Accident
From what the Herald could learn of the accident, deceased had been a hospital patient in the city for two weeks preparing for a major operation. He had been attended by Dr. Spackman and was prepared for the operation at a late hour on Thursday afternoon. The patient was placed on the regular portable bed and was to have been moved upstairs in the elevator. In the elevator was Miss Harriet Levenick, lady superintendent of the city hospital. The bed was guided by Harry Smythe, an orderly, and Miss Joyce Stevens, an under-graduate nurse. Other nurses were witnesses of the accident. As the bed was moved half in the elevator, the lift rose suddenly. The patient was jammed in the door of the elevator and then dropped about 15 feet down the shaft.
Bailey, however, received what were apparently only minor injuries from his harrowing experience. He was able to walk about and talked and laughed of the incident. He was placed back in bed but gradually his condition grew worse and he died at 9:10 p.m."

George Bailey had moved to Magrath from Minnesota 25 years prior. He had been active in the U.F.A. and had served on the executive in Magrath. He was a sheriff's bailiff, at one time associated with E.G. Woodger in the hard-ware business and also Massey-Harris agent for a while.

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