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As It Was: Man Risks Loss of $6 to Stop Runaway Horses

In 1911, six dollars in silver wasn’t something anyone would want to lose.  However, a man coming out of a business on Main Street in Cottage Grove, Ore., clutching that amount in his money bag quickly threw it aside when he encountered a dangerous situation.

The man, W.A. Hogate, was walking past a horse-drawn delivery wagon in front of Burkholder’s Store when a noisy auto went by, startling the animals.  Hogate grabbed one of the reins with his free hand, but couldn’t stop the runaway horses with just one hand while his other hand held his money bag.
As the frightened horses careened toward screaming pedestrians,  Hogate cast aside his money bag and made a heroic leap onto the buckboard of the wagon.  He grabbed the other rein, controlled the horses and steered them out of harm’s way.

Hogate didn’t expect to find his money where he had thrown it, but he retrieved the empty money bag and one-by-one picked up all his coins that had scattered in the dust.

Source:  "Drops Money, Stops Runaway Horses." Cottage Grove Sentinel, 17 Nov. 1911, p. 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088073/1911-11-17/ed-1/seq-1/ Accessed June 16, 2019

Lynda Demsher has been editor of a small-town weekly newspaper, a radio reporter, a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for the Redding Record Searchlight, Redding California. She is a former teacher and contributed to various non-profit organizations in Redding in the realm of public relations, ads, marketing, grant writing and photography.