Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another example of a pioneer's fortitude

How strong must this man have been to survive this incident? He did later die of his injuries, but the fact he lived so long was remarkable. Also, how merciful is the human brain to prevent him from knowing the extent of his situation?

Steamboat Pilot, October 11, 1911, page 8
Alex Dunn of Threeforks Country, Sensitive Regarding Afflication, Lies in Cabin Three Days Before He Reveals Horrible Burns to His Neighbors
(From Monday’s Daily.)
With his right arm burned to a crisp, his back and shoulders literally roasted, Alexander Dunn, a pioneer of the Threeforks country, lies in a bed at the Sheridan hotel, cheerful and ready to converse with those who enter the room. Knowing that in all probability he can live but two or three days at the most, Dunn is resigned to his fate and, with the greatest patience, awaits the Grim Reaper.
Dunn, who has lived alone in a little cabin in the Threeforks country, has been engaged in doing ditch work for an irrigation project, and during the cold weather last Monday built a fire to dry his clothes. He has long been subject to epileptic fits and it is surmised that he was stricken and fell into the fire. How long he lay there no one knows. He does not know, and being sensitive regarding his affliction, thinks that his clothes caught fire and burned his body before he could extinguish the flames, but from the manner in which the body is burned, Dunn undoubtedly fell into the fire, his arm falling right into the blaze and the back and side of his body was slowly cooked until he regained consciousness.
With his body burned so terribly that death would have resulted in nine cases out of ten, Dunn managed to get up from his perilous and painful position and walk to his cabin. In some manner known only to himself he undressed and got into bed. Tuesday afternoon, becoming alarmed at Dunn’s absence, a neighbor by the name of Durnham went to the Dunn cabin and there found the unfortunate man in bed. Dunn said nothing to Durnham about his condition and he went away feeling that Dunn was probably slightly indisposed and would be about in a day or two. The next afternoon Dunn got up from his bed and went to the Durnham home where he told his neighbors of his condition. Horrified at the man’s terrible burns and astonished that he could talk rationally, Durnham immediately went to a telephone and summoned Dr. L. G. Blackmer who was asked to drive with all speed and meet the party which was on the way to Steamboat.
Dr. Blackmer met the Durnham wagon at Columbine and dressed Dunn’s injuries, after which he was brought to Steamboat and is now being given every attention possible.
Dunn, who is between 45 and 50 years of age, has a married sister somewhere in Arizona and a brother in the Klondike country.
Hank Fravert, an old-time companion of Dunn, is in constant attendance upon the unfortunate man.
Dunn does not realize that most of his body is burned to a crisp, but he does know that he is in a critical condition.

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