Event Person

Portsmouth Boy Killed Celebrating Halloween

“A life was snuffed out in another distressing automobile accident which occured at Second and Market streets shortly after six o’clock Friday evening when Herman Hodge, 11-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs1. Henry Hodge, of 112 Second street, was struck by a Ford machine driven by OH Wilburn2, 2306 Vinton avenue, and so badly hurt that he succumbed to his injuries six hours later at Hempstead hospital without regaining consciousness. Death was caused from a fractured skull sustained by the violent impact which knocked the lad to the street. He was unconscious when picked up by persons who witnessed the accident and a deep gash which extended across his head exposing the skull showed those near that the lad was badly hurt and he was rushed to the hospital.”

“Mr. Wilburn, whose machine hit the boy, claims that the lad crossed the street in front of a westbound street car and was struck by a step of the car and knocked into the path of his machine and his story was supported by the statement of his son who with several others occupied the Wilburn car.”

“Street car officials after an investigation stated that they had found one eyewitness of the accident who claimed that they saw the boy cross the street in the rear of the street car and was never hit by the street car at all. Wilburn claims he was driving slowly and insists he would not have struck the boy if he had not been hit by the street car.”

“The boy had blackened his face and attired in Hallowe’en garb, had started out to make merry in celebrating the event with companions. The mother said the boy had come home soon after leaving school in the afternoon all excited in anticipation of the fun of disguising for the Hallowe’en celebration. She states he wanted to get out so much that he would eat no supper but put black on his face and started out.”

The parents arrived at the hospital soon after the accident and remained at the bedside of their son until the end. Besides parents he is survived by four sisters: Rosie, Marie, Gwendolyn and Justine. Mr. Hodge is an employee of the Portsmouth Sand and Gravel company. Funeral arrangements have not been completed but will probably be held Sunday.3

Herman Hodge Death Certificate4

  1. Emma R Hodge (nee Evans)
  2. Oscar Harrison Wilburn
  3. Boy Is Killed By Automobile While Celebrating Hallowe’en. (1921, October 29). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 7.
  4. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9PK4-WK7?cc=1307272&wc=MD9F-ZP6%3A287600201%2C294641501 : 21 May 2014), 1921 > 56131-59100 > image 2820 of 3300.