Kankakee, IL Runaway Accident, May 1912

MIDGET KILLED IN A RUNAWAY
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Mlle Coretta Meets Her Death in Kankakee.
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OCCURS ON FAIRGROUNDS
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ONE OF THE SMALLEST PERSONS IN THE WORLD, WEIGHING ONLY TWENTY-TWO POUNDS, IS DASHED TO DEATH AFTER HORSE TAKES FLIGHT AND RUNS AROUND HALF-MILE TRACK-LITTLE WOMAN A DECENDANT OF MICHAEL HILLEGAS, THE FIRST TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES.

Kankakee, Ill., May 24-(Special)- Mlle Coretta one of the smallest midgets in the world, on exhibition with the Mazeppa and Greater United shows at the Kankakee Interstate Fair grounds this week, was instantly killed when the horse drawing the carriage in which she was riding, took fright and, dashing around the half-mile track at a terrible pace, threw her a distance of 20 feet, dashing out her brains. During the past few mornings she had been anxious to take a ride behind a beautiful spotted pony belonging to the show and her which was granted.

A man by the name of Warren an employee of the show and who accustomed to driving the pony, was sent to take the midget for a drive. They proceeded around the race course several times and noticing a pump in the vicinity of the horse barns, at the north end of the race course, Mlle Coretta informed the driver that she would like a drink. Stopping the horse, driver Warren hitched the animal to a post and started for the pump, after telling the midget that he would bring her a drink.

Negroe Scares Horse

While Warren was after the drinking water, a negroe, an employee of the show, happened along. He was carrying a cane. As he neared the horse and Coretta, his hat was caught by a gust of wind and blown off. In the negroe's haste to catch the hat, he threw his hands up in the air and at the same time his cane struck the horse across the head.

Horse Dashes Away

The badly frightened animal made a dash for liberty and, although Driver Warren had returned near enough to the carriage to recover the reins, he could not stop the animal and was dragged several yards and sustained severe injuries. The animal dashed madly around the race-course until it came to the horse barns, when it attempted to run through a gate. The carriage was upset and Mlle Coretta was thrown with violent force a distance of 30-odd feet, striking her head on the hard ground. Spectators who witnessed the tragedy are of the opinion that as the horse ran, it kicked ferociouly and struck the midget on the forehead. When picked up she was in a dying condition with a portion of her brain protruding through the skull.

The ambulance was summoned and she was hurried to the Emergency hospital. However, she was pronounced dead on being taken from the ambulance.

History of Coretta

Mlle Coretta was 21 years of age, 22 pounds in weight and only 21 inches in height. She was born in Clinton, Ia, and always delighted in calling that town her home, happy from the fact that it is the place noted as the birthplace of the celebrated Lillian Russell.

Coretta weighed but two pounds after the first time she was placed on the scales and when she was two and one-half years old she stopped growing. She was well educated and has been on exhibition for a number of years. There was no disproportion in the size of the hands, feet, and body of the little baby and she was the only midget there has ever been in her family as far back as her ancestors can be traced.

She was a great-great-great grand-daughter of Michael Hillegas, the first treasurer of the United States, and she often remarked that she guessed she could buy a house and lot with the money she expected to get from the Hillegas estate, for its settlement is now in the courts and she was in line for a portion of it-money loaned to George Washington during the stress of the Revolution.

Morris Daily Herald 1912-05-24