Lancaster, PA Electrocuted By Trolley Wire, May 1901

Hide And Seek Led To Death

Boy Electrocuted While Climbing to the Top of Trolley Pole

Special to The Inquirer

Lancaster, Pa., May 10. – Roland, the 14 year-old son of Deputy Revenue Collector John M NEWBOLD, was electrocuted this evening, at the corner of Walnut and Christian streets, on a lofty pole that carries the feed wire of the Conestoga trolley road. The lad was playing hide and seek, and thinking the pole afforded a good hiding place, started ascending it by means of the foot pins in the pole, telling another boy he was going to the top. At the height of fifty feet he grasped with both hands a feed wire, and instantly received the full shock of six thousand volts of electricity.

Falling, one leg caught a lower feed wire, where he was held by the foot being pinned under a foot pin of the pole. Several hundred horrified people soon gathered on the scene, helpless spectators of the dreadful sight. Among those who came was Charles NEWBOLD, an older brother of the victim, who jumped from a passing street car to learn the cause of the excitement. He became frantic upon learning who the victim was.

Two men finally ascended the pole, and at no little risk lowered the body to the ground. It was hurried to a physician’s office, but life was extinct.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 11 May 1901