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Jacksonville Daily Courier, September 3, 1898


James Magill Terribly Mangled by a Circular Saw

The adage that "no man can tell what a day may bring forth" was terribly verified Friday afternoon at the farm of James Magill, two miles a little southeast of Arnold. Mr. Magill and his two sons and John Ransdell were operating a portable saw mill. The mill was running with a full head of steam and each man was doing his part. Mr. Magill was carrying off lumber as fast as it was sawed and while near the saw he seemed to make a misstep or lost his balance and his pants were caught by the saw and in less time than it takes to tell it he was literally cut to pieces by the terrible implement of destruction. His body was cut in two right through the breast, at the same time an arm was severed and one of his legs. To those operating the mill the sight was terrible and sickening in the extreme. The machinery was instantly stopped, but the work of destruction was complete and the man who a moment before had never dreamed of such a thing was now a horrible mutilated corpse. No one seems to be to blame, as it was one of those unforeseen accidents which is likely to happen to any one working about machinery of that character. It is needless to add that the awful calamity causes intense grief among those of his family and his friends and acquaintances, of whom he had many. He was a generous hearted man and the soul of honor and though he might have had his faults his many good qualities overbalanced then an hundred fold. When the civil war broke out James Magill was among the first of the brave men of Morgan county to respond to the tocsin and enlisted in Company G First Missouri cavalry, and served throughout the great conflict with credit to himself and honor to old glory.

This is the second tragedy that has taken place in the family. Some ten years ago his son, Frank, who was husking corn in the field, and who had his shot gun along in the wagon, seeing some game passing over, reached for the gun and pulled the muzzle toward him, with the usual result. The discharge killed him instantly.

Mr. Magill is survived by his widow, one brother and two sisters, and three sons, Charlie, Owen and Lloyd, and one daughter, Miss Lillian.

Deputy Coroner Wright, of Murrayville, was notified, who proceeded to hold an inquest, and the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the facts above stated.

Among the survivors of Mr. Magill's company in the war in Morgan county are Cy Matthews, W. H. Jordan, Henry Maul, Capt. John E. Wright, John W. Melton, Capt. C. A. Kirby, Geo. W. Moore, C. R. Taylor and Geo. Glenn.

The funeral was held at 3 p.m. today from the family residence, Rev. W. L. Tarbet in charge, and the remains were interred in the Scott cemetery, about five miles southeast of the city.


Jacksonville Daily Courier, September 7, 1898


The funeral obsequies over the remains of the late James Magill took place from the family residence, five miles southeast of the city Saturday. The services were in charge of Rev. W. L. Tarbet, pastor of the Pisgah Presbyterian church, and there was a very large concourse of friends and relatives to participate in the last sad rites.

The pastor made a few remarks on the life and death of the deceased and uttered words of consolation to the living relatives. He impressed on all present the importance of being ready for no man can tell when the grim gleaner may call and beckon you hence to the land of mysteries where the traveler to that silent bourne never returns. In the twinkling of an eye our friend and comrade was snatched from time into eternity and called before the Great Judge of the quick and the dead. The deceased had breasted the storm of war and amid the fierce charges of hostile squadrons had escaped unscathed, but in a moment, when least expected, the king of terrors laid him low. He was a brave soldier in the war and has continued to fight the battle of life since that far away time with the characteristic bravery of early manhood.

How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest.
Here honor comes a pilgrim gray
To bless the turf that wraps their clay.

The singing was in charge of Mrs. J. M. Cully and Mrs. Shepherd, assisted by Comrades Wright, Kirby, Vanzandt and others, the songs being "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" and "Rock of Ages". The pall bearers were Capt. John E. Wright, W. A. Kirby, George W. Moore, C. W. Mathews, G. W. VanZandt, C. R. Taylor and John Wesley Melton, all company comrades of the deceased. The remains were conveyed to the Scott cemetery, where they were laid to their eternal rest, and the silent mound was covered with a profusion of God's choicest flowers, and there we leave him until the last trump shall call the sleeping millions from the bosom of Mother Earth. The Courier joines with his sorrowing comrades in extending a heartfelt sympathy to the stricken family and a fervent hope that he who "tempers the wind to the shorn lamb" will not forsake them in this great bereavement which has cast a shadow across the pathway of the coming years.

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