Relic Of Days Gone By
Old Time Stage Coach Passes Through Norfolk From Pierce to Madison
The Coach Was at One Time Used on the Trail Between Omaha and Ogden—Herman Gerecke
Used to Ride Behind it as a Guard—Now on Display.
A relic of bygone days passed through Norfolk yesterday. It was an old government stage coach that at one time was on the route from Omaha to Ogden. The coach is the property of Wilson Hall of Pierce and is on its way to Madison, where it we be a feature in the county fair. The coach is in very dilapidated condition at present and shows the ravages of time. The driver’s high seat has rotted from exposure to the weather and there is no cushion left, only tatters. On the back is the baggage platform, with its leather cover, that is cut and worn till it is hardly recognizable. In the leather are a few bullet holes that tell a story of their own, perhaps a fight with Indians or some hold-up. Then there are numerous cuts, supposedly from knives in a fight or from arrows.
The paint has worn off on most all of the parts, but can be faintly seen in places, The coach was painted a light blue with white trimmings. At the top is the name of the firm that ran the vehicle, “Liftwich and Perry,” and on the side are the signs, “American Express, and , .U. S. Mail.” The boxes that should hold these have rotted away and the bottoms have fallen out. The inside of the coach is in the most dilapidated condition of all. All the cushions have been worn and torn so that the bare boards are to be seen. There is one part that has been burnt. There are innumerable autographs of passengers, who have ridden in the coach.
The wheels only are in fairly good condition, although there are no washers on the axle, and the thing goes creaking along with a horrible noise. The big strap springs that hold the box are in very good condition but when a person gets inside and rocks the coach they creak with an unearthly sound. Evidently this rocking motion would make most anybody seasick. They have to be very careful and not drive too fast in taking the coach to Madison, as it is very liable to break in parts.
It is understood that the coach will be used in an Indian collection that will be on display at the county fair. One of the most interested of the spectators who saw the old coach here was Herman Gerecke. “It is highly probable,” said Mr. Gerecke, “that in the old days I rode behind that very coach as a guard. I used to ride in that capacity between Omaha and Ogden.”
Source: The Norfolk Daily News, Thur. August 30, 1906, page 3.