The “Unfortunate” Mr. Briggs (1889)

Found by the Track.  An Unfortunate Man Picked up at Powell’s and Taken to the City Hospital

Last night, when the K. & O. train pulled in, it had on board a man who had to be carried into the depot.  He seemed to be in a stupor and unconscious.

The train men said he had been found within half a mile of Powell’s Station by some parties living there and put on the train and sent to Knoxville.  When found he had 80 cents on his person.

The man seemed to be a fit subject for the hospital and Dr. West, the city physician, was telephoned in regard to admitting him.  He said he could not admit the man without examining him and was too much indisposed to walk to the depot.

In the meantime the railroad authorities removed the man to the open air and telephoned to the city hall for the police to remove him.  Officer Kinzel replied that the police had no jurisdiction over a sick man, but only dealt with drunken and disorderly ones.

Finally, after repeated telephoning back and forth, consuming the time until nearly midnight, he was removed to the city hall by Cpt. J. Morrison, in a baggage wagon.  Drs. Bayless and Hill waited upon the man, ascertained he was a suitable subject for the city hospital, and he was removed there, still unconscious and frothing at the mouth.

On his person was found a letter addressed to Dr. West, recommending him into the city hospital, but by whom signed the reporter could not learn.  A switch key was also found on him, suggesting the possibility of his being a railroader.

He was still unconscious at one o’clock this morning.  The doctors pronounced his case epilepsy.

His name is Briggs.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, July 17, 1889, page 1

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