Four-year-old William Ayres died this date, April 28th, in 1850 after being crushed to death by a horse-drawn trolley and was buried at Bethel Burying Ground. I was unable to positively identify the child’s parents. There are some clues, but nothing definitive.
Ironically, there was an eight-year-old child killed in the same manner 11 days before the death of little William. The Public Ledger reporting the death stated that there were a high number of children being killed in the city by hanging onto the back of these vehicles, falling and subsequently being run over by other vehicles. The newspaper wondered, even with he high number of deaths, why there weren’t more accidents given the danger. (4/17/1850 p. 1)
The vehicle that crushed the child was the Omnibus No. 12 owned by John Levering. It would have looked similar to the one in this photo.