ALFRED R. WARE vs Pleasant Grove, Kansas

Mr. Ware, as plaintiff, instituted proceedings against the township of Pleasant Grove, Kansas, claiming injuries caused by the Township’s  allowing conditions to exist, detrimental to public safety.

Mr. Ware alleges the road was not placed where the road had been approved to be located. The actual location of the road resulted in the road being some twenty feet narrower than required for the safe and steady flow of public transport.

Further, the error of location allowed a line of fence posts, a large ditch, and hedgerow, to further hinder passage of this portion of the road.

On, or about, December 13,1889, Mr. Ware, traveling this section of roadway, attempting a safe passage, came in contact with the afore mentioned fence posts, causing his wagon to overturn, throwing Mr. Ware into the afore mentioned ditch, breaking his leg, and causing damage to his wagon.

The record shows Mr. Ware seeking damages in the amount of $300, for doctors tending the leg, $1,800 for lost time and wages, and $5,000 for pain, suffering, and permanent care for the injured leg, as well as $25 for repairs to the wagon. No mention of the horses.

Do you suppose it was an Owensboro wagon? One of the very best wagons made at the time! It would  be an 1889 version of the “Built like a Mack” truck of today! Could  Mr. Ware have been an early “short haul trucker?” Known at that time as a drover, being in the drayage business. The plaintiff does mention lost “time and wages.

A little conjecture on my part. But then, he doesn’t mention injuries to his dray horses. A very valuable asset to one in such a business.

The transcript indicated very little defense on behalf of the township. I find that odd, however, it was most likely a very small entity, and didn’t have access to top drawer attorneys.

Had these attorneys been available, the defense would have centered on carelessness on the part of Mr. Ware, possibly even DUI.

In any case, the lower court came down in favor of the plaintiff!


The township, however, did appeal, and asked for a retrial.

The higher court, after reviewing the original trial, denied a retrial,

sided with the lower court, largely due to such little defense by the township, and agreed with the settlement of $890!

At least Mr. Ware had his wagon repaired, his doctor and attorney paid!

I’d still like to know what happened with the horses.



Re: The Pacific Reporter, Vol 93, pg 881-885

Covering court activities of Supreme Courts of

California, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada,

Arizona Territory, and others. (etal?)


ALFRED R. WARE vs Pleasant Grove, Kansas — 1 Comment

  1. I think this is a clear case of Mr Ware getting the wagon before the horses and the wagon got all the damage. The horses quietly stood by and probably whinnied at the results. Great post as usual Ray. Enjoy a nice weekend.

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