Thursday, September 29, 2011
Thriller Thursday - Falling down an elevator shaft
Dudley M Mitchell is my mother's maternal grandfather.
Dudley was born October 20, 1875 in Valley Fall, Kansas. He was child number 7/8 born to Mary Frances Coffey and Moses Mitchell. He had a twin sister name Mary (aka Dolly). She passed away between 1895-1900).
I heard this story last October from my mother's Uncle Raymond. He is Dudley's second child.
Raymond remembers his mother being pregnant with his younger sister, my grandma, when this incident took place. Since Raymond was born in 1921 and my grandma is 10 years younger, it was approximately 1930.
His father worked as a laborer in a cold storage unit in Topeka, Kansas. The cold storage building did not have lights in it because they created heat. There was an elevator that ran to the second story of the building. The men were supposed to ride the elevator one at a time. Someone had used the elevator while Dudley was on the upper floor. They did not return the elevator to the second story when they were finished. When Dudley completed his task upstairs, he worked his way back to the elevator in the dark. Not realizing the elevator was gone, he stepped into the elevator shaft and fell. He badly injured his back.
Dudley did not return to the cold storage unit after he recovered. He opened a grocery store in Topeka. Because of his generous nature, the grocery store would eventually fail during the Depression. The family moved to Hutchinson where Dudley found a job in another grocery store.