Last Monday morning the Merced Stage left this place at the usual
hour, under the care of an old and experienced driver, Joshua McCLOUD. Rain
had fallen steadily all night, which, with the storm of the two past weeks,
had raised the creeks very high. In fact the Raymond Stage did not attempt to
leave Mariposa, aand McCLOUD was advised not to attempt crossing the creeks
between here and Hornitos. He made the trip to Hornitos all right, and after
receiving the mail and express from the other driver, started on his return
trip, not even for his lunch, saying he wanted to beat the water and get over
before it became to high. He crossed Burn's Creek safely, at the first two
crossings, but when he came to it at Northrop's ranch he found a torrent
rushing furiously among the rocks. Some person at the ranch tried to prevail
upon him not to attempt to cross for a hour or so, but he thought he could
make it, as long as he had come over the crossing at Rodgers', which is
considered the worst. The force of the current was too much for the stage to
withstand, and driver, horses and all were swept down the rocky stream.
Anxious watchers from the ranch saw the accident, but were powerless to do
anything to aid the kindly old man, who always had a merry word for all. His
body was soon recovered at a short distance down the creek, but life had been
crushed out of it by the cruel water, dashing it among the rocks. The stage
was a complete wreck, and both the horses badly bruised and cut, but they came
out alive. The mail and express matter has not been recovered.
Mr. McCLOUD was an old pioneer to this State, and was one of the noted Stage Drivers on many routes of California. He has been known in this county for many years, and latterly has been a driver of the Merced and Mariposa Line. His obliging manner, and cheerful disposition always made him welcome all along the road, and universal sorrow and regret was expressed when the news of his sad fate was made known. He had no known relatives, but his funeral at Hornitos was attended by many faithful friends.
Contributed by: Carol Lackey