By Linda Stewart, 23 January 2019
I once read that in genealogy the most important thing is the dash between the date of birth and the date of death. The dash represents the person’s life. Family history books are more valuable than gold to a researcher, but it is the dash that tells the story. Reading newspapers is an excellent way of finding a piece of the dash.
The town of Aurora in Wise County, Texas, was where Lunsford Stanhope Paschall, as well as his son John Thomas “Jack” Paschall, owned land. Jack and his wife Ellender Josephine Goodger Paschall had nine children. Lunsford died in 1895, but his wife Tabitha Frances Paschall was still living. A very interesting incident occur on Saturday, April 17, 1897 at 6 o’clock in the morning. Since Jack and several members of the Paschall family lived in the area, it is probable that they may have been part of the witnesses to the event.
An article written by S. E. Haydon, published in the Dallas Morning News, “A Windmill Demolishes It.” Aurora, Wise co., Tex., April 17 (to The News.) — About 6 o’clock this morning the early risers of Aurora were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing through the country. It was traveling due north and much nearer the earth than ever before. Evidently some of the machinery was out of order, for it was making a speed of only ten or twelve miles an hour and gradually settling toward the earth. It sailed directly over the public square, and when it reached the north part of town collided with the tower of Judge Proctor’s windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground, wreaking the windmill and water tank and destroying the Judge’s flower garden.
The pilot of the ship is supposed to have been the only one on board, and while his remains are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world. Mr. T. J. Weeins, the United States signal service officer at this place and an authority on astronomy, gives it as his opinion that he was a native of the planet Mars. Papers found on his person — evidently the record of his travels — are written in some unknown hieroglyphics, and cannot be deciphered. The ship was too badly wrecked to form any conclusion as to its construction or motive power. It was built of an unknown metal, resembling somewhat a mixture of aluminum and silver, and it must weigh several tons.
The town is full of people today who are viewing the wreck and gathering specimens of the strange metal from the debris. The pilot’s funeral will take place at noon tomorrow.
Another Dallas Morning News article, which was published two days after the crash, said that the pilot’s funeral would take place on April 18. The Fort Worth Register News article said, The pilot, who was not an inhabitant of this world, was given proper Christian burial at the Aurora Cemetery.
Other Paschall relatives buried in the Aurora Cemetery include: David Allen Cobb, James Allen Cobb, and James’ infant son.
So visit https://www.newspapers.com/ and look to see if you can find a piece of your relative’s dash.