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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid-Week Historical Newsbreak -- A Buzz About Horses

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Sept. 15, 1852
For the Newsbreak this week we have a bit of apian-on-equine violence at a place not specified, but I think deduced. The story comes to us from the September 15, 1852 edition of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. As it states, a horse belonging to a Mr. Hoopes was stung to death by a hive of bees, before the bees moved on to another horse. While attacking the second horse they were dispersed by (presumably a bucket of) water, at the suggestion of "a lady". I'll leave it to our female readers to expound upon the virtues of having a clear-headed woman around in a crisis.

As I mentioned, the story doesn't specifically say where this took place, but I think the real clue is in the owner of the second horse. The 1850 Census shows three Hoopes men living in Mill Creek Hundred -- Thomas, Jonathan, and William. Thomas and Jonathan both resided near Loveville, in the area around Lancaster Pike and Old Wilmington Road just below Brackenville Road. While both of them owned their own farms and William didn't, I think it was almost certainly William's horse that succumbed to the angry bees.

The reason for this is the identity of the second horse's owner -- Dr. McCabe. Dr. Robert McCabe lived along the south side of Little Baltimore Road, just east of the Mitchell farm now known as the Woodside Creamery. Not too far south of them, along North Star Road, lived Abner Woodward. In the household of Abner Woodward was a carpenter named William Hoopes. Hoopes was Woodward's brother-in-law, as Abner and William's sister Julia Ann Hoopes were married in 1839[thanks to Delaware21 for the info]. While it's not out of the realm of possibility that Dr. McCabe could have been making a house call a few miles east at Loveville, I think it's much more likely that the unfortunate horse belonged to William Hoopes.

And by the way, if you like horses and think this story was bad, don't even bother to read next week's.


  1. Scott, I agree with your deduction that the horse belonged to William Hoopes. He was the brother-in-law of Abner Woodward who married Julia Ann Hoopes in 1839.
    Her name looks like Julian in the 1850 census. Perhaps she was the "lady" who saved Dr. McCabe's horse.

    1. Thanks! I've updated the post to reflect your information. Maybe Julia Ann was the one who saved the horse.