Reprints: 1897 – Killed by Poisonous Roots

June 14, 1897. LeRoy Kail, the 10-year-old son of the Editor Kail of the Lafayette Sun, and Martin Cornelius, 8 years of age, son of C. Cornelius, a coal miner working at the Simpson Mine, were both found dead this evening, probably as a result of eating poisonous roots which they had dug up. The body of the young Kail was found in a ditch on the Ranch of Frank Prince [at Nine Mile Corner] about two miles north of town this evening. It is supposed that he had been in the water all afternoon. He was found lodged in a barbed wire fence that crosses the ditch. The body was brought to town. The Kail boy is supposed to have fallen off the bank of the ditch, a distance of about 10 feet, and was carried down the stream about 100 feet, when he caught the fence. The body of Kail was located by the parties seeing his dog, which was standing on the bank nearby. The body was found by Sam Abernethy, one of the several parties who were searching for the boys.

The body of Martin Cornelius was found about 8:30 o’clock this evening about a quarter mile from where the body of young Kail was found. He had his clothing on and was not wet. He had not been in the water at all. He was lying flat on his back in a dry irrigation ditch on the ranch of the Wallace Brothers. It is supposed that they both died from eating some poisonous roots which they dug up, perhaps wild parsnips. They left town about 8 o’clock this morning to hunt prairie dogs. The Cornelius boy was found by Duncan Stobs, a boy about 12 years old.

Coroner Trezise was summoned to Lafayette a little after ten o’clock last night to investigate the cause of death of these boys. He went over and after making a thorough examination concluded the boys had died of eating wild parsnips and that an inquest was not necessary.

Reprinted from the Boulder County Herald, June 15, 1897.