gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 105

and Kennedy locked in combat on the ground . Conlan was afraid to shoot the lion because he thought he would also hit Kennedy . Conlan said at the time that he was able to fire one round into the animal ’ s hind quarters which caused Kennedy to scream , “ Don ’ t shoot me !” When Conlan retold the story thirty years later , he recalled , “ I can still hear her cool , unnerved voice …” He fired again with little effect . He battered its head with the butt of the shotgun before running back to his camp .

Conlan returned with a rifle and was able to kill the lion by shooting it in the shoulder and then the mouth . He picked up Kennedy and carried her back to camp where she and Wilson were made comfortable by Conlan ’ s wife Grace Conlan . Kennedy was bleeding heavily and seriously injured and the decision was made to take her to town for treatment .
An “ express ” wagon , a wagon with a bench seat and flat-bed was found to carry Kennedy and Wilson the roughly two-and-a-half miles to her home in Morgan Hill . Doctors J . T . Higgins and F . W . Watt tended to her wounds . She was horribly mauled , missing an ear , the flesh around her eye torn to the bone and her left arm showing fifteen gashes from wrist to shoulder .
Kennedy was nursed at her parents ’ home by her family and fiancé , Dr . Paul Otto Puck . Puck was a dentist practicing in Morgan Hill , a naturalized citizen who had come from Germany in 1893 . Wilson ’ s injuries were much less severe and he was making a quick recovery when he became ill . It became apparent that the lion , an adult female had been rabid . There was no cure in 1909 for rabies or hydrophobia , as it was then known . Wilson sickened and died about the end of August . It ’ s interesting to note that the Morgan Hill Times said the cause
of death was “ lockjaw and meningitis .” Kennedy was on the mend but realized that , if Wilson had contracted rabies from the lioness , she probably had as well . Her married sister , Maude Pickering came out from Kansas to be with her . Kennedy began to show symptoms on September 2 . She succumbed to the infection with Puck and her family around her on September 10 , 1909 .
Kennedy ’ s battle with the lioness and her death were reported in newspapers nationwide . She had been president of the Tri County Chapter of the Christian Women ’ s Temperance Union and popular as an “ elocutionist ” against the sins of liquor . People came from miles around for her funeral in front of her parent ’ s house on Dunne Avenue . It was said to be the largest funeral ever seen in Morgan Hill .
Kennedy was buried nearby in Mt . Hope Cemetery . Her popularity in the temperance movement and her heroic death made her a model for young women throughout the country . A movement was begun by a nine-year old school girl in Maine to purchase a suitable monument to mark her grave . The monument was installed in 1912 , purchased with the funds raised mostly by schoolchildren throughout the US .
Dr . Puck had stayed by Kennedy ’ s side through her terrible death . He was reported to have been deeply upset and there was nothing keeping him in Morgan Hill . He moved to Texas , opened a dental practice and married . He registered for the draft in both World
Wars and passed away in Southern California in 1959 .
Kennedy ’ s parents shortly moved from Morgan Hill after her death . Her mother , Harriet passed away in 1912 from unknown causes . Her father , John was a Civil War veteran . He moved about the San Jose area and died at ninety-one years old in 1939 .
Conlan kept the skin of the lioness he had shot . He had a taxidermist specifically preserve the head to resemble the ferocious look it had as it attacked Kennedy . Conlan died in 1949 . The skin was used as a rug for years in the Conlan family and a photo of it was made into the postcard pictured . One of Conlan ’ s daughters said that the rug was worn out and thrown away in the late 1960s .
The Fay brothers stayed in the area and passed away in the 1950s . No records for Lane were found to show where he went or when he died .
Pickering returned with his parents to Kansas and registered for the WWI draft there in 1917 . He served in the US Army and was killed at the Argonne forest on October 30 , 1918 , only about two weeks before the end of the war . He was buried in France in the American cemetery at age of twenty-four .
So , there you have it . The legend and the local hero behind it with some postcards to back it up .
As a post script , there were no fatal mountain lion attacks in California between Kennedy ’ s death in 1909 and 1994 , a span of eighty-five years . Since then there have been three .
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 gmhtoday . com
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and Kennedy locked in combat on the ground. Conlan was afraid to shoot the lion because he thought he would also hit Kennedy. Conlan said at the time that he was able to fi re one round into the animal’s hind quarters which caused Kennedy to scream, “Don’t shoot me!” When Conlan retold the story thirty years later, he recalled, “I can still hear her cool, unnerved voice…” He fi red again with little effect. He battered its head with the butt of the shotgun before running back to his camp. Conlan returned with a rifl e and was able to kill the lion by shooting it in the shoulder and then the mouth. He picked up Kennedy and carried her back to camp where she and Wilson were made comfortable by Conlan’s wife Grace Con- lan. Kennedy was bleeding heavily and seriously injured and the decision was made to take her to town for treatment. An “express” wagon, a wagon with a bench seat and fl at-bed was found to carry Kennedy and Wilson the roughly two-and-a-half miles to her home in Morgan Hill. Doctors J.T. Higgins and F.W. Watt tended to her wounds. She was horribly mauled, missing an ear, the fl esh around her eye torn to the bone and her left arm showing fi fteen gashes from wrist to shoulder. Kennedy was nursed at her parents’ home by her family and fi ancé, Dr. Paul Otto Puck. Puck was a dentist practicing in Morgan Hill, a naturalized citizen who had come from Germany in 1893. Wilson’s injuries were much less severe and he was making a quick recov- ery when he became ill. It became ap- parent that the lion, an adult female had been rabid. There was no cure in 1909 for rabies or hydrophobia, as it was then known. Wilson sickened and died about the end of August. It’s interesting to note that the Morgan Hill Times said the cause of death was “lockjaw and meningitis.” Kennedy was on the mend but realized that, if Wilson had contracted rabies from the lioness, she probably had as well. Her married sister, Maude Pickering came out from Kansas to be with her. Kennedy began to show symp- toms on September 2. She succumbed to the infection with Puck and her family around her on September 10, 1909. Kennedy’s battle with the lioness and her death were reported in newspapers nationwide. She had been president of the Tri County Chapter of the Christian Women’s Temperance Union and popular as an “elocutionist” against the sins of liquor. People came from miles around for her funeral in front of her parent’s house on Dunne Avenue. It was said to be the largest funeral ever seen in Morgan Hill. Kennedy was buried nearby in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Her popularity in the temperance movement and her he- roic death made her a model for young women throughout the country. A movement was begun by a nine-year old school girl in Maine to purchase a suitable monument to mark her grave. The monument was installed in 1912, purchased with the funds raised mostly by schoolchildren throughout the US. Dr. Puck had stayed by Kennedy’s side through her terrible death. He was reported to have been deeply upset and there was nothing keeping him in Morgan Hill. He moved to Texas, opened a dental practice and married. He registered for the draft in both World GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Wars and passed away in Southern California in 1959. Kennedy’s parents shortly moved from Morgan Hill after her death. Her mother, Harriet passed away in 1912 from unknown causes. Her father, John was a Civil War veteran. He moved about the San Jose area and died at ninety-one years old in 1939. Conlan k \H[وH[ۙ\šHY HYH^Y\Z\XYH[H\\HHXY\[XBH\[\]Y\]]XY[YKۛ[YY[ NMKH[\\Y\HY܈YX\[Hۛ[[Z[H[Hو]\XYH[H\X\Y ۙHوۛ[&\™]Y\ZY]HY\ܛ][ۈ]^H[H]H NM˂H^H\^YY[H\XB[\Y]^H[H NMLˈœXܙ܈[H\H[\HH[܈[HYY X\[]\Y]\\[[\[Y\\Y܈HBY\H[ NLMˈH\Y[BT\^H[\[Y]H\ۛBܙ\ۈؙ\  NLN ۛHX]YZYܙHH[وH\B\\YY[[H[H[Y\X[[Y]\H]YHو[KY\\H[H]H] HY[[H[\Z[]]YB\X]\ \Hܚ\ \H\H][[[Z[[ۈ]X[[YܛXB]Y[[Yx&\X][ NLH[NNM H[وZYKYHHYX\ˈ[B[\H]HY[YKZ^KBL