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 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