“Charles Bickell, the blind vendor of pencils, a familiar personage to Auburnians, suffered severe injuries by falling down the elevator shaft of Cossum & Cuykendall in Market street about 11 o’clock Saturday morning. Bickell was going along the street, stopping in the various stores to dispose of pencils. In entering places, he locates the steps with the aid of a cane and as he came along at Cossum & Cuykendall’s store he located the step, as he supposed, leading into the store. Instead of the entrance to the store, however, it was the step in front of the elevator shaft, the next doorway to the East. He got up on the stone step and in feeling for the latch on the door fell down the elevator hole. His cries for help brought the employees to the scene at once and the injured man was carried up out of the elevator hole. Dr. Conway was called and the injured man was removed to his room at the Peacock house where it was found that his skull was slightly fractured and an ugly gash made in the scalp, to close which required nine stitches, besides numerous other bruises and contusions.

“Bickell was formerly a barber and lost his eyesight by being struck on the head with a loaded cane July 5, 1886.”

— “A Blind Man’s Fall,” The Auburn (N.Y.) Bulletin, December 14, 1901


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