The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 31, 1903
Showman Meets With Accident
John Wood, Leading Character in “Two Merry Tramps” Suffers Fractured Leg
Falls Thru Open Trap Door
Unaware of Opening in Floor, He Falls Into Basement Below
John Wood, one of the two leading characters in the Wood and Ward “Two Merry Tramps,” which is to be produced at the Midland tonight, met with an accident at 12:30 this afternoon by which he will be unable to appear on the stage for some time. As a result of his failure to see an open trap door on the stage in the rear of the opera house he was precipitated to the basement below nad suffered a fracture of the right leg between the hip and knee.
Wood, who as well as being one of the leading characters in the play, is a member of the band, and with that organization had been playing on Central avenue at noon. A few minutes before 12:30 the band returned to the opera house. A chest in which the uniforms are carried was standing near an open trap door and while in the act of placing his cap upon the cover of the box Wood unconsciously stepped into the hole and fell, a distance of fifteen feet. The other members of the band were present and several of them even saw him step back into the hole, but had no time in which to warn him of his danger. Wood himself said that the bright sunlight of the street in contrast with the interior of the opera house caused him to fail to see the opening in the stage floor. Those who saw him fall were unaware that he did not know of the opening until too late to warn him.
A surgeon was summoned and the injured man was given attention.
The production, however, will be given tonight as usual. It is customary to provide for contingencies of this nature by carrying an understudy and in this way Wood’s part will be filled tonight.
It has since been learned that Wood’s correct name is Kenyon.