Found, among the papers passed down from Agnes Tully Stevens: a newspaper clipping carefully preserved but, alas, inadequately labeled:
“The brave action of a South Park patrolman, who arrested a runaway horse which was dashing wildly along Michigan avenue with a buggy containing a helpless lady, shall not go unnoted, even if it receives no more substantial commemoration. It was an action requiring no little nerve and horsemanship to gallop up alongside of a frenzied horse on a thronged avenue and finally bring him to a standstill. This accomplished, the hero resumed his duty so quietly that his name could not be learned—another illustration that heroism and modesty go hand in hand. The Herald applauds his deed with greater freedom because it does not know his name. He is entitled to the consciousness of a brave act well done, without the embarrassment that often make a burden of acknowledgements.”
Why would Agnes keep the tiny clipping? Could it be that the mystery rescuer was her father, John Tully? He was a patrolman for that same agency, the South Park Police.
Whether this was Agnes’ father or just an unnamed employee whose character Agnes admired, I’ll never know. Whatever the reason, the newspaper clipping was saved and passed along for over one hundred years’ worth of meaning.
Something about it must have been important.