In 1916, Yorba Linda had no paved roads. The Nixon family did not own a car. Instead, they traveled by horse drawn wagon. One day, three year old Richard Nixon was riding in the wagon with his mom near their home. As they rounded a turn, young Richard fell from the wagon and was struck by the wagon wheel as he hit the ground.
The wheel sliced Richard’s scalp from the top of his forehead to the back of his neck, separating the skin from the bone on his scalp for several inches.
Yorba Linda was a town of just a few hundred at the time. There was no hospital. A panicked Hannah sought assistance from a family friend to take Richard to the closest hospital. Hannah, Richard and the neighbor “raced” in a Ford Model A across the dirt roads of Yorba Linda and Placentia to the Fullerton General Hospital. Top speeds reached a breathtaking twenty miles an hour.
At the hospital, the doctor was able to suture the wound rather than rely on the more primitive method of simply tying strands of hair together on either side of the cut to close the wound. However, Richard did have a lengthy scar, which caused him forever more to come his hair back rather than “parting” it on the side.
Since Richard Nixon was born at home, this was his first experience at a hospital. The building that housed the Fullerton General Hospital still stands at 201 East Amerige, Fullerton.