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Dec 11, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Missing Persons

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
The Coleraine Murder

The Coleraine Murder - As briefly stated in our last issue, Daniel Dwight, supposed to be one of the murderers of Joseph R. Farnsworth, was arrested Sat. night at the door of his father’s house on Catamount Hill, Coleraine, where he had come 5 days after the murder. There were 6 men, under Deputy Sheriff John Gould, stationed around the house, and between 10 and 11 o’clock, they saw a man coming up the road, which proved to be young Dwight.

They allowed him to approach near the house, when a signal was given, and they stepped from their hiding places. Dwight ran around the house in the direction of the barn, but he was then surrounded and forced to surrender. When taken into the house before his father, he fainted.

Dwight was confined in the lock-up at Shelburne Falls, and on Mon., Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a court at the office of H.M.Puffer, Esq., and had the young man brought before him. A large gathering of people were in attendance, and among them Dwight’s wife, father and mother.

He pleaded not guilty, and the magistrate, without having a hearing of evidence, arraigned him on the charge of murder and continued the case to Mon. the 17th. Officers Swan and Gould then brought the prisoner to Greenfield,where he is now confined in jail. Dwight appears quite calm and is not disposed to talk much about the affair. He accounts for his absence and his whereabouts during the 4 days as follows:

"I had some trouble with my wife on Tues. aft., which had ended by my saying I was going off, and her replying that she hoped I would, and what was more, that I would stay away. She then started to go to father’s house, which is only a short distance from mine, and I started for a pasture where some of father’s cattle were grazing.

On the way I met Herbert Davenport, and together we went to Farnsworth’s house, and afterward went down the lane to the road leading to Shelburne Falls. Herbert wanted a cane, so we stopped and cut one, I bending the tree over while he cut it; but he did not carry it long before he threw it away.

From there we went through the fields directly to my house, where I changed my clothes and gave a suit to Herbert, as his were all patched and dirty. We left home about 5 o’clock, and went down the mountain to Heath, and then through Hartwellville down to North Adams, getting there on Wed. aft.

We walked all Tues. night.Wed. night we slept on the hills near North Adams, and on Thurs. morning, after staying a while in North Adams, we walked to Pownal on the railroad track. At Pownal we got on board a train which was returning with the firemen from the muster at North Adams that day.

At Petersburg Junction Herbert got left with some Salem, N.Y. firemen, because the train started so quick, and I could not get off, it was going so fast. That night I stopped at Greenwich, N.Y. and registered my name in the hotel book in full - Daniel J. Dwight, Coleraine, Mass. I remained there that night, but had nothing to eat, as I only had money enough to pay for my lodging.

[For more information on this area, see the Internet Archive’s "Williamstown, the Berkshire Hills, and thereabout"]

The next day I walked to Troy. I did not remain there long because I was hungry and sick, and thought I would go right home and go to work for father, and let my wife do as she chose. Coming back I got a ride part of the way on a freight train, and got to N. Adams Sat. aft.,and walked to central shaft in the tunnel, and from there I rode to the east end on the workmen’s train and walked to Zoar, where they let me ride on a hand car to Charlemont. From there I rode with a Mr.Wells as far as his house, and then went across the fields home".

A portion of Dwight’s story has proved to be true. Bradley Davenport and Wesley Woodard, sent to Petersburg Junction, sent back that two men answering the description of Dwight and Davenport had been there. At Greenwich, N.Y., Dwight’s name was found registered in full, as he had said, and there is nothing to show that Davenport was with him at the time.

The Davenport boy arrested - Search was continued for Davenport and finally he was tracked to Williamstown, and Thurs. aft. was found there by a Mr. White. He made no efforts to escape, but on the other hand seemed glad to give himself up.

He was brought through the tunnel to Shelburne Falls Fri. morning, and Trial Justice Brainard of Greenfield held a preliminary trial, arraigned him for murder, and continued the trial until the 27th. The Davenport boy’s narrative is substantially the same as that given by Dwight, but he does not deny that they killed Farnsworth.

He says their only object was to obtain money, that he had no enmity or ill will towards the murdered man. He and Dwight had made up their minds to go West and hoped to get enough money from Farnsworth to pay their expenses, but he says they only got about $4.

There were 2 sticks cut, he says, a walnut and a maple. It was with the latter that Farnsworth was knocked down. He says that he did not do the striking, though he was there. After he was left at Petersburg Junction, he wandered from place to place, working for something to eat when he could get employment, and was endeavoring to get back home.

Davenport is not of ordinary intelligence. He was dull at school, and has since been lazy and shiftless. Want of mental responsibility will be entered as a plea in his behalf. His mother says that he has always been a "strange boy". She has another son and a daughter who are bright, active and industrious.

Davenport was brought to Greenfield and lodged in jail on Fri. by Deputy Sheriff Swan. Both boys, who are allowed to be together when not locked in their cells, do not appear to be cast down or afflicted much with remorse. They will be brought before the Grand Jury at the November Court and if bills are found against them the trial will be before a special session of the Supreme Court.

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Charlemont (MA), Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Diseases, Economics, Education, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Food, Greenfield (MA), Handicapped, Hoosac Tunnel (MA), Hotels, Households, Juvenile Delinquents, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Murder, Names, Police

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 21, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
A man murdered in Coleraine

A man murdered in Coleraine - He is killed and robbed by two young ruffians - It is now 8 years since Simeon Peck killed Miss Cheney at Griswoldville, and Coleraine is again the scene of a tragedy, which in all its details has never had a parallel in the criminal annals of the County. The victim of this terrible crime is Joseph R. Farnsworth [i.e. Joseph Riley Farnsworth], known among his townsmen as "Riley", a quiet, inoffensive man, who dwelt with his wife and two children on his mother’s farm, on what is known as "Catamount Hill", some 2 miles and a half from Shelburne Falls.

The circumstances of the affair are these: On Tues. last Farnsworth, who served in the late war, went to Greenfield to be examined by a surgeon, as required, before making out an application for pension. He went back to Shelburne Falls on the train, and at the office of H.M. Puffer Esq., had his pension paper made out. When this business was finished, he started for home, getting a chance to ride with Levi Davenport, a neighbor.

They rode together until they came to the fork of two roads which led to the mountain. Farnsworth took the road up the ravine on the easterly side, while Davenport went the other way to his home. It had by this time begun to grow dark, and Farnsworth pushed along alone through a wood and came to a place where the road separates, a path leading up to Jack Woodard’s on the one hand and to his mother’s place on the other.

At this point someone steps suddenly from the cover of bushes by the roadside and, without a word of warning, strikes him a blow upon the forehead with a stick which prostrates him upon the ground. The blow is followed up with others or with kicks, until the man’s head is covered with ghastly wounds. He is then robbed of the few dollars which he had in his pocket book.

Farnsworth was not long wholly unconscious. Within half an hour he must have rallied sufficient strength to get upon his feet, and staggering and frequently falling, he made his way home, some one hundred rods distant, and which he reached by half past 7. He was able to tell his mother and a neighbor present a part of what had happened, and Dr. Canedy of Shelburne Falls was immediately sent for.

He arrived in the evening, but found the man so badly wounded there was little that could be done for him. Farnsworth could not tell who struck him, and becoming unconscious, he lingered until about 10 o’clock Wed. morning, when he died.

The news of the affair had by this time spread over the town, and efforts made to ascertain who were the perpetrators of the crime. Suspicion soon rested upon two young men who live in the vicinity, and who had not been seen since the murder. These were Daniel Dwight, a son of Josiah J. Dwight, and Herbert Davenport, a son of widow Roxana Davenport, and a nephew of the murdered man.

The former is 19 years of age and the latter 18, and both had borne a hard name among the people of the town. Going to the scene of the assault, a heavy print of a shoe was found, where the desperado stood when he gave the murderous blow, and a few feet in front was found the pool of blood which flowed from the wounds of his victim, and a bloody trail was made by Farnsworth as he rested and stumbled home.

Not far from his place a hickory stub was found where the stick, about an inch in diameter, had been cut; and in another direction the stick itself was discovered, which corresponded with the stub, and which had been thrown away after the assault. The stick, which is in the possession of one of the officers, was evidently cut by a left handed person. Dwight is known to be left handed.

It seems that the two boys had been to Farnsworth’s house the afternoon that he was away, borrowed fifty cents from his wife, all the money that she had - they agreeing to pay her back before the time of the county fair, when she wanted to spend it. They also took away a cheap watch which belonged to Farnsworth.

Before going to Greenfield Farnsworth had made known his errand to the neighbors, and the boys probably thought that he was going to bring home his pension money and so made their plans to waylay and rob him. But the money Farnsworth had on his person could not have exceeded 2 or 3 dollars. There had been ill feeling between the boys and Farnsworth before. He had not got along happily with his wife, being frequently jealous, it is thought by some, without cause, and the fellows had taken her part.

They have been heard to threaten him on her account. Dwight, who was married and lived with his wife in a house on his father’s farm, took away with him two suits of clothes, but young Davenport is not known to have carried away only such clothes as he happened to have on, and left behind a little money and a bank book.

Wed. aft. upwards of 50 men were out scouring the woods of Coleraine, Whitingham and Heath, under Officers Henry A. Howard of Coleraine and Deputy Sheriff [?] S. Frost of Shelburne Falls, and the search by some of the party was kept up all night, but was fruitless. Dwight and Davenport are both familiar with the woods for miles around, having hunted and roamed over them together.


It was thought that perhaps the fugitives had gone in the direction of North Adams, and an officer was sent there Thurs. morning, while the general search was partly abandoned. Though the young ruffians may evade their pursuers for a while, it is hardly possible to make a successful escape. Their photographs and descriptions will be sent broadcast. The Selectmen have offered a reward of $500 for their recovery, and mean to bring them to justice.

As there is no coroner in the vicinity, S.D. Bardwell Esq. of Shelburne Falls, as a Justice of the Peace, summoned a jury to view the remains. The jury consists of Hezekiah Smith, C.W. Shattuck, A.A. Smith, Thomas D. Purrington, H.C. Millington and Russell J. Smith. They visited the scene of the murder Wed. aft., and will meet again today, when probably a verdict in accordance with the facts we have related will be rendered.

Farnsworth’s funeral took place Thurs. morning and was largely attended by the people of the town. Rev. Mr. Cole, the Methodist clergyman of Coleraine, conducted the services. Farnsworth leaves a boy of 9 and a girl of 7. His age was about 35, and his mother, with whom he lived, is about 75. The family, though poor and ignorant, were considered of average respectability. The mother of the Davenport boy has always opposed his keeping company with Dwight, who is generally supposed to have been the leader in the matter, but the two were together a great deal, and had become hardened and desperate.

A note received by J.B. Clark, one of the Selectmen of the town on Sat., stated that there was no trace then of the murderers, but that the watch supposed to have been stolen by one of the boys, was found, and was in his possession.

Latest - Intelligence from Shelburne Falls yesterday, states that Dwight was caught about half past 10 Sat. eve. Half a dozen men were laying in wait for him around his house, and he came home at that time and fell into their clutches. The whereabouts of Davenport is not known. Dwight was put into the lock-up at Shelburne Falls yesterday morning.

[A followup to this murder can be found on p. 371 of Google Books "Publications of the American Statistical Association", 1892 - 1893. There is also mention of the sentence on p. 5 of Google Books "Public Documents of Massachusetts", 1876].

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Children, Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Crime, Criminals, Economics, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Government, Greenfield (MA), History, Households, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Massachusetts, Medical Personnel, Missing Persons, Mourning Customs, Murder, Names, Photographs, Police, Poor, Prisons

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Court record

The second week of the Superior Court was opened at 10 o’clock Mon. The jury in the case of Peleg Adams vs. John Single, and the countersuit of Single vs. Adams, brought in a verdict on each action separately, viz.: In the former for Adams, amount $522; and in the latter for Single, $808, giving a difference in Single’s favor of $286.

The criminal cases were then taken up before the second jury as follows: Timothy Sullivan of Greenfield, on two indictments for larceny. The transaction itself was so lately chronicled that it is unnecessary to repeat it here, but simply to state that the defendant is the party who carried off Conductor Tharp’s clothing, and A.N. Hull’s shoes from the Mansion House. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years at the State Prison at Charlestown; two days solitary. District Attorney for Commonwealth.

Patrick Fraine of Charlemont was tried on two indictments. One for arson and another for larceny from the building, both being tried at the same time. The first charge was for the alleged firing of the Zoar depot last March, and the second for stealing from the same. The defendant worked upon the railroad at the Tunnel and boarded at Zoar. The parties with whom he boarded testified that Fraine came home the night of the fire at 5 minutes before 9, and the alarm was given about half past 9.

The defendant, who had no council, cross questioned the witnesses with considerable shrewdness, and brought out from the depot master the fact that some railroad men were in the depot during the eve; the west end of which was used as a store, and that there was a large fire in the stove, so much that some of the party complained of the heat, but it was claimed that the fire was out, or nearly so, when the store was closed.

The party who lived near, and who seemed to have discovered the fire first, described it as wholly confined to the southwest end, or store part, and there seemed to be no fire in the rest of the building. The evidence seemed very small to hold the defendant on the charge of arson, and the verdict of the jury acquitted the prisoner at the bar therefor.

On the allegation of larceny, the evidence was more conclusive, two witnesses testifying to the defendant having pennies and 5 cent pieces in his pockets, some being in a pocket handkerchief and others done up in a pair of stockings in the defendant’s coat at the place he boarded. On this charge he was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years in the House of Correction at Pittsfield. District Attorney for Commonwealth.

Marshall H. Porter of Williamstown and Henry Smith of South Deerfield, for larceny, and the former also for receiving stolen goods. The defendant, Porter, a dark mulatto, who gave his age as 30, said he was visiting at South Deerfield. He claimed to have had nothing to do with the larceny, but said the articles found on him were given him by Henry Moore, although he acknowledged he knew they were stolen.

It appeared by the confession of Smith, who is a bright colored boy of about 16 years of age, that the larceny alleged consisted in entering the store in the building connected with the Bloody Brook House at South Deerfield; the boy Smith watching in the shade of a large elm tree in front of the store, while Porter and Moore entered the store by the bulk-head and did the stealing. The articles taken were 2 or 3 watches, a revolver, candy, some currency and silver coin and other miscellaneous items.

Henry Moore, indicted with the others for the larceny, was bailed by his father, an was not on hand to be tried with the others. Porter and Smith were found guilty and sentenced each to 3 years at the House of Correction in Pittsfield; District Attorney for Commonwealth, A. Brainard for Smith. A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Henry Moore, who has become scarce in this region since the time he was required at this court to plead with the others to the alleged burglary.

George Doolittle of Greenfield, for assault and battery. The present case came up on an appeal from sentence of the magistrate. The said assault and battery was made upon H.E. Keuran, while visiting the Mansion House, the defendant being keeper of the hotel. The case was virtually decided on the testimony of Doolittle himself, who, after detailing the fact of seeing Keuran passing back and forth through the bar room to the wash room, had ordered Keuran to leave and not be hanging around there, to which the reply was made that he had as much money in there as the defendant, and should go when he got ready, at same time drawing a pocket knife and threatening bodily harm if he was put out; upon which the defendant struck him with his fist, and as he was going out struck him two more blows.

The fact of any knife being drawn was denied by Keuran, who also said he had no such knife as described with him at the time. Several witnesses detailed the facts as they saw them, several testifying they saw a knife in Keuran’s hand, but the court ruled that even if there was any justification for the first blow self defense did not require the others, and according to the defendant’s own testimony, the said blows were given when Keuran was getting away about as fast as he could. Verdict of guilty. Sentence deferred. District Attorney for Commonwealth, A. DeWolf for defendant.

The case of Michael Moran for larceny came up on appeal from a magistrate’s trail, and on motion the complaint was quashed for informality. D. Aiken for defendant.
Frank P. Bell of Coleraine for assalt and battery had a lengthy trial occupying the most of Thurs. The alleged assault was made with a shovel upon George H. Phillips, one of the Selectmen of the Town, and also another assault upon Newton G. Lake, who was with him at the time. The defendant has not lived very peaceably with certain of his neighbors for some time, and probably dates back to the adultery case of a few years ago, at which the present defendant was one of the parties.

The present difficulty seems to have arisen about one Joshua Fairbanks, a town pauper, at the time living at Bell’s house. Mr. Phillips testified that he went to the defendant’s house, either to get Fairbanks or to notify defendant that the town would not pay for his support. Upon which the defendant ordered them away, using abusive language, and that afterward he came out armed with a shovel and not only assaulted them with his fist, but struck at them with his shovel, and finally thrust the shovel against Mr. Phillips, knocking him down.

All this the defendant denied. The jury, however, found the "Christian Hill" defendant guilty. when the time for sentencing arrived, Bell had departed, he having been on bail since his preliminary trial before the magistrate. His bail was called and defaulted, and a bench warrant issued for his arrest. District Attorney for Commmonwealth, C.C. Conant for defendant. This closed the criminal cases and the civil list was resumed with.

Joseph H. Hollister vs. Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co. In this case the plaintiff claims a sum due him on a policy in said company. The company, however, defend, alleging that the plaintiff has no claim on them, as he had failed to pay an assessment made in the required time, and his policy had consequently lapsed to the company. The court ordered the jury to return a verdict for the defendant, upon the law involved on an agreed statement of facts, and the case goes at once to the Supreme Court on the questions of law. C.C. Conant for plaintiff, D. Aiken for defendant.

Edward E. Coleman et al. vs. Loren S. Bartlett et al. - This was an action of contract for the recovery of the price of a turbine water wheel, made by E.E. Coleman & Co. of Shelburne Falls, for Loren S. Bartlett & Son of Northampton - the value of the wheel, worksetting the same and interest, amounting to $567.

The wheel in question was put into the mill some 2 years ago, and the contract therefor, the defendants allege, was that the plaintiffs agreed to put in the said wheel and to warrant it to work to the satisfaction of the defendants; that it should use less water and give more power than the wheel they were then using; but after trying the wheel for some time, with the same water as on the old wheel, found they got less power and could not operate the mill; and that on notice given of these facts to the defendants, they endeavored to remedy the defects, but still it did not work to their satisfaction, and they therefore refused to pay for the same.

The case was very thoroughly heard and a great amount of evidence introduced to show the conditions under which wheels are usually put into mills, the nature of turbine wheels in general, and much other matter relative thereto - of interest, perhaps to mill owners, or to the relative value of turbines and the conditions necessary to their successful working; but as a whole, the general interest in the case was not so great as in many others. Verdict for defendants. S.T. Field for plffs.; DW. Bond & H.H. Bond for defts.

Lyman J. Wait vs. Justin Thayer et al. - This case was partially presented to the jury, but was suspended to enable counsel to go to Brattleboro to take the deposition of S.F. Warner. The action is on a promissory note of $1000, given by Warner and endorsed by Thayer, Sargent & Co.of Northampton, Mr. Warner being at the time a member of the above named firm. The case attracts considerable attention on account of several nice points of commercial law involved.

While waiting for the taking of the deposition mentioned, the case of Joel R. Davenport vs. the inhabitants of Coleraine was taken up before the same jury. This action is for injury alleged to have been received by the plaintiff while traveling on the highway in said town. The case is still on trial.

The cases of Mary M. Hillman vs. The Inhabitants of Charlemont, and that of Chandler A. Vincent vs. The Inhabitants of Rowe stand next in order of trial. It will probably take the most of the present week to finish up the cases still standing for trial.

Subjects: Accidents, African-Americans / Blacks, Bars (Drinking establishments), Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Charlemont (MA), Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Courts, Crime, Criminals, Deerfield (MA), Economics, Family, Fires, Food, Government, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Hotels, Massachusetts, Missing Persons, Poor, Prisons, Racism, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 17, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875

There is still another sensation in this region. This time it is an elopement. A Monroe man of 35 ran away with a girl of 15, living in Readsboro, Vt. The father of the girl came to Monroe to see if a marriage certificate had been obtained, and finding there had been none, followed the runaway pair to Hoosick, N.Y. Here it appeared they had been married, but the father traced them back to Pownal, Vt. and then gave up the search. The girl left behind her a note, saying that when she got settled down, she should send for her clothes.

Subjects: Family, Literature / Web Pages, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Scandals, Seduction, Vermont, Monroe (MA), Clothing

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
A mystery cleared up

Discovery of the mutilated remains of a missing man - The people of the quiet farming village of Petersham were greatly excited Sat., by the discovery that a most horrible murder had been committed in their midst by a farmer named Frost, a recent settler in the neighborhood, the victim being his own brother-in-law, named Frank Towne. The particulars of the bloody affair are as follows:

About 3 years ago the man Frost settled on a farm in the south part of the village, his family consisting of himself, wife, 4 children and the above named Towne, who was employed as hired man. This Towne, after laboring about a year, went off, it being generally understood that he had been unable to collect of Frost the amount of $300 due him for work. Last spring Towne reappeared, and made arrangements with Frost to hire the farm and work it himself. He restocked it, adding considerably to its value. Under the new arrangement matters went on until the 4th of July last, upon which morning both men went to the barn to milk the cows.

Returning alone shortly thereafter, Frost said Towne had gone on the hill to salt the cattle. As days passed and Towne did not appear the surprise of the neighbors was aroused, but Frost allayed temporarily all suspicion by saying that Towne had gone to Worcester where he, Frost, was to meet him to settle with him. Several incidents, however, together with Towne’s non-appearance, and the bad terms which were known to exist between the two men, led to suspicion and finally to quiet examinations and inquiries.

Frost in the meantime conducted himself in a rather strange manner not calculated to allay the suspicion of his neighbors. He was often mysteriously employed at the barn nights, never giving satisfactory accounts of the nature of his work there. This state of affairs continued up to last Friday when Frost was seen mysteriously engaged in digging a cornfield. A colored man seeing him thus at work went up to the place the next night, Sat., and found a fresh mound of earth and a piece of sack sticking out of it. Remembering the reports concerning Frost, and suspecting at once he had clue to the mystery, he gave alarm and in a short time 30 or 40 neighbors were assembled in the cornfield.

Examination was made, the sack dragged out and in it was discovered the ghastly, worm-eaten remains of a human body, or part of it, consisting of the trunk and upper part of the legs. The horrified searchers made further examination and found, several feet distant, the head of the unfortunate man, badly worm-eaten, and having behind one ear the marks of a terrible wound. The mystery was unraveled. The remains were at once identified as those of Frank Towne, and no doubt existed in any mind as to the identity of the murderer.

Sheriff Bothwell [most probably Sylvander Bothwell] of Barre was notified. On his arrival search was at once began for Frost who had disappeared. His wife was, or pretended to be, ignorant of his whereabouts, but after diligent search the murderer was discovered early Sun. morning, concealed in rubbish in the garret of his house. He took his arrest coolly, refusing to give any account of himself, and insisting that Towne had gone from Worcester to Washington. He was taken to Barre and safely confined.

Putting circumstances together the evidence seems clear that the fateful deed was committed on that July morning in the barn, when a quarrel is supposed to have taken place between the two, Frost finally knocking down Towne with a single blow from a sledge hammer, the wound at the back of the head showing it came from such an instrument. Frost’s frequent night labors in the barn is now accounted for by the supposition that he was then engaged in cutting up and burying his victim.

Becoming alarmed at the suspicion of the neighbors he is supposed to have removed part of the body to the cornfield. He refuses to tell where the rest of the body is concealed. In the cellar of the house a pocket book belonging to Towne was found, and within it a note against Frost for the amount of $300. Closer examination in the barn disclosed clots of dried blood, tufts of hair, and other unmistakable evidences that the dread crime had been committed there. (Athol Transcript).

[Whew! This one was tough to identify. But I finally found an article about it in the Aug. 6, 1875 New York Times online index, under the title "Shocking murder at Petersham Mass." The murdered man is named Frederick P. Towne, and the murderer S.J. Frost or Samuel J. Frost. Frost was the last man executed in Worcester in May of 1876].


Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Athol (MA), Barber / Hair, Beverages, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Executions and Executioners, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Garbage, Households, Insects, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Massachusetts, Missing Persons, Murder, Obituaries, Police, Prisons, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
A slave romance

A touching though somewhat ludicrous scene occurred at Baltimore a few days ago. About 20 years ago a Negro woman was sold from there to parties "way down South", her father and mother remaining on the estate from which she was sold, and where they still reside. During the war the old folks lost all traces of the girl, and had given her up for lost, until within a few years, when they heard from her in New Orleans.

A few weeks ago they had a letter from her promising soon to visit them, and from that time the old couple went to the wharf every time a boat arrived, expecting to meet her, and showing keen disappointment on finding that she had not yet come. At last, however, they were rewarded for their watching as a buxom, comely mulatto waved a handkerchief at them from an approaching boat. The old woman shouted, executed a half fandango, skipped around generally, while the old man stood on his head, and the hour of jubilee seemed to have come.


Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Dance, Family, Literature / Web Pages, Missing Persons, Racism, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Sales, Transportation, War / Weaponry, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 29, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
A New Jersey mystery solved

Charles Powell, a boy living at Englewood, N.J. [5 years old] was missed from home on June 10, and although diligent search was instituted for several weeks but no traces of the lad were discovered. It was supposed that the lad was abducted, but the detectives could not find him. last Fri. the Martial of the town was informed that a dead body had been discovered in the cistern of the residence of Rev. Dr. Smith of St. Cecilia’s church.

A jury was immediately empaneled and preparations completed for investigating the mystery. The corpse, which was removed from the cistern after some delay, was identified as that of the lost boy Powell by means of the garment which were found upon it. As the boy was last seen on Mr. Smith’s premises before his sudden disappearance, it is probable that he fell into the cistern, the cover of which was not fastened down, and was drowned. The taste of the water of the cistern led to the investigation of the cause and the subsequent discovery of the body.


Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Beverages, Children, Courts, Crime, Government, Households, Kidnapping, Lost and Found, Missing Persons, Obituaries, Police, Religion, Clothing

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 16, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
A Tennessee man

A Tennessee man went fishing a few days ago, hauled up his wife, who had been missing for 2 weeks, and thereby saved the $200 reward he had offered for her discovery.

Subjects: Crime, Economics, Fishes and Fishing, Missing Persons, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Transportation, Women

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 16, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Miss Clarinda Pratt

Miss Clarinda Pratt of Bowdoinham suddenly disappeared recently, and is supposed to have eloped with William Johnson, a State prison bird, who has served two terms for horse stealing.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Birds, Crime, Criminals, Horses, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Prisons, Robbers and Outlaws, Women

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 11, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875

William Jewett, who left home several months ago, and who was traced no farther than Hartford, where he was seen wandering crazily about the streets, was arrested at Pittsfield recently as a vagrant, having been wandering since from place to place. The fact that he belonged to Whately was elicited from him in his sane moments, and he was sent to the Northampton asylum, the Selectmen of Whately and his family receiving on the 9th their first notifications of his whereabouts. The unfortunate man is not expected to live a great while, as he has suffered a severe attack of dysentery.

Subjects: Connecticut, Diseases, Family, Government, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Insanity, Massachusetts, Medicine / Hospitals, Missing Persons, Police, Roads, Tramps, Whately (MA)

Posted by stew - Wed, Dec 10, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Donaldson the aeronaut, who came down in our village a few weeks since, after a successful journey from Springfield, ascended in his balloon from Chicago on Thurs., accompanied by a journalist, and it is feared has been lost in Lake Michigan.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Astronomy, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Literature / Web Pages, Missing Persons, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Stunt performers

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 8, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875

A little son of H.D. Hocum was sent for the cows Wed. night, and failing to return, search was made but without success, until the next morning, when he was found in the road, 2 miles from home, having spent the night in wandering.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Children, Conway (MA), Lost and Found, Missing Persons, Roads, Work

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 4, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875

An extraordinary thunderstorm passed over the old Hungarian capital of Buda, opposite Pesth [i.e. Pest] on the Danube Mon. The lightning was incessant and hail fell in such quantities that the roofs of the houses and the surrounding hills were covered 2 ft. thick with ice. The waterfall was extraordinary. Torrents swept through the streets of Buda carrying men, vehicles and everything movable down the river. Many houses were suddenly flooded and destroyed before the inmates could escape. Over 500 of the inhabitants are missing, and at least 100 drowned or killed by falling walls. All the railways are interrupted. [See "The floods of Buda-Pesth in the New York Times online index for July 26, 1875].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Floods, Households, Ice, Missing Persons, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Trains, Transportation, Urbanization / Cities, Weather, Hungarians

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 26, 1875
News of the week

The dead body of a man named John C. Higgins, who disappeared mysteriously from Worcester last Dec., was found in a brook two miles from the city on Sun. How he came there is unknown.

Subjects: Lost and Found, Massachusetts, Missing Persons, Obituaries, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans

Posted by stew - Mon, Jun 19, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 8, 1875
(Shelburne Falls) We see by a copy of the Greenfield Gazette dated Nov. 22, 1802, which Mr. E. DeWolf has handed to us, that it was published by John Denio and had at that time a large circulation. A

(Shelburne Falls) We see by a copy of the Greenfield Gazette dated Nov. 22, 1802, which Mr. E. DeWolf has handed to us, that it was published by John Denio and had at that time a large circulation. A great deal is said in it about religion and liberty. Henry Ewers is advertised as a runaway. J. & L. Russell of Charlemont had just received a fresh supply of brandy, gun, rum and brown sugar. A surtout had been found. Jerome Ripley had got a new stock of goods. The Connecticut River bridge was nearly completed, and the South Hadley Canal lottery was in full blast.

Subjects: Bridges, Canals, Charlemont (MA), Connecticut River, Food, Gambling, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, History, Liquors, Literature / Web Pages, Lost and Found, Missing Persons, Religion, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Stores, Retail, Vendors and Purchasers, Clothing

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 25, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 25, 1875
(Shelburne Falls) Monday forenoon Michael Woods, a boarding house keeper, had a quarrel with a boarder of his named Davenport about some money, which Davenport accused Mrs. Woods of stealing from und

(Shelburne Falls) Monday forenoon Michael Woods, a boarding house keeper, had a quarrel with a boarder of his named Davenport about some money, which Davenport accused Mrs. Woods of stealing from under his pillow. Woods finally kicked Davenport out of doors. And when afterwards Woods went out on Davenport’s challenge to settle the affair, he took a broom handle with him, and got one blow in Davenport’s shoulder, and very soon received a good sized stone in the forehead, which was thrown by Davenport, who then claiming that he had got satisfaction, and that the Woods might keep the money, walked off down the track and has not yet been heard of. The stone made a gash about 3 inches long; the center of it was a small hole right into the brain. Friday morning at 12 o’clock Mr. Woods died.

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Economics, Furniture, Hotels, Missing Persons, Murder, Obituaries, Robbers and Outlaws, Shelburne and Shelburne Falls (MA), Trains, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 14, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 25, 1875
Why Peter Raymond's son didn't run away

Why Peter Raymond’s son didn’t run away - (story about a father who overhears his young son talking about how thoughtless and mean he is, and immediately changes his ways).

Subjects: Child Abuse, Children, Family, Literature / Web Pages, Missing Persons, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 12, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 18, 1875
Agents wanted

Agents wanted - to sell the http://www.unlocking...06&idrepresents=page "Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone" ; complete, authentic, a fresh book; price suited to the times. http://history.rays-...bangor-me-insert.htm B.B. Russell , Publisher, Boston, Mass.

Subjects: Advertising, African-Americans / Blacks, Boston (MA), Business Enterprises, Economics, Explorers, Literature / Web Pages, Medical Personnel, Missing Persons, Sales, Work, Geography

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 8, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 18, 1875
A specimen of Paris tragedy

A specimen of Paris tragedy - The body of Emily Maraune, 11 years of age, the daughter of a fumiste in the Rue de Fouarre , who left home on the 23rd of Nov., with 500 francs belonging to her father, has been found in the Seine. It has been ascertained that a youth of bad character, age 17, named Eugene Henry, with whom she had formed an acquaintance, induced her to steal the money. She gave it to him with the exception of a few silver pieces. Being afraid to return home, she passed the night in the public latrines. The next evening, meeting him near the river, she told him she could not remain in Paris, but intended going to a distance, and asked him to return the money. He shook some coins out of his handkerchief and, on her stooping to pick them up, he slipped a noose around her neck, strangled her, and threw the body into the river. On being arrested, he attempted suicide. He has since confessed to the murder. Part of the money was found in the house of his mother. A pork butcher in one of the markets has also been apprehended, together with two of his companions.

Subjects: Children, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Emigration and Immigration, Family, French, Households, Juvenile Delinquents, Lost and Found, Meat, Missing Persons, Murder, Obituaries, Outhouses, Police, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Robbers and Outlaws, Stores, Retail, Vendors and Purchasers, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 15, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 11, 1875
In the old garret (by Berry)

In the old garret (by Berry) - It is a real, old fashioned rainy day, and to quietly while away a few hours, I proceed to investigate and pry into the curiosities of antiquity, household utensils, and wearing apparel. There sits a pair of grandmother's brass-mounted andirons, with a huge pair of tongs and shovel to match. And there, suspended is a brass warming pan; also a tin foot stove. In yonder corner is the flax spinning wheel. "What is this crooked thing in this rafter?" I guess it's a sickle. Oh dear, here is one of Grandma's scoop-shovel straw bonnets, and an old "gown" called chintz, worth a dollar per yard in those days. Yes, and the old wooden clock with its weights hanging to the floor. There is an old bedstead whose posts reach from floor to ceiling. Here is a box containing dishes of curious forms and figures. Ah, here is an old blue chest that is my property - carefully tied up in different parcels with ribbon; letters from correspondents of our youthful days. First I will open a package of valentines from "the girl I left behind me". The first one she sent me was written by her father at her request, she being but 5 years of age. Soon after, however, we were able to pen our own valentines. But I was soon obliged to remove to the "Far West", among the wild animals and the Indians; still for several years these highly prized little love tokens came annually. But they finally ceased altogether. Why? Because she got married. Well, here is a parcel of letters from my sweetheart that were penned while we were "sparking". Among them is an answer to an apology of mine; yes I remember the time when I was obliged to get down on my knees and ask her forgiveness for some misdemeanor. Here is another package from a lady, an old schoolmate who resides in a foreign land. She wants to know who is married and dead. Here are some from my truant brother, who abruptly left home when a lad to seek his fortune among strangers. How he repented! How homesick, and how anxious he is to receive "letters from home". Here are a few from Mother, when I was absent. Oh, what good, long ones, and filled with kind admonitions and advice that none but a mother may give. Ah! here is a large bundle from a boy schoolmate whom we parted with ever so long ago. Alas! He has "crossed the river", but his memory I will ever hold dear. My old schoolmates, where are they? "Echo, answers, where?" Some are occupying high positions in business life; nearly every profession is represented. Quite a number have gone to their long home. Reading these old letters takes us back to our school days, when we, armed and equipped with http://www.historyli...y.php?Article_ID=177 Webster's Elementary Speller , the English Reader, Daboll's Arithmetic , and a handful of goose quills - yes, trudging two miles through the snow to the old log school house, whose benches were made of rough pine, whose chinking was loose, and we shivering with cold. Yes, and didn't we used to stand by the side of MARY JANE in the spelling class, and manage to keep there? Twelve o'clock - dinner time! What a treat I have had perusing those old letters. Consign them to the flames? No, sir, never!

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Birds, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Charlemont (MA), Children, Courtship, Curiosities and Wonders, Economics, Education, Emigration and Immigration, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fashion, Fires, Food, Furniture, Holidays, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Marriage and Elopement, Missing Persons, Native Americans, Obituaries, Pottery / Crockery

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 8, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
Two girls, 6 and 7 years old respectively, who had never seen their father since they were old enough to remember his face, recently made the journey from San Francisco to Richmond, Virginia, over 30

Two girls, 6 and 7 years old respectively, who had never seen their father since they were old enough to remember his face, recently made the journey from San Francisco to Richmond, Virginia, over 3000 miles, without escort, and found him.

Subjects: Children, Family, Missing Persons, Transportation

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 7, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
(Turners Falls) The Falls has been excited this week over the discovery of blood on the abutments at the end of the Clark & Chapman Machine shop. But whether human gore or the blood of beasts has not

(Turners Falls) The Falls has been excited this week over the discovery of blood on the abutments at the end of the Clark & Chapman Machine shop. But whether human gore or the blood of beasts has not yet been determined. The report was current Friday that a human body had been found near the suspension bridge, but no one could be found who had seen it. Neither person nor animal are known to be missing, and the origin of the blood is a mystery.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Bridges, Business Enterprises, Connecticut River, Lost and Found, Missing Persons, Montague (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Turners Falls (MA)

Posted by stew - Tue, Nov 15, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, December 21, 1874
(Greenfield)A young lady of rather prepossessing appearance and some 15 or 16 years of age, arrived in town Saturday the 12th and put up in one of our hotels. As her purpose in life was not apparent,

(Greenfield)A young lady of rather prepossessing appearance and some 15 or 16 years of age, arrived in town Saturday the 12th and put up in one of our hotels. As her purpose in life was not apparent, or her means of support visible, she was given a hint to vacate her room, but, in having promptly paid her bill, she sought a private boarding house. Here she stayed a few days, explaining that her stay in Greenfield was for the purpose of [?], but last Wed. eve. a lady and gentleman from a neighboring town put in an appearance and claimed the wayward damsel as their daughter. It seems she had been allowed to go to [?] school and [?] she improved the chance to take the train to Greenfield, where she was trying to see a little of the world [?].

Subjects: Economics, Education, Family, Greenfield (MA), Hotels, Missing Persons, Trains, Women

Posted by stew - Sat, Nov 12, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, December 21, 1874
A desperate battle in the dark

A desperate battle in the dark - Shooting of Charlie Ross’ kidnappers - The New York Evening Post gives the annexed interesting details of the exciting tragedy at Bay Ridge on Monday morning: "The house of Judge Charles Van Brunt of the Court of Common Pleas is upon the Shore Road, leading from Bay Bridge landing down to Fort Hamilton. It is a small, pretty cottage, facing the West and overlooking the bay, with the water breaking on the shore not many yards distant.

It has been vacant since the summer, and has been in charge of the family of Mr. J. Holmes Van Brunt, brother of the Judge. William Scott, the gardener employed by Judge Van Brunt, lived in a small house to the rear and about 100 yards distant from the cottage of his employer. Mr. Holmes Van Brunt has been ill recently, and has been very wakeful at night, and last night Mrs. Van Brunt and her daughter were up attending to the wants of a sick child, when they were all startled by the loud ringing of a burglar alarm, which notified them of the presence of someone in the vacant house next door, which was but a stone’s throw distant.

A hasty examination assured them that there was someone moving about in the upper chambers of the vacant cottage, as the small light they carried could be seen passing to and from the various chambers, as if a search was in progress for portable articles of value. Although all were greatly agitated by the discovery, preparations were immediately made for investigating the cause of the alarm. A.H. Van Brunt, the son of J. H. Van Brunt, a young man sleeping in the upper part of the house, was called up, and himself and father hastily agreed upon a plan of action. The son called up Herman Franks, his father’s hired man, and William Scott, and all being armed with shot guns, they divided into two parties, the elder Mr. Van Brunt, with William Scott, stationing himself at the rear of the house, about 15 paces distant from a cellar door, near the center of the building, while Allie, his son, the young man referred to in company with Frank took post in the front yard.

In addition to his shotgun, the young man carried a small six shooter in his trousers pocket. The robbers were still prowling about in the upper chambers, and seemed to be entirely unconscious of the preparations being made to give them a warm reception. After waiting for about half an hour, Mr. Van Brunt Sr., who began to feel very faint and as if he should not be able to stand much longer, sent Scott up to make a noise at the rear door. This he did, rattling the knob violently and then retiring hastily to his former station. Upon the rattling at the door the light in the house was immediately put out, and all was quiet for at least 15 minutes longer, when a slight stir was heard by Mr. Van Brunt at the open cellar door at the rear, through which it was evident that the burglars had effected their entrance, and a moment after two heads peered cautiously out together.

Mr. Van Brunt, who stood but a few yards away, immediately called out "Stand" as the heads appeared. A moment elapsed, just sufficient time, it seemed, to enable the robbers to discover the outlines of the waiting men, when two flashes were seen and the reports of two pistols followed. Mr. Van Brunt sent immediately his shot, shattering several panes of window glass and probably wounding one of the men, who cried out so loudly that his complaints were heard next door by the women who were anxiously watching, and who awaited the result of the firing with great solicitude; both men started off on a run around the house, when Mr. Van Brunt directed Scott to fire. He did so, and one of the men fell instantly with a deep groan, dropping down in the grass plat near the fence between the two houses.

The other man kept on his way through the opening between the fence and the house, which ws not more than 50 or 75 ft. wide. He was met by Allie Van Brunt, on seeing whom he immediately fired at him; when Van Brunt returned the shot by discharging his shotgun at the desperate thief. The burglar was now but a few feet away. With an oath he raised his revolver a second time and fired at Van Brunt, while his weapon almost touched the young man’s arm. Clabbing his gun, van Brunt rushed at him, striking him violently on the arm, and breaking the barrel from the stock by the force of the blow. Hastily drawing his revolver from his pocket, he fired twice at his assailant, the second shot taking effect in the back of the head. He fell dead instantly.

The man first shot was found to be dreadfully mangled, his bowels protruding from a huge gash made in his abdomen. Upon the arrival of the physician who was sent for, it was learned that he was hopelessly injured. Constable Holland soon arrived and arested all the persons concerned with the shooting. The man shot by Van Brunt was found to be about 40 years of age, shabbily and scantily dresed, with gray side whiskers and mustache. The younger man of the two [ Joseph Douglas ] was evidently dying, the blood flowing from wounds which could not be stanched.

About 5 o’clock he spoke to Constable Holland, saying that he had 40 dollars in his pocket, with which he asked to be decently buried. He also said that his companion, whose name was http://freepages.his...che45133/chap19.html Mosher , was one of the men who had stolen Charlie Ross from Germantown, and that superintendant Walling would have given $20,000 for his capture. The man soon after died, and both bodies were dragged beneath the stoop at the rear of the house, where they were gazed at by a crowd of curious people, who flocked from miles around to see them. The younger of the two was a most repulsive looking creature, while the older may have been at one time a man of good appearance.

Subjects: Barber / Hair, Bridges, Cemeteries, Charlemont (MA), Children, Courts, Crime, Criminals, Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Economics, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Germans, Glass / Windows, Households, Kidnapping, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Medical Personnel, Missing Persons, Mourning Customs, Noise, Obituaries, Police

Posted by stew - Thu, Nov 10, 2005

Gazette & Courier - Monday, December 21, 1874
Two burglars were shot and killed at Bay Ridge, Long Island, N.Y. Monday morning, while leaving a dwelling in which they had been plying their trade. One of them [ Two burglars were shot and killed at Bay Ridge, Long Island, N.Y. Monday morning, while leaving a dwelling in which they had been plying their trade. One of them [ William Mosher ], just before his death, voluntarily confessed his participation in the abduction of Charlie Ross; he did not know, however, where the boy was.

Subjects: Children, Crime, Criminals, Households, Kidnapping, Missing Persons, Obituaries, Robbers and Outlaws

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