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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: Suicide

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 10, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875

Orange - Prescott Foskett, a respected citizen and well-to-do farmer, committed suicide by hanging himself at Orange, Sat. afternoon the 11th. He visited his son's wife, and deposited his spectacles, money, and a few mementos, stating that he was going to put himself out of the way. Upon being asked what was the trouble, he said he had seen trouble enough.

His son was immediately informed of his father's intentions, and a search was commenced for him, but after an hour proved unsuccessful; then an alarm was given, and business about the place was generally suspended. After another hour search, the body of Mr. Foskett was found suspended to a tree, about a half a mile from his son's house. The act occasions intense excitement in the vicinity. Domestic troubles are said to have led to the act. He was about 68 years old.

Subjects: Economics, Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Households, Marriage and Elopement, Orange (MA), Rich People, Suicide, Trees

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

Mrs. Jones of North Somerville found the other day, a loving letter to Mr. Jones from a New York woman, and the next day discovered another; whereupon she broke a chair and two pitchers over her husband's head and tried to shoot him with a pistol. He succeeded in disarming her, when she took a dose of strychnine, but so large a one as to overdo the business.


Subjects: Furniture, Literature / Web Pages, Poisoning, Scandals, Seduction, Suicide, War / Weaponry, Wife Abuse, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 18, 2010

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
News of the week

A resident of Venice, N.Y. attempted on Sunday to murder his 3 children and then shot himself.


Subjects: Child Abuse, Children, Crime, Criminals, Family, Insanity, Murder, Suicide

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
A domestic tragedy in Pennsylvania

The village of Silver Springs, Pa. has its domestic tragedy. Jerome Wilcox and his wife, neither of whom were better than they should be before or after marriage, after a year of wrangling separated a few months ago. The woman at once took up with another man, and was out walking with him late the other night, when Wilcox, who had learned of their intimacy, met them in the road, and drawing a knife stabbed his wife 5 or 6 times, inflicting probably fatal wounds, and then going a little further cut his own throat from ear to ear. The other fellow, at first sight of the knife, took to his heels, leaving the woman to the mercy of her enraged husband.

Subjects: Courtship, Crime, Criminals, Marriage and Elopement, Murder, Roads, Suicide, War / Weaponry, Women

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
A fearful tragedy

In the northern part of Ulster County, on a southern spur of the Catskills, is the village of Pine Hill, where Abram Symonds lived. His only human companion was a daughter, whom he kept aloof from young society, and made of her a veritable recluse. Symonds liked to exhibit his autocratic power over his household, but it is not known that he was ever cruel. The relations of the father and daughter were also, so far as outward appearances went, most cordial and pleasant.

The girl seemed to bow to the will of her parent without a murmur. On Fri. night Nathan Peet, son-in-law of Symonds, called at the house, and seeing no one about, not even the dog, began to search about the premises. Entering the kitchen he saw Miss Symonds lying on the floor dead, and an ax lay on a table in the room, covered with blood.

She had been stricken down from behind. After a short search Symonds was traced to the woods near by, where his body was found lying across a log with his throat cut from ear to ear. Lying near the feet of his dead master was the old shepherd dog, his jugular vein was also severed.

From the trail of blood that could be seen heading to the log from a spot about 20 ft. away, it was evident that the dog's throat had been cut there, and that he had dragged himself to the feet of his old master to die.

[Jeez, this stuff is bloody and horrible! But then again, so darn interesting...].

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Crime, Criminals, Family, Households, Murder, Suicide, Trees

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 7, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
The Belchertown tragedy

Of course the death of Nettie Barrett, aged 17, by her own hand at Belchertown, and the narrow escape of her companion, Frances S. Bridgman, 14 years old, from a like fate, have created the profoundest sensation in that quiet community’, and the funeral of the former at the Methodist Church Sun. was largely attended. Indeed the whole affair is such a strangely sad one that there is a wide interest to learn all possible particulars concerning it.

The girls were bright and attractive, belonging to the higher village circles. Miss Barrett was sent to Belchertown last April by her mother, who lives at south Amherst, to continue her education, and was to have been examined for the High School Sat., and baptized Sun. in the Church which witnessed her burial; and Miss Bridgman, who had been her almost constant companion of late, was the adopted daughter of Calvin Bridgman.

Miss Barrett had the reputation of being a rather wild person, and the girls were in the habit of being out late nights. Miss Barrett was the leader, and her conduct had become so notorious that her guardian, Franklin Dickinson, had a serious talk with her Thurs. on her behavior. When she returned that eve., she remarked to Mrs. Daniel Packard, with whom she was stopping, that they "wouldn’t be troubled with her being out any more nights".

At 8 o’clock, she and Miss Bridgman - who had been secreted in the room - were observed by neighbors to leave the house. They procured the fatal morphine at the drug store of Mr. Barnes, the elder, a few days before, they had unsuccessfully undertaken to get the poison of the son, who refused to give it without a prescription. Mr. Barnes claims that he supposed it was for Calvin Bridgman. At what time and how the girls got into Packard’s house again is not known.

About half past 7 o’clock Fri. morning, Mrs. Owen, with whom Frances Bridgman was boarding during her parent’s absence, came over in the greatest alarm about her, saying that the night before the girl had left, after bidding them a tearful farewell. Mrs. Packard went immediately to the room and there the victims lay, one in a deadly stupor and the other writhing in terrible agony.

The bed was covered with candy, and Miss Bridgman explained that they had overeaten of this. Efforts were made to revive Miss Barrett, who refused to take anything but cold water, and then determinedly said "Go away, I want to sleep". When Mrs. Packard had left the room for help, Miss Bridgman hailed a little girl and threw down this note, written in a confused, uncertain hand, and unsigned:

"Mr. Barnes - will you be so kind as to send me as much chloroform as here is money enough, five cents’ worth?"

She threw down also two letters directed to George T. Slauter, Belchertown, and Wilbur F. Nichols, at Wilbraham Academy, bidding them farewell and asking them to act as bearers. Then followed an exciting scene in the little bedroom Poor Nettie Barrett was dying. Miss Bridgman confessed that they had taken the morphine, that the candy was only a ruse, that there had been scandalous stories in the town about them, that she did not wish ever to see her parents again, and hoped and expected to die.

She quietly watched her dying companion and waited for the expected chloroform. With the death of Miss Barrett however, came the desire to live, and she requested salt and water to enable her to vomit more.

The wonderful nerve and mingled frankness and cunning of these little misses as displayed during the whole affair, are brought out by the scenes immediately preceding the tragedy. Only 5 hours before they entered the little bed room, they gayly played croquet with some young people, holding in their hands the candy which they were to sprinkle on the bed.

Miss Bridgman wrote what she thought was her last letter to her father, in simple, affectionate, yet determined words. She would meet her parents in a world where there were no scandalous tongues, and where they could live in peace.

[Now don’t ask me how I got there, but I believe that Frances S. Bridgman is actually Emma Francis Bridgman, daughter of Franklin A. Bridgman, born in 1860].

Subjects: Amusements, Beverages, Children, Dreams / Sleep, Drug Abuse, Drugstores / Drugs, Economics, Education, Family, Food, Furniture, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Mourning Customs, Obituaries, Orphans and Orphanages, Poisoning, Religion, Rich People, Scandals, Suicide, Women, Words, Water

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
A Milwaukee man

A Milwaukee man made 3 unsuccessful attempts to blow his brains out, and then his wife told him "Don't try it again, John, you haven't got any". He goes about now saying that he owes his life to that woman.

Subjects: Jokes, Suicide, War / Weaponry, Women

Posted by stew - Wed, Feb 4, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
Hampshire County items

Belchertown was excited Fri. over a very sad affair, two girls, each about 16 years old, attempting to kill themselves with morphine Thurs. night, one of them dying Fri. morning. They were Miss Frances S. Bridgman, an adopted daughter of Calvin Bridgman and Miss Nettie Barrett, only daughter of Mrs. Silas Barrett of South Amherst, who was stopping in town.

The girls, who had been together most of the time, got their morphine of Mr. Barnes, the druggist Thurs. eve., and took the dose the same night. Fortunately Miss Bridgman was taken with vomiting, and so recovered, but Miss Barrett died at half past ten o’clock the next day. The cause for the deed is not known as yet. Mr. and Mrs. Bridgman had been to the sea side, but were expected to return Fri. night.

Subjects: Children, Drug Abuse, Drugstores / Drugs, Family, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Obituaries, Orphans and Orphanages, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Suicide, Vacations

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News of the week

The attempt of Patrick H. Masterson upon his own life and that of his divorced wife at New Haven, Ct. on Sun. was one of the most atrocious affairs in the history of the city. It was all done on a public street, and Masterson was obliged to chase the woman before he could get her within reach of his knife. He supposed that he had finished her the first time he stabbed her, but seeing her start up after he had stabbed himself, he started for her again, cursing her as he ran, the blood meanwhile pouring from his neck. The fact that he was knocked down evidently alone prevented him from killing the woman. He had previously tried to kill George Kirtland, father of the woman.

Subjects: Connecticut, Crime, Divorce, Murder, Roads, Suicide, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 12, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
News of the week

The wife of Capt. Phill Bessenger of Reading, PA, accompanied by her 3 children, two boys and a girl, aged respectively 9, 6, and 3 years, left her home Tues. aft., and walking up the tow path of the Union canal to near Grings Mill, 3 miles north of the city, and deliberately walked in and drowned herself and children. The bodies were discovered.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Business Enterprises, Canals, Children, Crime, Criminals, Family, Murder, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Suicide, Women

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Perley C. Hill

Perley C. HIll, employed at the United States Armory at Springfield, committed suicide Wed. morning by cutting his throat with a razor.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Obituaries, Suicide, War / Weaponry, Work

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Suicide of a Boston business man

Charles H. Pierce, an old and highly respected resident of Hyde Park, and widely known in commerce circles at Boston, committed suicide by drowning in the Neponset River on Sat. aft.

The cause of the suicide was evidently financial difficulties. Mr. Pierce was a member of the firm of Pierce, Gilman & Tuttle, furniture dealers, Boston, and at the time of the Wareham conflagration some months ago, this firm lost heavily, having been burned out.

Subjects: Boston (MA), Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Economics, Fires, Furniture, Obituaries, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Suicide, Vendors and Purchasers

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 9, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Hampshire / Hampden Counties

Wadsworth Drake of Williamsburg, a well to do farmer, felt so keenly the supposed disgrace of being sued, on Friday, for the first time in his life, that he became a raving maniac, and the care and strength of several men were required to prevent him from taking his own life. He now imagines that he is deeply in debt.

Subjects: Economics, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Insanity, Suicide

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875

There was a genuine sensation in this community about a fortnight ago, and the excitement has hardly subsided now. The cause of this unusual stir was an attempt at suicide by a young man who belonged in a neighboring town, and who, after an absence of some months, came here to renew the vows he had made to a lady who is a temporary resident of Monroe. The lady, for some reason, had been weaned from her attachment, and it was the old story of suicide for spite. The young man swallowed arsenic pills in her presence, but fortunately, his friends interfered to save his life.

But so determined was the fellow to make his exit from this world of disappointments, that the aid of several men was required to hold him while the doctor that had been called administered the remedies. But he was finally brought out of it, and before many days took a sensible view of the situation, was glad he was rid of the girl, and went off about his usual business.

Subjects: Courtship, Medical Personnel, Medicine / Hospitals, Poisoning, Suicide, Monroe (MA)

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 16, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Henry P. Haynes

Henry P. Haynes of Boston, 13 years old, attempted suicide by shooting himself through the head with a pistol Sat., and cannot recover. He had been a very wild boy for years, and was recently detected stealing his mother's gold watch and chain, which he sold.

Subjects: Boston (MA), Children, Crime, Criminals, Family, Juvenile Delinquents, Robbers and Outlaws, Sales, Suicide, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 13, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875

Two Germans, brothers, who had stolen some money in Lubeck, went to Christiania, Norway, and had a terrible quarrel in their room at a hotel, in which the elder murdered the younger and then killed himself.

Subjects: Crime, Criminals, Family, Germans, Hotels, Murder, Robbers and Outlaws, Suicide, Europe

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 13, 2008

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

A 13 year old boy hung himself in Mitchell County, N.C. recently.

Subjects: Children, Suicide

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 8, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
News of the week

Samuel S. Gowen committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at South Boston Sat. night on account of financial embarrassment.

Subjects: Boston (MA), Economics, Suicide

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 7, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
A suicide at Savoy

William Ingraham of Savoy, about 47 years old, hung himself on Tues. morning, and the position in which his body was found indicates that he didn't do the work very skillfully. It was discovered in a small clump of bushes, a short distance from his house, resting upon the knees. He had tied a rope to a small tree, which bent with his weight and let him down, but not so far that he was unable to let the work of strangulation go on.

He told his wife on leaving the house Tues. morning that he was going to hang himself, but, as it was a common thing for him to say so, his family thought nothing of it for the time. It was only a short time ago that some of his friends visited him, and he told them that he was tired of living in these hard times. He had recently bought some land, and the fact that he found it hard to get money is supposed to have been the immediate cause of his act.

Subjects: Economics, Family, Households, Suicide, Trees, Vendors and Purchasers, Words, Berkshire County (MA)

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 7, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Millard F. Phillips, son of the late Rufus S. Phillips, was taken to the Northampton Asylum on Thurs. A sickness, some 3 months since, affected his mind, and the death of his father and some other troubles greatly increased the malady. He was possessed with a desire to take his own life, and his friends were obliged to send him to the hospital to prevent him from carrying out his purpose. He was taken to Northampton by Sheriff Bryant, and made several attempts before leaving town to get away from the officer.

Subjects: Diseases, Family, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Insanity, Medicine / Hospitals, Obituaries, Police, Suicide

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 4, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
News of the week

The wife of the late Samuel Boyden hanged herself Sunday night. She was about 80 years old, and probably insane.

Subjects: Insanity, Massachusetts, Suicide, Widows and Widowers, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875

There are 2 fatal accidents. A 5 year old child of Thomas Burns was run over Sat. by a freight team belonging at Petersham and instantly killed. No blame was attached to the driver of the team, as the child ran under the wagon while he was walking beside his horses. Richard Morse of Athol, 25 years old, was run over by an extra freight train between Baldwinville and Templeton Sat. night and instantly killed. He was drunk and lying on the track. [I don't know, could be suicide].

Subjects: Accident Victims, Accidents, Animals / Reptiles, Athol (MA), Children, Drunkenness, Massachusetts, Obituaries, Suicide, Trains, Transportation

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
News of the week

A woman died at Concord, N.H. of diphtheria while her husband was asleep in an adjoining room. On awakening, and learning of his bereavement, he placed himself beside the corpse and committed suicide.

Subjects: Diseases, Dreams / Sleep, Marriage and Elopement, New Hampshire, Obituaries, Suicide, Widows and Widowers, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Hampshire County items

Mrs. Jennie Strong, wife of George Strong of Northampton, the bill poster, attempted to commit suicide Sat. by taking a large dose of chloral, but medicinal aid was promptly secured amid she is in a fair way of recovery, although she says it is her purpose to try again.

Subjects: Diseases, Drug Abuse, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Medicine / Hospitals, Suicide, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
News of the week

The no, of suicides in the German Army amounted in 1874 to 193, which gives the proportion per 1600 men, of 0.51 annually. This proportion is, in the Austrian Army, 0.85; in the French army, 0.51; in the Belgian 0.45 and in the English Army, 0.38.

Subjects: English (and England), French, Germans, Suicide, Vital Statistics, War / Weaponry, Europe

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