History of GRATIOT CO., Michigan. Historical Biographical, Statistical

By Willard D. Tucker pub. 1913 Press of Seemann & Peters, Saginaw, Michigan




1877, Aug. 17-James Dean, of Arcada, aged 25, was killed by a falling tree.

1878, March 12-Adelbert Corey, aged 17, whose home was in Hillsdale County, but who was working for Ellis A. Potter, of Sumner, was drowned near Wolf's bridge, Arcada, by falling from logs in the river, the logs closing over him, preventing his rise to the surface.

1879, May 1-The body of Lorenz Unser was found in Pine River, southwest of Alma, he having drowned himself in the river about two weeks previously, said to have been despondent and bothered over religions questions. A river-driver was passing along by the place during a thunder storm on the above-mentioned date, when, immediately after a heavy clap of thunder, Unser's body came to the surface, popping up suddenly, head first, before the astonished river man's gaze, frightening him nearly out of his senses.

1884, May 2-Mrs. C. P. Sherman, riding on a board laid from bolster to bolster on a lumber wagon, was thrown to the ground and a wheel broke her neck. She was 50 years of age, and an estimable lady.

1893, Feb. 25-Geo. Milliman arose in the middle of the night and ended his existence by pitching head first into a well. Poor health and poor financial conditions were given as the reason.

1893, Nov. 11-Jas. M. Taylor, a well-to-do farmer, aged 55, while temporarily unbalanced in mind, hanged himself in his barn till dead.

1897, April 1-The violent death of Homer Burns occurred in the sawmill of W. T. Naldrett in Ithaca. Mr. Burns was one of the 1854 pioneers of Arcada, and was nearly 80. He stepped into the mill and stood looking at the work going on, when without warning, a piece of board, thrown from a saw 40 feet away, struck him in the neck, killing him almost instantly. It was a shockingly sudden and unexpected taking off. Mr. Burns was a much esteemed citizen.

1897, June 5-Hugh Mead, aged 18, whose home was in Corunna, committed suicide by hanging, at the farm of Mr. Hollabaugh in Arcada. The coroner's jury said he was insane.

1898, April 7-Bessie, the six-year-old daughter of Henry Daymon was fatally burned by her clothes taking fire from burning brush; dying next day.

1903, July 1-Geo. Kerwanski, residing three miles west and one and one-half miles north of Ithaca, died quite suddenly after having been on a prolonged spree. The inquest showed that in about two days he had consumed two bottles of medicine procured from one doctor, two bottles from another and one from another, besides a pint of brandy and half a pint of alcohol, and ending with a teaspoonful of nux vomica which threw him into spasms and the next world. The jury said that the death was accidental "from an overdose of nux vomica, taken by mistake."

1904, July 12-An attempted murder and a successful suicide occurred at the house of Mrs. Mary J. Granger in Arcada. David Rouschenberger, a hired man, fired three shots at Mrs. Elsie Martin, Mrs. Granger's daughter, wounding her, but not fatally, and then did a better job on himself with one bullet. Unappreciated love was said to have been responsible for the act.

1904, Oct. 22-Another one of those so-called shooting accidents occurred at the home of Floyd Nevins, in Arcada. Miss Nora Johnson, daughter of Mathew Johnson, of Pine River, was employed at the house, and a young


man named Frank Jameson, from Ohio, was doing farm work for Mr. Nevins. Mr. And Mrs. Nevins were away from home in the afternoon Jameson concluded to go hunting. As he had been in the Spanish-American War, Miss Johnson asked him to give her an exhibition of the "manuel of arms" before he went. Complying with her request he managed to shoot her dead during his display of skill. All the circumstances and appearances seemed to corroborate Jameson's explanation, so the coroner's jury fully exonerated him from blame. Jameson conducted himself in every way like an honorable and innocent man, and as there was no evidence to incriminate him he could not reasonably he held criminally responsible.

1911, Oct. 31-Carl Scherif, shot himself to death while lying on a couch at his home one and a half miles south of Alma. His age was 77 years. He was a tailor and had formerly done business in Alma. Despondency the only known cause for the act.

1913, Jan. 4-A. A. Ide, of Arcada, passed to the other world by poison, self-administered, at the age of 56 years. Insanity caused by ill-health seemed the most plausible explanation of the rash act.


1869, March 29-Hiram Traver was killed by a falling tree, at the age of 59 years, while chopping in the woods.

1878, Feb. 2-Norman D. Vincent, a well-known pioneer carpenter and popular citizen, lost his life, being killed by a falling tree.

1879, Aug. 7-Bertie McLean, son of Wanton McLean, aged six met an untimely death by getting a kernel of corn in his windpipe.

1879, Dec. 31-Bennie A., aged seven, son of Jas. M. Johnson, died from injuries received by falling down stairs.

1883, Jan. 1-An explosion in Hollister's sawmill, killed Stephen R. Goodwin, who was employed there. On January 25th the mill was destroyed by fire, thought to have been of incendiary origin.

1883, Sept. 17-Charles Howell, residing two and one-half miles east of St. Louis, working in David Bailey's brick yard, Arcada, was caught by a cave-in, and was smothered before he could be rescued.

1887, Jan. 4-Charles McCall, third son of J. H. McCall, aged 22 killed by a falling tree on the farm of John C. Baney, where he, with his brothers, was engaged in chopping. All accounts agreed that he was a fine lad, and his death was sincerely deplored.

1889, May 9-Henry Baldwin, a well-known farmer of northwestern Bethany, was kicked by one of his horses and so badly injured that death resulted next day. He was aged about 54.

1889, Nov. 24-A little son of Mr. Strong was killed by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of a brother, a year or two older. A ramrod in the barrel of the gun was driven entirely through the body of the poor lad, producing injuries which caused death within a few hours.

1892 June 26-Chas. Smith, 14 years old, son of John Smith, residing a mile east of St. Louis, was accidentally drowned in the river at St. Louis while bathing.

1894, Dec. 22-Edward Acker, near St. Louis, aged 16. accidentally shot himself while hunting rabbits. His injuries resulted in death two days later.

1908, Oct. 13-Mrs. Edgar Deline, while her two children were at school and her husband was at work for a neighboring farmer, took her own


life by taking a dose of arsenic and cutting her throat. No cause was known to exist, and the coroner's jury pronounced her insane; which seemed to he the only plausible conclusion. An estimable lady, aged 38 years.

1909, July 2l-Roy Powelson, 24 years old, son of Adelbert Powelson, fell under the wheels of a moving train, at Belding, Mich., and died from his injuries next day. He had been visiting at Belding, and was taking the train to return home.

1909, July 22-Benjamin Francis, aged 23, was killed by lightning while standing on the porch at David P. Smith's residence, during a thunder shower.


1886, March 13-A young man named Lawrence Brownell, aged 20, was killed at Bannister in attempting to cross the railroad track in front of a moving train.

1886, June 2-Wm. Odell, proprietor of the Ashley House, hanged himself in his barn. It was said that domestic infelicities disheartened him: at the early age of 28 years.

1894, Aug. 26-Mary Stanton, aged 19, took her own life with Paris green. An estimable young lady, and no cause known for the rash act.

1895, Sept. 7-John A. Chittenden, aged 21, son of Chas. E. Chittenden, of Ashley, was so terribly injured in his father's stave mill, that death resulted within an hour. The sad death of this popular young man cast a gloom over the entire community.

1896, April 17-Charles, aged nine years, son of Stephen Hubbard, was instantly killed by a stroke of lightning while at work with his father in the granary. The father was badly shocked by the same bolt.

1900, June 23-Mrs. Sabrina Bickford, wife of Myron Bickford, of North Star Township, was killed by a switching engine at Ashley in the evening of June 23rd. She was sitting in their wagon, holding the team while Mr. Bickford was transacting some business in the station. When he came out he found his wife dead by the track, killed by the engine, and the team standing a few rods away. The exact particulars as to the cause of the accident could not be ascertained, but presumably the team got the advantage of her and she was thrown out of the wagon and under the engine. She was a popular woman, aged 40 years.

1901, July 10-John Robinolt, an aged man and old settler living near Ashley. Was killed by being thrown from a mowing machine.

1902, Aug. 22-Wm. Hobbs was killed by a train on the Ann Arbor Railroad a short distance south of Ashley.

1906, Dec. 30-C. Haggerty, of Bannister, aged 71, took an ounce of oil of wintergreen, with suicidal intent, and died next day. He left a note saying he was tired of life.

1907, Feb. 3-At the burning of the Hotel Brimmer, at Ashley, William ("Billy") Toms, the bartender, well-known in that capacity in this and other counties, lost his life

1911, Aug. 3-A traveling salesman named Willis S. Druly, was killed at Ashley by being struck by a freight car while the trainmen were changing to a sidetrack by the "flying switch" method. A brother from Indianapolis came on and took charge burial in North Star cemetery. The unfortunate man was about 60 years of age, and left a wife and two children.



1873, March 7-Mrs. Margaret Beebe died from the effects of a fall, at the age of 49 years.

1873, Dec. 7-Geo. W. Bellows, of Emerson, aged 21, was accidentally shot and killed with his own gun, while hunting in the woods with two 2 others.

1879, May 23-Wm. Allen, son of David Allen, residing near Ithaca, was thrown from a buggy while driving with another young Emerson man receiving injuries from which he died five hours later.

1881, April 15-Mrs. Jacob S. Snyder was accidentally shot to death in her own home. A loaded gun that was standing in a corner, fell down and struck in such a way as to cause its discharge, the shot having the fatal effect as stated. Mrs. Snyder was a pioneer, aged 60.

1881, Aug. 28-Marshall K. Walker, aged 64, committed suicide in a manner all his own. He went about 50 rods from his house, climbed upon a brush heap, set fire to the brush and then shot himself dead, his idea being to cremate his remains. However, his family heard the shot, and hastening to the spot, pulled his body from the fire before it was badly burned. He was evidently insane.

1881 Nov 22-A little son of Ira S. Allen, aged six, fell into a sap-pan of boiling water and died next day, from the terrible scalding he received.

1883, April 14-Chas. Coleman committed suicide by hanging himself in his barn, getting up in the middle of the night for the purpose of performing the act. He had previously shown signs of insanity. "Suicide by hanging, voluntarily, and deliberately," was the jury's verdict. Coroner-Dr. W. D. Scott; jurors-Jesse Pepple, Bert Gartee, Daniel Griffith, Ed. A. Brown, F. M. Pinkham, Isaac D. Pepple.

1885, Oct. 27-Lewis Jarvis, aged about 75, committed suicide by drowning himself in Beaver Creek. On being taken from the water it was found that he had also cut his throat. He had been a resident of Gratiot for 30 years.

1889, April 19-While chopping in his woods, Alvah Mosier, aged 54, was killed by a falling limb. He was a respected farmer, leaving a wife and three children.

1889, Nov. 29-Leon, the 14-year-old son of Willard Gay was instantly killed by a falling tree, and one of the span of horses he was driving was killed by the same accident.

1905, May 29-A kick on the back of the neck by a horse he was leading, paralyzed the body and limbs of John Eichorn, seventeen-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Eichorn, causing his death six days later. He was an only child, and a well liked lad.

1906, July 4-Two natives of Croatia, Austria, named Mato Zugec and Mike Papez, members of a company of imported beet-weeders, stopping temporarily on L. W. Fidler's farm in Emerson, got into an altercation while drunk, July 4th, and Papez struck Zugec on the head fracturing his skull, causing his death about two days later. Papez was arrested and put in jail. When he came to trial it was shown to the satisfaction of the jury that he struck in self-defense, and he was acquitted.

1907, June 26-Timothy Sullivan fell from his wagon when returning home from Ithaca, and died two days later. He was 35, unmarried and intoxicated.


1908, Aug. 6-The 15-months-old child of Geo. Duerr, of Beebe, fell from its father's grocery wagon and sustained injuries which caused its death two days afterward.

1912, July 5-Mrs. Ruth Dailey was killed in an automobile accident near her home. Her husband, Lorenzo ("Jack") Dailey, was driving, and losing control, ran the machine into a roadside ditch. Mrs. Dailey was 66 years of age, and her many friends were greatly shocked by her violent death.


1873, May 9-Geo. Doan, son of John Doan, was killed by a fall while at work for Parker Merrill. His age was 18 years.

1888, Feb. 21-Jefferson Morse ended his life with a revolver, going into a bedroom in his home, and deliberately putting a bullet through his brain. Despondency caused by troubles, real or imaginary, led to the deed.

1889, March 15-Andrew J. Tillotson killed himself at Perrinton by a shot through the head. Despondency on account of poor health, the only known cause. He was 64, and had been a resident here only two years, coming from Leslie, Mich.

1892, July 5-W. H. H. Helms killed himself by cutting his throat. Before finishing himself he endeavored to kill his wife, but was prevented by his daughter. He was insane, having been in a bad state of mind for some time. His age was 55.

1892, Dec. 6-Johnnie Duflo, the young son of Chauncey Duflo, of Middleton, accidentally shot himself while in the woods hunting. He was found dead with a terrible wound in his neck, and with his clothes almost entirely burned off from him, presumably the discharge of the gun having set his clothes on fire.

1901, July 5-John Cumberworth and Walter Price, two well-known farmers of southern Fulton, were killed by lightning in the barn of W. H. Herman where they had taken refuge from the approaching storm. Price was killed instantly while Cumberworth survived a few hours. A horse in the barn was killed by the same bolt. Roy Cumberworth, aged 17, was also in the barn but escaped serious injury.

1907, Sept. 12-A little son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hill, aged two years, was drowned in a large crock that was set in the ground, around a spring where the family got water. He had fallen in head first, and though only a few minutes had elapsed, when found he was dead.

1908, June 1-Chas. Crosley was killed on the T. S. & M. Railroad between Middleton and Carson City, by being run over by a train. It was said that he was addicted to the use of strong drink and was presumed to have been intoxicated at the time.

1908, July 25-Bert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ennis, of Fulton, was drowned in Pine Creek one and one-half miles north of Perrinton. With two companions he went in for a swim, and went down in about 14 feet of water. The presumption was that he was taken with cramps. He was taken out in about 20 minutes hut could not be revived. He was 22 years old, a promising and well-liked young man.

1908, Oct. 17-Wm. Sheridan, of Perrinton, a young married man, was run over by a freight train three-fourths of a mile east of Perrinton and instantly killed. He and a companion, both overcome with liquor, had fallen in their helplessness, but the other one was clear of the track and escaped injury by a close shave.


1913, Oct. 5-Wm. O'Connell died from the injuries received in an automobile accident near Ithaca two days previously. He was about 48 years old.

1913, November 27-John W. Martin, of Middleton, was so severely wounded that he died next day. While engaged in shooting at a mark with his son and Fred Bolyard, the pistol was accidentally discharged, the ball lodging in Mr. Martin's body. Mr. Martin was one of the most popular and upright citizens of southern Gratiot, and his terrible fate caused profound sorrow. He was 54 years of age; settled in Newark in 1887, but had been a resident of Middleton about two years, in hardware trade with his brother, Webster Martin.


1889, July 9-The infant child of Arthur Hazelton was accidentally drowned in a wash-boiler in which the mother was giving it a bath.

1889, Oct. 16-George, the seven-year-old son of Frank Marshall, died from injuries caused by the kick of a horse a few days previously.

1895, Jan. 11-The little 14-months-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Orin Echelberger got hold of a bottle of laudanum and drank enough to cause death a few hours afterward.

1904, April 5-The death of Leonard Wight, caused by an accident occurred at the home of his son Abram L., with whom he lived, one-half mile north of Sickels. He fell from a second story window and was killed, his neck being broken. He lived long enough, however, to tell how it happened. He had raised the window to air out his room and had fallen out He was 89 years old, and a pioneer very much respected.

1904, Aug. 5-Roy, the six-year-old son and only child of Mr. And Mrs. Fred Wight, of Sickels, was run over and killed by a heavily-loaded wagon: a great grief to the parents and a shock to the community.



1883, May 6-John Devereaux, aged 21, son of Theodore Devereaux, was drowned in Bad River while handling logs for C. W. Mead.

1896, Feb. 5-A terrible accident resulted in the death of a young man named Seymour Scudder, son of Joseph Scudder, for many years supervisor of Lafayette. While chopping in the woods with his brother, he was caught by a falling tree. His skull was fractured and he passed away after a few hours, without regaining consciousness. He was a single man, 32 years of age and popular.

1896, Oct. 15 - Wm. Webber, aged 20 years. while at work near Rose City. Ogemaw County, was killed by a falling limb.

1900, May 20 -The danger in the careless handling of firearms was too well illustrated in the shocking death of George Godley, of Lafayette, a farmer, in his 29th. year. The gun was in the hands of Sherman Tyron, aged 17, Godley's hired man. The charge struck the unfortunate man in the neck. making a wound that caused death in about 10 hours. No special or criminal blame was charged to young Tyron. It was only another instance of carelessness or thoughtlessness in allowing the muzzle of a gun to point toward a living creature that it is not the intention or desire to kill.


Book Index

Back | Next

Drop List of Gratiot Co. Pages

Copyright © 1999-2005 [P. L. Hamp]. All rights reserved.