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

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



1901, April 29-John Cusick, insane, who lived with his son, Pat. Cusick, near Edgewood, hanged himself in a narrow place between two barns. He had previously tried to cut his throat with glass.

1901 Oct. 23-Verne, the five-year-old son of S. V. Oakes, was instantly killed by being thrown from a horse.

1902, Jan. 6 -Albert Shaw's little son, aged two and a half years, was fatally burned by his clothes taking fire, and died next day.

1908, July 14-Geo. H. Thompson, of Arcada, formerly of Lafayette, was overcome by gas in a coal mine, in Alberta, Canada, while heroically aiding in saving others who had been overcome by the gas. He was 24 years old.

1909, July 30-Marie, three and one-half years old, little daughter of Wm. Gleason, was shockingly burned when her clothes ignited from a fire around which she and other children were playing, her death occurring a few hours afterward.

1911, Dec. 25-Burr Godley died from wounds self-inflicted with a revolver on the morning of Christmas Day. His mind had become unfavorably affected by reason of some trouble he had with boys of the neighborhood. He was 32 years of age.



1869. Nov. 24-Hugh J. Kellogg, aged 18, son of E. W. Kellogg, died from the effects of a gunshot wound, accidentally inflicted.

1879, Aug. 16-Luther C. Smith committed suicide with morphine, following a controversy which worked on his mind. His dead body was found in the woods on section two. He had been prominent in official matters in three townships. He was one of the earliest settlers in North Star where he held official positions, and in 1860 he was Arcada's supervisor. In Newark he was also a man of standing and influence. He was about 70 years old at his death.

1883, Dec. 2-Jacob Emanuel Frazier committed suicide at the home of Simon Munson, by taking strychnine, aged 27. A love affair was said to have been at the bottom of the act.

1887, April 27-Stephen Cunningham, Jr., hanged himself to the limb of a tree in his father's woods. He was 22 years old and a young man very much respected. He was temporarily insane, supposed to have been caused by undue excitement over religious questions.

1889, July 6-Joseph, the nine-year-old son of Frederick Peters, was killed by the kick of a colt.

1892, Sept. 18-Frank Boyer took his own life by hanging himself in his barn. He was a well-to-do farmer, and business matters were thought to have upset his reason.

1893, April 26-Riley Boots, a young man aged 22, was instantly killed by a falling tree while engaged in chopping with his father and brother.

1896, June 21-Frank Hoffman, aged 11, son of Peter Hoffman, was killed by the kick of a horse.

1897, June 17-Frank Evilsizer, aged 33, when riding a horse from the field to the house, was thrown violently against a stump, and apparently, was instantly killed. He had struck the stump with his left side, the ribs on that side being crushed in. His reputation was that of an honest, industrious man and a kind neighbor.


1899, July 3-Joseph Eicher, of Newark, aged 74, took his life with a dose of carbolic acid, while in a state-according to the jury-of "mental aberation."

1903, Aug. 16-Frederick Boyer, a well-known farmer of Newark, while in the field driving up the cows for milking, Sunday morning, was attacked by a vicious bull and so badly bruised and crushed that he breathed his last soon after being taken to the house. He was 69 years of age, a Civil War veteran and a pioneer of 1854, with an excellent standing as a citizen and neighbor.

1903, Oct. 6-Rolla Gibbs, aged nearly 17, son of Henry Gibbs, committed suicide by shooting himself in the region of the heart, while alone in his father's house. All the indications showed it to have been a deliberate act, carefully planned, but nothing like an adequate cause could be found.

1909, April 28-While dynamiting stumps on his farm two miles southwest of Ithaca, Wm. H. Cox, 66 years old, was accidentally killed by an explosion which mangled his head in a shocking manner. He bad been a resident of Gratiot County over 40 years and was in all respects a first-class citizen, treasurer of his township in 1892, and holding other positions of importance.

1913, Oct. 16-William H. Quick was instantly killed in an automobile accident near his home in Boyne City. He was a Newark boy, son of the late James M. Quick, and had been away from his native township about 15 years. His brother, B. J. Quick, was with him in the auto, but escaped without serious injury.


1873, June 7-In a fire that burned the house of Frank Kimball, of New Haven, his little daughter, Maggie, aged three years, was burned to death in bed.

1876, March 10-Stephen Whiting, of New Haven was killed by falling timbers while aiding in raising the frame of a building.

1880, Jan. 12-John Sellers, aged about 50, was killed by a falling limb, while engaged in chopping.

1882, Nov. 20-The little daughter of Thos. O. Whipple, aged six, died from burns received two days previously, caused by her clothes taking fire.

1885, Aug. 1-A young man named Frank Townsend, while insane, killed himself by cutting his throat.

1889. Nov. 17-A lamentable shooting accident occurred at the home of Samuel E. Sower. By the accidental discharge of a gun their only daughter, Nannie, aged 14, was so terribly wounded that she died within about two hours. No criminal blame was charged to anyone. It was only the everlasting and near-criminal practice of careless handling of firearms.

1890, Feb. 26-Hiram Husted, aged about 65, hanged himself in his brother's barn in Newark. Nothing that would pass as a valid cause was brought out at the coroner's inquest. Mr. H. was a veteran of the Civil War.

1896, Dec.- Claude, aged five, son of Godfrey Crouse, was killed by a falling limb.

1903, July 21-During a thunder storm the house of David Davis, Jr., was struck by lightning and the only child, Harry, 12 years old, was instantly killed.


1904, Oct. 4-A fatal tragedy was enacted at the Morse farm Tuesday afternoon, October 4. During a thunder storm at that time Noel Morse, youngest son of Hon. Chas. H. Morse, who occupied the place, was struck by lightning and killed, just as he was about to enter the barn. The barn was burned. The unfortunate man was 31 years of age and highly esteemed.

1905, Dec-Ira Andrews' death resulted from the accidental discharge of his gun when returning home from a hunting trip. The gun fell backward from his shoulder and was discharged, the load shattering both legs. One leg had to he amputated, and he succumbed to the shock and loss of blood a few hours afterward.


1874, May 13-Marshall McCrary, a young man, son of Robert McCrary, of North Shade, was killed at Bailey's brick yard, in Arcada, by the caving in of a clay bank.

1880, June 5-John Salisbury met his death by an accident, aged 22.

1885, July 5-Christopher Willett, aged 80, of North Shade, was killed in a runaway accident by being thrown from a buggy.

1888, Jan. 10-Horace W. Chafey, aged 60, shot himself through the body with a rifle, dying in about an hour. A coroner's jury rendered a verdict that it was a case of "accidental death or deliberate suicide"; a verdict pretty safe if not entirely conclusive. Some business matters with which he was perplexed seemed to strengthen the suicide theory.

1888, Feb. 1-Corwin Broomall, working in a sawmill, was killed by falling upon a circular saw when it was in rapid motion. His age was 45 years.

1896, Nov. 10-In a fire that destroyed the house of Alex. Campbell at two o'clock in the morning, three boys lost their lives. They were Clayton and John Campbell aged 10 and six, respectively, and Leslie Dent, aged 19, a nephew of Mrs. Campbell. A fourth lad escaped with serious burns.

1899, Jan. 17-The house of Jesse Casteel. occupied by John First, was burned on the night of Jan.17, and the 10-year-old son of Mr. First perished in the flames, while several others had narrow escapes.

1899, Nov. 3-Wm. Kavanaugh, of North Shade, aged 20, son of James Kavanaugh, was killed at a railroad crossing near Carson City. The horse he was driving was killed and the buggy demolished.

1907, May 7-By the accidental discharge of a gun, Max Norton, aged 16, was wounded in the neck, and died within an hour. He was the son of Mrs. Elliott Norton; a bright and popular lad.

1909, Nov. 28-Lawrence Cranson, 13 years old, accidentally shot himself to death while hunting.

1911, Nov. 11-Calvin A. Stratton, aged six years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stratton, died from the effects of a kick by a horse, inflicted a few days previously.


1873, April 14-While engaged in log-driving on Bad River, John McDaid, aged 21, was drowned, just over the county line, in Saginaw County Falling into the water, the logs closed over him, preventing his rise to the surface. He was son of Alex. McDaid.


1885, March 20-Bessie, aged five, and Virgil, aged three, children of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Spooner, were burned to death in their beds, when their home was destroyed by fire. A terrible fate for the innocent and helpless children.

1885, June 17-Glenn, little son of Rufus M. Palmer, North Star, was choked to death by getting his head through an opening in a box, and not being able to extricate himself. Only two and a half years old.

1891, March 9-A horrible death was that of Mrs. Michael Reichard, residing three and a half miles south of Ithaca. Her clothing caught fire at the cook stove and were entirely burned from her person, roasting her to a crisp. The poor woman lingered in agony till the next morning when she breathed her last. She was aged 38.

1893, Jan. 3-Ora Andre, 14 years old, son of Wm. Andre, was killed while engaged in breaking a colt to drive with an old horse. He was thrown beneath the horse's feet and trampled to death before aid could reach him.

1894, June 21-The seven-year-old son of John Strouse, four miles east of Ithaca, was kicked in the forehead by one of his father's horses, receiving injuries which proved fatal next day.

1895, March 12-Alonzo West, 13 years old, living with his grandfather, Wm. West, committed suicide by hanging himself in the barn. No cause was known.

1895, April 19-Milo White's little girl, aged five, was burned to a crisp by her clothes taking fire when she was burning brush. She died three days after.

1895, July 19-Chas. Johnson, aged 41, was killed by foul gas, in a well on Isaac Cook's place. He first tested for gas and found it in bad condition. He took the chances, however, and was overcome.

1900. Dec. 14-A railroad accident caused the death of Willis C. Clark, of North Star, aged 39. He was on his way home from Ithaca with his team, and when crossing the railroad track a mile east of Ithaca, he was caught by the south-bound train and killed. His team was unhurt, but his wagon was reduced to mere fragments. The reason for his being caught seemed a mystery, for the outlook along the track was clear for a long distance. The Clarks were early comers to North Star and were-and are-prominent people.

1904, Oct. 30-Daniel Walbridge, 14 years old, son of A. H. Walbridge, of Marion, formerly of North Star, was killed while hunting, by the accidental discharge of his gun. He was a grandson of Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Wilkinson, of North Star, and was a good boy.

1907, July 19-Alex. Meredith, aged 15, son of Geo. Meredith. While "catching on" cars at North Star Village, was so seriously injured that he died a few hours later.

1908, March 15-A terrible accident in the Armour Woodenware Factory at Ithaca, resulted in the death of Porter Bordine, of North Star, aged 26. He was caught by a line shaft and his life pounded out by being whirled against the adjacent timbers. He left a wife and two small children, besides other relatives.

1908, Aug. 12-Clyde Turner, a young married man, died from the effects of injuries received while heroically trying to stop a runaway team. He was nearly 21.



1876, Nov, 10-Giles King, aged about 55, ended his life by shooting. His reason was upset by the reported election of Tilden, without doubt, as he remarked in a conversation with the writer the day previous to committing the deed, that with Tilden elected he "didn't want to live any longer." and seemed greatly depressed.

1879, Sept. 11-A young man named Edward Buck was accidentally shot by the premature discharge of his gun and died 12 hours later.

1889, Feb. 12-While working in a lumber camp in Mecosta County, John Farrow, of Pine River, aged about 30, was killed crushed by a rolling log.

1889, Oct. 7-Geo. T. Rice, son of Mrs. Gordis Smith, aged 27, was drowned in the river at Mt. Vernon, Ind. He was an aeronaut traveling with Wallace's circus. It was his 100th ascension and in descending he alighted in the river, became entangled in the ropes and was drowned.

1895, Dec. 7-Theron A. Johnson, one of Gratiot County's best-known citizens, was so badly injured by an infuriated bull that death resulted about 36 hours later. His age was 61 years, and he had served as supervisor, and as postmaster at Alma, and was editor of the Gratiot Journal about four years: an intelligent, honorable and progressive citizen.

1905 Oct. 20-Fred, aged six years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Vanderbeek, was the victim of a fatal accident. While playing around his home, a heavy beet-rack fell upon him, crushing his life out. He was a bright and active lad, and his death was a great grief to his family.

1906. July 11-Ira Livingston, an old resident of Emerson but latterly residing in Pine River, shot himself dead in a piece of woods in the northwest corner of Pine River, after first shooting his horse and burning up his buggy and harness. Seemed to be in revenge for fancied or real family troubles. He was 70 and an old veteran of the Civil War.

1907, Aug. 9-Jay Hudson, of Mt. Pleasant, aged 23, a brakeman on an Ann Arbor freight, fell between the cars of his train between Forest Hill and Alma and was run over. When missed at Alma the train backed up and found his dead body on the track.


1874 Jan. 8-Wm. Clifford, of Seville, was killed by a falling tree while at work in the woods near Brown Creek.

1878, Nov. 29-T. B. Talmadge, sawyer in J. B. Adams' sawmill, Riverdale, was struck violently in the side by a stick with which he was clearing away barks from the saw while it was in motion, and died next day.

1882. Dec. 18-Maude, aged one and a half years, little daughter of Samuel and Estella Fletcher, fell into a post-hole, breaking her neck.

1892, July 19-Lewis Seidman. aged 20, while rowing alone on Mud Lake. was drowned by falling from his boat.

1894, Sept. 3-Two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Romanzo Fisk, who married Fred and Noble Sherman and went to Minnesota, were the victims of a terrible holocaust at Hinkley, Minnesota, Sept. 3rd, in which there were 12 victims, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Sherman and children, and Mrs. Noble Sherman and her children, 12 people in all. Noble Sherman escaped by being away from home. Dry weather and forest fires caused the great calamity.

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