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Colonial Cases

1870s

THE DAILY ASTORIAN (Astoria, Or.), 14 January 1879.

A Chinese Doctor.

Many persons have entertained extravagant ideas concerning Chinese Doctors.  A case in point may tend to cool the ardor of such people.  A Chinaman died lately, at San Jose, under circumstances which caused the coroner to hold an inquest.  At the examination, Dr. Gog Fly (Shoo Fly, hereafter,) stated that he had treated the patient for lung disease.  On being questioned in regard to his knowledge of human physiology, he asserted "a man had seven lungs." He also informed the "Melican" barbarians that there were five holes in the human heart, and that the five principle functions of that organ is to "catch air in." But the laugh comes in best when it is stated that Dr. Cog Fly has had a large and lucrative business among the white citizens of San Jose.

 

THE DAILY ASTORIAN (Astoria, Or.), 16 February 1879.

Expenses for Coroner and Jurors for Inquest on W. Strong.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 14 March 1879.

An Indian Murder.

Some of the older Indians on the Puyallup reservation yet hold tenaciously to their superstitious notions, and are willing to risk their lives, reputations and fortunes upon the results of their heathenish practices, says the Tacoma Herald.  Old Kitsap is an Indian of over seventy Summers.  He claims to be a doctor, as did also a native named McKay.  These old savages practiced the heathenish mode of laying on of hands, beating the devil around the stump, and other questionable remedies.  They were also rivals, and despised each other.  During the past few years Old Kitsap had lost nine or ten children.  He claims that McKay occasioned their demise by the process of "messachie tamanuous," although his professional services had never been solicited, and he was not present at their death-bed scenes.  Kitsap boldly threatened to avenge the death of his children by talking the life of the one whom he deemed responsible for his sorrow.  A short time ago Kitsap collected some furs, and with the price of the same purchased a revolver.  On Sunday last, while witnessing the burial of another Indian, McKuy was present. It was generally known among the Indians that Kitsap would have his revenge on that day.  While sitting upon the ground at the grave, McKuy was but a few feet in advance of Kitsap, when the latter quietly took his revolver and shot McKuy through the heart.  He then arose, fired the deadly missile into the heavens with an air of triumph and disappeared into the forest.  Dr. Bostwick held a coroner's inquest over the body of the slain Indian, and the jury found a verdict in accordance with the above facts.  Kitsap has been arrested, and is now in the custody of the Indian police.

...

The second trial of J. D. Whitney is being held at Salem.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to be hung, and the supreme court granted the motion for a new trial.

 

 

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 2 May 1879.

The New Era Suicide.

The evidence adduced and the verdict of the Coroner's jury at the inquest on the body of S. S. Reed, of whom we made mention yesterday as having committed suicide at New Era by shooting through the breast, showed that deceased had been in declining health for about two years, and was subject to fainting spells; that the pain becoming acute, he resorted to taking laudanum, and for this reason, superinduced by financial difficulties, he was tempted, an a fit of temporary insanity, to put an end to his sufferings.  It was not produced in evidence that deceased's wife separated from him some time since, but subsequently returned, and that he was subject to fits of jealousy.  Beside his wife he leaves a daughter, Minnie, aged twelve years.

 

THE DAILY ASTORIAN (Astoria, Or.), 4 May 1879.

ANOTHER SUICIDE.

Death of Henry Sindlinger.

Henry Sindlinger has been a resident of this city for the past eight years, or more.  He came from Portland, and has been known as a quiet in offensive citizen, having but few or no associates of any kind, living by himself, pursuing his labors as a tin-smith in the employ of Mr. J. G. Megler, the late Mr. Nickerson, Mr. C. E. Jackins and others, until within a few years past when he has carried on business on his own account, in Stolls building on Fourth street.  His actions have been so peculiar as to lead many to suppose him to be insane, but as he has been very diligent in his shop, and managed his business carefully, paying his bills promptly, &c., it was never for a moment considered necessary by any person for the public authorities to interfere with him.  He has been as regular as clockwork, breakfasting at six, dining at certain hours, retiring with promptness, etc., until night before last when he failed to report himself at his lodgings at the hotel where he boarded, and not coming to his breakfast as usual, the proprietor, Mr. Turpin, missed him, and observed that the blinds were down at the windows of his shop, and calling Sheriff Twilight, he with Mr. W. B. Headington gained access to the shop and there found the lifeless body of the poor fellow.

   It was a clear case of self-destruction, and deceased had gone about it very premeditatedly.  He first laid a sheet of iron on the floor behind his work bench, then took a part of a wooden box which he used to rest his head upon, covering it with his apron, then laid down at full length and with a pistol in his right hand shot himself through the head. The appearance of composure shows that he died without a tremor.

   The acting coroner held an inquest over the remains and returned a verdict of suicide.

   In this instance it cannot be said that drink nor lack of employment lead to the result.  Henry was not only an industrious man, but he was scrupulously temperate.  He was withal quite a genius in his way.  We remember our introduction to him in 1873, when we went to him to get his assistance in setting up the first stove in THE ASTORIAN office.  He was too busy to listen to us - he was engaged in making a heater for the tank in Wm. Uhlenhart's Occident bath rooms.  He had a plan for heating a hundred gallons of water to blood heat in one minute.  He made the machine, and it worked to perfection, but Mr. Uhlenhart was not insured against an explosion, and the soldering melted at the joints of the machine, after which it was taken out.  Dr. Kinsey afterwards purchased the heater for the marine hospital.

   We have no record of his antecedents.  Indeed, he appears to have taken special pains to destroy any evidences of the whereabouts of his family and friends.  He leaves some personal property which will be properly accounted for by the authorities.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 14 March 1879.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 2 May 1879.

The New Era Suicide.

The evidence adduced and the verdict of the Coroner's jury at the inquest on the body of S. S. Reed, of whom we made mention yesterday as having committed suicide at New Era by shooting through the breast, showed that deceased had been in declining health for about two years, and was subject to fainting spells; that the pain becoming acute, he resorted to taking laudanum, and for this reason, superinduced by financial difficulties, he was tempted, an a fit of temporary insanity, to put an end to his sufferings.  It was not produced in evidence that deceased's wife separated from him some time since, but subsequently returned, and that he was subject to fits of jealousy.  Beside his wife he leaves a daughter, Minnie, aged twelve years.

 

OREGON SENTINEL (Jacksonville), 4 June 1879.

EMPIRE CITY, May 30. - The people of this place were startled this morning by the report that James D. Fay had killed himself.  It soon became known that this was the sad fact, and a coroner's inquest over the body of the deceased resulted in the finding of the following verdict:   

   We, the jury summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of Jas. D. Fay, do find that deceased came to his death by a pistol shot fired from a pistol held in his own hands.

   The facts developed by the evidence before the jury were that the night previous he had retired in company with L. F. Lane about 12 o'clock.  After that time he took two or three drinks, but not sufficient, as Mr. Lane testified, to produce delirium tremens.  Mr. Lane then left him, and Mr. Fay went to the Star saloon, and was sitting by the stove, reading a newspaper when Mr. E. W. Sprague and A. W. Sprague, his brother, - keepers of the saloon - went out and left him sitting there.  They shortly afterwards heard the report of a pistol, and ran back to the saloon, where they found Mr. Fay still seated in the chair, with his head bent forward, the blood flowing freely from his head and his pistol lying in his lap.

   Dr. Mackey testified that death had resulted almost instantaneously with the shot.

   Mrs. Fay, with one child, was on a visit in this city with her parents, and the shock to her was most distressing.  The body was taken in charge by the masons of Marshfield, Mr. Fay being a member of that fraternity, and interred with Masonic honours on Sunday last.

   Mr. Fay was a native of South Carolina, about 40 years of age, a man of extraordinary force of character and far more than average ability, which unfortunately was too often mis-directed. ...

[See also WILLAMETTE FARMER, 6 June 1879.][Problems over his property: The Coast Mail (Marshfield, Or.), 2 August 1879.]

 

THE DAILY ASTORIAN (Astoria, Or.), 10 June 1879.

A body was picked up near Pillar-rock and decently buried, on the 7th.  S coroner's inquest was held over the remains.  Among the effects found upon the person was a registered letter receipt to Miss Mary Bogardus, Bluffton, Waukegan county, Mich.  It is supposed that deceased was drowned at the Cascades.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 18 July 1879.

A Fatal Spree.

Our readers will remember that last week we published an account of the finding of a body floating in the river, having been run upon by the Stark street ferry boat.  It was picked up and towed to shore where Coroner Cooke took charge of it and hauled it away to the morgue.  The body was in an advanced stage of decomposition, and to approach within twenty feet of it was sufficient to turn the strongest stomach.  The hair had all fallen from the head, the flesh from the face and fingers, making identification from those sources impossible. 

   An inquest was held, which resulted in the jury returning a verdict that a man unknown to the jury had been found floating in the river, and that he came to his death by a blow on the head with some dull instrument, crushing the skull.  A complete account was published in the BEE together with a correct description of the watch and chain and other articles found upon his person.  The body was taken to Potters' field and buried.

   Our papers were spread broadcast through the city to our patrons, and eventually carried the sad news to the father, mother and family who reside on Canyon Creek, in the back part of the city, and are named Harris.  Two brothers reside close together and are well-to-do, both having families.  When they read the account of the floating body, and read the description of the watch and chain, which Mr. Harris had given him, the terrible fate of their missing son fell upon the household like a thunderbolt.  Happiness was changed to lamentation, and pleasure to deep sorrow, and bitter tears were shed by the entire family and relations.  Mr. Harris quickly came to this city and made an examination of the articles found upon the body, and his greatest agony was complete, for upon the handkerchief was the name of his long lost son, and the watch and chain could not be mistaken.  The bereaved father at once ordered a handsome coffin, and the remains of the unfortunate George were given decent burial in Lone Fir cemetery, followed by the grief-stricken parents and relatives.  Mr. Harris then turned his attention to the search of ascertaining the cause and circumstances leading to the death of his son.  After a long and tedious search he learned the following:

   On the evening of April 19th George, in company with several friends, were carousing about town, drinking and having a good time generally.  At a late hour they went to a hotel and secured beds.  George refused to go to bed, and said: "No, lets run all night."  This they refused to do, and tried in vain to get him to bed.  He said he had a bed at his father's and would go home.  He left the hotel and his friends, which is the last that is known of his movements or was known of his whereabouts until his body was picked up in the river after nearly three months had elapsed.  He had evidently left the hotel and visited some gambling house, where he won a considerable amount of money, and had been followed out, knocked in the head, robbed and thrown overboard; or else lost his money, and, being drunk, fell from the dock in his rambling, striking his head upon a timber, crushing his skull.  The truth will probably never be known.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 24 October 1879.

Drowned.

A young man named Fred Woolery, a resident of Seattle, and employed as a deck hand on the steamer Josephine, fell overboard from that steamer Saturday into the Skagit river and was drowned.

Sudden Death.

Last night about 11 o'clock, while the steamship State of California was coming up the river, one of the steerage passengers, while standing at a table eating his supper, dropped to the floor.  As he did not attempt to rise, some of the passengers went to his assistance, but found that he was insensible.  Dr. Petra, of Illinois, who was on board, was called, and upon examination it was found that he was dead, having been stricken with apoplexy.  The unfortunate man's name was not known, and could not be ascertained, as the tickets had been taken up.  A companion of the dead man said he was quite conversant on the passage; stated that he was from Folsom, Cal.; that he had been mining in Australia for 13 years, and that he was going to work near Portland. 

   The dead man was about 40 years old, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high, had blue eyes, short moustache and full dark beard, dark hair, prominent cheek bones and clear skin.  He wore light brown overalls, dark brown duck flannel lined coat and a blue flannel shirt.  Coroner Cooke held an inquest this morning at 1 o'clock, and the jury returned a verdict in compliance with the above.

 

WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 31 October 1879.

Overdose of Morphine.

Sudden End to Years of Suffering - A Swede is taken Sick and Dies in Fifteen Minutes at a Saloon on Front Street.

 Charles F. Sampson, a Swede, who until lately resided at Astoria, died very suddenly yesterday afternoon from an overdose of morphine.   The deceased, as we gather from the testimony of his friends given at the inquest had been suffering for many years from an acute pain in the knee, to relieve which he took heavy doses of morphine, using daily as much as fifty cents worth.  Yesterday afternoon in company with some friends he entered the National Hall saloon, on Front street between C and D, and engaged in a game of billiards, when he was suddenly taken sick and called for a doctor.  Dr. Theisen was immediately on hand and tried every available means to stop the fast flowing ebb of life, but to no purpose, the man died about fifteen minutes after he was taken sick.  The doctor's evidence was that the deceased came to his death from an overdose of narcotic, administered by his own hands.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School