"Oh, Bother."

I think you will enjoy these Victorian Obituaries:

Thursday, May 12, 1887
John Snyder, of Bushnell township, Montcalm county, while insane, on the 1st, crushed his wife's head with an axe, killing her instantly.

Thursday, May 12, 1887
Mrs. Chas. Martin, wife of a farmer living near Grand Rapids, poisoned herself and two of her children on the 3d, with "rough on rats."

Thursday, May 12, 1887
A terrible accident occurred in the rolling mill of the Hubbard Iron company, at Hubbard,, Ohio, shortly after 2 o'clock on the morning of the 6th. Engineer Griffith Phillipps, aged 29 years in passing around the ore crusher oiling the bearings, was caught in the wheels and dragged into the crusher. He was mangled out of all semblance of humanity, the flesh adhering to the clogs. He leaves a wife and 3 children.

Thursday, May 19, 1887
At North Branch on the 11th, Alexander Hoy's little son spilled a bottle of carbolic acid over his body. The stuff burned the child from his head to his feet, and he will probably die.

Thursday, June 2, 1887
At Canton, Ohio, last week, Charles Danseizen, a bricklayer, went home drunk and, picking up a butcher-knife six inches long, murdered his wife by stabbing her in the throat. He says she drove him to the deed because she joined the salvation army.

Thursday, November 24, 1887
It is said on the street that Miss Ida Carew, who mashed the patrons of the variety theatre by her song, "You can't do it, you know", died at New Orleans lately.

Thursday, December 8, 1887
Lawrence Finn, a dissipated loafer, attacked his wife last week Saturday night with a heavy iron tea kettle he snatched from the stove. He knocked her down, beat her brains out and smashed the kettle in pounding her. The woman's eldest boy witnessed the assault and ran from the house screaming murder. A police officer was found who arrested Finn after he had horribly mutilated his wife's body.

Thursday, December 8, 1887
As August Gunther, an employee of the Hancock chemical works, was driving a nail into a scantling saturated with nitro-glycerine, last week, an explosion occurred, injuring him beyond recovery.

Saturday, March 24, 1888
Over four months ago a mass of molten iron was forced by an explosion into the mouth and throat of Jacob Halemberger, of Reading, Pa. The result was that the passage to the stomach was completely closed, and the man died of starvation.

Saturday, April 14, 1888
Miss Metta Fordham, of Bronson, a music teacher and exceedingly bright young lady, died with measles. When the disease first seized her she told her friends she would never get well.

Saturday, May 12, 1888
John Winter, who died recently at Grand Rapids, is alleged to have said with his dying breath that his wife poisoned him. The woman and her neighbors agree that he died of dissolute habits.

Saturday, June 16, 1888
A Telegram received yesterday morning announced the death of Emporer Frederick William of Germany. He fought a valiant fight for many months, but no human and could stem the tide of the dread disease.

It just goes on and on and on like that! It's huge.

Tags: ,

46 Responses:

    • ultranurd says:


      Thursday, July 21, 1887 Page 2
      Near, Logansport, Ind., at an early hour on the morning of the 12th, W. A. Garner was awakened by some one groping around the room. Seeing a form at the window, he thought it was a burglar, and he fired at it. The body fell. When he got a light he found he had shot his wife and she was dead.

      How paranoid do you have to be?

      • evan says:

        Judging by how often women die at the hands of their husbands, I'd say this was more an "accident" than an accident.

  1. relaxing says:

    Saturday September 17th 1898 Page 1
    A Fatal Accident
    Gibson Pratt, the bright 2½-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, of the Canadian Soo, fell headfootmost onto a pointed nail Monday. The nail was sticking up in a walk and perforated the unfortunate child's forehead, inflicting a wound that resulted fatally Wednesday. The funeral occurred yesterday afternoon.

    • glocka says:

      Хорошо, что напомнили, пойду загну торчащие из пола на 5 см гвозди.

      • relaxing says:

        What does torchashchiye mean?

        • kamaraga says:

          Translation from Russian, "Great, which reminds me, I'll go bend down that nail sticking 5 cm out of the floor."

          "торчащие" means "that which protrudes", and is conjugated from "торчать", which means "to protrude". The term can also be used to mean "to hang around", like on the street corner.

  2. cygnus says:

    This is fun.

    Thursday, June 23, 1887 Page 4
    John Brooks, an old man, dropped dead at Sturgis recently.

  3. evan says:

    This clearly needs to be hooked into your phosphor screen saver.

  4. ultranurd says:

    I think "mangled out of all semblance of humanity" is a lovely turn of phrase.

    What kind of state of mind do you have to be in to murder your wife over a charitable organization?

    • benchilada says:

      I want to know what state of mind you have to be in to drive "a nail into a scantling saturated with nitro-glycerine."

    • lars_larsen says:

      I think "mangled out of all semblance of humanity" is a lovely band name.

    • dcdan says:

      The Salvation Army is a Protestant evangelical Christian denomination founded in 1865 by Methodist ministers William Booth and Catherine Booth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvation_Army
      Does that explain it?

    • carbonunit says:

      The Salvation Army is an organisation of charitable folk who dress up in a faux military uniform, play "Amazing Grace" in noisy brass bands, heavy on the tuba and tambourine, often stand outside railway stations shaking collection boxes at the public, and specialised in charging into pubs and taverns to try and convert the gin-sozzled patrons. They never provide charity without a big steaming helping of "Hurry up and convert you ungrateful sod!"

  5. My favorite:

    "Thursday, May 12, 1887 Page 4
    A terrible accident occurred in the rolling mill of the Hubbard Iron company, at Hubbard,, Ohio, shortly after 2 o'clock on the morning of the 6th. Engineer Griffith Phillipps, aged 29 years in passing around the ore crusher oiling the bearings, was caught in the wheels and dragged into the crusher. He was mangled out of all semblance of humanity, the flesh adhering to the clogs. He leaves a wife and 3 children."

    • cdavies says:

      None of those namby-pamby euphemisms like "passed on" or "tragically taken from us" for those victorians. What a fantastic age, where men weren't afraid to call a spade a shovel, a playwright a poof, or have a damn good laugh at kids who spill carbolic acid on themselves and who will probably die.

  6. 33mhz says:

    Thursday, May 19, 1887 Page 3
    George Smith's two year old child at William's, Bay county, died last week in great agony after eating heartly of canned peaches.

  7. dougo says:

    I've had nethack games like that.

  8. ultranurd says:

    Is there a death for every one of <lj user="jwz">'s icon frames?

    • brettpeters says:

      Yep: there's a whole library of ISO safety icons that represent different fatal hazards. I think JWZ's are all limited to hands, which explains why he didn't use Full Body Entanglement:

      A good friend of mine uses the one about getting crushed by a rolling hay bale as her icon, but FBE seems more apropos to this thread.

      • ultranurd says:

        Should have added more context - what I meant was, is there a death in 1887 Sault Ste. Marie for every one of <lj user="jwz">'s hand-mangling icons.

        • brettpeters says:

          Aha, I see. Sorry, I misunderstood.

          I think they're all in there. Most of the 12 icons are pretty straightforward impalement / crushing / piercing / entanglement in various bits of machinery; while there's no explicit mention of fingers getting torn off in gears, I'd wager "mangled out of all semblance of humanity" included losing the fingers.

          Fire, check. Acid, check.


          Thursday, June 16, 1887 Page 7
          At Brownsville, Texas, recently a thunderbolt struck a house at Chatone's ranch, killing two people and stunning four others. Manuel Portales and his wife were killed outright. Eugenio Rincones and his wife were stunned and when brought to, were each blind of the right eye. Two boys, sons of Rincones, were stunned. The entire party lay senseless for about an hour. The lightning glanced from the mesquite trees near by, entered through the roof of the jacal and struck them all down as they stood around a table. The suspicion has always existed among their neighbours that Portales and his wife killed her first husband, and they claim that Heaven's vengeance has been executed on Portales and his wife and a warning given to others.

          Check. Looks like the ayes have it.

  9. mato says:

    Some of the marriage notices are quite amusing also:

    Thursday, July 21, 1887 Page 2
    Ruth Hannah Sykes, a disgraced member of the Salvation Army, had been in jail at Dover, N. H., for some time for larceny and other offenses. On the 12th a young man named T. F. Gay, of New York, went there and said he wanted to marry Hannah and pay her fine. The magistrate objected as the girl admitted that she did not know Gay. She was willing to marry him, however, and the ceremony was performed and Mrs. Gay released.

    Thursday, November 3, 1887 Page 9
    Skipped by the Light of the Moon
    The upper end of town near Gros Cap Avenue presented an excited scene yesterday morning. ... It happens that Joseph Tousignant is the father of an interesting family, among whom mention s hould be made of his daughter May, a beautiful maiden of fifteen cold winters and the heroine of our tale. In an unguarded hour Mary's affections became centered in a young man named Charles Wilson. ... by a genuine elopement. Accordingly Tuesday night, upon retiring, May carefully locked the chamber door after her, raised the window quietly, and soon made her way to the ground, with the assistance of her Romeo who stood waiting outside. ... Immediate inquiries were instituted by the parents, and it was learned that a couple answering to that description had gone west on the six o'clock South Shore train. Telegrams were sent to St. Ignace, Newberry and Seney to apprehend the runaways, but no information of their whereabouts had been received up to last evening. ...

    Saturday, May 5, 1888 Page 7
    Sadie B. Mitchell, the 16 year old daughter of a well-to-do farmer of Lafayette, Gratiot county, has eloped with a good looking, but improvident young chap,who has been living at the Mitchell farm all winter. The girl left a note saying, "Tell pa he twitted me of gadding around and wearing out my shoes, the last time last week. "Pa" says the pair will save trouble by returning some things they took which did not belong to them.

    Saturday, April 14, 1888 Page 1
    Attempted Poisoning
    The Canada Soo is considerably agitated over the attempt last Saturday night of Miss Lizzie Scott, a handsome young lady in upper circles, to commit suicide by poisoning. It seems she had been receiving attention for several months from Harry Pim, a son of the postmistress. Pim is alleged to have proven faithless to his love and it preyed on her mind so that she took a dose of rough on rats. Drs. McCulloch and Gray and a stomach pump saved her life. The act returned the recreant lover and they will wed.

  10. wfaulk says:

    Ah, to reminisce about the halcyon days of dissipated loafing.

  11. dossy says:

    Hey, 2006, the late 1890's is calling and wants its Darwin Awards back.


    • g_na says:

      "...in the 18th year of his age"? He had been that age for 18 years? (In contrast to, say, "in his 18th year of age.")

      • lherrera says:

        Age is "the length of time that one has existed," so the eighteenth year of his age is equivalent to say he was eighteen years old.

  12. justmealex says:

    Grim meathook past!

  13. chromebishop says:

    this reminds me of that documentary of a few years back the chronicled all the murder, suicide and madness that afflicted a particular county in the midwest in the 19th century. wish i could remember the name of the doc. but it was great. like real life Murder Ballads.

  14. pygmalion says:

    All those grisley murders. And who even knew they had violent video games in the 19th century?

  15. fantasygoat says:

    So formal, yet refreshingly macabre.