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Obituaries and Death Notices

The Cairo Weekly Times and Delta


6 Jan 1858-17 Nov 1858


Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois

Transcribed by Darrel Dexter

 Cairo Weekly Times and Delta

Wednesday, 6 Jan 1858:

Last Friday, J. Jack, Esq., a lawyer residing in Metropolis, met with a sudden death by being shot by his brother-in-law, Mr. Stoeffer of that place.  We understand that Mr. Jack was under the influence of liquor and being incited by others made an attack upon Mr. Stoeffer with a bowie knife., when the latter shot him with a pistol, causing instant death.  Mr. Jack was middle-aged        and a lawyer of considerable reputation.  It was a melancholy New Year’s Day for this family.


 Wednesday, 27 Jan 1858:

A man named O’Brien was badly stabbed at the New St. Paul Exchange on Saturday night by some person unknown.  No information of the circumstances could be obtained from any person in the house.  The difficulty seems to have been a private one and the inmates of the house disclaim all knowledge of it.  The wounded man will probably recover, but is in an uncomfortable position.  No arrests were made.

            P.S.  Since the above was in type, the man has died.


Died on the 19th inst. at Clarksville, Tenn., of consumption, Mrs. Mary Ann, wife of Dr. W. J. Castner of said city.  An affectionate wife and kind mother, she lived beloved by all who knew her.


 Wednesday, 10 Feb 1858:

We learn from the Jonesboro Gazette that a man named Joseph Lowery was killed at that place on Monday of last week by Ben F. ClayLowery had a grudge against Clay and attacked him while at work with a heavy club.  Clay picked up a tanner’s trimming knife with which he stabbed Lowery in 16 places, either but seven of which wounds would have caused death.  Lowery lived only on enough to call for water.            Clay was examined before Justices Albright and Lemley, when the above facts appearing, he was discharged.  (Joseph Lowery died 1 Feb 1858, according to his probate file in Union County.)


A German named Rudolph Clappenbasch murdered a fellow traveler while passing through Scott Co., Mo., on Sunday, the 31st of January and made his escape.  He is described as about 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, with a heavy sandy colored beard, hair fair or auburn, grey eyes and a moderately full face.  He is a blacksmith and unable to speak English plainly.  In company with Clappenbasch was another German named Myers supposed to be an accomplice.  Myers is over 6 feet high, with black hair, grey eyes, downcast look and heavy built.       A reward has been offered for their apprehension by the city of Charleston, Mo., and newspapers generally are requested to copy the descriptions.


Mrs. Bridget Cannon and two men were arrested and examined at Mound City last week; charged with murder of the foreigner, name unknown, whose bloody slaughter we mentioned last week.  (The 3 Feb 1858 issue of the paper was not on the microfilm and may not be extant.)  All three were duly committed to jail to answer at next term of the Pulaski Circuit Court.

            The counsel for the persons have appealed to Judge Sloan for a writ of habeas corpus, as they have procured new evidence that the man was crazy and made an attack upon the family, trying to throw the woman into the fire.


The sudden death of Darius B. Holbrook, one of the most enterprising and sagacious businessmen of our day will seem to require something more than a passing note. 

            Though widely known throughout this whole country and abroad as a man of large purposes, remarkable foresight and steadfastness of integrity and a generous temper, it was only to the favored few that he was well known or properly understood in the holier and more endearing relations of life as husband and father and son and brother or out of the household relations as a friend, alike trustworthy and magnanimous.

            Mr. Holbrook on the whole was not only a good and religious man, though not a professor, but a remarkable man of great and natural powers, large-hearted, modest and though ambitious, ambitious only for good, looking chiefly to the welfare of those he loved.

            His death was from disease of the heart, complicated with other ailments and very sudden, instantaneous indeed though long expected and well prepared for and they who knew him best knew him while they most feel his worth, have the most abundant consolation and assurance that he will not soon be forgotten and that they are justified not only in hoping but in believing that he will be found at last prepared for the greeting.

            Mr. Holbrook died on Friday last, Jan. 22, aged 59 years, and was buried on Tuesday the 25th inst. (New York Courier).


 Wednesday, 17 Feb 1858:

We give below the names of the persons who were lost on the Col. Crossman and whose bodies have been recovered up to the present writing.

            The body of John S. Moore of Mississippi was found and buried at Asa Riddle’s Point, Mo.

            Body of Mrs. Wall’s child was found at Alexander’s Point and buried by Richard Phillips Jr. on his plantation.  Capts. Taylor and Cheever had the body disinterred and forwarded to St. Louis.

            Body of Capt. Converse of St. Louis was found at the foot of Island No. 18 and decently interred by Jesse Hoffman.  His remains were not disturbed.

            The body of Mrs. D.G. Taylor was found about four miles above Osceola, an inquest held upon it and was decently interred.  Capt. Taylor had her remains taken on board the William M. Morrison and conveyed to St. Louis last Wednesday.

            The body of Mr. Johnson, the clerk, and the body of Mr. Cheever, brother to the captain, have not been recovered and it is thought they will not be as it is supposed that each had a large amount of money on his person which will prevent the bodies from rising.


 Wednesday, 31 Mar 1858:

            On Thursday last, the body of a newborn infant was found in a new privy vault on the premises of Mr. Fritz Whitecamp.  A woman by the name of Henrietta Kashler had been occupying one of the upper rooms of Mr. Whitecamp’s house who was supposed to be enciente and on Wednesday night groans were heard in her room.  She was up and at work however, sewing, the next morning, and until the body was discovered, when being called to look at it, she remarked that they couldn’t think it possible that she could give birth to a child at night and be up and at work the next morning.  She decamped immediately and it is presumed went to Golconda.  Squire Hannon held an inquest upon the body and ordered a post mortem examination, which was made by Dr. Dunning.  The result showed that the child was not born dead, but had lived and breathed.  The room she occupied was examined and the strongest evidence was found to show that a child had been born there.  There was no positive evidence against the woman and the jury returned a verdict that the child came to its death by some means unknown to the jury.


 Wednesday, 21 Apr 1858:

While the steamer Illinois was lying at Cairo, on Saturday evening, between 7 and 8 o’clock, a young man 15 years old named Joseph E. Cleary, son of Edmond Cleary, formerly of this city (St. Louis), fell overboard that steamer and was drowned before assistance could be rendered.  He had on a cloth roundabout, a pair of blue cotton coveralls and a navy cap.  Any information concerning the deceased if the body should be discovered, will be thankfully received by the distressed parents (St. Louis Republican).


 Wednesday, 19 May 1858:

Last week a German by the name of Miller, while attempting to shove off a coal boat from the shore, slipped into the river and was drowned.  The body was found several days afterwards, an inquest held upon it by Squire Hannon and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above facts.


Last Wednesday night a man fell off the steamer Marengo while she was coaling here and was drowned.  His name was E. B. Soule.  He was an architect and had been engaged for some time past in Clarksville, Tenn.  We understand he leaves a wife and two children in Clarksville.   It is said that he had money and valuable papers about his person and efforts have been made to recover the body, but so far, without success.  He made a misstep in the dark and fell into the water and, it is supposed, was drifted by the current under the coal boat, as he did not rise to the surface.


 Wednesday, 26 May 1858:

The body of Mr. E. Soule mentioned in our last as having fallen from the steamer Marengo, was recovered last Friday.  His skull was fractured, but whether from the fall or a blow given before the fall is unknown.  But, 20 or 30 dollars were found upon his person.  It is possible the body may have been robbed, as it was reported that he had on his person seven or eight hundred dollars at the time of his disappearance.  Squire Hannon held an inquest upon the body and the verdict was that he came to his death by drowning.


 Wednesday, 9 Jun 1858:

Dr. Smith last week was found not guilty of the murder of Dr. Blackburn.  Not long since in the adjoining county of Pulaski, two men got into a fight.  Scott, a friend of one of the parties, rushed to the assistance of his friend, seized a stick and struck the man on the head.  There was no certainty that the man died from the effects of the blow given by Scott, yet Scott was tried, convicted and sentenced to be hung.  In Alexander County, Smith waylays his unsuspecting adversary at night and shoots him in the back.  Smith is acquitted.  Smith has gone to Tennessee somewhere in the neighborhood of Bolivar, with his newly married wife, where we presume his three other wives and the curse of a murdered man will follow him.


William Scott, who was sentenced to be hung, escaped from the jail at Caledonia last Friday morning in company with two other persons.  The sheriff offers a reward of $100 for his apprehension.


A deck passenger on the Robert J. Ward of the name of Grove jumped overboard about daylight Thursday morning near and was drowned.   The boat was under way at the time, but disappeared before the heading of the boat could be checked and he was lost.  He got on the boat at Napoleon and paid his passage to Paducah.  He had a black carpetbag, which he took with him.  It was the impression of those on board that the man was crazy.


The Vicksburg arrived from New Orleans on Friday morning, three days and 14 hours out to Cairo.  The first night of the trip a man named Joseph McIntyre, a coalboatman belonging to Pittsburg, was killed on board the boat by a man named Andy Stone of Jeffersonville.  McIntyre was sitting down quietly when Mr. Stone came up to him, accosted him, pushed him over and made his brags that he could whip any man on the boat.  Loud talking led to loud fighting and soon Stone drew a knife with which he cut his antagonist in 26 places.  McIntyre was horribly mangled but managed to survive until just before the boat reached Cairo when he died from the effects of his wounds.  Stone was held in custody on board the boat to be delivered over to the proper authorities as soon as possible and the remains of the dead man were carried on towards his home.  The officers of the Vicksburg requested a justice of the peace here to go on board and hold an inquest between Cairo and Paducah, but as it would take him out of his jurisdiction of course he was unable to go.


Wednesday, 16 Jun 1858:

The St. Louis News says that James McFarland an attache of Spalding & Rogers New Orleans Circus, was killed by one Roberts at Liberty, Mo., a few days since.  McFarland snapped his pistol at Roberts who drew a bowie knife and completely severed McFarland’s head from his body at a single stroke.


Wednesday, 11 Aug 1858:

Died in Sparta at the residence of John A. Wilson, Frank, infant son of Dr. C. W. and N. A. Dunning of Cairo, aged 7 months and 27 days.


Last Sunday evening a man died very suddenly on board the steamer Imperial, while she was lying at the lower wharf boat.  He was apparently in good health during the day, but went to his stateroom about five o’clock and in about an hour was found dead in his berth.  An inquest was held on the body by Squire Hannon and a verdict rendered to the effects he came to his death by natural causes.  His name was Jerry Lynch, supposed to be of German descent and kept a bowling saloon in Memphis.  He had three children with him, all boys, the oldest being about 8 years of age.  He came by railroad to Cairo and had a through ticket to Memphis.  He was decently interred where his friends can recover his remains.  The children were taken to Memphis.


Wednesday, 1 Sep 1858:

Died at Baton Rouge on the 20th ult., of yellow fever, Mr. Benjamin Finch, in the 25th year of his age.  Benjamin Finch was the oldest son of Mr. William T. Finch who has been for a long time a resident of Cairo.  He resided in Cairo a short time and during his stay, by his quiet demeanor, unobtrusive and unassuming manner and gentlemanly deportment, he made many warm friends.  But the destroyer marked him for a victim and he is struck down in the prime of his life.  He was but recently married and leaves a young wife to mourn his loss.


Wednesday, 29 Sep 1858:

On Monday we were surprised and pained to learn that out fellow citizen, Cyrus G. Simons, Esq., lay at the point of death at Jonesboro.  His friends here were very anxious to obtain the latest intelligence of his condition and their worst fears were confirmed by a dispatch from Jonesboro saying that he died between the hours of 10 and 11 yesterday.  His disease was inflammation of the brain brought on by overwork, especially at the last term of the Jefferson Circuit Court.

            This announcement strikes us, as it cannot fail to strike his hundreds of friends through Southern Illinois, with a crushing weight.  We have not the time at present even if we had the heart to write a lengthy obituary of our deceased friend, but leave the mournful task until next week.  During our sojourn in this part of Illinois we are proud to say that we have been a particular and intimate personal friend of Mr. Simons and have known him thoroughly.  We knew him as a good man in every sense of the term, an earnest, sincere, honest, truthful, Christian man and withal the hardest worker that we have known in the state.  Coming to Illinois poor and friendless by his unwearying industry, his reliable character and unquestioned integrity he won a position of which any man might be proud.  His only fault was too great exertion, both of his mental and physical powers; his only failing too great activity on brain, which produced his early and greatly deplored decease.  There never lived a more honest man or one who could be truer to his friends.  He leaves a wife and a very interesting family of children.

            A really good man has gone from among us.  Let us mourn, for there are not many such.


Wednesday, 6 Oct 1858:

Died at his residence in this city on Thursday the 35th (?) ult., Dr. L. W. Young in the 42nd year of his age.  Dr. Young was formerly from New Albany, Ind., but has been for the last six years a resident of Cairo.  He died after a lingering illness.


We were unable last week to speak as fully as we desired concerning our deceased friend, Mr. Simons, the intelligence of his death being received just before the issue of this paper.  At present we propose to attempt a brief sketch of his life and character.

            Mr. Simons was born in the western part of the state of New York in the year 1818; consequently he was 39 years of age at the time of his death.  His parents were not rich and could give him nothing more than a common school education.  Even this was obtained in part as all his subsequently acquired knowledge was obtained, by his own unassisted exertions.  In his boyhood, as well as during his riper years, he worked his own way, without aid from relations or friends and he was emphatically a self-made man.  A history of his early struggles and trials while he was acquiring his education and during the first years of his practice would be both interesting and instructive, and would afford an encouraging example to youthful aspirants to legal and other honors.

            Mr. Simons studied law in Rochester, N.,Y., in the office of Judge Miller, by whom he was greatly esteemed.  He was admitted to the bar at the age of 22, and immediately after his admission married and started West.  He married Miss Cameron, of a fine old Scotch family, in Caledonia, N.Y., a lady who proved herself a model wife and mother, and by whose affection and assistance he was always encouraged and sustained.  He located in Union County at a time when Southern Illinois was very sparsely settled, without friends, and without capital, save his brain and his hands.  He labored against many difficulties and discouragements, and it was a long time before he achieved the position of a successful and moneymaking practitioner.  But industry, such as Mr. Simons always had, and a character for integrity and reliability, which he soon acquired in his chosen home, will win wealth and honor anywhere, and when he had fairly got a start, his rise in life was rapid and certain, so much so, that no lawyer in Southern Illinois had a larger practice than had Mr. Simons at the time of his death, and certainly no man was more respected.  As an attorney he had a most enviable reputation and had so far gained the public confidence both at home and abroad, that if his life had been spared, he would have acquired a fortune by his business.  Although not of the highest order of legal minds, Mr. Simons by close study, unremitting attention to business, and unwearying industry, made himself a first class lawyer.  What he did not know he always counted himself able to learn, and what was not born in his brain, he could beat in by his continued application.  Mr. Simons’ strongest characteristic was his integrity and reliability of character; next his great industry.  There was no better looking man in Southern Illinois, and those old-fashioned farmers who were wont to call him the “ruffed shirt lawyer” may be assured that his labor was far greater and more wearying than their own.  It was this, we have no doubt, which induced his untimely end.  His brain was unceasingly active and even his recreation would have been labor to most men.   When released from the duties of his office, his greatest enjoyment was to employ himself in his garden and grounds.

            Mr. Simons’ parents were Quakers, and although he was not a communicant of any church, he always entertained an affection for that old-fashioned, simple faith.  In our belief, he was a Christian in the broadest and best sense of the term, an honorable, truthful and charitable man.  As a business man, none could be more honest or attentive; as a friend he was true as steel, and liberal to a fault; as a husband and father, he manifested always the same affectionate and equable disposition, and certainly possessed the love and confidence of his family to a remarkable degree.  He leaves a wife and five very interesting children to mourn his loss, but we are happy to say that they are all well provided for. 

            The funeral ceremonies at Jonesboro were conducted by the Masonic Fraternity, of which Mr. Simons was a member in high communion, and the remains of the deceased were followed to the grave by a large number of citizens of Union and adjoining counties.

            The hand of death has been busy among us this season.  During a short time we have lost George Watson and Cyrus G. Simons, two men who were men, and whose loss is most deeply deplored.  Both were in the bloom and vigor of life a short time since, and now are in their graves.

            The good die young,

            But they whose hearts are dry as summer dust,

            Burn to the socket        


Wednesday, 20 Oct 1858:

Died at Maysville, Ky., on the 11th inst., John V. Perrs, aged 21 years.  The many friends of the young gentleman who was taken from us so suddenly will deeply sympathize with his bereaved parents in their great loss.  While a resident of Cairo, “Johnny” secured the esteem and friendship of all who knew him by his gentlemanly deportment, amiable disposition and many good qualities of head and heart.


Wednesday, 27 Oct 1858:

It is reported that G. S. Rattlemiller formerly of this place, went down with the ill-fated Austria, which was recently burnt at sea.  Mr. Rattlemiller had long been a resident at Cairo and a few months since went to the Old Country on a visit.  He was returning to this country on the Austria and was one of the victims of this terrible catastrophe.


Wednesday, 17 Nov 1858:

We are happy to state that Mr. G. S. Rattlemiller formerly of this city, and who it was reported a few weeks ago in our paper, was lost on the Austria, is still alive and kicking.  He was fortunate enough to miss the Austria and thus prolonged his existence.  We are informed that he will gladden the eyes of our citizens with a sight of him in the course of two or three weeks. 

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