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Obituaries and Death Notices

Cairo Semi-Weekly Times & Delta

5 Apr 1859-8 July 1859

The Cairo City Gazette

10 June - 2 September 1859


Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois

Transcribed by Darrel Dexter

Tuesday, 5 Apr 1859:

Died in Cairo on Saturday the 2d inst., at nine o’clock a.m., Willie Wallace, infant son of L. G. and M. E. Faxon, aged 7 months, 16 days.


Died at Fonda, N.Y., on the 6th ult., Augusta, wife of Levi Neahr, Esq., in the 21st year of her age.


Tuesday, 17 May 1859:

Last Friday morning a man named John Gillen, who had been acting in the capacity of watchman on the Tom Scott, was found dead on one of the coal boats near the lower wharf boat.  An inquest was held by Squire Hannon, and the verdict of the jury was that he came to his death from natural causes.  After the verdict some new light was thrown on the subject in the form of a witness who knew something of the accusations and another inquest and post mortem examination were held.  The physicians could find no marks of violence on his person, showing that he had been killed and the verdict rendered was that the cause of death was epilepsy. William Cummings, watchman of the wharf boat, was arrested and lodged in jail on suspicion of having killed Gillen.  On Saturday Cummings was brought before Squire Shannessy for an investigation.  The evidence adduced was that during the night Cummings wished to spar off the wharf boat and got the crew of the Scott to assist him.  Gillen took an active part in the matter and was told several times by Cummings not to interfere in his business or he would knock him down.  Gillen did not desist and Cummings struck him a blow with his fist and knocked him down.  This was the last of the matter until Gillen was found dead the next morning.  Cummings was discharged on the grounds of want of evidence.

            We learn that on Saturday last, application was made to Squire Shannessy for a warrant to rearrest Cummings, which application he refused to grant.  Application was made to Judge Corcoran who granted it on the grounds of discovery of important evidence.  Cummings was again arrested and confined in jail.  That Cummings struck Gillen is in proof, but we have no idea that he intended to kill him.


Tuesday, 7 Jun 1859:

The body of Robert E. Yost was removed from Cairo to Benton for burial.  He left a wife, aged mother, brothers and sisters.


Tuesday, 21 Jun 1859:

An accident occurred at our levee last Tuesday, which resulted in the instant death of a man by the name of Stephen Sarver one of the hands belonging to the Fort Wayne.  They were unloading some very heavy machinery.  Sarver had hold of a large belt wheel, which they were lowering from the boat to a barge when the wheel got loose.  He jumped to the barge to avoid it but was caught by it and most horribly mangled and mutilated.  He died instantly.  An inquest was held and a verdict rendered in accordance to the above facts.


We heard the particulars of a fatal affray, which occurred on the Kentucky side of the river opposite Caledonia (Olmsted), which resulted in the killing of a man named Boren.  A woman and her family consisting of a boy 14 years old and two little girls were moving to Paducah in a flat boat (with a sail) from Mound City and had laid to on the Kentucky side.  Boren and a man named Beeler went over to the boat from Caledonia and drunk pretty freely until becoming so much intoxicated the woman refused to give them any more whiskey.  A fight then occurred between Beeler and a boy on the boat who was working his passage up to Paducah, in which Beeler cut the boy’s arm severely with a knife.  The boy ran out on the bank to tie up his arm and while he was out, Beeler knocked the old woman down and was abusing her when her son, a boy 14 years of age, rushed at him with a knife.  Boren then interfered to take Beeler’s part when the boy seized a pistol and shot Boren through the heart.  He died almost instantly.  The boy then put up his sail and started off with several persons in pursuit.  He was taken after a chase of about eight miles and put in jail in Kentucky.  If the circumstances related to us are correct, the boy was perfectly justifiable.


Friday, 1 Jul 1859:

Died on Friday morning 24th inst., in the 25th year of her age in Scott Co., Mo., Mrs. Anna White, wife of Mr. Thomas White formerly of this city.


Friday, 8 Jul 1859:

Martin Cleary, a deck hand on the steamer City of Memphis, was arrested by our city police and lodged in jail on the 1st day of July for stabbing James Shannon, mate of said steamer.  The mate died a short time after the boat left this point.  Owing to the absence of witnesses who went off on the boat, an investigation was postponed until the return of the boat.  She arrived on the 6th, and Cleary was brought out for an examination.  He took change of venue and the case came before Squire Shannessy.  Defendant’s counsel applied for a continuance, which was not granted.

            The investigation was then gone into.  Though we made a full report of the evidence, we have not room to publish it.  The circumstances attending the affray in which the mate lost his life, as sworn to by respectable witnesses, are as follows:  Cleary, with others, was engaged in rolling sugar off the City of Memphis onto the wharf boat.  The mate ordered him to help another party, but he replied that it was not his gang and he would not work with it, whereupon the mate struck him.  The parties were separated.  Cleary walked towards the forward part of the wharf boat and the mate went to his business.  Cleary was afterwards seen walking towards where the mate was at work with a knife open in his pocket using violent language and calling the mate a d----d son of a b---h.  The mate at first seemed desirous of avoiding him, but afterwards struck him, when they both clinched.  Cleary drew his knife and commenced cutting him, inflicting five wounds, causing his death in about an hour and a half.  After a careful hearing of all the evidence, Squire Shannessy pronounced it an aggravated case of manslaughter and held Cleary to bail in the sum of $1,500 for his appearance before the next term of the Court of Common Pleas.

The Cairo City Gazette

Friday, 10 Jun 1859:

On the 16th of May, during a trip of the steamer Die Vernon, in St. Louis, Andrew J. Moore, one of the clerks, while measuring wood in a wood boat, was precipitated into the river and drowned. The accident occurred in Dog Tooth Bend, at Thompson's wood yard, twenty miles above Cairo. Any information in reference to the body of the deceased will be gratefully received by the bereaved parents, sister, and brothers, and all expenses and a general reward will be paid for the recovery of the body. Deceased was about five feet four inches high, light auburn hair, blue eyes, was 15 years, and 6 months old, had on a brown coat, dark pants and boots.
Thomas J. Moore
New Albany, Indiana.

DIED At Thebes, on the 2d instant, Robert E. Yost, Esq., late of this city. Aged 39 years.

SUDDEN DEATH.—On Monday last John Fitzgerald of this city, went with two companions in a skiff to Mound City. His companions left him in charge of the skiff whilst they started off to get a drink, upon the return Fitzgerald was found in the bottom of the boat dead.—Deceased was a native of Ireland, and about 19 years of age. He probably died in a fit, to which he was subject.

Friday, 8 Jul 1859:
FATAL TERMINATION OF A SPREE.—Three weeks since three young fellows went to the house occupied by Julius Schlessler, near the point above this city in
Ballard County, Ky., and engaged in a difficulty with two Germans stopping at the house.  One of the Germans ran away, but the other stood his ground and made fight with his assailants.  The three proved too much for the brave fellow, and finally overpowered him, having dislocated his arm and given him several severe wounds on the head with clubs and a hatchet.  The German made light of his wounds, until his arm became so painful as to give him no rest, when he applied to Dr. Burke for assistance.  The arm was terribly swollen and in such a condition that nothing could be done for it until the inflammation subsided.  On Tuesday last the man was taken with convulsions, with which he died on Thursday.  The convulsions were caused by the wounds upon the head received during the melee three weeks before.  The young men engaged in the row are known, and it is to be hoped that the authorities of Ballard County will cause their arrest.
ANOTHER HOMICIDE.—On Friday evening last John Shannon mate of the steamer
City of Memphis was stabbed by one of the fireman named Martin ClareyShannnon died of his wounds in a short time.  The facts of the case, as elicited during an examination before Esq. Shannessey are as follows.  The deck hands were rolling some sugar from the boat onto Graham's wharf boat, when Shannon told Clarey to leave the gang he was working with and render assistance to another.  The latter complied for a few moments but soon left the new gang of hands saying that he would not work out of his gang.  The mate becoming somewhat excited, struck him, and they clinched, but were soon separated.  Clarey then went and got a large pocket knife, with a blade about five or six inches in length, opened it, put it in his pocket, and commenced abusing the mate by applying the most opprobrious epithets in the English language.  Finally the parties came together again and Shannon struck Clarey, when the latter dew his knife and stabbed Shannon five times, cutting him in a most frightful manner.  Dr. Burke was immediately called in and dressed Shannon's wounds, but he could not help him as he died in less than two hours.  Clarey was immediately arrested and on Wednesday examined before Esq. Shannessey, who held him to bail in the sum of $1,500 in default of which he was committed.
SHOCKING MURDER.—An old man named Circey, a citizen of Kentucky, was murdered near Carlinville, in this state,
_________pin County, and was on his way with the money to pay for it.  On his passage to St. Louis he became acquainted with a young man, and being somewhat infirm, employed him to wait on him.  At Carlinville, Mr. Circy hired a horse and buggy and with the young man started to the house of his sons.  Whilst passing through a piece of timber, about eight miles from Carlinville, his attendant turned on him and beating him over the head with a club and stabbing him in the back, soon finished him.  The young man then rifled the body of most of the money upon it; and leaving the body where it lay, made his escape.  A man passing soon after saw the horse and buggy, and suspecting some foul play had been committed procured assistance and soon found the remains of Circy.  About $400 was found upon the body, which the murderer had overlooked.  He is described as follows:  About 5 feet 10 inches high, 21 or 22 years old, slim visage, sallow complexion; dark hair; hazel eyes, light built; round shoulders and a mean countenance.  Had on black cloth pants; dark coat and vest; straw hat, low crown, and hat brim, about 5 or 6 inches in width.  Had a small carpet satchel.

Friday, 2 Sep 1859:
ESCAPED JAIL.—Richard Reeves, imprisoned for the robbery of Thomas Logsdon; Martin Cleary, imprisoned for the killing of John Shannon, the mate of the steamer City of Memphis, and James C. Dunlap, confined for theft, made good their escape from the city calaboose Sunday morning, by burring out with a large augur.  Their operations seem to have been very quietly and skillfully conducted, as parties confined in adjoining cells knew nothing of the matter until it was accomplished.
MAN.—Esquire Hannon held an inquest Tuesday last, over another victim of want and exposure.  No clue to the unfortunate man's name or place of residence could be found.  He seemed to be a stranger—one of that vast number thrust from steamboats at this point to die "unwept." etc.
The lifeless body of a man was found, last Friday morning, in a lumber pile near the lower depot.  Esq. Hannon held an inquest.  The jury decided that death had resulted from want and exposure.

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