- 1st Vermont Cavalry Obituaries
- Patrick Morrissey
- DEPUTY SHERIFF MORRISSEY SUCCUMBS TO LONG ILLNESS
- Well Known and Substantial Citizen of Stamford
- Passes Away At His Home, Veteran of Civil War and Business
Deputy Sheriff Patrick Morrissey, one of the best known men in this
section, died Saturday Afternoon (6/14/1913) at his home in Stamford
after an illness of nearly two years from a complication of diabetes.
Mr. Morrissey was one of the best known and one of the most substantial
citizens in Southern Vermont and few men have ever lived and died in
those parts that had a greater number of warm personal friends and true
admirers. He was a sturdy, upright man, noted for never having broken
Hardly any man would ever speak of "Pat’" Morrissey to a
stranger without emphasizing the fact that his word was as good as his
bond and that he was afraid of nothing living. Of rugged build, he had a
commanding bearing and military carriage that always forced attention.
His figure but reflected his sturdy character and manliness.
undoubtedly be best remembered by residents of this city as one of the
officers of the annual cattle show and fair. Seated upon his snow white
horse he always made an imposing figure and very few men could sit a
horse as gracefully as he. His appearance was that of an oldtime
general, and while it was attracttive, yet it was entirely unaffected.
Perhaps, the substance of his life-story was best summed up by a friend
who had known and admired Sheriff Morrissey since boyhood when he said,
" Pat Morrissey was a good man."
He was born in County Carlow, Ireland on March 17, 1839, and came to
this country with his parents in 1854, settling first in Pownal, Vt. The
family remained in Pownal until 1862 when they moved to Stamford, where
Sheriff Morrissey had lived ever since. He at first took up the business
of farming , and worked in that capacity until December 31, 1863, when
he enlisted in the Union Army. He was assigned to Company M, 1st Vermont
Cavalry and joined his regiment in camp at Stevensburg, Va.
He served with valor and distinction throughout the remainder of the
war and was mustered out with the regiment at Burlington during the
summer of 1865. During part of the time he was in the army, he was
chosen as orderly to General Thomas Francis Meagher, and on several
occasions acted in that capacity for General Philip Sheridan. He often
related with pride an experience he had while riding one day with
General Meagher. The rule for orderlies was that they should ride a few
paces behind the one they were attending, but on this occasion, the
general, being lonesome, asked the dashing young cavalryman to ride
beside him and the two rode for hours talking intimately with each
He kept a daily record of his life while in the army and the old
diary, faded with age is now in the keeping of his daughter in Stamford.
For many years he had been a member of C.D Sanford post, G.A.R., of this
city, and always took an active interest in Grand Army activities and
reunions. Returning from the war he settled down in Stamford and there
began to have honors showered upon him. He served two terms in the
Legislature and held every town office at one time or another. He was
postmaster for four years under one of the Cleveland administrations. He
had been a deputy sheriff longer than any other man in the state of
Vermont and had served continuously in that capacity since 1874 when he
appointed by High Sheriff David Crawfurt of Arlington.
In his capacity as an officer he had many exciting adventures making
arrests and chasing criminals through the sparsely settled countryside
of Southern Vermont. He rounded up alone the four men who were known to
be present in the shack where a woman named Shea was murdered in
Stamford over 30 years ago and one of whom was sentenced to 99 years
imprisonment. He drove to Heartwellville, Vt. one dark night and
arrested Edson Fuller for the murder of Witham. Two murderers in the
little town of Woodford were arrested by him and Sheriff Robinson of
Bennington, and the deputy sheriff was wounded in arresting Louis Glenn,
who was wanted for putting paris green in the spring at Justin
In forcing an entrance into the Glenn shanty the man he
wanted slashed him on one hand and arm with a long double-edged knife.
Glenn then retreated to the loft above, where Morrissey and Sheriff
Robinson tore off some of the boards and went up and "got him." Many a
long chase he had after horse thieves, and it was a long trail that
permitted both man and horse to get away from him. During is term as
sheriff until two years ago he never missed a session of the superior
court at Manchester.
About 20 years ago he bought the principal store in Stamford and had
conducted it with his son, Daniel J., up to the time of his death. He
was a life member of the Hoosac Valley Agricultural society, and no fair
was complete without the sheriff on horseback. He was a member of C.D.
Sanford post of this city and of the Elks lodge of Bennington. Mrs.
Morrissey died about three years ago.
He is survived by a son, Daniel Morrissey and two daughters, Miss
Mary and Miss Alice Morrissey, all of Stamford, and two brothers, James
and Daniel of Lawrence.
The funeral was held this morning and a solemn high mass was
celebrated at St. Francis church of which the deceased had been a devout
member for more than half a century. Rev. M.J. McKenna was celebrant,
Rev. J.F. Sullivan, deacon and Rev. F.J. Meehan, sub-deacon. During the
services at the church, Dr. W.F. McGrath sang Schubert’s "Farewell."
Mrs. C.W. Wildman sand "Flee as a bird" and M. O. Haggerty rendered
"Face to Face." A number of representative men of the city and
surrounding towns attended the funeral. The bearers were Postmaster W.F.
Darby, Commander L.F. Amidon of Sanford post, G.A.R., Adjutant Haskins,
Deputy Sheriff , O’Brien of Adams, John Plunkett, former Sheriff
Robinson of Bennington and Chief of Police William F. Dinneen. Burial
was in St. Joseph’s cemetery.
Source: North Adams Transcript, June 16,1913;
contributed by Tom Boudreau &
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