Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thriller Thursday - Wrapping Up the Villers Trial, Part 5

The Jamestown Weekly Alert,
20JAN1898, pg1
OK. Sadly this is more on defining evidence from a quick glance. Let's get this out of the way. Perhaps when I'm done transcribing it we'll discover something new...

"What is Circumstantial Evidence?

The evidence offered by the state tending to connect Mr. Villers with the offense charged is what is known as circumstantial evidence. It therefore becomes important to inform you what circumstantial evidence is and to point out the distinction between that and direct evidence in order to give you an idea of the mode in which judicial investigation is to be pursued by the aid of circumstantial evidence. I cannot do better than to quote from the charge of an eminent jurist:

The distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence is this: Direct or positive evidence is when a witness can be called to testify of the precise fact which is a subject of issue on trial. That is, in cases of homicide that the party accused caused the death of the deceased. Whatever may be the kind or force of the evidence this is the act to be proved. But suppose no person was present on the occassion (sic) of the death and of course that no one can be called to testify about it, is it wholly unsusceptible of legal proof? Experience has shown that circumstantial evidence may be offered in such cases; that is, that a body of facts may be proved of so conclusive a character as to warrant and form the belief of the fact quite as strong and certain as that on which discreet men are accostomed (sic) to act in relation to their most important concerns. It would be injurious to the best interests of society if such proof could not avail in judicial proceedings. If it was necessary always to have direct evidence how many criminal acts committed in the community, destructive of its peace and subversive of its order and security would go wholly undetected and unpunished.

The Jamestown Weekly Alert,
20JAN1898, pg1
The necessity therefor of resorting to circumstantial evidence finds a safe and reliable proceeding as obvious as absolute. Crimes are secret. Most men conscious of criminal, and who purpose the execution of criminal acts, seek the security of secresy (sic) and darkness. It is necessary, therefor, to use all other modes of evidence beside that of direct testimony provided such evidence may be relied on as leading to safe and satisfactory conclusions and thus a beneficent providence, the laws of nature and the relations of things to each other are so linked and combined together that a medium of proof is other thereby furnished leading to inferences and conclusions as strong as those rising from direct testimony. Perhaps strong circumstantial evidence in cases of crimes like this committed for the main part in secret is the most satisfactory of any other to draw the conclusion of guilt; for a man may be seduced to perjury by many base motives to which the secret nature of the offense may sometimes afford the temptation; but it can scarcely happen that many circumstances especially if they be of such over which the successor should have no control forming together links of the transaction should all unfortunately concur to fix the presumption of guilt on an individual and yet such a conclusion be erroneous. But in the case of circumstantial evidence where no witnesses can testify directly to the fact to be proved it is arrived at by a series of other facts which by experience have been found so associated with the facts in question that in the relation of cause and effect they lead to a satisfactory and certain conclusion."

Do you feel like you were just listening to the teacher on a Charlie Brown cartoon? I felt that way typing this. At one point I completely disengaged the comprehension part of my brain and was essentially just typing letters without grasping their meaning.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Memorial Monday - IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial 1918-1919

ForIAFF FFFM Panel 1918-1919
For the 1918-1919 transcription I had to use two pictures of the panel. The granite is very shiny, but that also makes it rather reflective so some names can't be seen clearly in the first, but they can in the second picture.

"International Association of Fire Fighters Organized February 28, 1918


John Doyle - L22  PA
Charles C. Merges - L22  PA
Cornelius McGuire - L37  IL
Frank Geschke - L73  MO
Frank W. Hundsdorfer - L5  CO
Frank Weber - L575  MN
Richard S. Frost - L18  BC
Otis Fulton - L18  BC
Colin McKenzie - L18  BC
Donald Morrison - L18  BC
William J. Cameron - L18  BC
James F. Weldon - L825  CT
IAFF FFFM Panel 1918-1919
Thomas F. McDermott - L1116  MA
Patrick Moran - L1116  MA
Edward Smally - L344  MI
John Evers - L357  IN
Roy C. Gundlach - L145  CA
Charles Wing - L841  MA
Alexander Vint - L456  CA
Oliver Ough - L113  ON
John Anderson - L22  PA
Joseph Lund - L730  BC
Frank Campagna - L1784  TN
William H. Richards - L36  DC
Frank O. Markward - L36  DC
William T. Byran - L36  DC
Frederick W. Cheeney - L36  DC
Thomas A. Binaco - L36  DC
Matthew J. Cummings - L94  NY
William Sammon - L344 MI
Richard Dempsey - L2  IL
Maurice O'Dea - L2 IL
Herman Brandt - L366  MI
Thomas H. Mc Andrews - L718  MA
Joseph S. Fitzgerald - L94  NY
John F. Farr - L36  DC
Charles B. Proctor - L36  DC
Anthony J. Berberich - L734  MD
Frederick T. Branan - L734  MD


Charles S. Snyder - L94  NY
Clinton T. Lowes - L416  IN
Oscar Peterson - L2  IL
George Layhe - L718  MA
George J. Scanlon - L94  NY
Joseph G. Schmitt - L94  NY
Timothy P. O'Sullivan - L42  MO
Ben Graham - L45  KY
William E. Schalle - L94  NY
Moses Thompson - L113  ON
James Lindsay - L149  ID
Thomas J. Stevens - L718  MA
Frederick Maas - L2081  NJ
Alfred D. Kundie - L94  NY
Oscar Danford - L249  OH
Robert T. Moorehead - L22  PA
John J. Conlon - L798  CA
Daniel Campion - L21  MN
Asa H. Cooper - L58  TX
Theodore B. Kentzel - L798  CA
Harold Nolan - L475  I
Howard A. Davis - L734  MD
John A. Watson - L734  MD
Patrick J. Lee - L94  NY"

May they never be forgotten.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Black Sheep Sunday - Murder-Suicide Makes Headlines Nationwide

Daily Capital Journal - 16AUG1950, pg2
The not so booming metropolis of Hazleton/West Hazleton made national news when my great uncle's wife was murdered in a bar. The news clipping mistakenly lists the location of the "taproom" as being in Hazleton, but it was West Hazleton. I suppose that's not really a significant error. They're right next to each other. You blink and you've left Hazleton and entered West Hazleton or vice versa.

Here is a clipping distributed through the Associated Press and landed in the Daily Capital Journal in Salem, Oregon.

"Two Killed in Hazleton Bar

Hazleton, Pa., Aug. 16 (AP) - A 60-year-old man shot a woman to death in a Hazleton taproom early today and then killed himself, Police Chief Carl Meiss reported.

Miss said the man, Andrew Harvilla, a retired coal miner from nearby Treckow (sic), entered Beltz's cafe shortly after the woman, Mrs. Helen Bronsavage, 33, and asked her to have a drink with him.

She refused, Meiss said, and asked Harvilla to call a taxi. Then she went to a table. Miss said the man walked to her table, drew a .38 caliber revolver from his pocket and fired a bullet into her head. Then, the police officer said, he walked eight feet away and fired a bullet into his own head.

Mrs. Bronsavage was acquitted of murder charges last October. She was accused of firing the shotgun charge that killed Louis Broton, 34, at a cabin near Freehand last May 1."

I've blogged about Helen Bronsavage nee Sabulash previously (see below), but I never realized how far her murder was broadcast. It made national news when she killed a man, claimed self-defense, and got off. Perhaps that's why this was picked up by the AP. Her murder happened less than a year after her acquittal. I had been looking for information on my Bronsavage line on when this article (and several others like it) popped up.

I always get a bit angry when I read about her. I think that's why I share the articles/information. It's a way to vent. In my opinion she was a terrible mother and wife and got her just desserts. Her husband was in a wheelchair and she went around with other men. She didn't divorce him, she just screwed around on him. She had a little girl at home too that she apparently wasn't taking care of. How different their lives could have been if she hadn't decided to do the things she had done. I suppose that's true with everything though.

Related posts:
Thriller Thursday: Some People Just Can't Be Good, Part I
Thriller Thursday: Some People Just Can't Be Good, Part II
Thriller Thursday: Some People Just Can't Be Good, Part III

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thriller Thursday - Wrapping Up the Villers Trial, Part 4

The Jamestown Weekly Alert
20JAN1898, pg1
OK. OK. I finally finished that discussion post for my Lighting class. It wasn't as bad as I expected either. Now I'm just waiting until my kiddos get home from school and until it's time to head out to caucus (it's Super Tuesday as I write this). So I'm going to pick back up where I left off and we're going to hear about the evidence that was presented in the case of North Dakota vs Martin J. Villers.


From the foregoing provisions of our code it will be noticed that the death of August Tromer must be established by direct proof. Evidence is of two kinds: direct and circumstantial evidence.

Direct evidence is the evidence of witnesses who either saw or head the facts about which they testify or otherwise perceived their exsistance (sic) by some of their senses. You will remember what the testimony is bearing upon the fact of the death of August Tromer and if you find from the direct proof in the case beyond a reasonable doubt that he was killed on or about the day charged in this information, the exact date being immaterial, then you will pass to the other question in the case as to whether or not this defendant Martin J. Villers, is the person who did such killing. And whether or not he had a premeditated design to effect the death of the said August Tromer.

The Jamestown Weekly Alert
20JAN1898, pg1
Before you can find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree as charged in this information it will be necessary for you to find from the evidence in the case beyond a reasonable doubt that August Tromer was unlawfully killed about Sept. 14, '94 and that this defendant killed him in the manner charged in the information and further that at the time of said killing, this defendant had a premeditated design to effect the death of August Tromer and unless you find all of these facts to be true from the evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt you must acquit the defendant.

The fact that the states attorney of county has filed this information accusing Mr. Villers of the crime charged against him is no evidence whatsoever of his guilt and must not be so construed by you. The defendedendant (sic) comes into this court clothed with the presumption of innocence and this presumption continues throughout the trial until overcome by proof of hi guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." much for the actual evidence...this only defines it. I imagine they'll get into the actual evidence at some point. What this does do is let us know that the jury was supposed to only find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Still the same as today, but still nothing about that whole unanimous decision.  I'll keep it short and sweet and jump into at least one more section next week.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Memorial Monday - IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

"Somewhere, Everyday" bronze statue and granite walls of the memorial overlooking Pikes Peak
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I first saw it a couple years ago when I went to a hot air balloon festival with my family. I always meant to come back to it and give it a closer look. It's in downtown Colorado Springs near Memorial Park and driving downtown isn't one of my favorite things, so it kept getting pushed down on my priority list until very recently. My cousin's husband, Scott Carroll, died unexpectedly. He became ill while on a call and died a day or two later. His name will be going up on this monument in September and I'll get to see my cousin for the first time in nearly 40 years (gosh did I really just type that?). It's not the best way to get to see family and it's certainly not how we thought it would happen, but I am glad that Scott's name will be listed with all of these other brave men and women.

Entry to the Memorial transcribed in this post
I'm a veteran. When we think of memorials we often just associate them with the military, but there are so many others that have given so much. So many that have given their all, and they should be remembered. So the other week the assignment for the photography class I'm taking was themed "Around Town" and the first place I thought of going was the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial. I took pictures of the monuments that comprise the memorial and the first set of panels. I will start sharing those panels next week. They begin with 1918 so there are quite a lot of names. Today though I would like to share the information on the entrance to the memorial. I was out photographing it in the morning so the light was too harsh on the panel that talks about the memorial so I'll just share it without a picture of the actual words (you'll just have to trust me). Perhaps when I go back next time the sun will be in a better position.

"International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial

The International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial honors the sacrifice made by IAFF members - professional fire fighters, paramedics, and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada - who gave their lives while serving their country and community.

"Somewhere, Everyday" is a bronze statue of
a fire fight cradling an infant as he descends
a ladder
In 1989, the IAFF erected the first of two granite walls on this site, where the names of fallen IAFF members were etched as a silent tribute to their dedication above and beyond the call of duty. In 2015, the Memorial was rebuilt to renew these grounds and site, and to ensure all those who have fallen in the line of duty in the future are properly honored.

Each September, the IAFF conducts a ceremony to celebrate and pay tribute to their sacrifice and to provide support and comfort to the families of the fallen.

The centerpiece of the Memorial is an original bronze sculpture of a fire fighter descending a ladder while cradling an infant in one arm. Towering 20 feet above the Memorial, 'Somewhere, Everyday,' epitomizes the courage and bravery displayed daily by IAFF members across North America. The granite walls are a lasting tribute to those brave men and women so that they are always remember, never forgotten."

So the Memorial was first erected in 1989, but redone and rededicated in 2015. I was surprised that Colorado Springs, my new home, was the location for this Memorial, but the rededication in 2015 didn't surprise me. Colorado Springs was the site of two terrible fires in recent years. In the summer of 2012 the Waldo Canyon Fire filled the city with smoke as a huge fire blazed on the mountain range. Mountain fires are notoriously difficult to contain because of the terrain and winds that frequently come off the mountains during summer storms. It took nearly 3 weeks to contain and was the most destructive fire in Colorado's history (as measured by number of homes destroyed)...until the following year.

In the summer of 2013 almost exactly one year from the start of the Waldo Canyon Fire, the Black Forrest Fire started. It took nine days to contain which was much quicker than the previous year's fire, but there were more homes destroyed. Both fires terrified the region. Both fires made international headlines. Both fires caused a community that is notoriously stingy with their tax dollars to dig a bit deeper into their pockets to support their firemen and women. So the rebuilding/rededication of the memorial after two horrific fires isn't surprising. They did a beautiful job with the Memorial and it truly is a tranquil place.

Next week I'll share the names on the first panel of the fallen.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sunday's Obituary - Mary Dart nee LeGrave

Me and my great organizational skills! Here let me put this in it's own special folder on my desktop and then completely forget about it. Seriously...that's what I did. For my punishment I will not put lip balm on my chapped lips.

Anyway, I was cleaning my computer's desktop over the holidays. It was more than halfway filled with various icons of mostly garbage. That's when I came across this clipping that I needed to edit and stitch together to post on. I also realized that I needed to update her entry in my family tree. I didn't have her maiden name and was missing her daughter Jean from my tree.

I'd make a New Year's Resolution to fix this in the new year, but we always seem to break those. Let me say that I'll try to be better.

"Mrs. George Dart Sr.

Mrs. George Dart Sr., 57, 1150 Klaus St., died at a Green Bay hospital Thursday afternoon following a year's illness. The former Mary Le Grave was born in Rosiere and married Mr. Dart 41 years ago. The couple farmed at Tonet until 1950 and then moved to Green Bay. She was a member of St. Anne's Society of the Cathedral, and had been employed by the Zuider (sic) Zee for 15 years. She was preceded in death by her father and one brother.

(handwritten Jan 11, 1968)

Survivors are her husband; one son, George Jr., Luxemburg; three daughters, Mrs. Robert (Marion) Johnson; Mrs. Lambert (Shirley) Tarkowski; Mrs. Paul (Jean) Reynolds, all of Green Bay; her mother, Mrs. Florian Le Grave, Rosiere; four brothers, James Le Grave, Green Bay; Clifford, Clayton and Lawrence, all of Caco; seven sisters, Mrs. Edmund Engebos, Duval; Mrs. Wilfred Creavier, Green Bay; Mrs. Myron Lardinois, Krakow; Mrs. William Virlee, Brussels; Mrs. John Nellis, Green Bay; Mrs. John Adams, Casco; Mrs. Goldie Nellis, Forestville; 17 grandchildren.

At Malcore Funeral Home after 7 p.m. Saturday. Rosary each evening at 8, Sunday by the Rev. Kenneth Virlee, O.-Praem. St. Anne Society will recite the rosary Monday, 9:40 a.m., the Cathedral. Solemn High Mass 10 a.m. Monday, the Cathedral, the Rev. Kenneth Virlee, celebrant; the Rev. Gary Creavier, deacon; the Rev. Dewane Le Grave, subdeacon, all nephews of Mrs. Dart. Burial at Allouez Cemetery."

"Funeral Services

Mrs. George Dart Sr. - At Malcore Funeral Home after 7 tonight. Rosary each evening at 8, Sunday by the Rev. Kennth Virlee, O.Praem. St. Anne Society Rosary 9:40 a.m. Monday, the Cathedral. Solemn High Mass 10 a.m. Monday, the Cathedral. Allowed Cemetery. Mrs. Dart, 57, 1150 Klaus St., died at a Green Bay hospital Thursday afternoon following a year's illness."

Mary's husband, George, is my children's 1st cousin 3 times removed and now my family tree is a little better updated!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Thriller Thursday - Wrapping Up the Villers Trial, Part 3

The Jamestown Weekly Alert, 20JAN1898, pg1
Back at it again this week with the third installment in the multi-page transcription of the Villers Trial/Verdict saga. For you another week has passed. For me, not so much. I'm procrastinating doing the discussion post for my Lighting class that I mentioned in my very first post. Instead I'm transcribing some more. Why? Because the post topic is BORING!!!!!! I know I'll have to do it anyway, but I've got a day to try to cope with a topic that makes me want to stick a pencil in my eye.

Well with that charming thought let's tackle this next bit...

"Judge Fisk's Charge

In his charge Judge Fisk said in part:

Gentlemen of the Jury - Before charging you upon the law of this case, I desire first to compliment each of you upon the very close and careful attention you have given to the evidence throughout the trial and to congratulate you upon the fact that this unfortunate controversy is drawing to a close. The duties of the advocates have been discharged in a faithful and able manner both for the state and for the defense, and all that now remains is for me to call your attention to the rules of law that will govern you in arriving at a verdict in this case. After which the responsibility of doing justice between the State of North Dakota and the prisoner at the bar will be with you. That you will discharge this grave responsibility in as able, careful and fearless manner I have no doubt.

The Jamestown Weekly Alert, 20JAN1898, pg1
Under the code of this state every person who destroys the life of a human being either with a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed, or of any other human being, or by any act iminently (sic) dangerous to others evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, or without any design to effect the death by a person engaged in the commission of any felony, is guilty of murder. According to the facts and circumstances attending the killing, murder is deemed either murder in the first, or in the second degree. Here by defined murder perpetrated by means of poison or by lying in wait or by torture or by other willful, deliberate or premeditated killing or in committing or attempting to commit any sodomy, mayhem, arson, robbery, or burglary to be murder in the first degree. All other kinds of murder is murder in the second degree.
The Jamestown Weekly Alert, 20JAN1898, pg1

I charge yon at the outset that under the evidence in this case the defendant is guilty of murder in the first degree or he is innocent of any crime.

A design to effect death is inferred from the fact of the killing unless the circumstances raise a reasonable doubt whether such design existed.

A design to effect death sufficient to constitute murder may be formed instantly before committing the act after which it is carried into execution.

No person can be convicted of murder unless the death of the person alleged to have been killed and the fact of the killing by the accused as alleged are each established as indedependent (sic) fasts; the former by direct proof and the latter beyond a reasonable doubt. Every person convicted of murder in the first degree shall suffer death or be imprisoned in the penitentiary for life. The foregoing sets forth substantially the provision of our code bearing upon the question of murder and you must be governed thereby in arriving at your verdict in this case.

The prisoner at the bar, Martin J. Villers, is charged in this information with the willful murder of one August Tromer committed on or about the 14th day of September, 1894, in this county and state.

This charge divides itself into tow principal (sic) questions: Whether August Tromer, alleged to have been murdered, came to his death by act of violence inflicted by any person and if so, whether the act was committed by this defendant. We are to ascertain whether August Tromer is actually dead and whether he died within on year and one day from the date of the alleged assault upon him; and if so whether the evidence is such as to exclude beyond a reasonable doubt the supposition that such death was occasioned by accident or suicide and show it must have been the result of an act of violence."

Well I suppose that answers one question I had regarding my last post. It is supposed to be guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is more than clear. What isn't so clear is the whole unanimous verdict thing. Nothing is mentioned and from the last article we can see that there was one holdout in both the verdict and sentencing deliberations. Perhaps this will come to light in further transcriptions. Next week we tackle the evidence (or perhaps in the next few minutes for me if I don't start that discussion post for school)!

Note - I've changed the posts from Amanuensis Mondays to Thriller Thursdays because the entire trial was rather sensational at the time and because over the next several Amanuensis Mondays I'd like to start sharing and transcribing the names from the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs. There are quite a lot of panels at the memorial and there is still quite a lot of information on the Villers' trial to share so I'm making this slight change.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Wrapping Up the Villers Trial, Part 2

This week I'll be continuing with the pages of information on the Villers trial that appeared in the Jamestown Weekly Alert on January 20th 1898. This post will be fairly short and sweet and deals with the jury's deliberations regarding guilt or innocent and sentencing...

The Jamestown Weekly Alert,
20JAN1898, pg1
"How the Jury Reached a Verdict.

Bailiffs S. Hager and G. Masters were sworn in again at 9:30 p.m. Monday and then conducted the jury to their room. The first ballot on the guilt or innocence of the prisoner resulted in seven for and five against conviction. The next vote stood 11 to 1 for conviction and at this it remained for a long time, eleven ballots being necessary to decide this point.

As was expected there was a fight on the question of penalty. Eight of the jurors on the first vote were in favor of hanging; the second ballot showed but four. The value of the circumstantial evidence was discussed at length, other votes taken, but no material change on any ballot secured. Finally toward morning the jurors lay down and slept. At 3 a.m. the vote stood 11 to 1. About 4 o'clock they arose and balloted again, and at 4:30 a.m. decided on imprisonment for life. They were out 12 hours and reached a verdict in seven hours."

I always thought that to find someone guilty it had to be unanimous, at least in a murder trial. Were things different then or is my civics knowledge that rusty? I'm fairly certain that today for the death penalty it must be unanimous, and it would appear that it was also the case back then. And is it just me or did it seem like they just wanted to get the verdict and sentencing over and done with. Also in modern times the sentencing part of the trial is separate in cases like these from the verdict. It doesn't really surprise me that this would be different, but it's interesting to note.

The fact that there was a lot of circumstantial evidence is something else worth noting as is the fact that one person wouldn't budge on his guilt. I'm not saying he was innocent. The juror might just have been holding out due to the circumstantial evidence. Perhaps he felt that there wasn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That was always the case...wasn't it? Perhaps it wasn't. Laws change. Maybe I'm taking that part for granted. It's a question I'll have to pester my sister-lawyer about and see what she thinks! Until next week....

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sunday's Obituary - Gabriel Kennedy

The Standard Speaker, 30JAN1971, pg 1
I'm always trying to firm up my lateral lines. It can help in so many ways. If you're stuck on a direct line ancestor, but you gather information on that person's brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, etc you might find information in documents about them that could also pertain to your ancestor. Even if your ancestor isn't specifically mentioned knowing more about that lateral line can help you confirm or reject a document you find on your ancestor later. After all if you know the members of your ancestor's family and then find a document that has completely different names you'll know that it's not right and to keep looking.

This obituary doesn't yield an immediate results for my direct line, but it's still a good obituary and you never know what the future brings. Maybe it will help someone else and they'll know something about our joint line I don't. I wonder why Gabe died so suddenly. The Pennsylvania Death Certificates aren't online for 1971 so I won't know for awhile. He was 65 when he died. Sure, so people will say that's a good age. As I get older though it starts to feel like 65 is too young to pass. Of course I'm looking at it from today where our average life expectancy is a bit higher than that.

“Gabriel J. Kennedy, Former Cafe Owner, Dies Unexpectedly

Gabriel J. ‘Gabe’ Kennedy, one of the area’s best known bar and restaurant owners, died unexpectedly at 10:30 o’clock last night in his home at 356 Thirlwell Ave.

The prominent businessman, who retired in 1970 after operating Gabe’s Cafe on the Heights for more than 35 years, was born in Tresckow, a son of the late Anthony and Fannie Cortez Kennedy, and spent his entire life in Hazleton.

‘Gabe’ established an outstanding reputation as a businessman and humorist and was noted for his generosity to the needy.

He was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, Hazleton Council No. 442, and the Heights Fire Co.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary, in 1930; a brother, Dr. V. James Kennedy, in 1968, and another brother, Joseph, in 1969.

Surviving are his wife, the former Mary Turnbach; one daughter, Mrs. Joseph (Joan) Undeck, Wheaton, Md.; a grandson, Joseph, and the following brothers: Dr. Frank Kennedy, D.D.S.; Charles T., Anthong and John, all of this city.

The Standard Speaker,
30JAN1971, pg 2
The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday from the Turnbach Funeral Home.

A high mass of requiem will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in Holy Rosary Church. Interment will be in St. Gabriel’s Cemetery.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday.

A para liturgical service will be held at 8 p.m. Monday in the funeral home.”

Gabriel was married to Mary Turnbach who was my first cousin twice removed. Rest in peace, Gabe.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Amanuensis Monday - Wrapping Up the Villers Trial, Part 1

I've blogged about Martin Joseph (MJ) Villers before. I've shared articles and documents from his attempted murder trial as well as his murder trial. I thought I was done, but then I was contacted by, Guinn Hinman, who is currently researching the historic Stutsman County Courthouse in North Dakota (like their FB page!). In her research she found two things of interest to me. First she found my blog which referenced MJ Villers and the trial at the courthouse, and second, she found a photograph on the front page of a newspaper of MJ Villers! Yes, morbid curiosity made me want to know what this man looked like and now I know...

...but this is an Amanuensis Monday post so what am I transcribing? Well when Ms. Hinman told me about this photo and an article I never expected what I encountered. There wasn't just an article, but all of page 1, 2, 3, and parts of 4 and 8 were about the trial!

Now that's a lot of information so I can't possibly share it all here, so I'm going to tackle this elephant bit by bit over the next several weeks (possibly months) of Amanuensis Monday posts. I've always wanted to know what made this man do what he did. His family was highly respected and he had even once been a police officer in Wisconsin. Why did this happen?

Well I haven't read all of the articles in this paper. I'm too busy with school right now, but I think I can commit to transcribing a little for each week until my term finishes at the end of April. We'll discover it all together.

These articles are from the January 20th 1898 edition of The Jamestown Weekly Alert which can be digitally found on Chronicling America.

Headline - The Jamestown Weekly Alert, 20JAN1898, pg1
"Imprisonment for Life

The Jury Finds M.J. Villers Guilty of Murder in the First Degree and Fixes Punishment at Imprisonment for Life.

Stay of Proceedings to February 1st is Granted to Give the Defense Time to Prepare Argument for a New Trial.

The Judge's Charge to the Jury, - Sketch of the Concluding Testimony - Pleas of the Attorneys - Satisfaction With Verdict."

The Jamestown Weekly Alert, 20JAN1898, pg1
"State of North Dakota, pelt. vs. Martin J. Villers dfdt. We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree as charged in the information and fix his punishment at imprisonment in the penitentiary for life. (Signed) M. Watson, Foreman.

The above is the verdict rendered by the jury in the trial of M.J. Villers for the murder of August Tromer Sept. 14th, '94. The verdict was read at 9:50 a.m. in open court and then the jury polled at request of defense. Each juryman responded firmly and distinctly that that was his verdict.

Judge Fisk thanked the jury 'for the careful manner in which you have discharged your duty - have done so in a very able and conscientious manner. I believe as you go to your homes you will do so feeling that you have discharged your whole duty, both to the state and the defendant.' They were then excused for the remainder of the term.

A stay of proceedings was granted by the court to Feb. 1st to give the defense opportunity, if so desired, to prepare a motion for a new trial. A request for a copy of the proceedings was made by the defense and argued Tuesday p.m. This was granted by the court.

During the reading of the verdict the prisoner sat behind his attorney closely watching proceedings. He remained unchanged when his fate was announced. On his return to his cell, however, he was not in the best frame of mind and threatened in regard to the delay of his physician in arriving."

I'll try not to be the grammar police, because I'm sure they were trying to get a lot into these pages and it was quite the sensational story of the time, but the phrasing of that last sentence is puzzling. I can understand him not being in the best frame of mind, but the "threatened in regard to the delay of his physician in arriving"? He felt personally threatened by that or he felt that his health was threatened? Or was it another threat? You may say that I'm reading too much into this, but there were allegations that he tried to kill himself in another article I transcribed and he was not a healthy man at this point in his life. This life term he received would end within 6 years with his death. Many thought he was faking sickness for pity from the jury. I guess he had the last laugh there.

The Bismarck Weekly Tribune 01MAR1985, pg8
Jumping a little off track to illustrate what I just mentioned, this article was taken from The Bismarck Weekly Tribune on March 1st 1895 when MJ Villers was on trial for attempted murder (he tried to kill the wife of the guy he killed...yeah...this story has some drama).

"Has His Nerve

M.J. Villiers (sic), who is confined in the LaMoure jail awaiting trial for a murderous assault on a woman, Mrs. Tromers (sic), made a desperate attempt at suicide last Friday. Being allowed to leave his iron-grated cell for the purpose of exercise, Villers took advantage of the opportunity to secure the poker from under the stove, and returning to his cell, extinguished the light and attempted suicide. It appears that he placed the poker against the wall and with a wonderful display of nerve forced the sharpened point through his body at a point a few inches above the navel. The force used was sufficient to penetrate the body at least for or five inches, and, as Sheriff Jones entered the jail at this very moment, Villers, not to be baffled in his purpose, grasped the handle of the poker and drove it upward toward the heart. He then coolly drew the steel out, dripping with blood, and threw it under the cot in his cell. Villers' condition was not improved, and, in fact, considerable (sic) worse. His injuries were fully as serious as reported, and in his weakened condition it is not improbably that death may result."

This is all I'll transcribe for this post. It's time that I jumped into my discussion post for the week for Lighting 1. This class is going to be challenging. Right now all the terminology is just swimming around in my mind and not really clicking. Hopefully that changes because a photographer that doesn't grasp lighting won't be very good. Here's hoping that I keep up the posts with school in session. I haven't for the past few months because school was just too overwhelming. This, however, interests me enough to take a small break to transcribe. Until next Monday!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sunday's Obituary - Hugh Barrett

The Plain Speaker, 25FEB1943, pg18
My mom's going to love this one! Hugh and his sister, Alice, Barrett were the only two children of Patrick and Bridget Barrett nee Farley that we didn't have death dates for. After doing research over several weeks and from different angles I found a possible match in the New York Death Index and sent away for the death certificate. As it turned out I did have the right person, because his sister, Alice, was the one that gave the information for his death certificate and is also stated that he was heading back to St. Gabriel's in Pennsylvania to be buried.

That was exciting news. What was more exciting was jumping on over the weekend to do a search on Alice and then have Hugh's obituary pop up. Not what I was looking for, but I'll take it!

I'd often wondered if the Hugh Barrett in the sports section for the Hazleton team was mine and I've waffled back and forth with believing it was...and then wasn't. This article confirms that it was and that he was apparently pretty good.

"Hugh Barrett Passes Away

Former Baseball Star Who Died in New York to Be Buried Here.

Hugh Barrett, a pitcher for the Hazleton baseball team when the games were played at the old Hazle Park diamond, died at St. Anthony's hospital, New York City, yesterday morning after an illness of several weeks.

The body will be brought to Hazleton on the 12:35 noon L. V. R. R. train on Friday and interment will be made in St. Gabriel's cemetery. Funeral services will be held at the parish church in New York City early that morning.

While a resident of Hazleton, Mr. Barrett was engaged with the old Hazleton Gas Co., and left here 28 years ago to locate in New York City, where the late Joseph Mayer had obtained him a high position.

Member of Pioneer Family

Mr. Barrett was a son of the late Patrick and Bridget Barrett, a pioneer family of this region and was born at Humboldt, but had located in this city as a boy. He learned the gas business here and for many years remained with the local company as a foreman.

Played On Famous Team.

As a curve ball pitcher, Mr. Barrett won recognition and the became a member of one of the greatest teams in Hazlteon's history, then managed by Herry Dryfoos and playing on what is now the site of the Spaulding Bakery in West Hazleton, which at that time was a portion of Hazle Park.

The team had such stars as Joe Walser, Jack Bream, Jack Neuer, Gorge Kimmell, Joe Londrigan, Charley Stoeker, Charles "Kid" McBride, Neil Brown, Harry Weidenback, Jimmy Kelly, James Brady, and latter (sic) Charles Weidenbach and Harry Brown joined the club. Six of the players, Bream, Neuer, Kimmell, McBride, Neil Brown and Jimmy Kelly are dead.

Leaves Three Survivors

Mr. Barrett is survived by a brother and two sisters, Edward F. Barrett of Buffalo, N. Y.; Mrs. Thomas Brown of West Broad street, this city, and Miss Alice Barrett, R. N., of New York City. Two brothers, Walter and William Barrett preceded him in death."

There's lots of rather cool information in there. School is back in session for me and this is the first post I've been able to do in quite awhile, but let's hope this find can help me to finally find Hugh and/or Alice in the 1930s or 1940s census records! I'd love to find out what job it was that he took in New York and who Joseph Mayer was. Always more questions!