Maine Genealogy Archives

Morrill Fatalities, 1802-1884

Source: Timothy W. Robinson (Theoda Mears Morse, editor), History of the town of Morrill in the county of Waldo and state of Maine (Belfast, Me.: City Job Print, 1944).

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Fatal accidents; Suicides, and Murder
Notwithstanding the care exercised by the people of this town, fatal accidents have taken place. It must not be expected that I can give correctly all of the accidents that have happened in our town, as there are no records of the first ones; they can only be obtained from memory.

Thomas Jordan, an Irishman, was coming from Belfast in the evening with Mr. Crooks; he fell off the horse and was found dead in the morning, about where John Fenwick lives.

Mar. 21, 1804, Eliphalet Brown, son of Joshua Brown of Sanbornton, N. H., was killed by being caught between the sled and a stump, nearly abreast of Thomas Knowlton's house, and was the first person buried in our burying ground. Aged 18 years.

Clark Knox, a stranger, was at work with Capt. Weymouth clearing a road by the Alder Brook, about where Flanders lived. A tree fell on him and killed him instantly. Capt. Weymouth condemned himself for not giving him more warning. After the tree started he hallooed to him, but Knox looked scared and did not get out of the way. Capt. Weymouth buried him in his field.

Elsey, daughter of Matt. T. and Abby Merriam, was burned to death by her clothes taking fire while her mother was out of the room for a few minutes. Aged 4 years.

In July, 1815, Polly, daughter of Capt. James Weymouth, aged 9 years, fell in the barn between the load of hay and the mow, and struck the end of the axle and broke her hip. The Captain did not get it set right, and the next year the leg commenced to swell and grow until the blood and life of the child centered there until she died. The Captain mourned a great deal for her, for she was a bright little girl, the pride of his

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life. It is said that he carried her in his arms and walked the house for days and cried over her. This, with other troubles reduced the old Captain almost to insanity.

Samuel Brailey, as near as can be remembered, was killed by a log rolling on him while building a log house on the place where Roscoe Smith lives. He belonged in Penobscot Co., and left a wife and family. He was buried in the cemetery here, and the family went back.

Dec., 1818, Reuben Cookson, son of Jos. Cookson, while attempting to cross the pond on the ice, when near the northeast corner of the island, broke in and was drowned, and his body was recovered with difficulty. Aged 18 years.

Apr. 21st, 1820, William Dolloff, son of Daniel Dolloff of Belmont, fell from the great beams of the barn frame, at the raising at Stephen Robinson's. He struck on his back, and only lived twenty-four hours.

Althea, daughter of Wm. and Louis (Note by TMM: should be Lois.) Cross, was burned to death by her clothing taking fire. She was left with a larger sister while her mother was absent a few minutes. Aged four years.

June 29th, 1837, Amos Knowlton of Belmont was killed by a falling tree at a chopping bee on the place where James Higgins lives. A dry tree was felled, and he had no warning. He left a wife and a large family of children. Aged 47.

Sept. 10, 1838, Aaron Drew, son of Jonathan Drew, was kicked by a horse, and lived but a few days. Aged 21 years, unmarried.

Dec. 30th, 1843, Joseph Cross, son of Wm. and Louis Cross, was drowned at sea. He shipped aboard a brig bound for Wilmington, S. C., and the following is from a letter written by a ship mate: "One the night of Dec. 30th, about 20 miles east of Cape Hatteras, at 12 o'clock in the night, while blowing heavy, the brig under close reef, he tumbled over the quarter-rail. The vessel running a little off the wind and a heavy

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sea running we hove the helm hard down, but before the vessel came up to the wind he was so far away we could not reach him with ropes thrown as far as we could. John Poor." Aged 22 years, unmarried.

May 7, 1855, Analdo, son of Daniel and Lucinda Patch, aged 8 years, was drowned in the mill-pond at Smith's Mills, near the bridge. Men were at work in the saw mill and in the stave mill, but he was not seen until some person on the road saw him floating on the water.

In June, 1860, Darius Nash of Montville, fell from a barn frame at William Flanders', and was killed. Unmarried.

May 4th, 1862, Isaac L. Toothaker, son of Isaac and Eunice Toothaker of Searsmont, formerly of Morrill, aged 17 years, was drowned in the bay at Belfast while sailing in a boat. He was knocked overboard by the boom.

Jonathan Creasey was thrown from a wagon near James Woodbury's and killed. He left a wife and family.

Jefferson Higgins was killed in California by a log rolling on him.

Oct. 1, 1866, George Weymouth, son of Daniel Weymouth of New York, one of the triplets to whose memory the tablet is erected in the cemetery. He sailed as second mate on the bark "Gen. W. T. Sherman," Capt. James A. Rust of Belfast. One the passage to the West Indies, when near the island of Abaco, one of the Bahamas, the vessel and all hands were lost in a hurricane.

Adams Nichols and James Dailey were sailing in a boat between Northport and Long Island when the boat was upset by a squall. Adam swam two miles and was picked up by Capt. Wane. Dailey was drowned. He belonged in Lincolnville, and left a wife. His age was about 35 years.

Oct. 8th, 1878, Stillman S. Robinson, son of Stephen and Esther Robinson, aged 46 years, unmarried, was killed in the silver mine in Eureka, Nevada. He was a fore-

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man in the Jackson Mine at Ruby Hill, and went down in the shaft to inspect the work. A piece of plank 3 inches by 12, four feet long fell from the surface, 60 feet, and struck him on the head killing him instantly. He was buried the next day by the Freemasons and Miner's Union, and his grave marked by such a monument as is appropriate to the place.

Dec. 14th, 1879, Willie, aged 16 years, and Irvin, aged 12 years, sons of William and Margaret Adams went to skate on the Quantabacook Pond and went on thin ice. Irvin broke in and Willie, in trying to save his brother fell in and both were drowned. Their bodies were recovered that night and they were buried in one grave in the cemetery in Waldo.

Sept. 14, 1880, Jonathan L. Hatch, son of Jonathan Hatch, aged 33 years, died leaving a wife and family. In June, 1878, in coming from Belfast with a wagon loaded with freight (goods) the wagon broke through the bridge at Patterson's Mills (Poor's Mills), in Belfast. He jumped from the wagon on to the bridge, and the mules held on to the bridge. Leander lifted hard, getting his wagon and freight out of the water. In a few days he was obliged to have the services of a doctor, and continued to grow worse until he took to his bed where he was confined almost two years until he died.

Oct. 3rd, 1881, Forrest, infant son of Ivory D. and Hittie White, was scaled [sic] by pulling a pitcher of hot water off the table onto him and his mother, scalding the baby and mother badly. The baby lived one or two days.

Aug. 13th, 1881, Gilbert Cross, son of Joshua E. and Phebe A. Cross, was drowned in the Boise River, in Idaho. He was aged 23 years. His body was recovered and buried in Boise cemetery, and marked by such a tablet as the country affords.

Sept. 6, 1882, George A. Murch shipped on board the bark, John Shepherd, at Mobile, Ala., bound for Trinidad, W. I. When three days out they encountered a terrible hurricane and the bark was never heard from. It was supposed to have been lost with all hands on board. He was aged 35 years, and left a wife and children.

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Seeing that everyone must die sooner or later, several have hurried themselves to a premature death.

Feb. 4, 1836, James Greer, Jr., hung himself in his barn, aged 43 years. His wife died about one year before. Probably trouble was the cause of the suicide.

June 7th, 1855, Royal Higgins committed suicide by hanging himself in his shed. No cause was assigned for the rash act.

Apr. 9th, 1877, Bradford Wing drowned himself in a frog-pond back of the house at Ansel Wing's. Probably fear of poverty drove him to an untimely death. He was aged about 79 years.

May 4th, 1884, Persis, wife of T. W. Heath, took an overdose of Belladonna and died the next day. She was aged 52 years.

Supposed Murder.
Hanson, a man from one of the German states kept a grog-shop and grocery store at Ruffingham. He claimed to have been a soldier under Bonaparte. He was supposed to have lots of gold coin hoarded away, and went to Belfast with a team to get goods, and was supposed to have his money with him. Going back in the evening on Belmont avenue, near where Martin Greer lives, cries were heard like a man in distress and in the morning tracks and blood were found in the road. The boy that drove the team said he heard nothing, but Hanson has never been seen since, although searches have been made in the Quantabacook and adjoining bogs. Some clothing was afterwards found in the vicinity which was recognized as belonging to Hanson by some persons that were acquainted with him. Some of his neighbors that had gone to Belfast that day were suspected and arrested, but nothing could be proved. Years afterwards some of the coins were found in Linscott's door-yard, and it was

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supposed to have been put there by someone concerned after they found it to be worthless. It was yellow, probably some kind of alloy.

A gang, acting under the guidance of a pretended Spirtualist have been digging for Hanson's money near the schoolhouse in District No. 3 the past winter, 1884. But who killed Hanson still remains, and probably will remain a mystery.