Life and death are balanced on t

Untimely Deaths

Life and death are balanced on the edge of a razor.  ~Homer, Iliad

Transcribed by Cathe Ziereis & Editor Jim Glasheen


Shawano County Journal - 1864

While home on furlough George S Miller died on 26 Aug 1864. His death was caused by falling off a grain wagon. He was the son of H D & E Miller. George was the first to be buried in the Woodlawn cemetery

Shawano County Journal

July 13 1865


Fatal Accident - Rev. Mr. Hewitt informs us that in last Friday afternoon a little daughter of John Palmer, of Embarrass, named Mary and aged three years, was accidently scalded to death. She was drawing something across the floor when she fell into a pail of hot water and was burned so badly that all efforts to relieve her proved unavailing. Such accidents are altogether too frequent and more care should be used with the little ones.

Shawano County Journal

Jan. 18 1866                 

Lucius J. Murray

Lucius J. Murray of this Place Murdered in Louisiana by a Rebel Citizen

The painful and sorrowful intelligence has been received that Lucius J. Murray, son of J. A. Murray, Esq.; and brother of Mrs. Myron H. McCord and brother of Mrs. John A. Winans was murdered at Shreveport, Louisiana on the 22nd day of December last. He was found at daylight lying on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant on Market street a short distance from the Market, shot through the head, the ball entered a little back of the crown and passed through and downward and must have produced instant death. The shot was a cowardly one and worthy of the miscreant, who directed the blow and shows that it could not have been received in an encounter, but was - like the shot at President Lincoln - a foul and damming assignation dealt, like all the blows of Copperhead and Rebels from behind.

Julius J. Murray, one of our citizens has been murdered and assassinated in one of the public streets of Louisiana and we trust that the work of Reconstructing Rebels may end in that State, where it should have began - on the gallows; and that the rifle and bayonet may not cease their work until the class of rebels - and their aider and abettors in the North - who murdered young Murray and other Northern men and who have done all that could be done to set at defiance the lawful authority of the United States, shall become Reconstructed in a matter that will require a space two feet by six to record their parchment; and may the hand not be stayed until a Northern man can tread every street and public place in the Southern States and feel the same security as he would in Wisconsin.

Lucius J. Murray was born July 31st 1843, and consequently would have been twenty -three yeas of age next July. He was beloved by all who knew him , affectionate, generous, and kind to a fault; brave and patriotic, and in his useful manhood gave promise of a life of usefulness. And at the first call of the President for 75,000 men, he left his home and the dear and holy association that ever cluster around the name, and enlisted in the Union Army, but did not succeed in getting into the first formed Regiments, and consequently was assigned to the Sixth Volunteer  Infantry and was engaged in all the battles fought in Pope's campaign, and in the battles of the South Mountain and Antietam in which latter battle he received injuries sufficient to cause his discharge from service.  After his discharge he came home and stayed for about three months, then went to Lake Superior for a short time, when finding that his health would justify his return to Government employ he applied for a situation and was assigned the place of a Clerk in the Quartermaster's Department, and sent to St. Louis, thence to Memphis, where he remained about one year, thence to Helena and then accompanied Gen Steele's Division to Sherveport, (Shreveport) La, where he remained- performing the duties of his position to the satisfaction of his superiors and winning many more warm and earnest friends among his association - until the cowardly Reconstructed Assassinator shot him through the head.

His parents and relatives in the hour of their affliction and sorrow have the sympathy and prayers of all, and may God enable them to realize that He doeth all things well.  

Later - The supposed assassinator has been arrested and if found guilty  will be Reconstructed without the aid of a pardon.                 



Jul 11, 1867


Fatal Accident - We learn that a little boy about six years of age, a son of Mr. Peter Martin, living in the town of Angelica, was accidentally killed on Saturday last, by the falling of some logs from an old out building, on the roof of which he and his sister had climbed. On jumping down, the logs were displaced, and one fell upon the boy's head, breaking his neck. The little girl escaped injury.



Dec 14, 1867

Fatal AccidentJohn Hoffman, a young man 20 years of age, residing in the town of Pella, died the 7th inst., from injuries received in the abdomen while hauling hay about two weeks previous, the full particulars of which we failed to learn. He was an estimable young man and his funeral – which took place on the 10th – was largely attended.



Oct 16, 1868

Killed – A young man by the name of Hiram Giffin, who was in the employ of Tim Crane, was killed last week by a tree falling on him. He was brought to this place and buried last Sunday. He was much respected by his comrades and acquaintances and his loss is deeply felt.


Shawano County Journal

24 Feb 1870


Killed - A farmer named Albert Zimdars, residing in Town 27, Range 17, was killed by the falling of a limb, while engaged in clearing land, about three weeks ago.


Shawano County Journal

5 May 1870


Sad Accident - A little girl between three and four years of age, belonging to D. Gorham of this village, on Tuesday afternoon last, set her clothes on fire with matches, and before assistance reached her she was burned fatally. All that could be thought of by sympathizing neighbors and Dr. LaCount was done to relieve her sufferings, and she breathed her last quietly at six o'clock Wednesday morning.




Shawano County Journal

22 June 1871

Stabbing Affray


Mr. Augustin Grignon, an old resident of this county, residing near Keshena, was stabbed last evening at his home by Ah-qua-no-mie, the head chief of the Menominee Tribe of Indians. He was stabbed in the bowels, near the naval with a common pocket knife. and we learn from Dr. LaCount, that there is little hopes of his recovery. The chief stopped at Grignon's house yesterday on his way to Keshena, somewhat in liquor, and Mr. Grignon had made preparations for his staying all night. What the trouble was we did not learn. Sheriff Robinson arrested him this morning and confined him in jail.



Shawano County Journal

6 July 1871


Ah-qua-no-mie, the Indian Chief who stabbed Mr. Grignon, was released from confinement last Monday, on bail. Mr. Grignon remains in about the same condition, quite comfortable, but helpless.


N.B. - Since writing the above we learn that Mr. Grignon died last evening. Funeral takes place to-day.




Shawano County Journal

Feb 1, 1872


A Singular Affair


Mr. C. Sumnicht and family, of Hartland have not been well for several months and were unable to account for this indisposition.

A few days since while Mr. S. was pumping water for his stock, he noticed a lump of some solid substance in the water , which sunk to the bottom of the pail. He took it out of the water and found a small roll of something fastened together with a pin. He unrolled it and found it contained some solid substance, which when placed in contact with the tongue, produced a burning sensation.

He took it into the house, and told his wife about it, and she also touched her tongue to it, when it seemed to blister a large portion of the tongue.

He then went out to take toe pump out of the well and examine the water. In a few short minutes the children came out and said their mother had something in her throat. He went into the house and found his wife laying on the floor, apparently in a choking position. She had taken a little whiskey to relieve the burning in her mouth, which only aggravated the difficulty. He gave her sweet milk which afforded relief.

Mr. S. was in town on Tuesday of this week, and from him we learn the above particulars.



Shawano County Journal

Feb 8 1872


Singular Deaths

Within the past two months, several very singular deaths have occurred in the town of Hartland, in this county.


The first was a sister-in-law of Mr. Charles Sumnicht, formerly Register of Deeds of this county. Soon afterwards two of Mr. Sumnicht's children were taken suddenly ill, and died before any medical aide could be procured.


A few days ago, Mr. John Zuelsdorf was taken in the same way and died within a few hours, and in less then three days from that time three of Mr. Z's children were taken in the same way and died suddenly.


There are several mysterious circumstances about this matter that have a suspicious look, which call for and will receive prompt and thorough investigation.



Shawano County Journal

July 27 1872


Fatal Accident


We learn of a fatal accident in the town of Belle Plaine. It appears that two boys were fooling with a revolver, when by some accident, the weapon was discharged, the ball entering the abdomen of young Dicke, inflicting an injury from which he died the next morning. The boy was a son of Rev. P. H. Dicke, who has the sympathy of the entire community. Funeral took place on Tuesday last.


Shawano County Journal

17 May 1873


Boy Killed


We are indebted to Mr. Charles Schmitz, of the town of Herman, for the facts in connection with a singular accident which happened on Tuesday last, resulting in the sudden death of a bright boy of eleven years, a son of Mr. Otto Timm, a farmer in that town. Mr. Timm, accompanied by his little boy, left home very early Tuesday morning with a load of wheat for the grist mill in this village. About 3:00 he had reached the farm of Mr. John Bebritz, in the town of Pella, when one of his oxen in going down a steep hill, became so unmanageable as to require all his attention to keep the team in the road, the boy, as be supposed, remaining upon the load. In this way he proceeded about three miles, until a smoother part of the road was reached and the oxen were going along quietly, when he suddenly missed his boy, and in alarm turned back to search for him. On the way he met Mr. Schmitz, who happened to be traveling to Shawano that morning, who gave him the sad intelligence that the lifeless body of the boy was found in the road where the oxen became unruly and was then being laid out in Mr. Bebritz' house. The boy must have fallen from the load and fallen behind one of the hind wheels of the wagon, which passed over his face and head, crushing his skull and killing him instantly, the father being to much occupied with his oxen to hear his cry, if any was made. The grief of the unfortunate man can better be imagined than described, when he came to see the dead boy, so full of promise but a few hours before.

Shawano County Journal

9 May 1874

Terrible Accident on the Upper Wolf

Four Men Drowned, and Another Has an Arm Broken

About 12 o’clock Thursday night, the men in charge of what is known as the Beecher dam, on the Wolf river some thirty miles north of this city, were awakened by the roaring of the waters, and soon discovered that a big flood from the Post Lake dam was upon them. They immediately went out to hoist the gates. It was a very dangerous undertaking, as the dam at that time was trembling to its very foundation from the force of the flood. Some of the men were disposed not to venture upon the dam, fearing the consequences; but others insisted upon going, and leading the way, all went to the number of nine. They had succeeded in partially raising the gates at one of the waist-ways, when the whole bulk-head gave way, carrying the men and a large amount of timber and logs with it. Four of the men were drowned, and another one had an arm crushed; the rest very miraculously escaped with their lives. The names of the drowned men are T. Parks, (brother of John II Parks, the foreman of the drive,) Jerry Casey, of Freemont, Nicholas Nutz, of Shiocton, and Charles Ma-be-ka-wo, an Indian. The man injured was an Indian, whose name we did not learn. At this writing, but one of the bodies had been recovered, that of Casey, which was brought to the city yesterday for burial.


Shawano County Journal

9 January 1875


Crushed to Death - Tuesday afternoon at a clay bank between Fourth and Fifth avenues, where Mr. James Ryan has a number of men at work an accident occurred which resulted in the instant killing of one man and, it is feared the fatal injury of another.  It seems the men were excavating under the bank in question, when suddenly and without warning a heavy body of earth caved in, burying both of the two laborers employed at that point.  One of them, a Pole, named Joseph Raczen, who lived on Grove street, was dead when removed, and the other, whose name the reporter was unable to ascertain, had both legs and an arm fractured, besides other injuries which render his recovery very doubtful indeed. Reczen leaves a wife and five children, it is said, in comparatively destitute circumstances.


Shawano County Journal

16 Jan 1875

Killed - A German named A. Ludwig, employed in Wm. John's lumber camp on Red river, was instantly killed last Saturday by a tree falling upon him, breaking his neck and crushing in his shoulders. He was a resident of Gillett, Oconto county, where his remains were taken for burial. Accidents are very frequent this winter, and the men employed in the woods cannot be too careful.

Shawano County Journal

11 Nov 1876


A distressing accident occurred in the town of Maple Grove, in this county, last Sunday night, by which Richard Prickett lost his life. He was hunting after his cows in the woods when he ran against the string to a gun set for deer, and the whole charge of buckshot struck him. The night was very dark and rainy, and he was not found until the next morning. This should be a warning to all not to set guns where there is a possibility of anyone's passing.

Shawano County Journal

2 February 1878

Boy Drowns - A little Indian boy named Chas. Antoine was drowned the other day at Keshena.

Shawano County Journal

16 February 1878

Suicide - Joseph Potts, a farmer living near Embarrass, eleven miles south of this city, committed suicide by hanging himself in his barn last Saturday.  He went out to the barn as usual that morning to feed his stock, and not appearing for breakfast when called, his wife went out and found him hanging to a beam over the threshing floor.  He was immediately taken down, and every means used to restore life, but all proved of no avail ---- he was dead.  He seemed to have been deliberate and determined to make a success of the job ---- selecting the best place in the barn, and tying his hands in such a way that he could not use them to help himself in the life struggle.  He was 45 years old, in good circumstances, perfectly healthy and sane to all appearance, and his family relations have always been of the most cordial kind.  He leaves four grown up children, two sons and two daughters, to whom the father's rash act is as inexplicable as it is to the neighborhood.  One of the young men was employed in some lumbering camp on the Upper Wolf, and we get the facts from a messenger sent to inform him of the sad occurrence.


Shawano County Journal

16 March 1878

Fatally Injured - Mr. Michael Berdell, while chopping down a tree last week, was fatally injured by the falling of a limb.

Oshkosh Northwestern

20 Jan 1880


Laney, Wis., Jan 19 - Last Friday Stephen Flynn, a farmer from this town was instantly killed by a log rolling upon him. He was teaming for Tom Hutchinson, of Oshkosh, whose camp is thirty-four miles north of Shawano. He was on his last turn in the day with a seven log load - about three thousand feet; when going down a pitch, probably at quite a high rate of speed, the three binding chains broke and let off the load. Four logs were left in the middle of the road, two were carried some distance, and the other rolled to one side upon the unfortunate man, breaking in nearly all of his ribs. The log must have bounded, as he was hurt no where else, and was so near the end that the log only reached across his breast bone. A foot further and all would not have been. He leaves a wife and six children to mourn his loss. The eldest child is but ten years old.


He was the fourth man accidentally killed in the past three years, that is men from this town; Richard Prickett by a set gun, Robert Brighton by a falling stub, Peter Nelson by a falling limb and lastly Stephen Flynn by a rolling log.


He came here from Oshkosh and there from Canada.

Shawano County Advocate

Thursday, April 24, 1890 


In A Fit of Temporary Insanity, Mrs. Chas. Perry, of Belle Plain, Drowns Herself

The dreadful news reached this city last Friday that Mrs. Chas. Perry, of Belle Plaine, had committed suicide by jumping off what is known as the Perry bridge crossing he Embarrass river, into the water below.  She was crossing the bridge in company with Mrs. John Quinn and before the latter could realize what was to happen she jumped off explaining “Here we go.”  Before any aid could be summoned she disappeared in the swift current of the river.  The coroner was at once sent for who proceeded to the spot with grappling irons to drag the river.  The body was not found until Sunday, about 3 miles below the place where she jumped in.  An inquest was held Sunday afternoon before Justice Andrews of this city, and the verdict of the jury was to the effect that she committed suicide while in a temporary of insanity.  The deceased leaves a husband and four children.


Shawano County Journal

Thursday, July 4, 1895 

Sad Drowning Accident

The community was inexpressibly shocked and the home of Dr. and Mrs. A Bishop rendered desolate yesterday (the Fourth) by the drowning of their son Marvin in the channel cut through the old dam near Kast’s saw mill.  The unfortunate accident took place about 3:00 in the afternoon.  Mr. A M Andrews, the boy’s grandfather, had gone to the pool with him and another grandchild of nearly the same age, and the boys desiring to go in bathing at the place in question, they were permitted to do so, the water not being deep at the point and Mr. Andrews not thinking danger possible so long as he was near.  Marvin, however, wandered out to far and got into the deep water above the channel when he quickly sank from sight and was seen no more.  Mr. Andrews immediately ran for assistance and soon had a large crowd collected, but the unfortunate boy’s body could not be found for some time, and it was then too late to supply restorative measures.  The fond parents were nearly crazed by the sad affair, as was also the boy’s grandfather, who had a deep affection for his bright grandchild.  Marvin was an only child and nearly 9 years of age.  The sympathy of the entire community is with the parents in their deep affliction.  The funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at 2:00.