Brodrick

Murder or suicide? Thanksgiving Day 1904 tragedy at Robert Sayre Brodhead home

Strafford train station, Strafford, PA (Wikimedia: Author Lucius Kwok; 17 Apr 2005)

Strafford train station, Strafford, PA (Wikimedia: Author Lucius Kwok; 17 Apr 2005)

It was Thanksgiving Day 1904 in Strafford, Pennsylvania, and just after 10 a.m., 22-year-old Caroline (“Carrie”) Reinholtz, a household servant in the home of Robert Sayre Brodhead and his wife Minnie, delivered a suitcase to the train station for express shipment to Wilkes-Barre. Robert, Minnie and their young children had gone there for a few days to spend the holiday with other Brodhead family members. The station agent later reported her to have been in excellent spirits, laughing and trading a few jokes. She then returned to the Brodhead home at 227 Strafford Avenue, and presumably sat down to write a suicide note.

Hours later the family’s stable boy, Eddie Fitzpatrick, also on duty that day, came into the house at around 6 p.m. to see if there were more chores for him to do, and discovered Carrie dead on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood with seven bullet holes in her chest and her throat slashed by a steel carving knife with such force that the tip of the knife broke off and lodged under her breast bone.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 26, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 26, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

An inquest was held two days later, and Carrie’s death was ruled a suicide by the coroner—an unbelievable verdict for many, considering the bullet wounds were inflicted in the third story bathroom with a heavy revolver and her throat was slashed downstairs in the kitchen, indicating she would have to have survived the seven self-inflicted gunshot wounds sufficiently to be able to drag herself down two flights of stairs, through a hallway, into the drawing room to get the knife from the sideboard, and into the kitchen, and then still have enough energy and determination to slash her own throat. Add to that that no trail of blood was found between the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen, and that the revolver held but five cartridges, a circumstance that would have required a pause to reload.

The revolver belonged to Robert Brodhead; it was one that was always in the household; the servants knew its location and the location of extra cartridges in the event they were ever home alone facing an intruder.

Suicide note, 26 Nov. 1904, Fredericksburg Daily Star, Google news archives

Suicide note, 26 Nov. 1904, Fredericksburg Daily Star, Google news archives

Carrie’s beau Jerome Newman of Belmar, NJ, who most recently worked as assistant baggage master at Atlantic City, was briefly held by the police, but after witnessing his sincere devastation and earnest wish to cooperate, he was released. Jerome and Carrie had become acquainted in the summer of 1902 when the Brodheads stayed at a cottage in Belmar (a seaside resort town). Jerome wept as he read the suicide note, and confirmed that the handwriting was Caroline’s and that details mentioned in the note would unlikley be known by any outsider.

Jerome had come to Strafford on Thanksgiving Day to spend the holiday with Carrie. He tried to get into the house several times that day, but nobody answered the door, so he waited about nearby. When Eddie Fitzpatrick found the body, he immediately summoned the doctor, and Jerome came into the house with the doctor and confirmed Carrie’s identity. Distraught, Jerome went to the station and traveled home. He returned the next morning, and that was when he was detained by the police.

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Carrie’s family was extremely distraught; her younger sister Ella also worked for the Brodheads and had travelled to Wilkes-Barre with the family. Carrie’s father Christian Reinholtz lived in a Strafford boarding house and had done some gardening work for the Brodheads the previous summer. (His wife, Carrie’s mother, had died 10 years previously and was buried in Virginia.) Mr. Reinholtz had seen Carrie just two days prior to the tragedy and said she had been in excellent spirits and very much looking forward to Jerome’s visit. He rejected any suggestion that Carrie would have killed herself; all Carrie’s family believed that foul play was involved.

There was intense debate in the community and further afield about the suicide verdict. Most locals refused to accept it. Carrie’s brother-in-law Charles Dingle represented the family who wanted to pursue the theory of murder and had their own suspicions about a certain individual whose photo they claimed had gone missing from Carrie’s album, and whose footprints, they alleged, led away from the house through a vegetable patch where torn-up pieces of a letter had been found. This person killed Carrie, they said, shooting her upstairs and then carrying her downstairs to finish her off in the kitchen. They wanted to obtain the album, but it was in police custody.

Robert Brodhead, who returned from Wilkes-Barre at  3 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving, told authorities that he knew of no reason Carrie would go so far as to take her own life. Granted, he said, she had been melancholic over the previous month and had been disappointed on several occasions when Jerome failed to show as promised. But overall, he said, Carrie seemed to be a happy young lady. He did agree that the handwriting in the suicide note appeared to be Carrie’s, but could not accept the idea that she was so despondent as to kill herself.

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, Tues, 29 Nov. 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Those in support of the suicide theory primarily had the note to point to. As for the contradictions of the case, they could explain some of them.  The cartridges in the revolver were six years old and the powder in them perhaps insufficient so as to cause fatal damage. Carrie’s dress caught fire, and it was suggested that she used the skirt of her dress to cover up the flames, which would have eliminated a trail of blood as she made her way downstairs to the kitchen.

An autopsy was performed on November 26. Seven entrance wounds and five exit wounds were found, all were determined to be not necessarily fatal in an immediate sense. The coroner and the jury found the suicide note to be the most influential piece of evidence, and on its basis, rendered a verdict of suicide. The fact that there were seven bullet wounds and the revolver only held five cartridges was explained by the theory that Carrie either went to Mr. Brodhead’s bedroom closet (on the 2nd floor) to retrieve more cartridges after she emptied the five into herself, or she kept additional cartridges with her to begin with. The motive for suicide was that Carrie did not receive a promised letter from Jerome from Belmar, saying he was coming that day, and that after several disappointments over unkept promised meetings, she felt despondent enough to kill herself.

Those refuting the cartridge theory pointed out that the the box with additional cartridges was found to be all tied-up, so Carrie could not have retrieved more cartridges after the five were spent. These people introduced the idea that a second revolver would have to have been involved. Furthermore, Jerome was convinced Carrie would have given him more time to get to the home; he had only arrived an hour later than anticipated. (Note: Carrie had apparently asked her sister about the revolver’s location before the family left for Wilkes-Barre, but this was normal, the Brodhead family and servants said; whenever anyone was going to be left alone in the house, the revolver’s location was always pointed out.)

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 29, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Philadelphia Inquirer, November 29, 1904 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Unfortunately, what may have been critical evidence was destroyed. Four bloodstained finger prints were discovered on the bathtub when the doctor initially came to the residence. These were wiped away inadvertently, so no comparison with Carrie’s prints could be made.

St Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne Pennsylvania at Louella and Lancaster in Downtown Wayne Historic District. (Wikimedia Commons, contributed by 'smallbones' on December 8, 2012)

St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wayne Pennsylvania at Louella and Lancaster in Downtown Wayne Historic District. (Wikimedia Commons, contributed by ‘smallbones’ on December 8, 2012)

Carrie’s funeral took place on November 28, 2904, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA, and she was buried in the Great Valley Baptist Cemetery in Devon, Pennsylvania. Carrie’s family and Mr. & Mrs. Brodhead were present as was Jerome. To fulfill Carrie’s dying wish that she be buried next to her mother, her mother was to be disinterred from her Virginia grave and relocated to be near Carrie.

The district attorney’s office declared the matter closed on November 30; the family insisted it would pursue its own investigation to prove Carrie was murdered. They said the suicide note could have just been Carrie’s way of hurrying Jerome along with a marriage proposal. The community of Strafford and nearby Wayne was united in its support of the family’s pursuit of the murder theory, believing Carrie deserved not to go down in history as the victim of yet another unsolved mystery.

Unfortunately, I have not yet learned what the outcome was to the family’s private investigations. Perhaps, I will come across those details some day or someone reading this will offer some clues. Hopefully there were some conclusive outcomes so that the matter could be laid to rest once and for all and so that Carrie —and her family— could rest in peace.

A bit of Brodhead biography

Robert Sayre Brodhead was my great grandfather Andrew Douglas Brodhead‘s cousin. Robert was the sixth child of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Sr. and Mary Ann Brodrick. (For those who have been following this blog, Robert is the younger brother of William Hall Brodhead who eloped in secret with the much younger Miss Van Tassel, and he was an uncle of Charles Reginald Brodhead who died of lockjaw in 1899. He was a nephew of my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead.)

Robert was married twice. First on 7 January 1885 to Susan Amelia Shoemaker (b. 1860) who passed away; as far as I know no children came from that marriage. His second marriage was to Sarah Claire (“Minnie”) Stafford of Rome, Georgia, sometime around 1894/5. They had two children: a daughter Frances Clyde Montgomery Brodhead (b. 24 Sept 1895) and a son Robert Stafford Brodhead (b. 14 April 1899).

Robert was vice president of an incorporated company that owned various Brodhead coal-producing properties in Colorado (more about that in an upcoming post). The business was a family affair: oldest brother Harry was president and younger brother Albert was secretary and general manager.

In the 1900 census, Robert and Minnie’s household at 132 Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, PA, included son Robert (1) and daughter Frances (3); domestic servants Eliza Reinholt (Michigan-born, 21- in spite of the difference in spelling, I think she may have been Carrie’s older sister who married Charles Dingle), Annie Jennison (Danish, 19), and Delia McCarder (Alabama-born, 60);  Harry Brodhead (52, Robert’s oldest brother), and parents Daniel D. Brodhead (83) and Mary Brodrick (73). Robert’s occupation was listed as a coal operator; brother Harry — a mining engineer; and father Daniel as a ‘capitalist’.

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, 1909

Fuel Magazine, The Coal Operators National Weekly, Volume 14, p. 267, 1909

On 7 December 1909, just over five years after the Reinholtz murder, Robert died at home from endocarditis at the relatively young age of 48. He was preceded in death by his father Daniel Dingman Brodhead (d. 3 Jun 1905) and mother Mary Ann Brodrick Brodhead (d. 5 May 1909), and four of his siblings: James (1850-1863), Elizabeth (1853-1853), Alice (1864-1869) and William H. (1857-1895). He was survived by brothers Henry, Daniel, Albert, and sister Emily.

Robert’s wife Minnie was left a rather wealthy widow, and —from what I’ve gleaned from newspaper clippings— spent her time engaged in raising the children; undertaking charitable activities; visiting family members; overseeing her daughter’s societal debut and subsequent betrothal to Mark A. Cooper of Rome, Georgia; and enjoying trips further afield to places like Toronto, her home state of Georgia, etc. Daughter Montgomery’s marriage to Cooper, planned for October 1919, never took place, however. She ended up marrying a Mr. Barker  and having a son named Peter. Further down the road there was a second marriage for Montgomery–to one Frederick Harris Warner Jr.  I’ve seen no indications thus far that Minnie’s son Robert ever married.

Note: For details on the Stafford family’s history, visit pp. 505-506 of Our Family Circle, compiled by Annie Elizabeth Miller, Macon, GA: JW Burke 1931, available for viewing on the HathiTrust website. Click here.

(NB: Robert may have been named in honor of Robert H. Sayre, who held top positions with the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Bethlehem Iron Works, which became Bethlehem Steel.)

Resources:
Fredericksburg, Virginia Daily Star, 26 Nov 1904
Woodbury NJ Daily Times, 28 Nov 1904
Troy NY Daily Times, 25 Nov 1904
Pawtucket Times, 25 Nov 1904
Philadelphia Inquirer, 25, 26, 27, 29 Nov and 1 Dec 1904
NY Globe and Commercial Advertiser, 29 Nov 1904

P.S. A Victorian house dating back to that era still stands on that street — at No. 211. Built in 1890, it is now a bed and breakfast, and their website has many interior photos posted. Because the house strongly resembles the one whose photograph appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer (26 November 1904, inset), you can easily get an idea of the possible layout of the Brodhead house. Visit www dot bnbinn dot com. BTW, Wayne, PA, is now the official location of this address, not “Strafford.”

Note: This post was pieced together from many press clippings of that time. Initial articles, in particular, seemed to contradict each other somewhat concerning certain details, most notably the number of gunshot wounds. For that, I went with the number uncovered during the autopsy. I suggest reading the articles yourself, if interested, to get a sense of what variations occurred in the press reports and to view the accompanying images. Please let me know if you notice any errors in this piece or have additional information. Thank you.

Categories: Brodhead, Brodrick, Death, Great Valley Baptist - Devon PA, Pennsylvania, Scandal, Strafford, Thanksgiving, US Federal 1900 | 6 Comments

Charles Reginald Brodhead (1886-1899) and a 4th of July injury that spelled disaster

4th of July fireworksAnother sad story, I’m afraid; can’t seem to get away from them. This one dates back to July 4, 1899, a day that was surely a celebratory one for most Americans. But, sadly, injuries that day from toy pistols and firecrackers left a trail of misery for many families whose young boys died or were near death from tetanus within the subsequent two weeks. The area in and around the south shore of Long Island experienced an unprecedented number of cases of tetanus that July, circumstances that were widely reported upon in the NY/NJ newspapers.

This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #7220; image is in Public Domain.

This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #7220; image is in Public Domain.

Tetanus, a dangerous bacterial infection commonly referred to as ‘lockjaw’, can lead to an excruciatingly painful death if left untreated. It was only in 1924 that a vaccine appeared. Coincidentally the cause of tetanus was identified in 1899, and it was around that time that a treatment was developed whereby serum was injected directly into the brain to relieve symptoms. Today we take tetanus shots for granted, often forgetting our booster shots every 10 years. But tetanus was once a real killer.

One of the boys affected was Charles Reginald Brodhead, the 13-year-old son of Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr. and Leonora Hubbard, and brother of Clement P., Maude, Mary Ann, and Lenore. (Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr.’s dad, also named Daniel Dingman Brodhead, was my 2nd great grandfather‘s brother; Daniel Dingman Brodhead Jr.’s brother was the Wm H. Brodhead whose elopement was the topic of a recent post). There are some photos of Daniel and Leonora Brodhead with their three daughters on Ancestry dot com. I have not come across any of their two boys (the oldest son, Clement, died in 1968).

Painted by Sir Charles Bell in 1809; Painting showing opisthotonos in a patient suffering from tetanus (Wikimedia: Image in Public Domain)

Painted by Sir Charles Bell in 1809; Painting showing opisthotonos in a patient suffering from tetanus (Wikimedia: Image in Public Domain)

At the time of the incident, Charles and his family were living at La Tourette Place, Bergen Point, Hudson Co., New Jersey. Charles was injured slightly by a blank cartridge. His wound healed, and he felt well enough to take a steamboat excursion on the Long Island Sound on Friday, July 7. However, lockjaw set in soon thereafter and he was admitted to Bayonne Hospital where he experienced convulsions for several days and was treated with serum, before succumbing to tetanus on Thursday, July 13. He was buried in the Moravian Cemetery in New Dorp, Staten Island, two days later. Note: Anyone researching this family will find Charles’ father Daniel D. Brodhead buried here as well.

Some of the other boys lost to tetanus that summer included:  Joseph Rezhofsky, 13; Martin Breen, 10; Wm. McNulty, 12; Joseph Lavinsky; Samuel Greenburg, 14; Charles Roth, 12; Christian Wm. Ritachel, 15; Gustavus Salinski, 16; Harry Morrisey, 11;  Harry W. Squier, 11; Giuseppe Consumanno, 14; Lionel Briggs; Samuel Charles, 15; John Dowd, 11; and Dominick Stanton, 12.

Sometimes I get the impression that those who die young and/or childless tend to get short shrift when it comes to genealogical research. So I am glad I came upon this information on Charles Reginald Brodhead. The family trees I have seen that include him only contain a date and/or place of birth. It’s good to know what happened to him even if it was tragic. I think it’s important to remember these individuals; their lives were extremely precious to those closest to them; their presence in a family even for a brief time would have created a dynamic unlikely ever to have been forgotten.

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Evening Post, 15 July 1899 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Additional Resources

  • July 14, 1899: New York Times, “Death from Lockjaw in Bayonne“.
  • July 14, 1899: New York Tribune, “Lockjaw Baffles Skill. Boys Die in Agony in Spite of Serum Treatment. Doctors Cannot Cope With the Terrible Disease”.
  • July 15, 1899: The Jersey Journal, obit.
Categories: Bayonne, Brodhead, Brodrick, Death, Dingman, Fourth of July, Moravian Cem Staten Island | 6 Comments

Cupid’s Arrow —> William H. Brodhead

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia - expired copyright - in public domain)

Cupid in a Wine Glass, oil painting by Abraham Woodside, 1840s, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Wikimedia: in public domain due to exp. copyright)

In early 1893, William Hall Brodhead, 35, was a very busy guy who may have already resigned himself to a life of bachelorhood, whether by default or by design. He was living and working in Wilkes-Barre (Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania) and was one of the most well-known and established coal operators in the area. William was from a very prominent Pennsylvania family–Daniel Dingman Brodhead (brother of my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead) and Mary Ann Brodrick were his parents; Garret Brodhead and Cornelia Dingman, and Irish immigrants James Brodrick and Elizabeth Dogherty — his grandparents. (All the Brodheads mentioned in this post were descendants of Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart, original Pennsylvania Minisink Valley settlers.)

Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893)

Major William Hall Brodhead. Credit: “Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894” compiled by Wm Rodearmel (Harrisburg, PA: E.K. Meyers Printing House, 1893); expired copyright

Daniel D. and Mary Brodhead had nine children between 1848 and 1870, and William was child no. 5. Two of his older siblings (James and Elizabeth) and one of his younger siblings (Alice) died young. Oldest brother Henry and younger brother Albert were still bachelors, at 45 and 25, respectively. Baby of the family Emily was 22 and also yet unmarried. Robert, age 32, may have been between marriages. His first wife Susan Amelia Shoemaker, a descendant of Elijah Shoemaker, died shortly after their marriage. He remarried Minnie Stafford of Rome, Georgia, and they started having children in 1896. So, at this point — early 1893 — the only one who had splashed out into post-marriage parenthood was fourth-born, 37-yr-old Daniel Dingman Brodhead, Jr. It looks like he and wife Leonora Hubbard had two of their five children by then: Clement P. and Charles R.. Baby Maude H. (b. 1893) may also have put in her appearance by then.

Any thoughts of competition between the Andrew Jackson (A. J.) Brodhead family and Daniel Dingman (D. D.) Brodhead families with regards to producing grandchildren must have vanished quickly. The two families were very large — A. J. and wife Ophelia had 10 kids between 1843 and 1864. By early 1893, A. J.’s & Ophelia’s kids had produced roughly 30 grandchildren for them, a ten-fold advantage over D. D. and wife Mary’s offspring.

But, back now to William Hall Brodhead. He was a busy guy professionally at this stage as evidenced by his biography published in Portraits of the Heads of State Departments and Portraits and Sketches of Members of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1893-1894 by E. K. Meyers Printing House of Harrisburg (p. 208; I have highlighted the most relevant details in bold):

WILLIAM HALL BRODHEAD was born in the Seventh ward of Philadelphia in 1857. In 1873 removed with his family to Mauch Chunk and from that place into the Wyoming Valley region. Since that time has been engaged about the mines in various capacities. He is a direct descendant of Captain Daniel Brodhead, of the British army, who came to this country in 1664 for the purpose of protecting British interests in the Dutch settlement, and settled on the Hudson river. Two of the Captain’s grandsons came over into Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania, and one of them, Daniel Brodhead, who died in 1754, is now buried in the Moravian cemetery at Bethlehem. His son, Daniel Brodhead, was on Washington’s staff, and the first surveyor general of Pennsylvania. So it will be seen that the subject of this sketch comes from good old revolutionary ancestry. He received his education in the public schools of Philadelphia. Had never held any political office before moving to Wilkes-Barre in 1890, though had taken a lively interest in politics. Six month after moving to the above mentioned city he was delegate to the Luzerne County convention. In 1892 he was elected to the Legislature on the Democratic ticket and ran 350 votes ahead of President Cleveland in his district. He was put on the Committee on Military Affairs, Corporations, Judiciary, Local and Retrenchment and Reform. He introduced a bill creating a Mining institution for the purpose of educating young men in the several branches of mining, to better fit them to become foremen and fire bosses ; also a bill for the purification and improvement of the water supply in the Wyoming Valley ; also a bill providing for the repeal of an act which requires the tax collector of Wilkes-Barre to be appointed, and providing that the office shall become an elective one, to be filled by the votes of the people and bill providing that the funeral expenses of paupers shall be paid by the county, instead as now by the poor district in which such indigent person had a residence. Mr. Brodhead takes a very active interest in the National guard and is now the senior captain of the Ninth regiment. He and his boys did service at Homestead last fall for five weeks. As will be seen by the number and character of the bills he has presented, he takes a lively interest in affairs affecting his constituents, and attends well to the duties devolving upon him as a member.

William was an officer in Pennsylvania’s Ninth Regiment, National Guard, and during the summer of 1893, he attended the regiment’s annual camp. That year it was held in the town of Berwick (Columbia Co.), and ‘lo and behold, during the course of his stay there, he was introduced to Mary Jackson Van Tassel, a young lady of about 19-20 who came from a very prominent Pennsylvania family. The two developed a bit of a friendship that would blossom into something much greater weeks later when William was on a hunting expedition near Berwick and fell very ill. His prognosis was dire, and when Miss Van Tassel learned of William’s illness she went to care for him, watching over him day and night. Cupid’s arrow hit its mark and, thankfully, against all odds, William made a full recovery. Love has a habit of doing that, eh?!

William was totally smitten, and the parents on both sides, no doubt totally mortified by the age difference, worked behind the scenes to sabotage the couple’s young love. This went on for over a year until William and Mary quite obviously had enough and went behind everyone’s backs to be married in secret on December 5, 1894.

Wm Hall Brodhead, image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894

Wm Hall Brodhead, image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894


Even that day, they had been under heavy scrutiny by Mary’s mother who was completely bamboozled by Mary’s race out a back door to a taxi that whisked her away to waiting William. They fled to the Columbia County Court House for a marriage license and then sped to a Methodist parsonage where a Rev. Ferguson proclaimed them man and wife. No doubt because of William’s prominent position in Wilkes-Barre and the two families’ prominence in eastern Pennsylvania society, the marriage made it into a number of papers, including The New York Herald (you can read the article below). Amazingly, another wedding took place that day — that of William’s oldest brother Henry Conrad Brodhead. That wedding provided the perfect camouflage for William to work his plan on his side of the family. With all the Brodheads probably gone to NYC for Henry’s wedding, William was able to jump into action with no possibility of any of his detractors interfering.

After the wedding, William and Mary returned to Wilkes-Barre to await their families’ forgiveness; then they planned to head off to California for the winter.

Tragically, there was to be no happy ending for William and Mary. Whatever it was that ailed him on his hunting trip may have returned in the spring of 1895 for he passed away at home in Wilkes-Barre on 7 June 1895, just three days after his younger sister Emily’s wedding to Robert Honeyman.

But William’s legacy lived on in the form of William Hall Brodhead, Jr. who was born later that year — on 1 December 1895. And, if I’m correct, that child lived to the ripe age of 77. Major William H. Brodhead Sr. was buried in Wilkes-Barre’s Hollenback Cemetery — no doubt a very sad day for all, especially his young wife after just six months of marriage.

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, part 1 (credit: fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 9 June 1895 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Brodhead, Brodrick, Mauch Chunk (Jim Thorpe), Mauch Chunk Cemetery Jim Thorpe PA, Methodist, Obituaries, Philadelphia, Scandal, Van Tassel, Wilkes-Barre Luzerne Co | 6 Comments

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