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Obituaries and Death Notices

The Cairo City Times

5 July 1854-13 Dec 1854


Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois

Transcribed by Darrel Dexter

Wednesday, 5 Jul 1854:

On Friday evening Thomas Walsh, an Irishman, fell overboard from Hart’s boat and was drowned.  His body was recovered the next morning and buried by his friends.


Died on the 1st inst., in this city, Emma, only daughter of Henry and Laura Barzile, aged 6 months.


As the steamer Grand Turk was ascending the Mississippi a few miles above Memphis on Monday evening last, Jesse Stacey, a young man who we learn resides in Williamson County in this state, was playing with a pistol when it was accidentally discharged, the ball passing through his brain.  He died a few hours after his arrival here last evening.


Wednesday, 26 Jul 1854:

Last Monday night a man afflicted with cholera was put off the Oceana at this place and died the same night.  He said his name was John Bowling; he lived in Dangerfield, Texas, where he leaves a wife and two children.  He was on his way to Nashville.             


Wednesday, 2 Aug 1854:

On Tuesday the coroner held an inquest over the body of a man named Ned Dorrington, found dead near the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio levees.  The verdict of the jury was that he came to his death from the effects of liquor and blows received on the body and head.  We have known Ned for many years and we never knew a more whole-souled, truer Irishman, but his great failing was liquor—a failing which has sent many a good man to an untimely grave.  It appears from evidence before the coroner’s jury that on Monday morning, being in liquor, he commenced a quarrel with someone on board the Stranger’s Home and within half an hour was engaged in four or five fights in which he was most horribly beaten.  He was afterwards seen to go over inside of the levee, where he laid down and died.  Thus ended his mortal career—it was terrible, but it was unavoidable.  He was decently interred yesterday morning.


Died on Tuesday the 18th inst., after a protracted illness, Thomas, son of James and Sarah Berry (stepson of Enoch Burress) aged 14 years.  The quiet, thoughtful Tommy has gone to the Great Father above.  Severe and protracted was his illness, yet he bore it with resignation and when conscious of his early dissolution no terror was presented to his mind, only that “he had said bad words.”  Death had laid its chilly hand upon his mortal part.  He foresaw his separation from those around whom his tender affections clustered and from all his childhood scenes, but regretted most that a “bad word” had spotted his soul, a word perhaps uttered in childish thoughtlessness.  He sent for a man of God and as the aged servant poured out his soul in prayer; he gained his knees and feebly murmured the old man’s words.  It was a solemn scene—there in the stillness of the night, that old man and dying boy, singing hymns and offering devotions to “him who doeth all things well.”  Angels looked on and smiled and God Himself was well pleased.  But now he’s dead and although his last words were given in thankfulness for the kindness of his earthly parents, yet we hope, we feel that he has gone to a Father whose loving kindness is immeasurable and whose home is the realm of eternal bliss.  (James Berry married Sarah Doherty on 16 Nov 1836, in Alexander Co., Ill.  Mrs. Sarah Berry of Cairo married Enoch Burress of Cairo, on 24 Nov 1850, in Alexander Co., Ill.)


Wednesday, 16 Aug 1854:

John Larkins, an Irishman, citizen of this place, was found dead among some freight on the wharf boat yesterday morning.  Cause of his death is unknown.


Wednesday, 27 Sep 1854:

Last Thursday night a man named Charley Nelson, flat boat pilot from Paducah, was put off the steamer H. D. Bacon in the last stages of yellow fever.  The hands who brought him off the boat at first laid him on the levee, where they were going to leave him, but were finally persuaded to carry him up to Martin’s hotel.  They laid him on the ground in front of the door and went off with their thumbs to their noses.  He remained there a short time, when Mr. Sam Wilson took charge of him and had him removed to quarters.  He died Friday night.


Wednesday, 4 Oct 1854:

Died on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 1854, at half past two o’clock p.m. at the residence of his mother in Cairo, Ill., William M., son of Mrs. E. Candee, aged 18 years, 11 months and 8 days.  (See Winter 1997 issue of The Saga of Southern Illinois for information from the Candee family Bible.) 


Wednesday, 8 Nov 1854:

Captain Kimbal of the submarine No. 5 died on board the wharf boat Patrick Henry last Friday night of neuralgia.  We were but slightly acquainted with him, but in all our relations we found him to be a perfect gentleman.  After his death, his body was enclosed in a coffin, which was placed and firmly secured in a large box, and this was carefully covered with tarpaulin.  His wife was anxious that the body should be taken for burial to St. Louis immediately.


Wednesday, 29 Nov 1854:

Jo. Spencer, a Negro, was drowned in the river on last Monday.


Wednesday, 13 Dec 1854:

Last Saturday morning an engine started out from Cairo for the purpose of taking a few empty cars up the line of the road.  Before the train passed the engine house, a collision occurred by which Dr. Coldwell, one of our citizens, was terribly and as it turned out, fatally injured.  As this is the first accident of the kind that has occurred since the cars ran into Cairo, we have taken pains to obtain an accurate and exact account of the occurrence.  The train was composed of a few empty freight cars and a boxcar.  The boxcar was immediately astern of the engine and was followed by two open freight cars.  On the first of these freight cars were a few barrels of provisions to be left along the line of the road.  Several individuals, including Dr. Coldwell, got upon this car before it left the southern end of the rails with the intention of proceeding up the road by conveyance.  The boxcar had to be separated from the rest and left upon the switch below the engine house before the train could start.  To affect this the engine was attached on the boxcar at some distance below the switch and passed the switch upon the main track.  The boxcar was also detached from the freight cars and on towards the switch by its own momentum the freight cars following very closely after it.  The boxcar was duly switched off upon the sidetrack and the switch was then turned back to allow the freight cars to pass on upon the main track.  It is known that at every switch the sidetrack runs for some distance, partially within the main track, cutting the main track in an oblique direction.  The boxcar had got upon the switch and was proceeding towards the engine house and the switch had been properly turned to allow the freight cars to pass it upon the main track.  But the latter followed so closely after the box car that they overtook it before it had got entirely clear of the main track, struck it angularly and threw it off.  The speed of the box car was of course lessened by its running upon the curve while the freight cars retained their original momentum.  The car that struck was the one upon which Dr. Coldwell and the others were seated and the former gentleman was thrown off by the shock and fell under the car which immediately passed over him, crushing his left leg and right arm in a frightful manner.  He lingered until the evening of Saturday when he expired of his wounds.  We believe that the above is an accurate account of the lamentable casualty.  Dr. Coldwell was much admired and respected by all who knew him and leaves a wife and a young child to mourn his untimely loss. 

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