Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on August 16, 1896 · Page 10
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version
August 16, 1896

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 10

Publication:
Location:
Logansport, Indiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 16, 1896
Page:
Page 10
Cancel
Start Free Trial

Page 10 article text (OCR)

A Talk With the Keeper of the New .York Cjty flK INCIDENT OF I Identification by Meaos of a Shoe.String—Ijlow the Tide of Stray and priendtejss and, ; Poverty-Strickerv Dead^' - " 1 •' Ebbs and isoe. •, Close to the edge of the East river, in j one corner of the broad grounds of New York's greatest hospital, Bellevue, ' atands a small, gayly-painted, one-story Structure of iron and wood. The doors of this little.house stand always hospitably ajar, and from", time to time a freat variety and number of folk pass throxigh them. As to how many in a year there are who ,do so of their own accord there is no record; but of those whose incomings and- out-comings are fcot voluntary a cnreful tally is kept. They number thousands and thousands ,every year, a.nd they are from all grades of human society; but those who have been poor and in distress and ill and morally weak are vastly in the majority. Many of these go in wagons of one •ort or another, and, no matter how rough the first part of the ride to the little house, the latter part is over the smooth pavement of East Twenty-sixth street, ,and there is no jolting. Most: of me woman "Silas!" she said. •'Yes, : Jane," he replied, simply. The,n 'he nodded to ihe attendant^ mid seemed about to speak, but his word* stuck in his throat.'for a moment, -• • '_ '-.We—have found—what.we have been looking-for," he..said at.lasf, slowly n;nd faintly. ..And then 'they' were.led'>nck In to'the office; There, as soon aJb they had regained cdmposurc, they furnished details corroboratihg-their pitiful story to the morgue keeper, produced certain papers -and 'arranged -the• necessary formalities.before-taking their danph-, ter's .body, away... When this- .was.all accomplished, the keeper turned to me and 'resumed the conversation that had been interrupted by the entrance of the strangers. : ' ' '"•" • • "• '• -.".-• "That's a sad case," hesaid. "It is the old story of man's perfidy and woman's trust. Such cases are not very common them go awayYn a"steamer"that. threads j hOTe -" hc aA(leA ' " for we don't getwany . * , ,, >. .-. :_,-_.»._ women—notonea week, Well, as I was Its way between the. shores and islands of the East river, through Hell Gate and the New York entrance to the sound, and the voyage also is generally quiet, for the waters are landlocked, and so unruffled by rough waves. •' , But the travellers would not care one Jot if the trips were rugged, neither •would .they know about it.- They'are the 'stray and friendless arid poverty- stricken of New York's dead, and after the land ing from the steamer they make no more journeys. For the voyage ends at thatgrewsome, crowded burial place, ihe Potter's field, on Hart's island. The tawdry little building through i which they nil pass is known as the New 1 I saying, we have taken.iti nearly 130,000 [ bodies since the morgue'was established here in 1874: Before that time the dt'ad house was iin City Hall park, with on office in the rotunda of the city hall. Theaccomodations were not good there, We Imd only a shed, heire, at first. But in the present building,.by crowding a little, .we can. accommodate more, than 200 bodies'. The- 'first-six- months the m6fgub''was here we 'h"ad v "l,S77 bodies; In 1875' we got 4;819,. but tire number fell to -3,-748 -in J877: .rAfter- that there was a steady, rise .tU1.1803,< ; w.hen the number was 15,169^. Lastyear there were only 7,487-and,so far.this.year we have York morgue-it is the-ha'lf-vPny houw j re C eIved'4,076:.-\yegetmorerolKsin1he on the last earthly journey of those who spring though.there aremoredrownings are buried in paupers' graves. - ; - ln July, August-and September .than sasssrsus i grisraifissfflsz 1 those It is not friendless, the world voluntarily In a blaze of sensationalism or a mist of despair, or are hcrraej away from earth by the mur- ' 'derer'is hand tti'at th'ii great world hears. But some arevthere. vthat :ih life'hare never Known thtf won't o'f money or •tight that "money"-will'-buy, who are brought into the morgue by the accl- iflent route, and some, too, who faint and die by the wayside suddenly. Of iheae the bodies are generally taken away by pitying, heartbroken friends, and the stories! of/ their fijfal j fortuii*fl are^ spread in print that all inay. read and pity With -thelrlfrlends. But there 'are some no't rescued"from the Potter's" field because of shame or selfishness of friends and kin; and of the thousands every year who pass the morgue perhaps a bare 300-flgure, largely in the public print*. ' '. < ••' .- ' 7 Warm. «ummer sunshine streamed through thrwindows and- fell, in;golden squares on-the -floor 'of th'e morgue a day or two ago. In tlhe yard outside a youth with one arm bound in a sling was playing ball with another youth who was hopping about on one crutch and-one^sorind leg;' When" the latter could balance himself on his foot and then hit the ball with his crutch his face would'-expand into a broad grin. Whenever he of the good one hand succeeded in catching the ball both would yell with delight, and a man clad'in'cheapdenims.-whose head, and face were swathed until only'ili : eyes.and earn and hlH llps.werc visible,': would, clap his hands- •and'-gruntiap* jwovai:-. Just a« tt»e;oripples were at ihe height o'f the game 'a thin and tot-' ierlng old man with white hair and wearing rustic garments, accompanied by a-worn an who seemed to be his wife, hesitatingly touched, him vrith the ban- idaged head on-the arm'and pointed to the painted building. . "Is—Is that the morgue?" the old nan asked, half fearfully. "YepV" replied a voice from between the Bwakhiriga;'"that's the dead 'us; Th'en the' couple' tottered in, aid, •landing before".the little" counter' In •the superintendent's office, faltered out ia pitiful tale. .,:.....,• . -.., The superintendent, whose hair ia like enow and whose .face is like .marble In Its pallor, listeried.atlAntlvelyJ ;Tfce'n lie 'bade/ari assistant.'tftke the poor old couple to another room—a room, one clde of which its always piled to the ceiling with long wooden boxefr—scores and scores of them.. The-woinnri-jhrank :back,as she saw the rough coffins and looked the other way. Then her eyea rested on a lot of curious-looking little doors, web .with a laU)h roach/like that Of an ke boi» door, -ranf«<rtKer on tier along the other side of the apartment. As the looked an* seemed about to reel , »nd iall—perhaps from the, faint, but found in the river,'aod'niq one knows' how or when they got there. .Many are drowned late in the fall and In the winter, but their .bodies don't'rtee. till warm weather sets-In;•.-.Then ,they^come; tip pretty fast, and .we always .'have plenty to do during, the spring months. "There isn't piteni..much.bf interest about' .floaters.'' A good. many of tie'th have been -'canal: boat' supercargoes.' What'does : that ; mean? 1 : WHy; tramps; or^m^n out-of-woTkj'whio' want to-get to '.New .York; ,in the'faJl,', aid .climb' aboard -big-tow«: of •boatB'.at /Albany, sometimes on the, quiet and sometime* fixing ..it up' with. the. captain 'to .lend a 'haM.onice'in awhile in "return' for free jpaaBagei : ' Often such; chaps get fhull and 'fafr'bff-"the tow—maytie b>twe'ea' the "boats. .'-Noboily misses themV- «>r cares lor th'enrlfithey are-miswed, and. no attempt i« made, to- recover •.the bodiee., Of ; couiae, there;;*re an :i Bort8 of men ". among the fioja-ters, beeidea theoe jpobr sticks,' but '.th'erp' 'ia not often much ''about'''thenr ••fa- shov> good clr- cmnatances when we ge't ; theinV ' : Ybu see, the.'-bodies', sometimes iroll" abound in, the arud with .'the- ebb and flow-.of • the tide,; for months, and r eyen'if-their: clothes are rgopd .at ..first,-;'; they. vJook pretty'tough when foim 3. And no mat- ter'how'flne^l'obliliig and strang'ftiniah' maybe'in'life, he'e'not''likely toifibKv tp'Very-well when 'he-gets here. ' '•' 'Terh«ps,"':the morgue'..keeper went on;- VI'm giving, : too much •a-ttantion'..to. the floater.. -They make-up the bulk pf. the' flnaUy. imidentifled, who' are, not so numerous by •'any! means ae. you'd think—say-'200;to 226 1 '-ayear."; " ' Pew'';of ' : the''""ciifiu.al dead" of New- York; -whether-"floaters" or not; havo much money on.them' when -taken to the-morgue,- •'.. -:.••••-; :••-.:•• !:. -.:•-•- -- .; • :.'You;e*e," said the. keeper, "it's this way with the floaters... Mostoftliem are- 'picked up by river .men. of one kind or another—"wharf rats and the like. Now, we don't know whether the bodies have any money on-them-when found or not, We know they don't when they get here, ' fnXh. curious curved-legs. There rhe oor- oners* autopaiee are held, nnd tlicre, too, thie-students of the different -medical -schools that cluster about Bellevuehos- pitairiiave a chance to^practice atd-is- sectinc- th« bodies of such of the unr Identified dead as an? in good condition ajid -of some too, that arc identified whose friends from one ca : use and another can be induced toglve permission^ Not-niaiiiy-frieiids of the penniless who stop- at the half -way honse "tc> the Pot- ter's.-fleld would ever know whether the bodies ,were dissected or : not, as a mat•ter : .Qf fact v; bu,t they say that ^the-, rule of geittin'g permission before dfssection has. never 'yet.been broken;' '"' '• .The "room, where the bodies are kept ia the' largest 'in/''the' building and as' niuch : space' 1s' there'generally taken 'up by .empty cofflna waiting, for Uieir tenants, a«, -by the bodies themselves .lying . tjie elabe behind. the little dooi-s for identification! .'There ie,, be; sidefi,' a place for the preservation of the 'clothlh-g and' 'the 'effects of those whose- bodies have not-'bcen Hentlfled;' 'The office • occupied by. the- keeper; and: his clerk /and • a police officer, completes .the: lietof-roome.. . -, ;; : '. •-'' • .'•.••^; •••••••• .'.-' .. • : "When they coine to us,".soid the. keeper, waving, his, hand'.a.tthe.tiers. of little floors wliich'hid a'. score. 'or more'' of newly arrived; bodies, "we 'advertiee ' them-urid' keep them us long as we can for 'friends, to' identify;' ;-Seventy-two hours 'is about, the. limit in -,the>. warm wea-ther, . but. in. certain cnsas-we have kept, them much ..longer-^sometimea. weeks. , The coroners hold . inquests when necessary and the .friends nia,y tak'e the bodies away if they' wish; Till lately there-have-occasiionfllly been con- .tests. between. the undei-takers for the bodies, and these have resulted- in some mighty, lively scraps here which would •have looked pretty strange to outsiders. But," he added, „"! suppose 'they were all :in the way of business, after all." ' ' : "Twice a week in the winter, 'of tener and sometimes daily in the summer, we ' send the bodies' to burial.- They go on the 'Fidelity;-'' a city, boat which :re- - , placed the 'Hope,' after.it was-wrecked keeper, ; who lx.'gan.- the story slowly, as' if'-.Tansacl \ng "his brain 'chambers lor memory -points,•.wasjV'wage worker/Maybe-he .did-.something better..tihan the work of a common laborer, but, n.ryivay, he wnsn't in very good circum- Bt-anoes. That was plain from the cheap Jrwwes ihls wife and little. >daughter «ore-when they went to the morgue to look for the body. They' seemed very sorrowful. The mother'didrft say much,-but her iK-wl was- bentwith her grief and her eyes \vere filled with.tears. which slue couldn't keep from overflow-. Ing wlrile she asked her .questions, and her'poor, weak hands trembled with ex-' citenient. The little girl said more. "Are you sure, sir," she pleaded,-in her thin voice, staging into the'morguc- keeper's -face- with a. look .in. her blue eyes that tugged hard.nt his heart strings, ."that, you ha-ven!t gpt myjpa.po here? . Because, he, iuu»t'be dead,' ejj5e he would have come hoine to uis a't night;as 'he always'did/ 'My pa'ptt was a good man,- sir, aid'he wouldn't" go away and leave my mamma and me all oloue. He wus too'fond of .us for that. He always kissed us both .when he.went to work in the morning and we always kissed him. And I: would always.rtie his'ihoeji "every morning, and mamma would put up-liis dinner in.his tin pail,.and when he got to -the street.,.corner..he would turn arid wave liis hand to "us at tbc •window. ' We - didrft'-'think we- would never see'him any more, that-morning he.went away in the snowstorm." . And then both child and mother broke do-wn completely and I ehotlldn't wonder if the seasoned old morgue 'keeiper broke down : too. -But'at all events-he was forced to tell the twain that the body of -the -husband atnd t ather.was not there, and-on many successive days-he hn<3 to repeat the negative answer. For they kept- coming, sure "that sometime they would find what'they sought At first their'visits were almost; daily, then weekly.-then at-longer intervals. One dii y there wns brought in-from the river-a floater. -It-WHS. in. tie, spring', perhaps a yaor. after the mother: and her, little eM had made the first call. or We fitl glasses;to relieve headache. Dp your : ey es waiter^ Do letters bluKwIiile read-"'; in«r?; if you have any trdublejwith your eyea; ' •.-•.-•.•. '- — -<l- J. U TAYLOR, Gradpte : Optician, GRADUATE: j Dr. King's School of Optic*. Tiie Cbicago Optlmlmtc College. Cookburn Brothers' Office* Rooms 2Sand 3 Spry BaildlnQ,; : " Write Fire Insurance In companies that pay losses promptly. Sell you a Life Insurance Policy contract, in. a 'first-class company, .that.. cannot; be Improved. • . • . : We can' dispose of your property if listed' with us at a fair value In a short time. '',*''.' We have all kinds of property to sell or trade. ' • Money to loan on farm or city property In any amount from $200 op, Make your wants known by consulting \' . .1 Qockbur^ Brpthers, Real Estate, Insurance and Loans. ' '' ' "' ' ' '" '"'" Rooms 2 and 3 Spry Bulldlpg, LOGANSP0RT, IND . ' „.,",-' , I'HEi.GpEWSOME some years ago. 'Hope' <s a queer name for a steamer that carries- 'paupers' to burlal-7'' : Welli that depends oh-h6w yoix look; at it,; At the, island the bodies' are 'Let's see," he went on,, meditatively, "the last body Wgot with much'money on, 'came soine years ago,' and : itwas not •froih- '<hoTiver'."''Th'en he'turnecl'to hla tecortl : -'»Kxnm '.oi Deoenaber'lO, 1889. W.:J: Pattersonwa« found-'dead: in a lodglngi.-houso;- ai.: 262, .^Bowery; with' $464^0 in .the pockeib besides a comb, a motol tiox, a" cigar-cotter,- icriife,. sciir. Bori;' pin.,'anid yario'irt -papers. "• KotJ'onl^; but many are aJrSoet wi'thott*clothing. • trenohefl'.-b'e^gi.ten.feet deep, know.'haw many [bodies'the island .b'iry;' Ing. : gr<iund would bold "but thfey decay fOpidiy 'therev'as ive •have j fduhd when taking them up, and so'! suppose the ipace; i» practically^ Inexhaustible : for OUT.purposes. -:,:• ..• •- •:-"•." -'•' ;.•-.' ' ' i VMany bodies, particularly those that, ore badly mutilated, .arepho/tographed before•;'they are taken away' ari^ 'the. photographs^ •preserved. '• The pictures are 'token'-by 'the Bellevue ph'bto'grapheT and 'he has been at-it''for .many- yelarB'.' We are :in ; :olo«e communication at all times with the police -and the:coroners' and, of cpurse,,they are, always notified. and so are we-,wheneyer a,person. is reported missing, so that we "may look for him here. ... "All thiB.seeme. to be .very .ma-tter of fact whea I tell it?.' 'Yes, L it does, and wihy not?' It's been my" buslneas to. look upon thc'handling, of the bodies Of the .'stray' and friendless.dead aa a com-, monplaoe .thing for many years. If'.I didn't look, at it' that 'way maybe I'dJ get so blue'rdjhave 'to'give It up, tod. some one 'his- to; attend .to it. '.StUl',,' 'things .biften- happen hero thit to one; not Reasoned, woull aeem startlin'g'aid pathotic. 1 But'juost of thcee things, like theidentlflcatibnof the betrayed doughr ter's body, by the old couple, this'morn- ing, slip out of my niind.' You know I have a lotJ.'of ratine "matfers'to'.!think of''and these r crowd\bnt the' details'iol single' Indlvidxial-ca«es-a« a rule," Bo long had' the"body been in the water that nearly all semblancfc of 'human, thape was gone; .'one-^dt-the : leg» : ivaa. missing, and. the ..trunk was, buried three,deep,'150 in a,trench, the while.of the clothing there was. only a •-•-••••'•••• -•-.•-. -••''— • - --^--.i- part/-n wa8 ' n ecessary, Irideed',-.tosend what little ,t,hero was ol-fche'.body. to Potter.'s fteld,-at once(,>ut the.clotihing,', including; one, shoe, was preserved^, ac• soriiingr to..custoro.. ,A few,d(iy.B,late* the"n3oth : er 'and her daughter, whciei best' friend had'last-been seen'by them in'the.whirlltig flakes' of thfisnowBtorm" came into the morgue. - f By -this--time their sorrow had been somewhatidtiHed,- but .they had not-given up-the. hope,of proving-to themselve8;thot.thejnisBlng r man had not deserted.them... The.dead- hbuse. employe* showed, the clothing of,' the'latest: flbatifer''to the woman'and'tb«; iehild aid the'-fearB and hopes Of the searchers were'at once confirmed.'- • ' "Xhat'u my> papa's shoe,"aald the pcor child,-her voice .breaking intoconvulsiv*- sobs. - "Every morning I ti«d .them-in- a curious.llttle, knot he taught me .how .io tie hlinsejf.' ''.Gee, mamma,'! she cried, "it's the. same" iriiotr-rno one but;papa and mei'ever tied that kind of a bow, Poor,• poor! p'apn-^he 'is dead^-dead^ mamma—<3o you hear;? But he never ran-a/vyaxfrom us.-;: He loved, u* mnm-. jriftias'lpng^aB he,liveid; >t .r,; ,.\, :-',. •---••-'•" •••••••••- 'yjig hientlfioatloa ffool and; Iron Pumps at; W&olfiSide; Prices, Six ft Wooden Pumps with Polished Iron or Porcelain-lined CylInders.$2.BO SU. ft Wooden Pumps wltn 3-Inch Cylinders for 1% Iron Pipe. ..... -$i<X> .. ; Large Cistern Pumps 6.ft long ---- ............ .... ............. ..$1.94 ' The : a'bove pumps are 0 Inches square. SmaU Cistern Pumps B lnche« square and 6 ft long. ....... . . ....... JI-61 ,. Iron Well Pump with 3-lnch Cylinder for 1%' Pipe; . i . . .' ...... ..... • . J2.75 Also all kinds of pump repairing do ne. by. J. TEL. I I I. (Mutual.) 408 Fourth litrf«t, LQCANSPORJV Icte on Broadway, Market, North, High, George and Spear streets for sal* . on very ttwy terms: Parties desiring to build can buy lots on time and n»e money .for. building. : :• • • ' ' -• ; I can sell yxm Improved city property or farms. Two bouses to trade for Vacant lots; Money to loan. , : . Joe T. FRANK BEAMER, Prop. The Vendome. will be refurnished and made the finest Cafe in the city. This restaurant IB equipped with all tb e modern imprOTemerits. Plenty, of electric fans to ; keep all cool while eatin g. ' Meals on short notice. Erery thing the market affords In season. ' . , iuljacient?*• '.i' aa. wien he ''had : flnl^hfed the 'etory' and ci«*red his-'throat •""**" .' ""•-"-"^ ' ''•'' ''''" •OTM,"-' : was' : 'the : :rspl'y. "Why not? : *vS|^med- pYobablyJ.; correct, :aod>-tbJe •|notoer;-,iBid .girl .had::no-tarproper.:JncK pathos tiai'-aay ! '6*h*t I re^v '' Then tendant turned the handle ot om of the doors and opened It. Within, the head nearest the door, a young woman's o>ad body was plainly'risible. Slowly.,1ba* tonM^h'^r^arfc^u^pSTtiA ^t^L±^fsfi^f'£*t..-r^*.^£t.,,*;;vn fl«ed with o^»e«r white CLUBHOUSE: No. 5*7 BROADWAY

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page