Sunday, August 31, 2008

mower pleads guilty - shot his wife

I discovered this interesting piece of family history last night while i was surfing around old newspaper sites. It concerns Walter Jabez Mower - he being my my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, his great grandparents being John and Elisabeth (Edwards) Mower. John you may recall from a couple posts back is one of my Revolutionary War ancestors.

First I found The North Adams Transcript of 21 Feb 1899 reporting the following:

Somerville, Mass., Feb. 21. - While temporarily deranged, owing to a severe attack of the grip, Walter Mower of this city shot his wife in the right breast yesterday. The chances are in favor of her recovery. Mower, it is said, has been partly insane for a days [sic] or two, and imagined that there was an attempt being made to send him to an insane hospital. He became more violent yesterday and procured the weapon with which he attempted to kill his wife.

Further surfing brought up an article in the 22 Feb 1899 issue of the Boston Daily Advertiser:

Walter Mower, who shot his wife at their home, 82 Marshall st., Somerville, Monday afternoon, was arraigned in the district court yesterday. Mower pleaded guilty to assault with intent to kill his wife, Addie Mower. His bearing was calm and he appeared very much at ease, no trace of nervousness over his position being apparent. He was held by Judge Story in $5000 to appear before the June grand jury. Being unable to furnish the required bonds, Mower was driven in a hack to the East Cambridge jail. While lodged in the Somerville police station Mower's only request was that he be allowed more air. He was taken into a corridor by an officer and allowed to stand for some time near an open window. For this he seemed very grateful. His bearing throughout has been calm and dignified, as though he was totally unaware of the enormity of his offence.
Mrs. Mower is resting at her home in Marshall st. as comfortably as could be expected. Her physicians say that she will probably recover. Dr. Merrill, the family physician, is in attendance. The bullet which lodged in her neck has been removed safely. Dr. Bell will undertake the removal of the ball under her right shoulder blade. With the bullets removed it is believed her recovery will be a matter of but a few weeks. The operation for the removal of the second bullet will be done with the X-ray to locate the ball.
The Mowers have lived six years an ideal married life. The death of their first-born son two years ago brought them even more closely together. The fact that Mrs. Mower would say nothing as to who her assailant was when questioned in the grocery store Monday was proof of her deep affection for her husband. The Meserves, the wife's family, believe implicity [sic] in Mower's insanity, and yesterday Capt. Perry, the prosecuting officer in the case, was kept busy answering their questions regarding the condition and wishes of the prisoner. For several years the Mowers have lived $5000 a year beyond their income. His health also for the last six months has been very poor. Insanity is known to exist in the family, and only so recently as last Saturday he said to his wife and Mrs. Meserve that he felt at times as though an asylum would be the best and safest place for him.
Very interesting!
Well, not quite sure where all the insanity is in the Mower line, but I'm always open to finding more.... maybe that makes me a tad insane ???

1 comment:

Wennndy said...

As a former journalist, I LOVE those news accounts. They are priceless.

But I must add that in the gym I will keep close watch on you for any unusual behavior, being careful to duck in the event of any sudden movements.