Obits - NJ - 1888 - Wm. H. Hart

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Obits - NJ - Monmouth - Wm. H. Hart

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A Toll-Gate Keeper Killed

On Thursday afternoon, April 9th, Robert Estell and Caleb Patterson, of Howell, attempted to drive through the toll-gate of the Freehold and Colt's Neck turnpike without paying the toll. Wm. H. Hart, the gate-keeper, tried to stop the horses. He seized the reins and held on as long as he could. When he let go he fell to the ground and the wagon passed over him, inflicting injuries from which he died the next morning.

A coroner's inquest was held Saturday morning and a verdict was rendered that "Wm. H. hart came to his death from internal injuries received while in the discharge of his duty as toll-gate keeper on the Freehold and Colt's Neck turnpike, by being run over by a wagon, to which was attached a team of mules driven by Robert Estell, who was accompanied by Caleb Patterson; that said Robert Estell is responsible for the injuries to said Wm. H. Hart, and that Caleb Patterson is accesory thereto."

The cause of death of Mr. hart is said to have been, primarily, too much whiskey. Patterson's son married Estell's sister, and the latter, assisted by the former, had been removing the household goods of young Patterson to the vicinity of Colt's Neck. they imbibed freely, and were on their way to Freehold in a not sober condition when they attempted to pass the turnpike gate without paying toll.

Both Estell and Patterson were arrested and lodged in jail. Prosecutor Haight refused to admit them to bail, as the verdict of the coroner's jury clearly charges them with manslaughter, and that is not a bailable offence.

Mr. Hart was 54 years old and leaves a wife six children.[sic]

Source: Red Bank Register Wednesday, May 2, 1888