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Obituaries   >   New Jersey   >   October 28,   1896

Dr. William W. Palmer and His Granddaughter, Fannie Palmer, Killed Yesterday-Two Other Persons Injured.

A wagon in which were Dr. William W. Palmer, his daughter, Miss Debbie Palmer, his granddaughter, Miss Fannie Palmer of Keansburg, and William Hance of South Jersey, was struck by a train at the crossing near the Keansburg station about half-past eight o'clock yesterday morning. Dr. Palmer, and his granddaughter were killed and his daughter and Mr. Hance were injured. Dr. Palmer's right leg was cut off below the knee and he received a cut on his forehead. Both of his granddaughter's legs were cut off close to her body. Miss Debbie Palmer was badly bruised and Mr. Hance received a deep gash on his back.

At the time of the accident Dr. Palmer was driving to some houses owned by him near the shore. His granddaughter was on the front seat with him and his daughter and Mr. Hance sat on the rear seat. To get to his destination Dr. Palmer had to cross the railroad track. The crossing is between the passenger station and the freight station. The latter obstructs the view of the track. When they were on the track the 8:15 train from Atlantic Highlands came along and struck the wagon. The occupants of the wagon did not hear the train approaching. It is claimed that no whistle was blown. The wagon was thrown up in the air and was turned completely around. The horse broke loose and was not hurt. Dr. Palmer was carried about 75 feet by the train and he fell along side of the track with part of his right leg on the rail. His granddaughter was thrown some distance and fell with half her body on the track. The engine and two cars passed over her and Dr. Palmer. The force of the collision threw Miss Debbie Palmer and Mr. Hance clear of the track. They struck in some sand between the tracks.

A number of people who witnessed the accident ran and picked the injured persons up. They were taken to the station, but in a short time Dr. Palmer and his granddaughter were removed to the old Methodist church across the street from the station. Both were unconscious. Dr. Palmer died a few minutes after being taken to the church and his granddaughter died about ten minutes later.

Dr. Edward Taylor of Middletown, Dr. O. E. Budlong of Belford and several doctors from Keyport were soon upon the scene and dressed Miss Debbie Palmer's and Mr. Hance's wounds. Later Miss Palmer was removed to her home and Mr. Hance was put aboard a train and taken to the Long Branch hospital.

Dr. Palmer had lived at Keansburg for many years. He was 68 years old and had been a practicing physician until about fifteen years ago, when he retired. He was in good circumstances and owned considerable property at Keansburg. He leaves a widow and four children. They are William Palmer, Jr., Dr. Warren Palmer of Brooklyn, Miss Debbie Palmer of Keansburg, and Charles Palmer, who is at Pennington seminary.

Miss Fannie Palmer was the daughter of William Palmer, Jr. She was engaged to be married in a short time and had her wedding dress all ready.

William Hance is a railroad engineer in the southern part of the state. He was spending his vacation at Dr. Palmer's. He was one of the engineers in the big railroad accident that happened near Atlantic City about two months ago and in which a large number of people from Bridgeton were killed.

The wagon was badly broken. The top was shattered into kindling wood and three of the wheels were demolished. A number of people who were at the station near the track say that the engineer of the train, Frank Vanderbilt of Atlantic Highlands, gave no warning of the train's approach and that this is the usual custom with the engineers on the road.

Coroner John I. Sickles of Navesink impaneled a jury. The jury viewed the bodies and will hold an inquest on Wednesday, November 11th.

Killed by a Fall.

Bowdish Pearce of Manasquan fell from the top of a flag pole to the ground, a distance of 35 feet, at Sea Girt last Thursday, and died a few minutes afterward from his injuries. Pearce was engaged in lowering the top of the flag pole when his foot slipped and he fell. He struck the ground on his left side, breaking his ribs and receiving internal injuries.


Capt. John Murphy.

Capt. John Murphy, who was pilot on the steamboat Orient, which plied between Belford and New York many years ago, died at Port Monmouth on Thursday. He was 77 years old. His death was caused by heart disease. He was born at Keyport and had lived at Belford and Port Monmouth for 35 years. A widow and three children survive him. They are Francis Murphy of Orange, and Mrs. William M. Seeley and Mr. Frank Downs of Port Monmouth. The funeral was held on Sunday afternoon at the Belford Methodist church. The pallbearers were Capt. William H. Seeley, Nathan Brown, J. S. Eastman, Uriah Seeley, Cornelius Collins and Capt. George Hubbs.

Mrs. Elizabeth L. Lawrie.

Mrs. Ellizabeth L. Lawrie died at Freehold on Tuesday of last week. She was the daughter of the late Edward Taylor of Middletown, and was born at Middletown on February 4th, 1816. She lived in Upper Freehold township until about eight years ago, when she moved to Freehold.

Mrs. Jane R. Brown.

Mrs. Jane R. Brown died of heart disease at Belmar last Wednesday, aged 72 years. She was born at Belmar and had lived there all her life. Her husband, John Brown, Sr., to whom she had been married 52 years, and six children survive her.

John M. Shea.

John M. Shea aged nine months, son of Robert Shea of Oceanic, died yesterday of pneumonia. The body was buried at two o'clock this afternoon in Mt. Olivet cemetery at Headden's Corner.

Warren Davis.

Warren, the four-year-old son of John Davis of Little Silver, died on Monday of diphtheria. The funeral was held this morning and the burial was at Fair View cemetery.


  • BROWN - At Belmar, on Wednesday, October 21st, Jane R., wife of John Brown, Sr., aged 72 years.

  • CONOVER - At Freehold, on Tuesday, October 20th, Stanley R., son of Robert C. Conover, aged 1 year and 11 months.

  • CARLE - At Farmingdale, on Saturday, October 17th, Ida Carle, aged 17 years.

  • DENNIS - At Long Branch, on Thursday, October 22d, Garfield, infant son of Charles E. Dennis.

  • KINTZMAN - At Keyport, on Sunday, October 18th, Frank, son of Henry Kintzman, aged 1 week.

  • KRAINZ - At Asbury Park, on Tuesday, October 20th, Otto, son of Charles Krainz, aged 3 years.

  • LAWRIE - At Freehold, on Tuesday, October 20th, Mrs. Elizabeth L. Lawrie, aged 80 years and 8 months.

  • MEIRS - At Lebanon, on Thursday, October 15th, Charles R. Meirs, formerly of Allentown, aged 39 years.

  • MURPHY - At Port Monmouth, on Thursday, October 22d, Capt. John Murphy, aged 77 years.

  • SHAFTO - At Glendola, on Friday, October 23d, Emily E., widow of George W. Shafto of Hamilton, aged 67 years.

  • THOMPSON - At West Asbury Park, on Friday, October 23d, Mary R., wife of Charles Thompson, aged 62 years.

  • WALLING - At Keyport, on Monday, October 19th, Frank, son of Charles B. Walling, aged 3 months and 15 days.

    Source: Red Bank Register, October 28, 1896

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