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New Jersey Obituaries - Red Bank Register - May 26, 1897

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Deaths in the News:

Shot His Wife's Lover
David Locker Murdered By James C. Rosier
The Killing Took Place at Shrewsbury, Near the Schoolhouse - Locker and Rosier's Wife Were Returning Home From Red Bank

On Saturday night David Locker, a colored farmhand employed by Joseph Woolley of Shrewsbury, was shot and killed by James C. Rosier, who also lives at Shrewsbury. Locker had been to Red (Bank) and was returning home. Rosier's wife was with him. They got off the trolley car at the Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls Turnpike and started to walk to the Dr. Patterson place, now occupied by Jacob C. Shutts, where Mrs. Rosier was employed. A few steps past the schoolhouse they were confronted by Rosier, who was evidently awaiting them.

"Well, you're here," he said to his wife. Then he had a few words with Locker, and attacked him with a club or some similar weapon.

Blunt Martin, a colored man who also worked for Joseph Woolley, rode to Shrewsbury on the same trolley car. When he got off the car he stopped to light a cigar, and Locker and the woman got a few steps ahead of him. When Rosier struck at Locker with the club or other weapon which he had in his hand, the latter stepped back until he was close beside Martin. Rosier was telling Locker to stand back. Martin saw Rosier strike at Locker three times. When Locker stepped back after Rosier struck at him, Martin saw that Rosier had a revolver in this hand. Rosier said to Martin:

"You stand right still. You ain't done anything to me and I don't want to hurt you."

A moment later Rosier raised the pistol and fired. The bullet struck Locker in the middle of the forehead and he fell like a log. Blood and brains flowed from the wound. Locker lived nearly an hour after the shooting but he did not regain consciousness.

When Locker fell after the shooting Rosier said; "Old fellow, I'm sorry for you; but you caused it yourself."

Martin picked Locker up and saw that his wound was fatal. He asked for a match but Rosier had none. Then he asked Rosier to wait with Locker until he went for a lantern, and Rosier said that he wouldn't. Martin finally went after a lantern, and his errand aroused the neighborhood.

As soon as Rosier struck at Locker his wife went on up to Mr. Shutts' house, which was only a short distance further on. She got to her room and opened the window, and as she opened it she heard Martin say that Locker was dead. She went back to the place where Locker lay, and where her husband was still standing. He asked her to come and kiss him.

"I know what I have done," he said. "I've faced the gallows, and it's all for you."

Dr. James E. Cooper was summoned. He saw Locker about midnight. Locker was alive, but unconscious. He lived for some time, but nothing could be done for him.

Rosier made no attempt to escape. Constable Aaron Tilton was notified and he took Rosier to the county jail. Rosier's wife and Martin were held as witnesses.

An inquest was held at the town hall on Monday afternoon by Coroner Anderson. Most of the spectators at the inquest were colored men, and more than half of the white persons present were boys. The jury were Gilbert Crawford, William H. Conover, Frank Clusey, John Lloyd, Peter Lang and Harry Tilton. Rosier's wife, Martin and Dr. Cooper were the three witnesses examined. Dr. Cooper testified concerning the cause of death, and the condition in which he found Locker. The testimony of Rosier's wife and Martin disclosed nothing different from the facts as given above. The jury found that Locker was killed by a shot from a pistol in the hands of James C. Rosier.

Rosier was a steady, industrious colored man. He was handy with all kinds of tools, and had learned the carpenter trade. He was generally employed at odd jobs. He came from St. Louis to Shrewsbury about seven years ago. He married his wife about three and a half years ago. She was then sixteen years old. Last November she left him and went to work for Mr. Shutts.

Locker was a married man, he having a wife living in the South. He became a lover of Rosier's wife and they were frequently together. She wrote letters to Locker telling him that she would die if he went with any other women, and there was much in the letters that was unfit to print. At the inquest she admitted writing the letters, but said she wrote them only to tease Locker. Rosier had frequently admonished Locker to keep away from his wife, and had coaxed his wife to go back and live with him, but she had refused.

After the inquest Mrs. Rosier's bail as a witness was fixed at $100, and Martin's at $1,000. The officers said that a wife cannot be compelled to testify against her husband, and for that reason the woman's bail was light. Constable James Walsh became her bondsman. Martin has a wife in the South. He is a good steady man, and people in Shrewsbury who know him will probably go his bail to ensure his attendance at the trial as a witness. Otherwise he will have to spent (spend) the next six months in jail.


Samuel Hayes Eustace, son of Agnes and William Eustace, died yesterday morning about six o'clock at his home on Oakland street. He had been sick about a year, but was confined to his bed only three days. The cause of his death was tuberculosis and he is the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. Eustace to die from this disease. He was in his 21st year. He was a member of the First Methodist church and was an usher in the church. He had been employed in Sickles & Clay's grocery store up to about three months ago when failing health compelled him to leave. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at half-past two o'clock from the First Methodist church. The pall-bearers will be William Elliott, Walter Longstreet, VanBuren Smock, William Coleman, Dewitt Carhart and Daniel Wymbs.

Per the Death Notice Mr. Eustace was aged 20 years and 7 months.

Mrs. Laura Reevey died suddenly on Central avenue, at Red Bank, last night. Drs. Brown and Curtis performed an autopsy this morning and found that death was due to embolism, clogging the valves on the right side of the heart. Coroner Anderson, who was present at the autopsy, gave a burial permit. She was about 35 years old and left two children. The funeral will be to-morrow afternoon at two o'clock from the Calvary Baptist church.

Charles E. Stout, Jr., son of Charles E. Stout, a former resident of Manasquan died at Hesbrouck Heights on Sunday of last week of diphtheria. The boy was sixteen years old and had been sick only five days. The body was taken to Manasquan for burial. This is the third child of Mr. Stout's that had died from diphtheria.

Catherine Wells, wife of Richard Wells, who lives at Oak Shades, between Matawan and Keyport, died suddenly on Tuesday of last week. She had eaten her breakfast and was preparing for her household duties when she was stricken with heart disease and died in a few minutes. She was 59 years old.

Per the Death Notice Mrs. Wells was aged 59 years, 2 months and 29 days.


  • Baker - Near Pine Brook, son Monday, May 17th, George Baker, aged 87 years.

  • Clayton - At West Farms, on Saturday, May 15th, Joseph G. Clayton, aged 30 years.

  • Eberhardt - At West Asbury Park, on Monday, May 17th, Miss Catharine Eberhardt, aged 42 years.

  • Grover - At Perrineville, on Tuesday, May 18th, Joseph Grover, aged 80 years.

  • Hunter - At Hamilton, on Friday, May 21st, Seabrook Hunter, aged 42 years.

  • Martin - At Englishtown, on Wednesday, May 19th, Delaplain Martin, aged 84 years.

  • Sickles - Near Marlboro, on Sunday, May 16th, John Sickles, aged 83 years.

  • Stromenger - Near Manasquan, on Tuesday, May 18th, Mary, wife of Frank Stromenger, aged 49 years.

    Wills and Estates:

    Thomas Leonard's Will
    Mrs. Rachel B. White's Will Also Admitted to Probate

    The wills of the late Mrs. Rachel B. White of Little Silver and of Thomas Leonard of Leonardville have been admitted to probate.

    Thomas Leonard left to his wife, Mary A. Leonard, the use of his house and outbuildings, and such furniture and household goods as she should wish, unless it should be for the best interests of the estate that the property should be sold. In this event the executors are directed to provide a home and support for her. Mr. Leonard directed that all advances made to any of his children or money loaned should be paid back to his estate, or the amounts be deducted from the share of each one. The moneys loaned to his deceased son, James H. Leonard, or his children, is to be deducted from their share in the same manner. The rest of the estate is left to the executors in trust to invest. From the proceeds $500 a year is to be paid semi-annually to Mrs. Leonard in lieu of any dower, and enough to provide her with a home should the homestead be sold. The balance of the income from the estate is to be equally divided among Mr. Leonard's children, the children of James H. Leonard to receive what would have been his share. At the death of Mrs. Leonard, or when the executors have sufficient funds invested to pay Mr. Leonard's annuity, the will provides that the balance of the estate is to (be) divided between Thomas H. Leonard, Edward W. Leonard and John J. Leonard, and the children of the late James H. Leonard, who are to have one-fourth. At the death of Mrs. Leonard the money invested for her use is to be divided in the same way. Thomas H. Leonard, Edward W. Leonard and John J. Leonard are named as executors. The will was made on August 7th, 1896, with Somers T. Champion and Theodore Burdge as witnesses.

    The wills of the late Mrs. Rachel B. White of Little Silver and of Thomas Leonard of Leonardville have been admitted to probate.

    Mrs. White bequeathed her house, land and appurtenances on the Rumson Road to her stepdaughters, Lucy E. Atkinson, Alice A. White and H. Jane Lippincott, share and share alike. To her sister, Harriet A. Parker, she gave the use and profits of one-half of the rest of her estate. The other one-half of her residuary estate she left to her three stepdaughters above named, and the half in which Harriet A. Parker has a life right is left to the stepdaughters at her death. Lucy E. Atkinson and Charles E. Lippincott are the executors of the will, which was made January 9th, 1897, with M.H. Parker and W. H. Carhart as witnesses.

    Mrs. Hannah A. Walling has been appointed administratrix of the estate of the late James S. Walling and Smith W. Bennett administrator of the estate of the late Mrs. Jennie Bennett.

    Source: Red Bank Register, May 26, 1897

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