New Jersey Obituaries - October 19, 1898 - Alfred D. Whitlock

A. D. Whitlock's Death

Mysterious Circumstances In Connection With It

A Large Sum of Money Which was on His Person Not Found in His Pockets or at the Tollhouse - His Watch Also Missing.

The case of Alfred D. Whitlock, the tollgate keeper at Middletown, on the Middletown and Keyport turnpike, is developing into a mystery. Mr. Whitlock left the tollhouse on Sunday afternoon of last week with Capt. Letts of Matawan and went to the Hazlet hotel, where he staid all night. In the morning he was found with several gashes in his wrist. He was weak from loss of blood and was taken to the tollhouse where he lived. Dr. Ned Taylor sewed up the cuts and told Whitlock he would be all right in a week or so. Whitlock died about noon on Monday, and Coroner Anderson of Keyport, who was summoned, thought an inquest was unnecessary.

Mr. Whitlock was a well educated man, and he had a horror of being buried in a pauper's grave. In order to secure himself against this, he kept fifty dollars in bills constantly on his person, which money he said was to be used to bury him whenever he might die. At the time he left the tollhouse for Hazlet he had much more than this amount of money with him, and was known to have at least one hundred dollars. A few days before his death a traveler came along the road who offered him a one hundred dollar bill in payment of toll. Mr. Whitlock changed the bill, all but the small change required being from his own money.

When he was taken home from the Hazlet hotel he sat upright in the wagon, and did not have the appearance of one who was weak from loss of blood. After he was taken to the tollhouse he was visited by George N. Conklin, a neighbor, and was asked if anything could be done to help him. He told Mr. Conklin that all he wanted was to be let alone, and Mr. Conklin left him. He was apparently dazed, but was not thought to be seriously hurt; but he was found dead about noon.

Mr. Whitlock had a silver watch with him, as well as the money, when he left the tollhouse on Sunday afternoon. He was apparently in the best of spirits, and he waved his hand and called out to Mr. Conklin, whom he passed near the tollhouse. When he was brought back there was only fifteen cents in his pockets and his watch was also gone. The watch and money could not have been put away by Mr. Whitlock after he returned home, for the tollhouse was searched and nothing was found.

These circumstances have led many of the people of the locality to believe that Mr. Whitlock's death was not premeditated by him when he left the tollhouse, and they think there should be an investigation into the causes of his death and the disappearance of his money and watch. The coroner having at the time deemed an inquest unnecessary, and the body having been buried, it is doubtful if any investigation will be made.

Mr. Whitlock was born near Matawan. In speaking with people of the neighborhood, he had told them that he had a brother and three sisters living. One of the sisters, he said, lived at Brooklyn and the other two at Rocky Hill, in this state. He was very reticent about his brother and rarely said anything about him, except to say that he had a brother living.

Mr. Whitlock's toll accounts were found to be correct to a cent. The sum of $7.05 was found at the tollhouse, and the toll book kept shows that this was the exact amount of toll taken in from the time of his last settlement with the turnpike company to the time of his death.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, October 19, 1898