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Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - James Prest
Died Among Strangers.
Blind James Prest Forsaken by Family and Friends
James Prest, a blind man who was well known throughout the county, died on Saturday a week ago at a house near
Matawan where he had been taken in when he became too ill to care for himself. He was 72 years old and his
death was caused by pneumonia.
Mr. Prest was at one time in comfortable circumstances. He bought a farm at Henninger's mills, in the upper
part of the county, and placed the title in his wife's name. His wife and three children afterward became separated
from him and they are said to be living in comparative luxury at New York. Misfortune overtook Mr. Prest in his old
age and he lost what little property he had retained after his separation from his wife. As age increased his sight
began to fail him and for a good many years he had been totally blind. He drove about the county buying and selling
wood, corn and other articles on which he could make a small profit. For several years he lived at Lincroft and Stephen
VanWinkle of Red Bank went around with him on his wagon. A few weeks ago he complained to a citizen of Matawan that he
was in need of food and clothes. His wants were supplied and he was given shelter in the home of a family named Ruhe.
He was taken sick there and died.
Besides a wife and three children he leaves a sister at Colt's Neck and a brother at Englishtown. They were all
communicated with after he died, but no response was received from any of them and Prest received a pauper's burial.
The body was placed in a vault in Rose Hill cemetery. A day or so afterward Mrs. Prest appeared at Matawan. She
ordered the body taken to the Baptist church and a service was held there. Mrs. Prest professed to be very much
aggrieved over the fact that her husband received a pauper's burial.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Mar 13, 1901
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