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Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - Pauline Johnson
Deaths To Be Investigated
Two Deaths at Branchport Under Suspicious Circumstances
The death of Pauline Johnson, which occurred at Branchport on October 25th, is thought suspicious by people living in the neighborhood and the matter has been referred to the prosecutor's office for investigation. Pauline lived with her mother at the home of her sister, Mrs. Henry Butler. She was about fifteen years old. On Tuesday of last week Mrs. Butler's daughter, aged four years, died suddenly. The death of the child, following so closely upon the other death in the family, increased the suspicions of those living in the neighborhood and the matter was reported to the authorities.
Coroner John T. Tetley of Red Bank made an examination in both cases at the time of the deaths. Dr. John W. Bennett of Long Branch was the attending physician. In Pauline Johnson's case death occurred before the doctor arrived. He refused to give a burial permit under the circumstances and Coroner Tetley was notified. After making an examination of the case and consulting with Dr. Bennett Mr. Tetley gave a burial permit without deeming an inquest necessary.
Mrs. Butler's child, which died on Tuesday, was attended by Dr. Bennett several times before its death. He was satisfied as to the cause of death but owing to the talk there had been about Pauline Johnson's death, and about the family in general, he thought it best to have an examination made by the coroner. He accordingly summoned Mr. Tetley and an examination was made. Dr. Ely Parker was also called into the case and acting upon the advice of the physicians, Coroner Tetley gave a burial permit without holding an inquest.
On Wednesday William H. Ely of Branchport called at Coroner Flock's office at Long Branch and called attention to what he said was the suspicious character of the deaths. He said that his mother-in-law had helped prepare the Johnson girl for burial and that she thought everything was not exactly right. He also said that neighbors in the vicinity believed that the second death was suspicious. Coroner Flock was at Allentown at the time and his partner, T. E. Heyer, requested Coroner Edgar I. Vanderveer of Freehold to make an investigation. Coroner Vanderveer went to Branchport but as soon as he learned that Coroner Tetley had acted in the matter he refused to take any part in the affair, but reported the case to the prosecutor.
Coroner Tetley is satisfied that there is nothing crooked in either case, and he says he acted on the advice of reputable physicians. Jealousy on the part of the Long Branch coroner is thought by some to be the cause of the trouble that is now being made over the affair.
Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Nov 20, 1901
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