Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - Frank S. Perrine

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Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - Frank S. Perrine

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A Barber Takes His Life

Frank S. Perrine of Middletown Commits Suicide

He Fired a Bullet Into His Brain While Lying in Bed Last Friday Morning-Apparently Intended to Kill His Family First

Frank S. Perrine, a barber at Middletown, committed suicide on Friday morning by firing a bullet in his brain while lying in bed. The act was the climax of an all-night quarrel between him and his wife, in which Perrine so lost control of his temper that he acted like a madman.

Perrine lived in part of the old Hendrickson hotel at Middletown. He moved from Manahawkin about three months ago. He conducted a barber shop in the front room of his apartments, and his family lived in the rear with sleeping rooms overhead. To the patrons of his shop and to those whom he met generally he was extremely pleasant and agreeable, but in his home life he was just the reverse. He was disagreeable and ugly toward his wife and there was discord and strife between them continually.

On Thursday night he was in a particularly ugly mood. The family retired early, but a tirade that Perrine had commenced against his wife was continued after they got upstairs. Mrs. Perrine told a REGISTER reporter that Mr. Perrine was in such a passion and his attitude toward her was so threatening that she did not close her eyes the whole night long. Remarks that Perrine made led her to believe that he contemplated taking her life and the life of their children and then killing himself. All night she was in mortal dread that he would put his threats into execution.

Perrine was up and around his room and up and down stairs until past midnight. His daughter, aged about four years, slept in his room until midnight, when Mrs. Perrine took the child in her room. About five o'clock in the morning Mrs. Perrine was startled by a pistol shot from her husband's room. The shot was followed by moans and cries of anguish and Mrs. Perrine ran out to the street for help. Edward Johnson, who lives in another part of the hotel building, had been awakened by the shot and when Mrs. Perrine told him that her husband had shot himself he went for Dr. D. D. Hendrickson. When the doctor reached the house Perrine was dead. Blood was flowing from a bullet wound in his temple. He was partly dressed and was lying across the bed.

Mrs. Perrine firmly believes that her husband contemplated killing her and their two children before taking his own life. When he went to bed that night he insisted on every window down stairs being fastened, a matter to which he usually gave no attention whatever. He also made Mrs. Perrine put down all the windows upstairs and close doors that were ordinarily left open. Mrs. Perrine thinks he did this in order to prevent outsiders hearing what was going on in the house, and also in order that she could not escape him should she undertake to flee. Mr. Perrine was very anxious for his wife to get to bed and get to sleep and when she insisted on staying up his temper became more violent than ever. Mrs. Perrine believes that her staying awake was all that saved her life and the lives of her children. She thinks her husband was only waiting for them to go to sleep to put into effect the deeds which he had vaguely threatened.

Perrine was 36 years old. He was born at Vincentown, New Jersey. He was the son of James Perrine and his aged parents are now living at Mount Holly. Ever since he was a young man he had been engaged in the barber business. Business at Middletown was not as good as he expected it would be. He was despondent over his business prospects, and this, coupled with domestic unhappiness, is thought to have prompted his rash deed.

Besides a father and mother he leaves four brothers and a sister. He had been married about five years and his wife is only about twenty years old. The two children, a boy and a girl, are neither of them old enough to realize the seriousness of their father's death. Mrs. Perrine and her children are left entirely unprovided for, but they will have a home for the present with her husband's parents.

Mr. Perrine's funeral was held at the house on Sunday afternoon and was conducted by Rev. Robert Pendleton. The body was buried in Fair View cemetery.

Coroner John T. Tetley of Red Bank was notified on Friday morning but as the case was unquestionably a case of suicide he did not deem it necessary to put the county to the expense of an inquest.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Sep 4, 1901

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