|Birth: ||unknown, Spain|
|Death: ||Jun. 25, 1939|
Ferdinand’s cremated remains were never taken after his death and are still available at the Oregon State Hospital to be claimed by anyone who is related. More information about unclaimed cremains at OSH is available at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/amh/osh/pages/cremains.aspx A book by David Maisel and a documentary by Ondi Timoner & Robert James, both entitled "Library of Dust" also provide more information.
He was born in the late 1870s in Spain. His parents were Joseph and Manuela Herndanez. About December 1912 he began teaching Spanish at the LaGrande Business College in LaGrande in eastern Oregon.
In Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon in March 1913, when he was 34 years old, he married 16 year old Emma “Ruth” Burnett of LaGrande. Her parents reluctantly consented to the marriage. Ferdinand and Ruth lived in Portland, for a couple of months. They reportedly argued frequently and at one point she spoke to the local deputy district attorney about her fears. In May of 1913 Ferdinand and Ruth moved to Astoria on the northern Oregon coast where he had gotten a job as a cigar maker at Lankester’s Cigar Store.
About a month later, on 6/6/1913 in Astoria Ruth died from a stab wound to her chest. Before she died she said it was self-inflicted. She repeatedly said, “I did it. I did it.” Physicians were of the opinion she could not have inflicted the wound because of the force and angle required. Ferdinand reported she had fallen on his pocket knife while she was cutting bread. He also said she had been cutting bread against her chest and accidentally stabbed herself while they were eating dinner. Before calling the doctor Ferdinand cleared the dishes. She died 3 hours later. It was alleged Ferdinand was jealous of Emma’s former boyfriend. In the house the police found a letter from Ruth to Ferdinand in which she denied his charges that she had been unfaithful, but that she was going to divorce him. Ferdinand was arrested for her murder. He was tried, testified on his own behalf, and judged to be NOT guilty after the jury deliberated for 4 hours.
He spent some time living in Livingston, Montana. In September 1929 he was admitted from Yamhill County, Oregon to the Oregon State Hospital, a residential facility in Salem, Oregon for the treatment of people with mental illness. He was reportedly paranoid. On 6/25/1939, after being a patient at the institution for almost 10 years, he died there of tuberculosis.
Emma Ruth Burnett Fernandez (1897 - 1913)*
Oregon State Hospital
Maintained by: Phyllis (Porter) Zegers
Originally Created by: Reggie Sutton
Record added: Mar 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 86707879