Col Elliott Fitch Shepard

Col Elliott Fitch Shepard

Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Death 25 Mar 1893 (aged 59)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial New Dorp, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
Plot Shepard Plot
Memorial ID 79410475 · View Source
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Elliott F. Shepard's Funeral.

NEW YORK, March 28. -

The funeral of the late Elliott F. Shepard took place today from the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. The service was conducted by the pastor, the Rev. John ?al?. There was a profusion of floral offerings of more than usual magnificence around the altar, directly in front of which the casket, containing the remains, rested on a raised dais. At West Forty-second street a special boat was waiting to convey the remains to New Dorp, Staten Island, where they were placed in the Vanderbilt vault in the Moravian cemetery.

The Weekly Gazette; Colorado Springs, Colorado
March 30, 1893; Page One.
Jamestown Weekly Alert newspaper, Jamestown, North Dakota
Thursday 30 March 1893; Page 7, Column 4


Particulars of the Death of Col. Elliott F. Shepard, the Celebrated Editor

His Death Due to Odema* of the Lungs Brought on by Taking Ether

The Case a Very Rare One, And the Sad Ending Could Not Have Been Foretold

New York, March 27 - The death of Colonel Elliott F. Shepard, Editor of the New York Mail and Express, who died shortly after 4 p.m., was due to odema of the lungs, caused by the administration of ether by the physicians who were about to perform a surgical operation. A month ago Mr. Shepard noticed symptoms that led him to believe that he was suffering from stone in the bladder. He let it go and did not consult a physician until a week ago, when he sent to Dr. McLane and told him of his suspicion. The doctor urged him to submit to an examination and undergo an operation if necessary. The colonel was undecided at first but finally agreed and Friday was fixed on as the day. About 9 o'clock just before the arrival of the doctor, he

Complained of Severe Pains

and said he thought he would go to bed. The distress he suffered left him soon after and when the physicians and nurses came in he was in good spirits. He had induced his wife and youngest daughters, Marguerite and Alice, to go out for the day. His son, Elliott F. Shepard, Jr., was with him. About 1 o'clock Colonel Shepard said he was ready for the surgeons, and they, with the nurses began the work of putting him under with the ether. He had inhaled the drug but two or three times when the physicians

Detected Dangerous Symptoms

and stopped the inhalation. Colonel Shepard sank rapidly and for a time it was feared that he could not be rallied. Powerful restoratives were administered. At the end of an hour with oxygen he was restored to partial consciousness and he continued apparently to rally until about 4 o'clock. Then, without warning, and for no apparent reason, he began rapidly to sink. The oxygen treatment was resumed, but it was of no avail and at 4:20 he died. He was unconscious and his death was peaceful. The cause of death given by the physicians was odema of the lungs.

Dr. McBurney's Statement.

Dr. McBurney made the following statement: "There was nothing about Colonel Shepard," he said, "to indicate that the administration of ether would be attended danger. Nevertheless of course we took all the precautions known to medical science. Besides Dr. McLane, and myself, my associate, Dr. Theodore Parker, was present and assisted. The patient lay on the bed. Immediately after the first inhalations of ether, the patient gave signs that he was not bearing it well, and he choked and breathed hard and quickly.

Of course no ether was given to Colonel Shepard after the first inhalation, but he never rallied strongly, and never became fully conscious. Once he said something about the operation, evidently thinking it was over. We tried artificial respirations and every possible means to save the patient's life, but all was no effect. The cause of death was odema of the lungs, brought on by ether, of course. I sincerely hope that the public will not rush to the opinion that ether is very dangerous. Of course we never know what is going to happen when we administer ether, in the same way as we never know what is going to happen when we enter a railway train. Ether is ordinarily a safe agent. The statement that Colonel Shepard had Bright's disease is ridiculous. We made a special examination for Bright's disease, and Colonel Shepard had not a trace of it."

Dr. McBurney said he never had a case Colonel Shepard's, and they were very rare.

Funeral Services Tuesday

New York, March 28 - The funeral services over the remains of Colonel Elliot F. Shepard will take place Tuesday at his late home. The Rev. John Hall of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, will conduct the services. Dr. J. W. McLane and Dr. Charles McBurney, the physicians who administered ether to Colonel Shepard denied themselves to all inquiries after issuing a brief bulletin.

Edema (American English) or Oedema (British English), formerly known as dropsy or hydropsy, is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin, or in one or more cavities of the body. Generally, the amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis, and increased secretion of fluid into the interstitium or impaired removal of this fluid may cause edema.

Additional info:
According to the NY times obit, Elliot was born July 1833, was the son of Fitch Shepard. His middle name was Fitch.
Graciously provided by Find a Grave member:
Nahm (#46866330)


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  • Maintained by: Nahm
  • Originally Created by: dm wms
  • Added: 27 Oct 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79410475
  • Bobby Kelley
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Col Elliott Fitch Shepard (25 Jul 1833–25 Mar 1893), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79410475, citing Vanderbilt Family Cemetery and Mausoleum, New Dorp, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA ; Maintained by Nahm (contributor 46866330) .