James Meagher

James Meagher

Death 13 Dec 1888 (aged 37–38)
Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 4, Lot 58 SWC
Memorial ID 95143844 · View Source
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•See James Lindsey Smith.

1885 Minnesota State Census, County of Crow Wing, City of Brainerd:
Meagher     James, b. Ireland, 1849
                 Lizzie, b. Canada, 1856
                 Thomas, b. Canada, 1879
                 Julia, b. Canada, 1881
                 John, b. Minnesota 1883

       Jas. Meagher, of the firm of Day & Meagher, had a little experience last Saturday night while going through the park on the north side in this city. On that night it rained and was rather dark, and when near the center of the park Mr. Meagher was accosted by a man who asked for a match. At first he thought nothing of it, but when a flash of lightning revealed a second party secreted behind a tree he thought something was up and ordered a halt. The man stopped and Mr. Meagher told him not to come nearer, but when he persisted he pulled his revolver and shot at him, repeating the act as another flash revealed the two parties running at full speed. It is about time some of these light-fingered gentry who practice their midnight thieving received a dose of cold lead and they will get it unless they cease their pranks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

      James Meagher reports a fine new boy at his house, whose weight is twelve pounds, and whose birth will date from Wednesday, July 15th. Mother and child are doing well. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

      A little four [sic] year old son of James Meagher came very near meeting with a serious accident on Monday. He attempted to climb onto the ice wagon and fell beneath the wheel which luckily only grazed the side of his head. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

      Jas. Meagher is the last to report but says his boy which arrived Tuesday [05 April] night is a dandy and thinks it holds over anything yet shown up in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1887, p. 4, c. 4)


        A Prominent Citizen Meets an Un-
        timely Death in the Brainerd Yard.

          James Meagher's Horrible Death.

      The news that James Meagher, of the firm of Day & Meagher, had been run over and killed by the cars spread like wild fire over the city Thursday morning. Later developments corroborated the rumor that his body had been found strewn along the Duluth track, east of the Northern Pacific foundry, horribly mutilated. The coroner was notified at an early hour and the remains were viewed by him and brought to Losey & Dean's undertaking rooms, the head and shoulders being the only parts that were not cut to pieces. The first knowledge that a man had been killed was made known by Engineer A. I. Green, who came into the Brainerd yard at 3:35 Thursday morning on an extra, and when near what is known as the Yellowstone switch, he saw something fly up in front of his pilot that looked to him like a couple of cord wood sticks; not thinking at the moment that he had struck a man he came down into the yard, but he became convinced that he had run over someone and went back and found the body as his evidence, printed below, at the coroner's jury, showed. How Mr. Meagher came to be at that place at that time in the morning was a matter of much conjecture, as he was known to be a man not addicted to dissipation, and various rumors were soon afloat, to the effect that he had been lured to that spot and murdered and his body placed upon the track in front of the incoming train, but at the coroner's inquest that theory was dispelled, as the testimony shows, and in all probability in a fit of mental aberration he wandered out to the place where he met his untimely death, as he left Sixth street at about 2 a. m. and was seen to go down to Laurel street and from there to seventh which was the last seen of him until he appeared at the dump where Switchman Russell asked him where he was going and Mr. Meagher replied "home," and not knowing his place of residence Mr. Russell supposed he lived in East Brainerd, and that was the last seen of him alive.
      Mr. Meagher spent the early part of the evening and up to midnight with W. B. Galbraith, a traveling man for Jno [sic]. W. Blaburn, and a friend of his, and they separated, Mr. Meagher going home, as they supposed, and they retired to their hotel and did not know until morning of the horrible fate which had befallen him.
      An inquest was held Thursday afternoon by Coroner J. L. Camp and the following testimony was taken.
      A. I. Green being sworn said: I reside in Brainerd and am an engineer for Northern Pacific road. Was acquainted with James Meagher. Came in on engine at 3:40 a. m. from Duluth. Saw something, could not say what it was, looked like two sticks of wood, did not get good sight of it, was not two feet from pilot when first saw it. Was at the east switch called Yellowstone switch, and lay between coal dock switch and tallowflat switch. Freight train was an extra, engine No. 81. Came into yard and went back to round house. The more I thought of it, I thought it was a man I had struck. I then examined my engine and found blood on front truck. I went to where the object was and found body lying on left of track, outside of rails. His hat lay near his head. Blood on engine was fresh. I had twenty-seven loaded cars. I reported the matter to foreman of yard crew, when I went to round house after leaving train, also to night foreman of round house. Did not feel of body to see whether it was warm. Mr. Lawrence and one other man whose name I did not know, of yard crew, went with us to look. It was ten or fifteen car lengths from where we stopped to speak to Lawrence to where the body was. I reported to foreman of round house when I registered. He took his lantern and said he would go and see who it was. I went directly to my home at head of Ninth street. Could see an object about 40 or 50 feet ahead. Could see an object farther on dark night than on moonlight. I was constantly looking ahead for switch lights and head lights. If I had been looking down at rails probably would have seen the object. Was running eight or ten miles an hour. Body was lying across rails.
      Geo. W. McCormick sworn says: I reside on Grove Street in Brainerd and am locomotive engineer for N. P. company, and was at work switching last night. Was not acquainted with Mr. Meagher. Was somewhere near 4 o'clock when Mr. Green spoke to me about matter. I had been working on St. Paul track and on dump. Saw men going back and forth all night. Saw the body after Mr. Green spoke to me. Saw a man go across the dump at 3 o'clock that resembled this man. Why I knew was on account of his hat and walk. Hat was light slouch hat. He was one-third way across dump when I saw him, going east. Paid no further attention to him. Was at east end of yard when Mr. Green spoke to me. He said "boys I think I've run over some one and wish you would go back and see." Mr. Lawrence and one other got on and went back with Green. I did not go. Saw the body at 6:30 a. m. It was torn to pieces and mangled. Shoulders, part of trunk and head were together, balance of body was mangled. Head and shoulders were 10 or 12 feet from balance of body. Man I saw was alone when he crossed the dump.
      Thomas Russell, sworn, says in substance: I reside in Brainerd and board at Sanborn's city hotel. Am night switchman in N. P. yard. Bought a pair of overshoes at Day & Meagher's last night and saw Mr. Meagher sitting at desk in his store. I went from there to work and at 15 minutes of 12 I went to supper, and when I came back I saw Mr. Meagher standing at corner 6th and Front streets. Two men were with him. Turned up my lamp to see who it was and recognized Mr. Meagher. Was working at dump about 3 a. m. and saw Mr. Meagher coming down path headed towards dump. I spoke to him and told him to keep in the path. I then said "which way now," and he answered something which I understood to be "home." One of the switchmen was standing at the end of the switch and I told him to step out and let the man pass as I was afraid, if he attempted to crowd in he would fall under the cars or, if on the outside, he would fall down the dump. He was alone when he crossed the dump. Did not see him alive after that.
      Then [William H.] Lawrence was sworn and stated that he saw Mr. Meagher at the time Mr. Russell spoke to him, and recognized him.
      W. B. Galbraith, sworn, said that he resided in St. Paul and was traveling man for Jos [sic]. W. Blabun. I was in Brainerd last night and saw deceased. I left the store with him at 9 o'clock and went over town with him and stayed until 12 o'clock, there was another traveling man named French with us. We started for home about 12 o'clock and walked as far as the new hotel with Mr. Meagher. We parted with him and he went towards home and that was the last I knew him until I heard this morning that he had been mangled up. He had few drinks but could not tell that he was under the influence of it. We were walking along with him for company.
      Several other witnesses were examined but nothing new was developed.
      The coroner's jury went into secret session and after deliberating for some time rendered the following verdict:
                  STATE OF MINNESOTA,} ss.
                    County of Crow Wing. }

      At an inquisition taken at Brainerd in said county and state, on the 18th day of December, 1888, before J. L. Camp, coroner of the said county, upon view of the body of James Meagher, lying there dead, by the oaths of the jurors whose names are hereunto subscribed, who being sworn to inquired on behalf of the state of Minnesota, when, how and by what means the said James Meagher came to his death, upon their oaths do say that said James Meagher came to his death in the Brainerd yard by being run over by a Northern Pacific freight train at 3:30 o'clock on the 13th day of December, 1888. No blame is attached to the railroad company or its employees.
      In testimony whereof the said coroner and jurors at this inquest have set their hands this day and year aforesaid.
                                    A. E. TAYLOR,
                                    WM. STEELE,
                                    C. D. JOHNSON,
                                    ADAM BROWN,
                                    BILL ROBINSON,
                                    R. CAUGHIE.
      J. L. CAMP, CORONER.
      Mr. Meagher's death has cast a gloom over the entire city. He was a prominent citizen and universally known and liked. He was a member of the firm of Day & Meagher, and had been in business here for nearly five years, coming to Brainerd in 1882, and he was employed for some two years with Linnemann & Koop. The deceased had many traits of character that commended him to the friendship and good will of all with whom he came in contact. He was a leading member of the board of trade and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was also a prominent member of the Catholic church. Mr. Meagher was kind hearted and generous to a fault. He leaves a wife and six small children to mourn his untimely death.
      The funeral services were observed this morning at St. Francis church, Rev. Father Watry, officiating. The members of the board of trade and A. O. H. attended in a body, headed by the city band with muffled drums. The remains were laid to rest in Evergreen cemetery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1888, p. 4, c's. 5 & 6)

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  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 10 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95143844
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Meagher (1850–13 Dec 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95143844, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .