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Dr William Chester Minor

Dr William Chester Minor

Birth
Death 26 Mar 1920 (aged 85)
Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
Burial New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Plot Section: Path H, Plot: 13 Front, Grave: 1 
Memorial ID 9991 · View Source
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Criminal, Education Figure. A Yale Medical School graduate and Civil War veteran, Dr. Minor vacationed in England after his discharge, hoping to relieve the paranoia and delusions which had haunted him in his military service (during which he may have branded apprehended deserters). On the morning of February 17, 1871, he shot and killed a brewery stoker named George Merrett, and after trial went to the Asylum For The Criminally Insane, Broadmoor. There he painted, played flute, and amazingly enough, befriended his victim's widow, donating money to her and her seven children. Circa 1880 he answered a call for contributors printed by Dr. James Murray, mastermind of what eventually became the Oxford English Dictionary. Dr. Minor, from his two-room cell lined with books and periodicals, contributed voluminously to the O.E.D. starting in 1885, although in December 1902, he performed a gruesome act of self-mutilation with a pen knife entrusted to him for paper-cutting, and found his literary efforts somewhat curtailed. Accompanied by his brother Alfred, he sailed for the U.S. in 1910, spending several years at St. Elizabeth's hospital in Washington D.C., and his last years at the Retreat hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, near the rest of his family. Simon Winchester's study of Minor, Murray, and the O.E.D., "The Professor And The Madman," appeared in 1999.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9991
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr William Chester Minor (22 Jun 1834–26 Mar 1920), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9991, citing Evergreen Cemetery, New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .