Sudden Death On The Road To Williamstown – January 1877

With winter in full swing, we look back to an incident on the road between Williamstown and Wiconisco that proved fatal for one resident of Williams Valley.

Sudden Death –

On last Friday night a sleighing party from this place going to Williamstown, met a person in a sleigh coming in the opposite direction, near the residence of Hon. Daniel Keiser. It was noticed by the party that the person was somewhat unsteady and apparently under the influence of liquor, and remarks were made concerning this fact.

When near Williamstown, the party observed that the horse and sleigh they had met a few moments before were following them without a driver. A halt was made and the horse was caught and taken to a public house in the town, from whence a party returned immediately in search of the missing man. He was soon discovered lying in the road where he had fallen out of the sleigh.

He was recognized as a man named Jacob Grush, a plasterer, and taken to his boardinghouse in Williamstown. The following morning he had failed to make his appearance at the breakfast table, when the family, becoming alarmed, repaired to his room where they found him quite dead in his bed.

On Saturday afternoon David Reinoehl, Justice of the Peace, held an inquest on the body of the deceased. The jury composed of J.C. Holwig, Daniel Hopple, Henry Workman, John Hawk, Henry Messner and George Ford, returned a verdict “that Jacob Grush came to his death at Williamstown on the 12th day of January, 1877, by suffocation – caused, intemperance.” Grush’s remains were taken to Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, where he formerly resided.  

Take alcohol, add a horse-drawn sleigh, and the results are predictable.

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