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MURPHY, Michaell

    Cambria Freeman, 10June1904, Contributed by Patty Millich

Michael Murphy, a widower, aged 65 years, committed suicide at his home near Spangler about midnight last Thursday night by slashing his throat with a razor. Temporary insanity brought on by his broodings over physical infirmity which made him subject to epileptic fits is assigned as a motive for the deed. Dr. Stewart Wheeling who was called immediately after the man had cut himself was with him when he died. Coroner Miller of Johnstown was notified of the affair but upon being satisfied that it was purely a case of suicide, decided to conduct no investigation.

Mr. Murphy was a farmer by occupation but for the past four or five years has been unable to work owing to ill health. His wife died a number of years ago and since that time he had lived with four of his children – John, William, James and Elizabeth – at the old homestead. Recently he had been troubled with epileptic fits or conditions of some kind, which would seize him and last for more than a day and usually leave him in a bewildered and almost insane condition for some days after the attack. Mr. Murphy was the victim of one of these spells on Monday and Tuesday. His condition on Wednesday and Thursday was about the same as it was after each of one of these attacks and for that reason, not much attention was paid to him by his children, who knew that they could do nothing for him and that he would probably come around all right in a day or two.

Mr. Murphy went to bed at about his usual time, 10 o’clock, Thursday night, apparently feeling pretty well. He slept alone and his son, William, occupied the room next to him on the second floor. Shortly after Mr. Murphy had retired the son heard an unusual noise in his father’s room and fearing that another spell had seized him, went into the room, but it was empty. He looked into an adjoining room, but did not find him there and went down stairs in his quest. He was horrified to find his father on the kitchen floor with a gash fully four inches long in his throat and bleeding profusely from the wound. He raised him in his arms, aroused the other children and dispatched one of them for Dr. Wheeling, who arrived before twenty minutes had elapsed but could do nothing for the unfortunate man. He died on the kitchen floor where he had fallen. Besides the children mentioned above, with whom he lived, Mr. Murphy is survived by a daughter, Mary, wife of Samuel Tamp, also of Spangler.

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