A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

History: I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded, Keyport (1916)

Hiram and Amelia Walling, of the North Centreville section of Keyport, suffered the loss of a son in a terrible incident on their farm on Sunday 30 January 1916. According to that week's edition of The Matawan Journal, the Wallings' 15-year-old son John left a loaded gun in the barn after returning empty handed from hunting for a chicken hawk on Saturday. The father came across the weapon Sunday morning and put it on some crates in the wagon shed while he fed the livestock. His 13-year old son Alfred found the gun and, playing around, shot his 11-year-old brother Hiram Jr point blank as Hiram came down a ladder from the hayloft. The father came upon the horrible scene, with Alfred crying that he didn't know the gun was loaded. Hiram Jr was lying unconscious in a heap on the ground. Hiram carried his son into the house, where the boy died in his father's arms.

The 1920 Federal Census showed Hiram (64) and Amelia (42) Walling living in Keyport, along with sons John (19), Alfred (17) and Homer (13) and daughter Theresa (10). Hiram and his son Alfred worked the farm while son John was a laborer in a factory.

I couldn't find the family in the 1910 Census.


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