A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, August 24, 2012

History: Murder at the Farry Hotel (1870)

The front page of the 3 Sep 1870 edition of The Matawan Journal reported on a homicide that took place in the stables at Farry's Hotel in Matawan on the afternoon of 17 Aug 1870. A protracted argument turned violent when two ostlers (stable hands) came to blows over monies earned watering people's horses. Henry Rohd was angry at a co-worker named John, saying that the monies rightfully belonged to him. The argument, which had gone on for several days, eventually prompted a scuffle in the stables. John gouged Henry's face with a pitchfork, drawing blood, which led Henry to leave the stable and return with a heavy club with which to strike John. Henry ignored pleas of witnesses and hit John in the head. Locals thought John would recover, but he died overnight. An autopsy revealed he had several ounces of blood on the brain at the site of the contusion. Henry was turned over to the sheriff for prosecution.

The 1870 Federal Census shows Henry Rote, age 50, born in Bavaria, living in the household of John Farry, hotel keeper, and family.

Passenger lists show Henry Rohd, age 22, born in Germany, tailor by profession, departed Bremen, Germany aboard the Brig Louise and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on 25 Oct 1842.


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