Turning Back The Pages

Tomfoolery proves fatal

Frank Griffin, 18, of Newcomb was accidentally shot by his 19-year-old chum Charles Murphy, near that place Nov. 30, 1911 and with his dying breath absolved from all blame the friend who unwittingly inflicted the wound which he well knew would prove fatal.

The young men were on their way home from Minerva where they had attended a dance Wednesday night. Early in the morning they stopped at Haven’s place, about half way between Minerva and Newcomb, to get something to eat. The place was in charge of a young man named George West, the Haven family having moved into the lumber woods for the season.

The boys were given a lunch and while eating it were having considerable sport in a good-natured way. Finally young Griffin stepped outside and stood in front of a window looking in. Murphy picked up a gun standing against the wall and holding it with one hand playfully pointed it at his chum and exclaimed, “Your money or your life.” Murphy, who had no intention of firing it, was horrified when it went off.

After the shot was fired, young Griffin walked out to his cutter and than back into the house. Murphy did not know that Griffin had been hit until he saw him stagger. Murphy thought Griffin was fooling until he fell to the floor. He asked the injured boy to forgive him and Griffin said, “There is nothing to forgive,” he said. “I was as much to blame as you.”

Arrangements were made to carry the boy home and he died along the way. Funeral arrangements were made from his late home. He was buried Dec. 3, 1911 in the Newcomb village cemetery and there was a large attendance. Young Murphy, who has an excellent reputation, is heartbroken over the affair even though no one blames him. Relatives of the dead youth have treated Murphy with utmost consideration.

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