Turning Back The Pages

Man killed in ditch cave-in

Lawrence Murdock, 37, of Warrensburgh met a horrible death at about 11 o’clock forenoon Nov. 13, 1911 when he was in a ditch about seven feet deep on the lawn of the Lewis Thomson estate on Main St. Murdock was stooping in the ditch connecting a pipe when a ton of dirt suddenly caved in covering and crushing the life out of him.

Murdock and three other men were laying a sewer pipe on the Thomson property and the other men were working nearby when with no warning the earth caved in from both sides and he could make no outcry. When fellow workers heard the rumble and saw the covered ditch, they knew what had happened and dug frantically.

It was 15 minutes before they could reach Murdock and when his body was brought to the surface, they found his life to be extent. There was no hope of resuscitation. Dr. J.M. Griffin felt that death must have come almost instantaneously from suffocation as there were no bruises on the body or any sign of a struggle.

The body was taken to the home of Lindsey Murdock, brother of the deceased, with whom he resided on the old Dr. Howard place, a mile north of the village. He is survived by three brothers, Lewis, Henry and George Murdock and one sister, Mrs. Everett Williams.

Murdock was a faithful member of the Baptist Church. He was converted during a series of revival meetings last winter.

(Note: The Lewis Thomson estate at 3921 Main St. is today the Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast, owned by Doug and Louise Goettsche. Dr. Eliakim W. Howard moved to Warrensburgh in April 1837 from Fort Anne and lived in an old farmhouse a mile north of Warrensburgh. In 1840 he built the house now owned by Peter Haggerty at 3820 Main St. An Italian villa style home was later built next door for his son, Dr. Daniel B. Howard, who graduated from Albany Medical College in 1865, when he came home to Warrensburgh to be a partner in his father’s medical practice. Today that house at 3822 Main St. is Seasons Bed & Breakfast, owned by Eileen Frasier.)

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