Turning Back the Pages

Accidental death theory in doubt

A day or two after the supposed accidental shooting death of Frank Spaulding, residents of the Johnsburgh neighborhood became suspicious and believing that the true story of the shooting had not yet been told they requested that District Attorney Kiley make an investigation at the scene of the mishap, which he did.

Wellington S. Morse, 28, of Brooklyn, was arrested at North River Sept. 6, 1913 on a charge of manslaughter in the second degree. He is accused of causing the death of Frank Spaulding through culpable negligence in handling a shotgun. The arrest was made at the conclusion of the investigation made by District Attorney Kiley and Morse was taken to the County Jail at Lake George to await a hearing to be held Sept. 15, 1913 before Justice A.R. Braley at North Creek. Morse is being represented by Attorney F.V.R. Turk of North Creek.

Morse, admitted that he pointed a loaded gun at Spaulding, first leveling it at his head and slowly dropping it until it pointed at his legs when it discharged. As far as could be learned, there was no trouble between the two that could lead to the shooting, although for some reason that has not been explained, each had armed himself with a gun before the shooting.

There is a story that one of the women present figured in the case and that jealousy prompted the shooting but this can not be substantiated. The women who were present, Mrs. Hess and her companion Miss Sheffer, returned to Philadelphia but are expected to return later to testify at the hearing.

Suspicious forest fire

The Hon. William Cameron of Glens Falls, who is connected with the state Conservation Department, is investigating a recent forest fire in the town of Stony Creek which is alleged to have been set by an aged woman named Clements, who is said to be demented. Considerable valuable timber was destroyed.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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