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Murder in Tupper Lake

July 7, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The following stories are taken from the big scrapbook created by E. L. Gray, a prominent businessman in Saranac Lake during the last century. It is great that we have the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library where these pieces of local history can be preserved.


The Adirondack Enterprise, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 1915:

Article Photos

I was surprised to find this obituary after carrying the story of the death of Mrs. Toof in this column on May 19. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Wardner, had been married to Herman Pralwitz who died, married Mr. Toof, and then she died of a blood infection at age 41 in August 1914.

"If John Morrison, who shot and killed Ezra Alpert in the Franklin Hotel in Faust Saturday afternoon and then attempted to take his own life, recovers from his self-inflicted wound, the mystery which surrounds the cause of the double tragedy at Tupper Lake Junction may be solved. Otherwise it will probably never be unraveled.

"Alpert, shot down from above as he was mounting the stairs to his room in the hotel about 6 o'clock, fell backward to the floor and crawled a few feet, dying in his own blood. While the startled crowd was still gathered about his body a rifle shot upstairs lashed out and men ran to Morrison's room to find him writhing in agony, shot through the left breast with a ball from the same rifle that had been used in the killing of Alpert.

"Morrison is 42 years old and Alpert was 22. The older man had been drinking, according to testimony given before Franklin County officials, who, summoned to the scene, sought to clear up the motive for the crime. It was by no means established by this testimony that Morrison was drunk, however. So far as appeared in any of the testimony taken Sunday and Monday, when the inquest was adjourned pending the death or recovery of Morrison, there was no bad blood between the two men."


Obituaries were part editorial

Adirondack Enterprise, Friday, Dec. 25, 1914:

"Mrs. Rachel Wardner, widow of the late Seth Wardner of Rainbow Lake, died Tuesday in Malone. The funeral, which was held from the family home near Rainbow Inn, was largely attended.

"Mrs. Wardner was born in Essex County, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abijah Reynolds, who later lived in Franklin County. She was a domestic in employ of the Wardner family for many years. Her marriage to Seth Wardner, which took place late in the lives of both, caused much surprise when it occurred. Mr. Wardner at the time was 74 years of age and his bride was 58 years old. The wedding took place about nineteen years ago and it was but four or five years later that Mr. Wardner died. Mrs. Wardner was always a wholesome, faithful friend to those in whose homes she lived and to those who became her relatives by marriage.

"Mrs. Wardner was nearly eighty years old when death came to her. During the past few months she lived at the County house in Malone, and it was there that she died. Mrs. Wardner had conceived the idea that she would like to live at the County house. She made application for admittance, and in spite of the importunities of relatives of her late husband, she insisted upon going. She was childless."


Other death notices

From The Adirondack Enterprise,

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 1914:

"Mrs. Flavia Sawyer, who died last week at Keeses Mills at the age of 100 years, passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Frank Blanchard, and not at the home of her son, Mose Sawyer, as was stated at the time of her death. Mrs. Sawyer had resided at the home of her daughter for a year."

Friday, January 1, 1915:

"Bloomingdale News Funeral of Orrin Flanders, Well Known Resident, His death took place at his home last Monday and his funeral was held from his home on Wednesday. He leaves five sisters, Misses Lydia, Helen and Hannah Flanders, Mrs. L. Lennon and Mrs. George Martin and three brothers, W. B. of Bloomingdale, Warren of Saranac Lake and Ira of Plattsburg."



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