Part 771h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Mystery of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes – 1854 – She Was The Cook!!!

29 September 2012

Good Day,

Now I really feel like I am delving into the depths of a cold, cold, cold case. Genealogy, the research and the search is definitely a “hold-your-breath-I-can’t wait-for-the-next-clue”.

We just received our next installment into the Mystery of the death of great-great-grandfather Audley Holmes. With the help of the Luzerne County Historical Society today’s mail provided a number of key newspaper clippings relaying additional information of the murder of gg-grandfather Audley.

From Page 2 of The Luzerne Union, dated Wednesday, December 13, 1854, one day after the affixed date of gg-grandfather Audley’s untimely death, see Part 770h,an article titled “Mysterious” provides us with some more insight.

And now the Mystery begins like a thriller novel... “On Monday about two o'clock, Mr. Ally Holmes...” Check that out. Great-great-grandfather Audley was also known as “Ally”.

We now know that he was “a contractor on the Lack.(awanna) & Bloomsburg R.R. (Railroad).” Does this mean that he could have been a Carpenter Contractor? From my sources “Construction began in Scranton in 1854. The first line ran from Scranton to Kingston, a distance of 17 miles (27 km), and opened on the morning of June 24, 1856.

He “left home in company with the cook, Margaret Burk...” She was The Cook! She had his gold watch! See Part 739h where we were introduced to “The circumstance of his gold watch being found in the cook's possession...

The mystery continues... “The woman came home with the horse and sleigh, but Holmes was not with her.” Ta-ta-da-dum... (Here's where the ominous music reaches the background and gradually strains into our ears.) “On Tuesday morning his dead body was discovered under the bridge across the river, between the toll-gate and the first pier.” Where's TSA when you need them?

This Luzerne Union's article provides a number of additional facts... and conjectures.

Here is my highlighted copy of the story “Mysterious”.

And my transcription –

The Luzerne Union
Wednesday, December 13, 1854


On Monday, about two o’clock, Mr. Ally

Holmes, in the employ of Mr. Tamany, a con- 

tractor on the Lack. & Bloomsburg R.R., left 
home in company with the cook, Margaret 
Burk, and come to Wilkes-Barre, for the pur- 
pose of getting her trunk, which was at the 
house of Charles Westfield. They pro- 
cured the trunk and started back about 8 o’-
clock in the evening. The woman came home
with the horse and sleigh, but Holmes was not 
with her. On Tuesday morning his dead body 
was discovered under the bridge across the riv- 
er, between the toll-gate and the first pier. –
His hat and cloak lay on the bridge immediate-
ly over where he was found – whether he fell 
through the bridge by accident, or came to his 
death by violence is as yet a mystery. A cor- 
oner’s inquest assembled soon after the discov-
ery of the body, and a full investigation of the 
case was had by the Inquest under the direction of 
Mr. Brundage, the District Attorney. Their 
verdict is that he came to his death by violence 
at the hands of some person unknown. There 
are many circumstances which seem to indicate 
that the man was met with foul play. We forbear 
giving testimony given by the woman, 
Burk, and other before the Inquest, as the 
District Attorney is endeavoring to find the 
guilty party, if any exist.

Stay-tuned for the next installment of The Mystery of the Murder of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes.




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