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Obituaries - Preston

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


(wife of WILLIAM PRESTON)- (Continued)

The physicians worked all night trying to save the murderer’s life, but without avail and he died as stated above.
Both husband and wife were without means, and the remains will be buried at the expense of the county in the town graveyard.
Undertaker Nickel and Bailiff Bowen tried all morning to raise funds for the burial of the deceased but without avail.
The coroner’s jury will meet at 7:30 this evening at Squire William’s office, the squire acting as coroner.
Preston wrote several letters to his wife, in one of which he intimated that he would kill her and himself. In the other he threatened suicide.

The Tell Tale Letters

The letters written by Preston to his wife and which were found on her dead body, are rambling pieces of composition and plainly denote a diseased mind. They are as follows:

‘Frostburg, Sunday, Jan 8, 1899

Well dear Mollie, I take my seat to write you a few lines to let you know I love you yet. Although you have treated me as you...Beneath the skys are many troubles and pathways are hard, but I hope you will forgive me as I have forgiven you in words of kindness. Some day I will fade away and I hope you will not despise me. This is the peace I leave with you. Some time you may think of me when your are happy and my body may be cold. Then look at me as though a stranger for your love has grown cold. Mollie for Heaven’s sake dont look at me. So I will claim you yet; I wont ask you to live with me.’

This letter was not signed and like the other is badly written and misspelled through out. The other letter runs thus:

‘Frostburg, Md., Jan 9, 1899

Monday night, fifteen minutes after twelve, I write these few line while I am heartbroken. It is all on account of Mollie that has led me to my grave. So now, dear friends, as you pass by and look upon my grave, study long before you wed so that you don’t get drove to your grave for stubbornness and listening to things that was lies told on me. That caused Mollie and me to part and fill a sinful grave, for without her I will not live and for her I will die, and noe of you people who caused this all think if you didn’t do wrong in partin us, you thought you did great.
Oh, I will forgive you all. I hope to meet you on high when one and all will meet up there, where we shall part no more, and meet each other face to face and be forgiven. Oh’ Howard, I forgive you of the false tales you told to cause this trouble here on earth, but meet me at the judgment bar. I’ll face you ther with God and stand on my judgment with you all.’
Another letter was found, not dated, but is thought to have been the last written. It is in part as follows: ‘Oh Mollie, I forgive you, for I know your will soon die. I hope to meet you in heaven, for our death is gazing in each other’s eyes.’
(Here is a lot of nonsensical matter, which is perfectly meaningless, but shows the state of his mind, and winding up with the Lord’s prayer.)
The letter concludes with these words: ‘Lying tongues drove me to my grave. I pray God’s forgiveness.’” [CET, 1-12-1899, p. 1]

“Relics. Upon the body of William L. Preston, who shot his wife and killed himself last week, were found—

A pass-book showing an account with C.F. Betz, grocer
A due-book of Eckhart Lodge, No. 35, Shield of Honor
(It is reported that he carried a certificate in sum of $1,000 and that he was still a beneficial member.)
A purse containing 27 cents
A razor-blade
A pipe
Two gutta-percha side combs
A finger ring


Page #:

Anthony E. Crosby and Michael R. Olson


Collection Location:
Frostburg, Md

Original Size:
28 x 22 cms

Cemeteries, Maryland, Frostburg; Obituaries, Maryland, Frostburg. .

Frostburg (Md.), 1800-1972

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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