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Obituaries - Tross

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



Circumstances go to show that the tragedy was the outcome of a conspiracy which implicates with Brown three colored women—Mrs. Mollie Hiteshaw and Misses Ann Sniggers and Fanny Arnold, and all four are in jail.
Tross lately married Catherine Levi, a recent arrival from Washington, D.C., and this, in opinions current in colored circles, appears to have been a mortal offense to the ‘damosels’ who had designs upon his heart and pocket-book. Hence it is supposed that a plan to get the bride out of the way was organized and carried out—with results, however, not contemplated by the conspirators. All will be tried, doubtless, at this term of court.” [FMJ 1-7-1893, p. ]

“Indefinitely Postponed. A license to wed Miss Jennie Levi, of Washington, D.C., was issued to Isaac Tross last week. He says, however, that Miss Levi ‘went back on him’ and he ‘returned the paper to the Clerk’s office.’ Miss Levi is a sister of the late Mrs. Catherine Tross, who last December married Ike quite abruptly and a few days after died with yet greater suddenness—a sad denouement for which Ike was not to blame. His last flame wanted him to live in Washington; Ike preferred this metropolis. Hence the fiasco.” [FMJ 7-22-1893, p. 3].

“Jack Brown, colored, has been indicted for the murder of Catherine Tross, Dec. 26. He will probably be tried during this term.” [FMJ 4-22-1893, p. 3]

The following, though confusing, is from the trial records in the Allegany County courthouse in Cumberland, MD, regarding the case against those accused of poisoning Catherine Tross. Apparently Ann Sniggers was not charged in the case for her name does not appear in the trial records: “Murder. Presentment. Indictment. John Brown? jail. Fanny Arnold? jail. Mary Heitshew [sic] Recognized. 1893 April 25 John Brown arraigned, Plea Not Guilty. April 26 Mary Hiteshew [sic?] and Fanny Arnold arraigned. Plea Not Guilty. May 1 Motion on part of Mary Hiteshew and also on part of Fannie Arnold for severance. Motion for severance on part of Mary Hiteshew withdrawn. Motion for severance on part of Fannie Arnold over-ruled. Submitted to Court trial. May 5 Judgment Not Guilty as to Fannie Arnold. Court unable to agree as to Mary Hiteshew and to be
released upon her own recognizance and held sub-curia as to John Brown. 1893 Oct. 30. Court being unable to agree as to John Brown & to be released upon his own recognizance in the sum of $1000.00. 1893 Oct. 30 Continued to 8 Crim Trials January Term 1894.” The record from 1894 repeats the above and the case is stetted (#863). Apparently, this is as far as the criminal proceedings went. No one was ever convicted of Mrs. Tross’ murder.

“Circuit Court. Fanny Arnold, implicated in the Tross poisoning case, was acquitted.
Mollie Hiteshaw was released until the October term upon her own recognizance, the judges differing as to her guilt.
In Jack Brown's case the verdict is still under consideration. So far the Court disagrees with the thinking people here. All three are regarded as guilty, Jack the least.” [FMJ 5-13-1893, p. 3]

Isaac Tross later died in 1901 in Moorefield, WV, having been in bad health for some time [FMJ 12-21-1901, p. 3]
d. July 12, 1935

“SEEK TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY OF DEAD MAN: Reputed Miner From Johnstown Stricken on Cross Tie Pile at Frostburg. The authorities are endeavoring to establish the identity of a man who was stricken last night while sitting on a pile of crossties near the office of the Consolidation Coal Company here, death following at Miners’ Hospital from cerebral hemorrhage. A man who gave the name of E.D. Mills, Hagerstown, Md., World War veteran, told the authorities that he first met the stranger on Thursday night in a box car, and he gave the name of Ed. Simpson and told Mills he had worked in a coal mine near Johnstown, Pa., for thirty years and was on his way to Charles Town, W. Va. The man said, according to Mills, that he last worked with William Knox and the authorities are trying to get in touch with Knox at Johnstown. The dead man was fingerprinted.

He is described as 58 years old, five feet, seven inches tall, old wound on side that had thirteen stitches, wore blue overalls, dark gray coat and cap, tan shirt, red tie, black oxfords and had a copy of a Johnstown paper of July 8, a small change purse containing 25 cents and a handkerchief embroidered with the letter ‘P’.” [CET 7-13-1935, p. 2]

“Man Who Died Suddenly at Frostburg Unidentified. City and county authorities have failed to identify a man, who died at Miners’ Hospital, Friday night, after being stricken with paralysis near the offices of the Consolidation Coal Company. The man is known to have come to Frostburg on a freight train but as yet no one has been able to identify him.


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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