from Boston Daily Advertiser, 16 Feb 1892, p. 2, Issue 40, col. B
|CAPT EDGELL LOST
The Door keeper of the Senate has been Missing for three weeks -- Fears of Temporary Insanity.
Door keeper of the Senate S. W. Edgell has apparently disappeared from the face of the earth.
Three weeks ago yesterday Capt. Edgell left the state house at 6:30 in the afternoon with the avowed intention of going to his home in Walktham. He has made his home for a humber of years past with a relative in that city. He did not arrive there.
Since he left the state house he seems to have been absolutely lost. For more than a year he has been troubled with dyspepsia, and at times the disease has taken on an acute form. From this his friends have thought it has affected his mind and the captain, in a fit of insanity, has wandered away. Every effort has been made to find him; not only the state police but a force of city detectives have been put on the track, but so far without avail. He is a fine looking man, between 50 and 60 years of age.
He wore a large moustache, had the erect carriage of a soldier, was well dressed, and when last seen had a diamond ring and pin that were probably worth $600.
from Boston Daily Advertiser, 22 Feb 1892, p. 3, Issue 45, col. E LOOKING FOR EDGELL IN NEW YORK.
New York. Feb 20 -- Police Supt. Murray received a telegram today from Chief of Police Eldridge of Boston to look out for S. B. Edgell, doorkeeper of the Massachusetts senate, who has been missing since Jan. 24. He is believed to be insane.
from Boston Daily Advertiser, 25 Feb 1892, p. 5, Issue 48, col. B EDGELL STILL MISSING
Not a Trace of the Senate Door Keeper -- Has been Away One Month -- Foul Play Feared.
There is still no trace of missing Senate Doorkeeper S. W. Edgell. He was last seen at the state house a month ago today and his disappearance is just as mysterious as ever. Whether he is alive or dead his friends have not the slightest idea, and although many of them have for days and nights engaged in the search and have been aided by specially assigned detectives and the police, not a trace of him has been found since he went out from the door of the state hgouse on the evening of Sunday, Jan, 24, and bade a pleasant good night to the watchman on duty. In thge meantime the search is continuing. A gentleman who spent Saturday and Sunday in New York looking for the missing man returned very much discouraged.
from Boston Daily Advertiser, 27 Feb 1892, p. 2, Issue 50, col. C HUNTING FOR EDGELL
Supposed to have been at South Braintree.
South Braintree, Feb. 26 -- The clue to the whereabouts of Capt. Edgell, the missing doorkeeper of the seante, who was thought to have been seen by a Neponset man, A. P. Rice, yesterday, remains as yet only a clue. An Advertiser reporter followed up the clue of the one-armed man who corresponded so nearly with the description of Capt. Edgell. This man spent last night in the environs of Quincy. There can be no doubt of this, although the Quincy police are confident that he has not been in that city. Early this morning, however, the one-armed stranger started out on the railroad track from some point near Quincy, and followed the track to where the rail road crosses the Braintree highway. Here he turned into the ´highway and followed the main road into Braintree as far as River St. Finally he returned to the track and walked 1 1/2 miles toward the South Braintree station, and after that all trace of the stranger was lost as completely as was that of Capt. Edgell on the fatal Sunday that he left the state house for his home il Waltham. A section hand and boys playing beside the track remember the big one-armed man who passed by them about 10:30 o'clock, but at South Braintree station none of the yard men or gate tenders saw the stranger.
The first identification that was carefuol enough to be fully credited, was that of Orrin Cobb, a clerk in the grocery store of M. A. Arnold, who saw the stranger while driving his delivery wagon on River St. He describes the man minutely, as a tall, rough-looking man, with gray hair, with a long blue overcoat, and with the empty sleeve of his right arm tucked into his overcoat pocket. He appeared to be wandering aimlessly upon the street, and was seen going in almost opposite directions by two different parties.
At South Braintree the Old Colony tracks diverge, one running to Plymouth, another to Fall River and Newport b y the way of Brockton, and a third to the same destination by the way of North Easton and Taunton. The one-armed man probably took neither of the two latter routes, as the gangs of section men, station agents, railroad and town police for some distance below this place saw no person answering the description which Orrin Cobb gives of the stranger in Braintree. Whether the stranger took the Plymouth route is uncertain, for the means of identification in that direction are less trustworthy. All direct evidence of the one-armed man is lost at the point of divergence of the railroads, but it is safe to say that the wanderer is not in the vicinity of Braintree tonight -- whether fuller identification shall prove that he is Capt. Edgell or not.
Through the assistance of Braintree officials, all the roads that could be travelled from the point where the scent was lost were covered by the Advertiser correspondent, and not a trace of the suspected clue could be obtained. Capt. Edgell certainly could not have passed through the streets of South Braintree without being identified, as he has a number of acquaintances here, and it is certain, from the evidence of those who saw the wanderer, that nobody could see him without noting a resemblance to the missing man. The roads leading from the track between Braintree and South Braintree coverge in such a way that it can be said, from the search instituted, that the suspected stranger went neither to Holbrook, Randolph, Waymouth or over the hill back of this town to the Boston road. There seem to be only two solutions. One is that the stranger passed, unobserved, down the Plymouth branch of the Old Colony R. R. or wandered away into the fields, as he undoubtedly did after leaving Neponset yesterday, finding shelter wherever he might.
Four men applied for shelter at the Braintree alshouse tonight, but none of them answered to the description of the missing man or the stranger of River St., and the railroad track. The Advertiser correspondent drive to Quincy after the police had finished their search for the day and on inquiry found that the officers were not aware that a stranger answering closely to Capt. Edgell's description had passed through their city and been traced to South Braintree. The chief of police did not place much faith in the clue, the reporter was informed, although it was said that the officers had worked upon it all day without avail. Is the man Capt. Edgell? Of course that cannot be definitely ascertained without a more minute identification, but from a hasty generalization of those who saw the one-armed stranger he bears a close resemblance to the missing man.-------------------------------------- Mrs. Stone's Theory Waltham, Feb. 26 -- Mrs. Lucy Stone, aunt of the missing Capt. Edgell, is inclined to look upon the Neponset clue as a good one. She has received the assurance of the state government that the search will be prosecuted diligently, and hopes for good results. She cannot believe in the murder theory, as the missing man had no enemies nor had he any valuables about him. She fears that in a fit of temporary insanity caused by la grippe, Mr. Edgell has committed suicide.
from Boston Daily Advertiser, 25 Apr 1892, Issue 99, col. E GAVE UP ITS DEAD
Body of Doorkeeper Edgell Found at Last
No suspicious markes found uipon his body -- Medical Examiner Gives it as his Opinion that death was due to drowning -- The family of the missing man to take charge of the body today -- An active search made immediately after his disappearance -- Many clues investigated without result -- Probably a case of suicide -- Sketch of his life.
The body of the missing door keeper of the state senate, Capt. S. W. Edgell was found last evening on the Charles River flats between Smith's coal wharf and the Harvard bridge, Cambridgeport. Edgell has been missing since January 24.
The body was discovrered by a young man named Alfred Mills who was out boating. He notified Patrolman Canniham of station 2, who with Sergt. Alexander had it removed to Undertaker Litchfield's. The body was in a badly decomposed state from being so long in the water. In the clothing were found a bunch of keys marked "S. W. Edgell, State House, Boston," a gold watch chain and charm, three gold studs, a pair of eyeglasses, two pocket knives, one silk and two linen handkerchiefs and $24.06 in money. Upon the lining of the pants watch pocket was the name Edgell.
Medical Examiner Swan was notified of the discovery at once, and made a partial examination of the body. He gave as his impression that death was due to drowning; no suspicious marks were found on his body. A further examination of the body willbe made this morning. It is in all probability a case of suiced.
The family of the missing man were notified last night, and will examine and take charge of the remains today.
The last seen of Capt. Edgell was on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 24, when he left his room at the state house ostensibly to go to his home in Waltham. From that time he has been absolutely lost. For more than a year he had been a sufferer from dyspepsia, and at times the disease took an acute form, and consequently his friends thought his mind had been affected and that he had wandered away in a fit of temporary insanity.
Active search was immediately instituted, and the police force of the city and numerous private detectives were set to work to find him, but to no avail. Several clues were taken up, only to fall to the ground. At one time, about a month after his disappearnce, a man answering his description was seen in Braintree, but disappeared before he could be positively identified. A reward of $100 was offered by Supt. Eldredge, and everything that could be was done was to find some trace of the missing man.
About a week ago Sergeant at Arms Adams, who was a personal friend of Capt. Edgell, and active in searching for the missing man, decided that it was impossible for the man to be alive, and directed a careful search of the lakes and ponds in the vicinity for his body.
Capt. Edgell lived in Waltham with his cousin, Mrs. L. M. Stone. About a month after his disappeance, and Advertiser reporter visited his home, and there saw Miss Ellen Stone, the daughter, and when asked about the captain said: "The captain has made his home with us here for about five years, and we regarded him as one of the family. Previous to his disappeance for several weeks he had complained of feeling ill, but attended to his duties every day. On the evening of Jan. 23 he suffered very severely with pains in the head and slept but very little during the night. In the morning he was too ill to eat any breakfast and still suffered with his head. As had been his custom for many years, he left home at about 9 o'clock for Boston to spend a few hours in his room at the state house. As he was bidding us good-bye he said, 'I think I shall go crazy with my head.' That is the last we wver saw of him. He was dressed neatly and well when he left. He wore his gold watch, a diamond ring and stud. While he has not been well for about a year, he never was very sick, and never had any symptoms of insanity, nor did he ever show any indications of being out of his head or insane in any way. He had about $300 in money on his person when he left. He always carried a pocketbook with his name on it, and always kept his money in the book. We are quite certain that he took it, as we cannot find it."
Capt. S. W. Edgell was bornin Winchester, Mass., in 1832. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Fitchburg, after which he was employed there till the war broke out. He enlisted in the Fifteenth Massachusetts Infantry in the company that was raised in Fitchburg. He was wounded at the battle of Cold Harbor, where he lost an arm. After his resignation from the army he accepted an appointment in the custom house, which he held until he was appointe doorkeeper of the senate of Massachusetts, which he held for 28 years, in fact up to the time of his disappearance. He was never married, but lived with his niece, Mrs. Stone in Waltham.
from Boston Daily Advertiser, 28 Apr 1892, p. 5, Issue 102, col. C
Waltham, April 27 -- The funeral of Capt Edgell occurred this morning from the residence of his aunt, Mrs. Lucy H. Stone, 118 Beacon St. There was a large attendance of relatives and friends, among them being Senators Provin, Ray, Reade and Gilman, forming the special committee of the senate, J. G. M. Adams, sergeant at arms, H. B. Coolidge, clerk of the senate, and others. The casket was covered with beautiful floran emblems. The service was impressively simple. Chaplain Dowse of the senate officiated. The remains were conveyed to Westminster for interment, and a special car on the 10:30 train from Boston was provided for the funeral party.