Sudden Death of Peter F. Kingsley (1865 – 1904)

by Laurel | January 24th, 2013

… and the death of a Holyoke occupation.

June 4, 1904

Peter F. Kingsley, 38, for the past eight or nine years lamplighter for the city of Holyoke, died yesterday morning at his home after only a few hours’ illness. Day before yesterday he was around as usual, although he had complained for some days of not being able to eat or sleep well. His services as lamplighter for the city expired May 1, the city then extending its electric lights and no longer needing the services of a lamplighter. He worried more or less over being out of work, though he was single and in no immediate need of employment. He ate a hearty supper Thursday night and was about the street. About 9 he was taken with a violent nausea at Anderson’s cigar store on High street and friends took him home in a hack and Dr. J. J. O’Connor was called. It was considered to be a severe case of indigestion and he apparently went to sleep in the evening, or at least was unconscious. It was so confidently expected that he would be all right yesterday that his brother Michael, who is employed at the electric light station, went to work as usual, but he was found to be dead later, dying, as near as can be learned, at 8:30. He leaves besides his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Kingsley, a brother, Michael, and three sisters, Mrs. James Brown, Mrs. James O’Donnell and Annie, all of Holyoke. He was a member of the Park lyceum, the St. Jerome temperance society and of the Catholic order of Foresters. Medical Examiner Holyoke viewed the body and ordered an autopsy. The autopsy was held at 4:30 by Dr. Holyoke, assisted by Dr. J. J. O’Connor and Dr. J. P. Shine. As a result it was learned that Mr. Kingsley died of collapse following perforation of the walls of the stomach, due to ulceration. That is, ulcers had formed in his stomach, which had weakened it, and, due to some strain, ruptured and physical collapse followed.  He was therefore practically a doomed man from the first. The funeral will be held tomorrow.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.


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