Body of Holyoke Man Identified

by Laurel | March 21st, 2012

21 March 1926

Relatives of John Hogan recognize Photographs — Cards Add Mystery Note to Death

The body of John Hogan, formerly of Holyoke and the brother of Mrs. Dennis J. Sullivan of 113 Bowers Street was positively identified today by Mr. Sullivan to Coroner Lowndes Smith at Middletown, CT, who will make arrangements for the funeral and burial.

The Middletown police received a postal card Thursday to the effect that a man was dying in an old barn on the outskirts of the city. “You will find the man in an old barn dying,” read part of the message. The police, accompanied by a physician, visited the barn indicated on the card and found it to be an old shack with one side open to the weather. The man was dead; his face was partly frozen and feet frostbitten, two toes being frozen. He has been dead about 48 hours, it was estimated.

Card Comes After Death

Coroner Smith was notified and sent out a general alarm to try and find who the an was. In a day or so a second postal came through the mails which stated that the name of the dead man was John Hogan and that he came from Holyoke. It was signed “One who knows.”

Dennis J. Sullivan, accompanied by his son, left today for Middletown and called on Coroner Smith. The man had been buried, but photographs had been taken of him. Mr. Sullivan promptly identified the man as John Hogan and made oath to that effect in the presence of the Middletown chief of police.

The writer of the second postal was, from the hand writing, a different man than the one that wrote the first postal. Neither of them are known. The second postal was mailed from Bridgeport. An autopsy was held and it was discovered that he man died from pneumonia, probably contracted from exposure.

Mr. Sullivan told the coroner that he had not heard from Hogan for about five years and had no knowledge as to where he had been meantime. The second postcard stated Hogan had worked for many painters at Middletown.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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