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The Demise of Jeremiah C/Kavanagh of Brooklyn, New York


In mid November 1882 the newspapers of Brooklyn, New York reported on the death of Jeremiah. You will see from the reports the classic confusion surrounding the spelling of his name.

14 November - Brooklyn Union Argus

Arrested - James Riley for fracturing ex-Policeman Jermemiah Cavanagh's skull with a brick.

15 November - Brooklyn Union Argus

Jeremiah Kavanagh, saloon-keeper at the corner of Walworth Street and Myrtle Avenue, was struck on the head with a brick on Sunday night last by James Reilly, and is now lying unconscious at the point of death. Reilly is a youth, aged 19, a japanner by trade, and lives in Walworth Street. He says:

"On Sunday evening I entered Kavanagh’s salon. He has a grudge against me and immediately began to pick a quarrel. He caught me by the throat and choked me and struck me. I broke away and ran down Walworth Street, and he chased me with a club. Seeing he was going to catch me I turned and picking up a brick threw it at him. I knocked him down insensible. I then ran away.

When Kavanagh was carried into the house, it was found that his skull was fractured immediately over the left eyebrow and three pieces of the bone had to be removed. He regained consciousness for a brief period on Sunday night during which a member of the Thirteenth Precinct police force who knew him intimately said to him: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself; look at your head,” and he answered: “I know it’s all my own fault.”

Since this time Kavanagh has sunk into protracted unconsciousness from which his physicians think he will not rally. Reilly was arrested last evening and Justice Fisher this morning held him without bail to await the result of Kavanagh’s injuries.

16 November - Brooklyn Standard Union

Jeremiah Kavanagh and Henry Huhn, Who Had Their Skulls Fractured on Sunday Night Die within Two Hours of Each Other

Jeremiah Kavanagh, saloon keeper at the corner of Walworth street and Myrtle Avenue, died last night from the effects of a blow on the head with a brick thrown by James Reilly on Sunday evening. Kavanagh was an ex-policeman and will be remembered as the man who attempted to shoot Captain WORTH. He made no ante-mortem statement, being unconscious to the last.

Henry Huhn of 18 Humboldt Street, who was stunned by a fall on the pavement at the corner of Cook and Smith streets during a scuffle with George GRAVER of Flushing Avenue concerning a girl named Barbara Dreichlein Sunday night, never recovered consciousness and died early this morning

Here were two accidental homicides within half an hour of each other. The blow in each case caused fracture of the skull. The men expired within two hours of each other.

Coroner Parker will hold an inquest on Cavanagh on Tuesday next at two o’clock P. M., and on Huhn at the same time on Wednesday.

23 November - Brooklyn Standard Union

Coroner Parker yesterday afternoon held an inquest at the Thirteenth Precinct Police Station in the matter of the death of Jeremiah Cavanagh. The latter was struck on the head with a brick in front of his saloon early in the morning of the 13th inst., by James F. Riley, from the effects of which he died on the following day. The witnesses who testified at the inquest yesterday were Terrence Clark, Mary Walsh, Policeman Brady and John Pritchard, and through their statements the following facts were elicited:

Cavanagh, who was formerly a member of the police force, kept a saloon at No. 713 Myrtle Avenue. About one o’clock in the morning of the 13th inst., Riley and several others were in the saloon. Cavanagh drank brandy several times with the customers. When under the influence of liquor, he was always violent. Without cause he struck Pritchard and subsequently attacked Riley, who stood against a screen and had taken no part in a political conversation, which was being carried on. Cavanagh caught Riley by the neck, swung him around several times and threw him on the floor. The latter left the place crying followed by Cavanagh, who put a club in his pocket. Pritchard, however, took the club away. On the street Riley was seen by the witness Pritchard to throw something at Cavanagh. The latter afterwards said Riley struck him with a brick, but it was his own fault.

The jury found that death was caused by a blow from a brick thrown by Riley.


Courtesy of Brooklyn Genealogy Information Page