Barron murder
in Troy, 1891

This article appeared in the Troy Daily Times of 27 July 1891. It was contributed to this website by Vina Urquhart of Saratoga County, NY.


A Midnight Debacle Winds in Homicide

Stabbed with a Knife

A Severed Artery

The Victim's Death

Expired in a Doctor's Office

Flight and Capture

The Prisoner in Court

The Inquest

There was a gathering of men and women at the residences of Edward Aurelius and James Lee on Erie street, near Howard street, “Scotch Hill” Iron Works, Saturday night, and about 3 o’clock yesterday morning the revelries culminated in a quarrel, as a result of which Daniel Barron was stabbed to death.

Conflicting statements are made by persons who were present as to the origin of the trouble, but it is asserted that there was a general quarrel after the dance and that several persons engaged in an altercation on the street. It is also asserted that Mrs. Aurelius made some remark to Barron, and that this led to the quarrel: but Mrs. Aurelius said this morning that she would not corroborate or deny the statement, as she had engaged a lawyer and he had told her to keep still about it.

During the affray in the street Barron was stabbed in the front of the right shoulder, one of the main arteries being severed. He bled so fast that by the time he reached Dr. H F Bonesteel’s office on Mill street, two blocks away, he was unable to stand. Barron was taken into the doctor’s office, and the physician pronounced the wound fatal. The wounded man asked for a drink of water and soon after moaned,”I’m gone.” He died at 3:30 A.M., after being in the doctor’s office about twenty minutes.

Aurelius, who is charged with killing Barron, fled as soon as the wound was inflicted. James Lee says: “I saw Aurelius run up the street. He had the knife in his hand. The blade seemed to be four or five inches long, or more. It looked to me like a bread knife. I shouted to him: ‘You are a cur to do that’ and he replied: ‘Jim, you are my friend.’ I did not see him stab Barron, but I saw the knife in his hand as he ran up the street.”

About an hour after the stabbing officers Minahan and P. Dwyer found Aurelius on Polk Street and arrested him. The news of the killing had been telephoned to the police station-house from the Stanton steamer-house not far from which the homicide took place. The reserve was sent out to search for Barron’s assailant.

In Aurelius’s pocket when he was searched at the station-house the police found a large jack-knife, with a blade about four inches long. The blade had blood spots. The prisoner declined to make any statements. He was taken to the jail.

From the rambling statements made by persons in the crowd at the time it appears that after having one bout with the men in the street Aurelius ran into the house and came back just before the stabbing. It is suspected that he went in to get the knife. Mrs. Aurelius stated yesterday that three men were beating her husband, but she did not see him stab anybody.

William Hughes was arrested yesterday by officer Ryan and detained at the jail as a witness.

Daniel Barron was a “rougher down” at the Burden water-mill. He was twenty-six years old and unmarried. He resided with his parents on Mill street. He was assistant captain of the Stanton steamer company and had been a fire trustee. Today he was to act as bearer at the funeral of a neighbor. He was a member of the Burden benevolent association and a favorite among his acquaintances.

Coroner Foy took charge of the case, and an inquest will be held tomorrow evening. William H. Lahey is foreman of the jury. It is probable that the funeral of Barron will take place on Wednesday.

The man accused of murdering Barron is about twenty-eight years old. He was born in Wales, but has resided in Troy since he was a small boy. He has a wife and one child. Aurelius, it is said, is frequently intoxicated and when drinking he is violent. One story is that stones had been thrown at Aurelius and that when he rushed out of his house he was called names by those on the street; but no one would verify the statement to-day.

By the direction of Coroner Foy, Dr. R. B. Bontecue, Dr. R. Brinsmade Bontecue, Dr. Harvie and Dr. Bonesteel yesterday made an autopsy. A cut about three inches deep and made with a sharp instrument, was found, severing a large artery. The wounded man bled to death.

Hundreds of men and boys stood on State street this morning to get a look at Aurelius as the officers were taking him from the jail to the police court. The accused was handcuffed to Hughes, and after they were placed in the prisoners’ pen lawyer James T. Murray consulted with Aurelius. The prisoner was advised to plead not guilty and to say nothing to anyone, if asked about the case. Mrs. Aurelius and her two-year-old child were at the second precinct station, and the woman was also advised to say nothing about the case.

Aurelius was arraigned by officer Cunningham. The prisoner pleaded not guilty and his examination was set down for Wednesday morning, the day following the inquest. The charge of murder was made. Hughes, who was arrested as a witness, is charged with being implicated, and it will be necessary to procure his release on a writ of habeas corpus before he can testify at the inquest. When Aurelius went back to jail he was accompanied by his wife and brother and Mr. Murray.

Henry Aurelius, a brother of the accused, said that as far as he could learn the affair grew out of family trouble and drink. He said that Barron, Hughes and William Hickett pulled him out of the house during the fight. Barron and Aurelius had been friends for a long time, and Saturday afternoon they were drinking together. It is also charged that Hughes threw a stone into Aurelius’s house.

At the jail this morning Hughes made a statement of the case. “Aurelius and his wife left Lee’s house first,” Hughes said. Barron, Hickett and myself left several minutes afterward, and while we were passing by Aurelius’s house we heard Aurelius beating his wife. I called out to the man not to kill his wife. He came out and began to fight with me. Then Barron and Hickett interfered, and while they were fighting Barron was stabbed. Barron had no words with Mrs. Aurelius.”

Mrs. Aurelius denied this morning that her husband had struck her on their return from Lee’s house, and she also denied that her actions were such as to make her husband jealous.

Aurelius was asked to-day at the jail if he would make a statement about the affair. He said: “I have nothing to say, except to my lawyer.”

The place where Barron was stabbed is a short distance from the corner where Jeremiah Whalen was shot and killed by McCarthy nine years ago. McCarthy fled over the same route taken by Aurelius, over Scotch Hill and Polk street. McCarthy was never captured.

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