Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thriller Thursday - Amputation

As it was written in the Middleboro Gazette newspaper:
Loses part of three fingers in sawing mishap 9/20/1912

Carl Zachariah Pierce, my great grandfather, was born in 1872.   He was a handsome young man who played baseball on the town league.  In 1897 at the age of 25 he married 16 year old, Mary Catherine Wilbur just before Christmas.   Six weeks later, on February 2nd, she gave birth to their daughter.

According to divorce records,  the marriage ended in April 1909 due to gross and confirmed habits of intoxication that began on or about December 1, 1898. 

This addiction held on tightly for the rest of his life, causing many confrontations with police and acquaintances.  It also caused him to not only loose his job in his father's hardware store but also caused him many health problems. 

In 1912, Carl was earning money by sawing blocks of ice out of the Carver pond in Bridgewater.  The pond sat at the bottom of hill surrounded by trees and accessable only by a path from the road.   One day while Carl was sawing out a block of ice he accidently amputated part of three fingers.

Carl Z. Pierce, divorced, died on July 29, 1927 at the age of 55 of a root canal pharysurgical abscess, myocanditis acute while incarcerated at the Bridgewater State Hospital for alcholism. Myocarditis is an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).  He died from  inflammation of the heart muscle caused by an infection, namely his abcessed tooth.

He is buried at Hillside Cemetery, Auburn Street, Bridgewater, MA.

You may wish to read:

 Rainbows and Flowers, vs. Black Clouds and Weeds


  1. Interesting article. I've been a geneablogger about three months. This is a great community of bloggers. I learn so much from it. Merry Christmas.

    Regards, Grant


  2. Such a sad story. I hope his wife and child(ren) made a good life. And to die of something as simple as a tooth abscess. In some of my own family lines I have found people dying of Pellagra. I looked it up and it's caused from a simple vitamin deficiency. But it led to terrible suffering (mentally & physically) & death if not treated. They didn't know what caused it until I think the 1930's. Thanks for sharing.


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