Posted by SFgenealogy on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 13:15:14 :
On Thursday last George L. ISRAEL, an old resident of this town and county, went to San Francisco and was expected back on Friday night. On Saturday morning a dispatch was received here from the city saying that he was found dead, and asking what should be done with the body. In a few minutes it had passed from one to another and gone the rounds, causing such a shock as we have not before witnessed. In a few hours we had the particulars telegraphed from Martinez, as given by the 'Call,' to the effect that a man went to the Brevoort House, Fourth street and asked for a room where he could be quiet. One was shown him looking out upon the street on the 2nd floor, which he objected to, saying that he wanted one more retired, and was then shown a back room on the 3rd floor, this he accepted and paid $1 for the use of it, saying he only wanted it for the day. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon the chambermaid went into a room immediately under his, and found a large pool of blood upon the bed and floor, and saw that it came from the room above. She at once reported the circumstances to the proprietors, who went and knocked upon the door, and getting no response burst it in, and found the man still alive but bleeding from frightful wounds, one across the left arm severing the artery, another from ear to ear across the throat, made with a pocket knife that he still held in the hand. A physician was sent for but life had gone out. He was taken to the dead house for identification, where he was found by a brother and friends, and brought here [Antioch] by boat on Saturday night and buried today (Monday), followed by the largest concourse of mourning relatives and friends that we have ever seen in the place. Since the occurrence nothing else has been talked of, and many shudder when contemplating it. And every phase of the case, and the most trivial circumstance of his past action has been told and commented upon. Many things have been brought to light that were not generally known before, all of which lead to the evident conclusion that the man was insane. He formerly owned and kept the Union Hotel here, in which he prospered. This he sold out and removed to San Ramon Valley, where he only stayed a few months, and returned and bought into a partnership with Mr. G.C. CARMAN in the grocery and provision business. This they continued over a year, passing through the crop failure of last season, in which they sold several thousand dollars worth of goods that farmers were unable to pay for, and for which they partly owed below. But the credit of the firm being good, and a new season coming on that he had reason to hope would be good, and in which he should be able to retrieve the misfortunes of the last, a few months ago he bought Mr. CARMAN out. Soon after the season began to develop into the driest known, and in the meantime he had encumbered his homestead and involved some friends to keep up his credit below, and having reduced his business to a cash system and there being so little money in the country, his business fell off to a trifle, and he became moody and at times listless and wandering until the culmination of last Friday. Mr. ISRAEL was universally respected and by many even beloved here. He united the gentleness of woman the charity of a Christian to a business industry and honor that is worthy of all praise - indeed, his sense of honor in business proved his ruin under the peculiar embarrassing circumstances. The store is closed, with crape upon the door, and the large sign with his name still stands; but the mournful winds as they sweep off the dry plain sing a last sad requiem over the grave of all that remains of poor ISRAEL, and a doting wife and 2 little orphans weep in their lonely home for poor papa. He had a life policy in the New York Mutual for $2000.
Source: Contra Costa Gazette (Pacheco, Contra Costa County, CA), 25 Feb 1871. Transcribed by Dee Sardoc.
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