Suicide of Sidney H. Russell
At Woodhaven, Long Island
The New York Tribune of last Sunday has the following:
Sidney H. Russell became the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Woodhaven, L.I. on May 15, after being graduated from the Union Theological Seminary. Yester-morning, just after arising, he cut his throat from ear to ear. He was a slight young man with light complexion and sandy hair. He wore a mustache, and posessed a face, his parishioners say, that will be long remembered for it's simplicity and sweetness of expression. He was 29 years old. His parents are not living, but he has eight brothers and sisters living in Bushnell, Ill. He had been for three years a student in the seminary, and was recently sent to Woodhaven to supply the vacant pulpit there. The congregation were much pleased with his sermons and especially with his manner. After hearing Mr. Russell preach two or three times, and after receiving the most gratifying assurances from the officers and faculty of the seminary as to his character, qualifications and general fitness as a Christian Minister, the congregation of the Woodhaven Church decided to call himas their permanent pastor. The church is small, old, and not wealthy, but it promised to pay him $700 salary for the first year and subscribed the money on the spot. He accepted with apparent delight, and began his ministrations as soon as he was graduated. He had been among the people of Woodhaven only a few days when they saw he was physically weak and ill. He seemed to be melancholy and moved with difficulty. Every movement he made, every word he spoke at prayer-meeting, or church, seemed to cost him painful effort. His tones were despondent, and yet he seemed much irritated when people suggested that he needed medical advise. Dr. Coombs of (sic) ? and of their protestations, he kept on with his pastoral work. Last Sunday, though almost too sick to stand, he persisted in preaching morning and evening, and during the week grew perceptibly worse both in body and mind.
Mr. Russell boarded with Miss Clark, an elderly lady, who gave him a pleasant home. He occupied two connecting rooms on the second floor, and received the most scrupulous attentions from his landlady. Yesterday morning Miss Clark knocked at Mr. Russell's door, as usual, at 7 o'clock, but receiving no answer she concluded that he was sleeping soundly and did not disturb him. Half an hour later she knocked again. He did not answer . Repeated knockings brought no reply, and in some alarm she pushed open the door. It encountered some resistence, and shoving it hard, she was horrified to discover that she was pushing against the body of the minister, surrounded by a pool of blood. She gave a loud scream, which brought other boarders to the room. Mr. Russell lay with with his head almost severed from his body. Near by was a bloody razor. He was partly dressed, wearing his stockings, shirt and trousers.
There is only one theory as to the cause of the suicide
Mr. Russell 's mind was unquestionably deranged by his broken health. He left nothing explaining his act, nor do any of his effects show any solution beyond that of broken health and diseased mind. Miss Clark says he had often spoken with the greatest horror and condemnation of suicide. Coroner Everett, of Jamacia, was summoned and took charge of the body. He telegraphed to the dead man's relatives for instructions. If none come, the church will bury him.
From W.H. Taylor of this city, who was personally acquainted with the deceased, we learn that Sidney H. Russell was the son of James and Eve Neal Russell, formally of Eldorado township. The young man's mother, while laboring under a temporary fit commited suicide several years ago by hanging herself, and this fact leads to beleif that Mr. Russell's rash deed was the result of insanity, brought on by hard mental labor and protracted ill-health. Besides the relatives above named residing in Bushnell, the deceased has a brother living on a farm in Bethel township. His remains reached Vermont, Ill. July 2nd. and were laid to rest in the Vance cemetery, two miles east of Industry, in the presence of a large number of sorrowing friends.