Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blacksheep Sunday - Richard Hershell Stewart

For my first Blacksheep Sunday, I have decided to write about one of my ex-husbands relatives - Richard Hershell Stewart.

Richard Hershell was my ex-husband Michael John Stewart's great-granduncle, as my ex-husband is the great grandson of Richard's brother Franklin Hudson Stewart.

Richard Hershell was born on 28th Apr 1898 in Ontario, Canada.

Richard Hershell (known usually as Herschell or Hershell or Hershel)  met a young woman named Lillian Elsie Dunsford, at the home of her sister Mrs. Lambert.  In time, she became pregnant. They had financial issues, so they went to live with Richard Hershell's parents, who insisted that they be married given Lillian's pregnancy, and so Richard Hershell was married to Lillian Elsie Dunsford 23rd Jan 1923.

Lillian was a young woman from England.

Lillian Elsie Dunsford Stewart

Richard had some issues with finding a job to support his wife and soon-to-be-born child, and the police were even called to the home to try to motivate him.

Richard was obsessed that Lillian was cheating on him, despite assurances from her and his own mother that she was absolutely faithful.

In May of 1923, Lillian gave birth to a baby boy.

On June 12 of 1923, Richard entered the room where Lillian was resting in bed with her baby and shot her to death, and then attempted to kill himself by shooting himself in the stomach.

He was attended by a doctor and arrested, and convicted of murdering Lillian. His initial sentence was hanging, but this was reduced to life in prison.

A transcription of a news article that has the initial known details of the crime can be found here

A transcription of a news article that contains his confession can be found here

A transcription of a news article that goes into great deal of detail can be found here

A transcription of a news article that described Hershell as having no joyful reaction to the sentence reduction to life in prison can be found here

His exact date of death and burial is not known, but other researchers report it to be 3 Mar 1977.

1 comment:

  1. This man was my great great grandmother's (Almira Jane Stewart) brother. It's definitely an interesting story!
    Richard died March 3, 1977 in Welland Ontario and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Welland.

    Thanks for sharing the story and the photos! I had never seen the one of his wife before!

    Take Care,