To recap from last time: Louis (or Lewis) Neid is Christian Neid's brother. Louis immigrated from Mühlhausen, Prussia, around 1870 and joined the United States Army. He was stationed at West Point Academy from 1870-1897, at which time he retired. During his military service, I am happy to report that Louis' character was consistently rated as "good" to "excellent." By 1899, he was enjoying his retirement in San Diego, California. His address in the city directory is variously listed as "water front foot of 8th," "N. Bay Front Street #1717," and "756 State." These streets all point to the Marina neighborhood of San Diego, which is on San Diego Bay. And, on 23 March 1907, Louis Neid died at age 80. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Grand Army of the Republic Section 2, Lot 59, Grave 2-A. It is an unmarked grave.
This is all interesting information, but a bit dry. Here's a little more to spice it up: in the 1900 census, Louis is listed as being a divorced locksmith. There's no mention of a wife in any of the records from his army years, so exactly who he was divorced from, and the details of their relationship, is unknown at this time.
But here's for the really exciting stuff. Louis made the New York Herald newspaper on 16 Jan 1882 (he'd been in the military about 12 years):
His face bearing "marks of violence," Louis Neid "presented a sorry appearance" in Essex Market Police Court on 15 Jan 1882, appearing against one John Wilson. To begin the article, it was noted that Louis had claimed to be an officer in the engineering department at West Point Military Academy, but was actually only a private soldier. That clarification has absolutely nothing to do with the story that is then related, however. They just wanted you to know.
The actual action started when Louis had come into the city on Saturday while on furlough and bought some jewelry at various stores, paying $175 in all. And then he met up with a man and shared some drinks with him at a bar. That always ends well.
Later, all Louis could recall was someone striking him and inflicting the wounds that were obvious when he was in court; he lost consciousness and the next thing he knew is that he was waking up in an alley, robbed! But at least he had his greatcoat. More on that in a moment.
Fortunately for Louis, Mrs. Mary Brennan of No. 5 Forsyth Street had been on the scene. Mrs. Brennan testified that about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, she had seen Wilson dragging Louis into the alley adjoining her house; she said Wilson had stripped Louis of his overcoat and then left. Mrs. Brennan had run after Wilson and demanded that he return the greatcoat, to which Wilson replied "that he was going for a carriage to take his friend home."
Moving right along to sunny California...
As you might have suspected would happen, a train came along, when the woman and child were in front of Standard Iron works and very nearly to their home. The two were walking eastward; and the Santa Fe switch engine, with three box cars in front, came up behind them. Mrs. Wright seemed aware of the train but made no effort to get off the track until the train was almost upon them. Then she turned about, slipped, and fell across the track, pulling the child down with her.
Louis tried to grab Cosette and pull her to safety, but was just too late; the front trucks cut off an arm and a leg before Louis could grab her. Fifty-three year old Mrs. Wright was killed instantly, "torn and mangled almost beyond recognition"; the wheels had passed over her lengthwise and nearly split her body in two.
Questions I'm researching...
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