Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Eagle, 1901 October 21, Page: 1
And Now Lad of 13 May Die
Young Marksman, Who is Under 15, is Under Arrest - Tragedy on the Far Rockaway Beach
As a result of the effort of two cousins to act out on the beach front at Far Rockaway that part of the old Swiss legend of William Tell, in which the father shoots an apple from his own son's head, one of the boys, Daniel Dodge, who is 13 years old and lives at Inwood, L.I., is now in St. John's Hospital, Long Island City, between life and death, with a bullet wound in his forehead.
Dodge's cousin, Walter Weston, 15 years old, the boy who fired the shot, was brought before Magistrate Healy in the Far Rockaway police court this morning and paroled until the result of his companion's wound shall be determined.
The physician of the Dodge family believes, it is said, that the thoughtless act of the two boys is responsible in great part for the death of a child that was born to Mrs. Dodge, the mother of the wounded boy, last night.
The story of the fatal conclusion to the play of the two cousins was told by young Weston in the police court this morning. The two boys were the closest of companions and on Saturday they decided that it would be a good idea to hold a Wild West show. Weston, who is a good shot with a rifle, went to his home and got his 22-caliber Winchester. Both youths walked down to the beach.
There they in turn spent some time in firing at different marks, but this sport grew tame, and Weston, to show his skill, told young Dodge to pick up a tomato can which had been washed ashore. Dodge did so, and Weston, stepping back, fired and knocked the can from his cousin's hand. This was repeated and each time with the same success, until this, too, became tiresome to Weson, and especially to Dodge.
While resting a second, a better idea struck Weston. He proposed that, instead of the Wild West show, the two boys should give William Tell, according to the story, which both of them had read. The cousins talked over the project, but Dodge was loath to give up altogether the plan of holding the Wild West show, at least in part. It was finally agreed to incorporate the most attractive part of the William Tell tale - that in which the father is compelled by the tyrant of Switzerland to shoot an apple from the head of his own son, in the show first determined upon.
Dodge thereupon picked up the tomato can and placed it upon his head, there being no apple at hand. Weston stepped back several paces and, taking deliberate aim, fired. His aim had been good and the can was whisked from the head of young Dodge. This seemed such good sport that the two boys commenced to repeat the performance. Again the can was placed by Dodge upon his head and again Weston succeeded in shooting the tomato can from the head of his companion.
For the third time Dodge placed the can upon his head and Weston, once more stepping back, aimed and fired. The aim had been too low, for with a shriek, Dodge fell forward upon his face on the beach. Weston scarcely realized for several moments what he had done, but seeing the blood of his cousin crimsoning the sand, he became panic stricken with fright and cried in terror for help.
The cries of the boy soon attracted a crowd of people to the spot. Some one was hastily sent to the home of Dr. Pedro Francke, who lived near. Dr. Francke quickly arrived and dressed the wound in Dodge's forehead, but advised that he be taken to St. John's Hospital, Long Island City. The boy was placed aboard a train and taken from the depot to the hospital in an ambulance.
Weston was locked up pending his appearance before the magistrate in Far Rockaway today.
It was said by the physicians in the hospital in Long Island City at noon to-day that Dodge was still alive but that his condition was most serious. They would not venture a prediction as to whether or not the boy would live.
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Eagle, 1901 October 22, Page: 16
No Hope for Daniel Dodge
Long Island City, L.I., October 22. - At St. John's Hospital this morning the physicians stated that Daniel Dodge, the boy shot while playing William Tell at Far Rockaway, would not live through to-day. The little fellow began to sink last night and it was feared at midnight that he could not last until this morning. The wound was believed to be mortal from the first and the boy has surprised physicians by lasting so long.
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Eagle, 1901 October 24, Page: 6
William Tell Victim Dead
Long Island City, L.I., October 24. - Daniel Dodge, thirteen years old, of Far Rockaway, who was shot in the head on Sunday while playing William Tell, died in St. John's Hospital at noon to-day. The boy was shot by Walter Weston, fifteen years old, who was his cousin.
Genealogy found on Daniel and his cousin, Walter Weston. This line is from Tristram.
Thomas Dodge, born about 1806 in NY and wife, Charlotte Unknown had a son George W. Dodge.
George W. Dodge, born about 1834 in NY and wife, Sarah Jane Unknown had daughter Francis L. "Fannie" Dodge, born December 1862 and a son, Daniel L. Dodge, born August 1865. Fannie Dodge married 1879 to William H. Weston.
In our Tristram data base, we only have one child listed for Fannie and William Weston - a daughter Charlotte born in 1880. However, in the 1900 census it shows Fannie as a widow and three other children, two girls and a son named Walter born March 1886. That would make Walter 15 years old as mentioned in the article.
We show Fannie's brother, Daniel L. to be born abt. 1863. We show Daniel L. to marry Sarah J. Weatherby, born about 1862. We show no children for them. However, in the 1900 census in the same place where Fannie and her children are living is a Daniel Dodge, born August 1865 with a wife, May J., born June 1869. They have two daughters and two sons, the oldest of whom is Daniel L. Dodge, born March 1890. That would make him only 11 years old in 1901 when the accident happened -- not 13 years old as is reported.
We think the census records are wrong on the birth of Daniel L., Jr. BECAUSE
a. the other children are born 3 to 4 years apart as noted below:
b. the oldest, daughter born November 1891
c. another girl born August 1894
d. a son born June 1898
The mother lost a baby (due to the shock of her oldest son's death) in October 1901
Given the above thinking we suspect that Daniel was NOT born March 1890 as reported in the Census, but March 1888. That would make Daniel 13 years old when the accident happened. The family cannot be found in the 1910 census.