"Suicide in a park: Albert Cramer's body found in a hollow in Riverview: The man had been dead several days—he died of poison—an alpine violet from his mother—a New York jurist breaks his neck." Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, Sept. 24, 1894, p. 2. Newspapers.com 85577792.
The dead body of Albert Cramer was found lying in Wissahickon hollow in Riverview park, Allegheny, yesterday afternoon. From the condition of the body it is thought to have been lying there since Friday, the day on which Cramer was last seen alive.
The discovery was made by Benjamin Wagner and Edward Kress. They went out to the park yesterday to spend the afternoon and about 3 o'clock they went down into Wissahickon hollow and selected a quiet place in which to eat a lunch they had with them. Wissahickon hollow is the valley lying below that part of the roadway known as the "loop." After luncheon they started to climb the hillside and wandered into a little gully which runs into the hollow. It was about half way up this gully that the body was found. No more secluded spot could have been selected in the whole park. The sides of the gully are steep and they are covered with thick underbrush, which completely shields the ground from view both from the hill above and the valley below. The body was found lying at the foot of a large tree. One arm was thrown over the head, which rested on a flat stone. The men at once notified the police and the body was removed to Herman's undertaking establishment. From papers found on the body it was learned that the man's name was Albert Cramer and that he had been in the employ of the Hon. Thomas M. Marshall. One letter was from a sister in Germany and another was a letter of recommendation from Rody Marshall.
An autopsy was held last night by Dr. Guy McCandless, who found that death had been due to some irritant poison, but as no analysis of the stomach has yet been made, the exact nature of the poison could not be stated. The authorities think that it was a case of suicide, and a careful search will be made to-day of the ground around where the body was found to see if any bottle or vial can be found from which poison could have been taken. Nothing of the kind was found on the body.
The last time that Cramer was seen alive so far as is now known was on last Friday morning. Thomas Marshall, Jr., said last night that Cramer had been in the employ of Hon. Thomas Marshall for many years, but had left them nearly a year ago. He said that Cramer was a hard worker and a pleasant fellow when sober, but he would go on sprees occasionally. Last Thursday night Cramer was drunk and went to the residence of Mr. Marshall and asked the gardener there to give him shelter for the night. The gardener took pity on him and kept him until morning, when Cramer left and wandered off in the direction of the park. There is no other reason known for suicide than despondency caused by the lack of work and drink.Among the letters found on Cramer's person was a little faded flower known as the violet of the Alps. It had been sent to him by his mother, who asked in tender, loving words how her boy was getting along in the far-away world and begged him to write to her soon. The answer will be written by a stranger's hand.