Person:Wells Finch (1)

Wells Finch
d.April 15, 1897
  1. Marion Finch1833 -
  2. Wells Finch1835 - 1897
m. October 23, 1867
Facts and Events
Name Wells Finch
Gender Male
Birth? October 13, 1835 Monroe, New York, United States
Marriage October 23, 1867 Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesto Carolyn Bryant
Death? April 15, 1897
    Friday April 16, 1897

    Wells Finch's Effects
    The effects found on the body of Wells Finch, who was accidentally killed by a pistol shot at the Produce Exchange yesterday afternoon, were taken to the Coroner's office this morning, and turned over to Coroner Hoeber. Among them were six one-dollar gold pieces of the mint of 1860, when the premium was very high; three Queens Jubilee silver pieces, and a five-dollar gold certificate.
    The body has been removed to his late residence, No, 60 West Eighty-third Street.
  2.   Notice. THE NEW YORK HERALD, WHOLE NO. 22,155
    Monday April 19, 1897 - Second Edition

    F I N C H . — ATLANTIC LODGE, No. 178, F and A. M . —
    Brethren are respectfuly invited to attend the funeral of Brother WELLS FINCH, on Monday, April 19, from his late residence, 60 West 83d st.
    WILLIAM H. SMITH, Master.
    HARVEY E. NEVINS, Secretary.
    New York, July 8, 1893.
    A. H. Collins, Esqv
    DEAR SIR :—AS usual, I find The
    Caledonia Advertiser this morning on my
    desk, and I must certainly compliment you
    upon its improved appearance, for it is deserved.
    If it is typical of a like improvement
    hi the appearance of Caledonia, then
    may we all have just cause to be proud.
    With warmest congratulations, I remain,
    Yours, Truly, .
  4.   The Caledonia Advertiser
    Thursday November 10, 1892

    We are indebted to Mr. Wells Finch
    of New York for a badge of white silk with
    the stars and stripes at the top and below
    printed In,. totters of gold, the words:
    "Produce and Maritime Exchanges.
    Harrison and Reid. 1889."
  5.   Comitted Suicide


    The Suicide in New York of Wells Finch, Formerly of Caledonia.
    The death by his own hand of Wells Finch, of New York City, greatly shocked the residents of Caledonia where Mr. Finch was so well and favorably known. He was the only son of the late Seeley Finch, a prominent and wealthy resident of Caledonia, and was born and resided there until manhood, when he went to New York, where he was for over 30 years a prominent member of the Produce Exchange and in his Wall street speculations made and lost several fortunes. He occaisionally wivisted his old Caledonia home. Only last week he sent a lette to the Caledonia Advertiser renewing his subscription and expressing his love for his native town. His tragic end has brought sorrow to all who knew him, as he was a most genial, lovable man.
  6.   THE WORLD, (of New York City)
    vol. XXXVII No.13,023
    Friday April 16, 1897


    Broker Wells Finch Accidentally Killed in the Produce Exchange.


    No One Heard the Report of the Explosion That Sent a Bullet Crashing Into His Brain.


    The Body Was Found by One of the cleaners About an Hour After the unfortunate accident.

    Death mounted the Produce Exchange tower yesterday afternoon. No one heard the single shot that announced its coming. And the man who wss taken, Wells Finch, one of the oldest members of the Exchange, had to go In the twinkling of an eye. for the cigar he was smoking still stuck between his lips and the revolver he was cleaning still stayed In his hand.

    it was 3.30 P. M.. and John Flaken, the porter, started out on his afternoon round to clean up the offices. Up, he went first to the eighth floor, for Mr. Finch, the only regular occupant of that floor in the tower, was always one of the earliest away. Whistling cheerily, he opened the door of room No. 507. Wild goats of wind greeted him -- there was a half gale blowing up from the bay -- and a body.

    There was Mr. Finch dead at his desk. His head hung a bit; his left hand nearly touched the floor, clutching the revolver. In his right was a screwdriver resting on the desk in front of him.

    Four steps at a time went the frightened Finken downstairs. He burst Into the office of Watchman Bird, the former detective sergeant. In another moment the news wss out, and rumor promptly set at work manifolding It. Some heard that there had been murder done on the floor of the Exchange: some that a broker had committed suicide there, it took a funny twist, too -- the thing was all a joke planned by Mr. Finch to fool his friends.

    Five minutes found the tower full -- policemen, doctors, detectives and friends of the dead man. Scores more, just Idle curiosity-seekers, clamored for place, but the elevator man was obdurate. Finally Coroner Hoeber arrived.

    Suicide or accident? It didn't take long to determine. Revolver In the left hand (Mr. Finch was right-handed); screwdriver In the right: bottle of oil on the desk, a bit of a rag; a tiny heap of dirt on a piece of paper. Were these not enough to prove that death was not premeditated and that Mr. Finch had been shot by the accidental discharge of the revolver he was cleaning?

    And then there waa the letter. To whom It was written no one but the dead broker's family can tell. "My dear niece," It began. It was full of plans for the summer, and ran on with a pleasant flow of family news and gossip. The Summons came before that letter was finished and before Its writer could sign his name.

    "We have kept the house. No. 60 West Eighty-third street," read the final sentence, "for the summer, and we want you and Aunt Carrie to come" ---
    That was as far as it went. Mr. Finch must have paused a moment to look after his revolver. It was loaded. A falsa snap of the trigger and -- the end! The bullet entered the left eye. Death was instantaneous. So the head just fell over of Its awn weight and the hand sank to the floor. Not a soul heard the shot.

    Of those who came an hour later was E. D. Neustadt, one of Mr. Finch's closest friends. He had seen him on the street as late as 3 o'clock laughing with a friend. To Mr. Neustadt, then, fell the duty of going Up to Mr. Finch's home in Eighty-third street and telling Mrs. Finch that she was a widow. There are no children.

    The dead broker was one of the oldest members of the Exchange, and for forty years had been in the flour commission business. Had he lived till Oct. 13 next he would have been sixty-three years old. He started In business with Hicks & Hathaway, and afterwards joined the firm when It became Hicks & Co. Finally the firm became Wells Finch & Co. Three years ago his partners retired, and Mr. Finch continued in business for himself.

    Of late Mr. Finch had not been doing so large a business as once he did. He was of rather a retiring nature and did not make new business friendships when those of earlier days kept falling away. During the war he was one of the so-called "minute men" of the Produce Exchange. He volunteered for city duty and kept on guard at the Seventh Regiment Armory.
  7.   Similar article as above (but with less theatrics) in the New York Herald, Friday, April 16, 1897, Page 4. With a drawing of the scene. and the following extra info:
    Mr. Finch was born in Monroe county, this
    State, sixty-two years ago, and came to this
    city in 1859. He entered the employ of Hicks
    & Hathaway, and in time became a member
    of the firm, the style of which was changed
    to Hicks & Co. After doing a good business
    for a time the firm failed, and Mr. Finch
    started the firm of Wells. Finch & Co., which
    was dissolved in 1894. 8ince then Mr. Finch
    had conducted business for himself.
  8.   Another similar article in the front page of THE NEW YORK PRESS, Friday Morning April 16, 1897, Vol X, Whole No. 3,425
  9.   Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Friday April 16, 1897 calls it a suicide,
    Suicide of a Former Resident of Monroe
    New York, April 15.-Wells Finch, a
    flour broker and member of the Produce
    Exchange for thirty years, shot and killed
    himself in his office In the fifth floor of the
    Exchange building tnis afternoon.
    Mr. Finch waa born in Monroe county,
    this state, sixty-two years.ago, and came
    to this city in 1859. He entered tbe employ
    of Hicks & Hathaway, uud in time
    became a member of the firm, the style of
    which was changed to Hicks & Co. After
    doing a good business for a tkue the firm
    failed, and Mr. Finch started the firm of
    Wells Finch & Co., which waa disaolved
    in 1894. Since then Mr. Finch had conducted
    busiuess for himself.
  10.   New York Herald, First Section. p.5
    Sunday, April 30, 1899.


    Widow of Wells Finch Believes He May Have Intrusted Them to Some Business Friend.

    Thege appears in to-day's HERALD an advertisement In which Mrs. Wells Finch, of No. 60 West Eighty-third street, requests any person to whom her late husband may have intrusted a package of private papers to notify her. The missing papers include deeds to North Dakota property, promissory notes aggregating about $4,000 and other valuable documents. There is also missing an eightday gold watch which Mr. Finch formerly carried.

    Mr. Finch was accidentally shot while cleaning a pistol In his office at the Produce Exchange two years ago and died from the effects of the wound. About a year before his deatn Mrs. Finch purchased seven hundred acres in North Dakota, near Grand Forks. She had the deeds of the property in her desk, but her husband thought the papers would be safer at his office, and took them there.

    After Mr. Finch's death his widow, as executrix of his estate, noticed the loss of the deeds, as well as a bundle of promissory notes, which she knew her husband had received in business; other documents, only of value to herself, and Mr. Finch's gold watch. Search was unavailing, and Mrs. Finch concluded that, as her husband had given up his safe some time before his death, he had made a package of the missing papers and
    watch and intrusted them to some business friend. She has made dilligent inquiry at the Produce Exchange, and has had boxes of old records searched without avail. Many of the Promissory notes were made payable in North Dakota. Mrs. Finch is afraid unless she negotiates them soon they will become valueless. She has had good offers to sell her Dakota property, and is desirous of disposing of it.