Coroner's Inquest for Patrick Donahue

On March 28, 1907, Patrick Donahue left home with two friends.  He was 16 years old at the time and living with his parents at 51 Bigelow St. in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.  He and his friends were headed to Youngstown, OH by way of the P&W Railroad.  His body was found on Wednesday, May 2, 1907 by Charles Keogh who had gone fishing with a friend along Pine Creek which is North of the city of Pittsburgh.  His mother identified his body on May 4.  Note at this time the family name was spelled Donohoe.

The following reports are from the official inquest documents:

Proof of Identity - Testimony of Mary Donahue

I, Mary Donohoe, residing at 51 Bigelow St., Pittsburgh, PA being duly sworn according to law, do depose and say that I visited the Allegheny County Morgue, 542 Diamond St., Pittsburgh and fully identified the body lying there as that of my son.  His full name is Patrick Donohoe, age 16 years.  Social relation single, occupation Laborer, and residing at 51 Bigelow St., Pittsburgh, PA.

The last time I saw my son alive was about five weeks ago at home.  He never told me where he was going or when he would come back.  I do not know how he was drowned or he didn't have any business around the river or didn't have any trouble around home.  I know nothing as to the cause of death.  I saw clothing at the morgue and fully identified them as his clothing.

Signed: Mary Donohoe

Sworn and subscribed before me this 4th day of May, 1907
James R Laughrey - Deputy Coroner

Affidavit - Testimony of Thomas Donlin

I, Thomas Donlin, residing at 347 Greenfield Ave, 23rd Ward, Pittsburgh, being duly sworn according to law, do depose and say:
On the 28th day of March, William Butler, myself and the deceased had started to go to Youngstown and we had made up our mind to get through on the railroad and we reached Bakertown and a Brakeman had told us to get off there and told us to go home and we took the Brakeman's advise and had started back and we had got on the cow catcher and was riding back home.  The Brakeman had told us that we would likely run across a Detective and when we reach Wildwood a detective came out of a restaurant and as we were on the front of the engine he came and took the three of us down past the engine and asked us our name and then he searched our pockets.  He said that we had a gun but we did not have a gun with us.  We started to walk down the track and when we reached the bridge a passenger train came along and the deceased had been carrying the Detective's overcoat and when the passenger train had passed we did not see the deceased as he was on the one side of the train and we were on the other side and when the train passed we could not find the detective or our companion.

Signed: Thomas Donlin

Sworn and subscribed before me this 5th day of May, 1907
H N Gilmore - Deputy Coroner

Affidavit - Testimony of Charles E. Keogh

I, Charles E. Keogh, residing at Osgood St., 10th Ward, Allegheny, PA, being duly sworn according to law, do depose and say:
On Thursday, May 2, 1907 about 3 P.M. a friend and I went to Bryant Station on the P&W R.R. for the purpose of fishing.  We walked up the R.R. tracks towards Wildwood Station and when about 1/2 mile this side of Wildwood Station we stopped on a R.R. bridge over Pine Creek and as I cast my hook for the first time into the water I saw the deceased about 15 feet from the shore and the same distance below the bridge, he was about a foot under water and appeared to be on his hands and knees.  I went back down the creek and got my friend to come up and assist me in getting the body to shore where we tied him up then went to Wildwood Station and notified teh Coroners Office.  I did not know the deceased and do not know how he got into the water only that I found on the above date about 3:30 or 4 P.M.

Signed: Charles E. Keogh

Sworn and subscribed before me this 6th day of May, 1907
George A. Mercer - Deputy Coroner

Coroner's Inquest - Verdict

On May 22, 1907, the Coroner's Jury returned a verdict:

We, the Jurors empaneled in the above Inquisition, do find that Patrick Donahoe, age 16 years, 3 months, 21 days, school boy, and residing at 2 Sedgewick St., Millvale, PA* came to his death in Pine Creek by drowning his body having been recovered from said creek 1/2 mile below Wildwood, PA on Thursday May 2, 1907 at 3:30 P.M.

And from the evidence the jury find death was due to the above cause and that he was found drowned, probably accidental.

[* I am unsure why the address changed between the identification of the body and the verdict.]


James P. Laughrey, Coroner's Inquest Documents, (Pittsburgh, PA, Filed 22 May 1907).  Obtained from the University of Pittsburgh Archives Center.

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