Here is the other article on the death of William Raggett, originally published in the San Francisco Call on July 11, 1892, on page 7, column 6. As with the first article, no reporter’s name is provided:
PERHAPS A FRATRICIDE
William J. Raggett Dies From the Effect of His Wound
His Brother, “Black Dick,” Charged With Murder — The Dying Man Maintained That He Was Accidentally Stabbed
William J. Raggett, the young man who was stabbed through the right lung during a scuffle with his brother Richard A., better known as “Black Dick,” died early yesterday morning at the home of his mother. Was his death a case of fratricide or the result of an accident? That’s the question the police are trying to solve.
“Black Dick” had a room in the Root House, 126 Fourth Street, which he shared with a woman known as Josie, an inmate of a den in Morton Street. He was a bartender by occupation but had not worked for some time, living upon the earnings of the woman. On the night of Thursday June 30, his brother paid a visit to his room. William was wearing an overcoat owned by Richard and this seems to have been the cause of the quarrel that led on to the fatal stabbing. When the quarrel began William Wadleigh, a friend who was present ostensibly for the purpose of sharing the morphine used by the brothers, left the room and retired to his own apartment in the same house. A few minutes later William fell to the floor with a knife-wound in his right breast. Richard dragged his wounded brother down to a saloon underneath the house and left him there. Then he fled but soon after was found and arrested on charges of assault to murder.
BOTH TOLD THE SAME STORY
The wounded man was conveyed to the Receiving Hospital where he said that he had been accidentally injured by falling upon a knife while quarreling with his brother. His brother said the same.
For several days the condition of the wounded man improved, and last Thursday Police Surgeon Sumers consented to his removal to the home of his mother. Pus gathered in the wound however and blood-poisoning set in. Dr. Somers, who continued ‘to attend’ William, informed his patient late Saturday night that he was in a dying condition. He was advised to make a dying statement and he did so. In the presence of his mother and a notary public he said that he received the fatal wound by accidentally falling upon a knife.
The coroner was notified of the death, but the remains were not removed to the morgue. An autopsy will probably be made to-day and an inquest commenced.
Deceased was aged 26 years, a native of California and a butcher by occupation. He was about 3 years younger than Richard and, having been out of employment, received assistance from him.
WOULD SAY NOTHING
When informed of his brother’s death yesterday afternoon Richard was greatly affected. He turned very pale, shed a few tears and clutched the bars of his cell to keep from falling. After a charge of murder was recorded against him on the City Prison register, he declined to say anything more about the encounter. “My lawyer,” said he, “has advised me to say nothing and I am going to follow his advice.”
Wadleigh, the young cigar box maker who has been locked up as a witness since the night of the affray was more communicative. “I can only repeat,” he said, “what I have stated before. On the night of the stabbing I was in Dick Raggett’s room when William entered. Dick taunted his brother with what he had done for him. He then began to find fault with William for wearing his overcoat. William took off the overcoat and as I left the room I heard Dick say ‘I’d rather cut it to pieces than let you wear it.’ While passing through the hall I heard a ripping, tearing sound as though the coat was being cut to pieces. Several minutes later Dick entered my room and exclaimed, ‘My God! William has fallen upon the knife and cut himself.’ While I was looking for my brother who rooms with me, I was arrested. That’s all I know about it.”
THE POLICE THEORY
The police believe that the knife was held by Dick’s hand when the wound was inflicted. Whether it was accidental or intentional remains to be determined. The brothers had many quarrels, and in fact, they never parted for months before the stabbing, without exchanging words of wrath.
Several applications were made last week to Judge Rix for the release of Richard Raggett on bail but each time the application was denied.
The only other documentation we have about this came nine years later, in an issue of the Call on February 5, 1901. This appeared in the obituary column:
RAGGETT — In this city, February 3, 1901, Richard Raggett, dearly beloved son of Mrs. Mary and the late Michael Raggett, a native of San Francisco, aged 37 years. Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral this day (Tuesday) at 9 o’clock from his late residence, 627 Grove Street, thence to Sacred Heart Church, where a solemn requiem mass will be celebrated for the repose of his soul, commencing at 9:30 o’clock. Interment Mount Calvary Cemetery.
My mom noted separately that he was moved later to the family plot at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.
We know nothing more about this situation than what I’ve described. As this page describing using records of the Call to create a database mentions:
On April 18, 1906 a devastating earthquake shook the San Andreas fault near San Francisco. Even greater than the damage caused by the quake itself, estimated at $20,000,000, was the damage caused by the subsequent fires that broke out in the city. By the time the fires had been extinguished, leaving another $400,000,000 in losses, most of the city had been destroyed including the government buildings. The loss included nearly all of the public records held by the city/county government — land records, vital statistics, court records, and so on.
Compounding the loss, the State of California did not require recording of vital statistics (births, marriages, and deaths) until 1 July 1905. Prior to that date, counties kept their own records. After July 1905, a standard form was used by the counties, and duplicate copies were sent to the State, thus only those events that occurred between July 1905 and April 1906 survive for San Francisco city/county.