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Archiver > NYULSTER > 2001-07 > 0996200216


From: "gary dufel" <>
Subject: Follow-up on 1868 - Murder in Accord
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 22:16:56 -0400


A few weeks ago I wrote about a murder that took place near Accord,
Rochester in 1868 and I was particularly interested in trying to find a
burial plot of the victim based on some clues in the newspapers.

Thanks to some responses I have the Beers Atlas Map from 1875, and I can
readily locate the murder spot - 3 miles east of Accord at the property of a
J. Westbrook.

I still seek the victim's burial location, and the questions asked at the
inquest provide the strongest clues.

The victim, Sophia Tompkins Hornbeck Smith was clearly buried near the
murder location because her daughter came to Mr. Westbrook's home to
identify her mothers belongings just before the body was exhumed. At the
inquest, the burial site was referenced as "the burial plot across the river
from this place".

So where was "this place"? In other words, where would an inquest have been
held in 1868.

I am guessing that it would have been at the Hotel in Port Jackson, which is
located near the Roundout Creek. The road seems to be a stage coach road,
and the hotel seems to be a sizeable building. That would place the burial
along the south side of the stream a bit east of "downtown" Accord if one
can label the place as a downtown. There was also a small hotel labeled on
the 1875 map right in Accord, so that could be a candidate as well. (In that
case, the cemetery would be on the north side of Roundout). I am assuming
that any public building such as a post office would have been pretty small
and unusable as a public meeting place. I am also biased by my early TV
westerns. It seems that they always held trials or meetings at the local
saloons or churches on Bonanza, and somehow a church doesn't seem to be the
appropriate place to hold an inquest into a brutal murder.

I could again use some advice from someone who knows the area well and
perhaps knows some history of the area:

1. Is it likely that the inquest would have been held at the Hotel in Port
Jackson, or where else could it have been held?
2. I am not aware of any sizeable cemetery right near there, so does anyone
know of a burial place that might consist of just a few stones, might even
have been a paupers field. She was originally an unknown victim, quickly
buried, and it appears she was simply reburied after she was exhumed and
identified. I am not sure if the land along there is woods, floodplain, or
pasture, so I don't know how obvious it would be to spot a small cemetery.

( I am aware of two sizeable cemeteries in the area - one west of Accord on
209, and one east that I believe is called Benton-Barr. I have been to both,
but I think these are a bit too far from where I believe the burial would
be.)

Gary




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