“H.C. Humphrey, well known as a banker in Eugene, went to Portland Friday and registered at the St. Charles Hotel as “John Smith, Chehalis,” and went to bed. Late the next afternoon he was found dead in his bed with a bottle of morphine and one of bromine on the stand. This morphine had been purchased at Woodard’s drug store and when the clerk objected to selling it, Humphrey remarked, “Do I look like a man who would kill himself?” I want it for a friend, C.H. Murphy of Roseburg.” The clerk thought the big healthy looking man weighing some 225 pounds would not likely want to commit suicide, and sold him the morphine. The coroner’s jury on hearing all the evidence thought that it was not a case of suicide and that Humphrey took the morphine to induce sleep as he had been suffering from sleeplessness, being the victim of stomach trouble. Humphrey was formerly in the banking business at Eugene, being a member of Hovey, Humphrey & Co. During the panic of two years ago the bank closed. When it re-opened Humphrey had no connection with it. He has been interested this season in shipping fruit east and it is understood he was successful. He was 39 years of age and had been married about nine years. He leaves a widow and two children. His remains were brought to Eugene and interred in the Odd Fellows cemetery Monday afternoon. The A.O.U. W. order had charge of the ceremonies.” Junction City Times (Oregon), Nov. 23, 1895, pg. 5, col. 2.
Find A Grave lists a very detailed account concerning the facts around Mr. Humphrey’s death, as well as a photo of his headstone.
Given the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) we have today, how do you think this case would have been concluded?
The I.O.O.F. (Eugene Pioneer Cemetery) lists him as Henry Clay Humphrey who was born Sep 18, 1856 in Elmira Oregon and died Nov. 15, 1895 in Portland Oregon. In block 219 of the cemetery are many Humphrey family members.