Case Personalities,  Fairhaven

Mr. Bence’s Secret Sorrow

bence.jpgThe testimony that Lizzie Borden tried to procure Prussic Acid at Smith’s pharmacy on the day before the murder has long been an exciting prospect to ponder regarding Lizzie’s possible premeditated attempt on the lives of her parents. Eli Bence, under oath was prepared to testify that Lizzie did enter his store between 10:30 and 11 a.m. on the 3rd of August, and would later identify her by voice and sight.  What a bitter blow to Mr. Bence when his evidence was not allowed at the Grand Jury trial as the Bordens were not poisoned and the incident “too far removed in time”!  Bence was married two times, his last wife being a Maxfield of Fairhaven, which is where today we find the little family.  Eli died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts but made his way back near the town where his evidence was not wanted in the end.  He is buried with his wife and little girl, in Riverside Cemetery Section 6 Lot 111.  Entering the main gate, take the first right and follow the wall about half way down, look left to see a stone marked Bourgeault to find the Maxfield/Bence lot just behind.   The sad little story, not known , was the death of his little Priscilla, buried next to her mother. 


bencecloseup.jpgbence2.jpg please click on photos for large images