Henry Adams Bodman – suicide by poisoning

The Grand Jury which brought in an indictment for Lizzie Borden (unknown which is Mr. Bodman)

Henry A. Bodman was the foreman of the Grand Jury which indicted Lizzie Borden. A couple of months after Lizzie’s acquittal Mr. Bodman himself would be in the newspapers, a sensation after being found beneath the sheets, empty vial of poison beside him and two suicide notes written to friends. His wife, Sarah had died in 1891 and his finances were going downhill, leading to despondency. They had married in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 3, 1853

Henry Bodman was born on September 13, 1831 to Erastus and Mary Ann Bodman in Williamsburg, Massachusetts- a farming family. He enlisted in the 73rd Infantry, Illinois on August 21, 1862 and resigned as a Second Lieutenant on March 9, 1865. By 1870 he and Sarah were living in New Bedford with two sons, Frederick and Wilmer. Henry was working in a plane factory. By 1880 he was living in Attleboro as a musical instrument dealer. He opened a music store which he sold a couple of years before his death and was water register and superintendent of water works for a time. It is believed the suicide had taken place several days before the body was found, most likely the Sunday evening after he had been seen on the street. He was reported missing and a search revealed his sad demise.

The Fall River Daily Globe obituary

The Boston Globe, Sept. 8, 1893

Henry Bodman was a Mason. He left two married sons.

Death Registry indicating suicide

Woodlawn Cemetery, Attleboro, (photo courtesy of Find A Grave)

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