As I write this, I have such a jumble of emotions. From what I can tell, John Cronin was probably a fine, upstanding member of the Mt. Sterling community. He married Lucy Probert and together they had five children: Joseph, Albert, Charley, Annie, and Addie. He was respected enough to be a "Deputy Marshall." So how could everything go so badly so quickly?*
I have to believe that the shooting of Richard O'Conner had something to do with pushing John over the edge -- but at what a cost to his wife and children. I wonder if he would have acted differently if he would have seen how desperate the situation would become for his widow. Within a year and a half, all five children were placed in an orphanage. Lucy would feel compelled to leave town. Perhaps there is more to the story than I know and John anticipated a trial that would not go well for him. At any rate, he took his own life.
This caused a real dilemma for the burial of John Cronin because suicide prevented the Catholic Church of the time from allowing the body to be buried in "consecrated" ground. I found this article that described the problem.
|Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, Tuesday, 4-11-1882, Vol. 1, p. 1.|
So on this day, 129 years later, I hope John is at peace -- regardless of resting place.
* Additional research proved that it was Richard O'Conner who worked in the grocery store -- not John Cronin. Perhaps his job at the time of his death was serving as a "Deputy Marshall". He had once worked as a tinner (tinsmith).