Suddenly Insane, December 10, 1881

Sometimes when you’re researching a topic, you run across something else that makes you stop in your tracks and read the whole thing. We have been talking about the area of Root River down near the State Street Bridge, and also the Fourth Street Bridge which used to be just upriver from State Street, so this story caught my attention:

The Fourth Street Bridge over the Root River

Racine Daily Journal, Saturday, December 10, 1881
Suddenly Insane
Yesterday morning between 12 and 1 o’clock there was considerable excitement in the blacksmith shop at the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Manufactory, caused by John Meredith, one of the employees, becoming suddenly insane. He was eating his dinner, when he jumped up suddenly and grabbed John Klein by the throat, shaking him violently and yelling at the top of his voice that he was glad to see him. One of the workmen secured him and after considerable trouble got him started on the way home. While passing over Fourth street bridge Meredith endeavored to break away and strike a man who was passing, but was prevented. A little further on he met two men who had served in the army with him, and he became perfectly wild, shaking them by the hand and yelling and shouting at an alarming rate.
It seems that Meredith was a soldier in the late war, and while in a battle a shell burst close to his head, knocking him senseless, in which condition he remained for two months in the hospital. Since his recovery he has not been exactly right, and of late he has been troubled considerably about getting a pension. His friends think he has now become insane, and his strange actions would certainly indicate such to be the case.

April 23, 1884

This might be the same person, 2 1/2 years later: April 23, 1884
Mr. John Meredith, of this city has received from the pension department at Washington, $1,400 for his pension. Mr. M. service during the late war [Civil War], in the Eighth Wisconsin regiment. He is being congratulated to-day on his good luck.

May 5, 1886

May 5, 1886: At 3:30 Thursday a.m. John Meredith, an old citizen, died at him home, corner of Eleventh street and Lockwood Avenue, after a brief sickness. The deceased served during the late war in Company K., Eighth Wisconsin, V. I., and was a brave soldier. A wife and children survive him.