McCall and Boley

San Francisco Call (San Francisco, California) - April 29, 1897

"No One to Blame," the Strange Message of Two Suicides
Dr. McCall and Carpenter Boley Both Well Known in Stockton
Both Supposed to Have Been Despondent From Hard Drinking -
McCall's Family Connections

A strange case, supposedly of double suicide, was discovered on board the Stockton steamer Captain Weber early yesterday morning, as she was moored at the Clay-street wharf. And the sequel is that the body of Dr. James C. McCall of the Slough City and a man believed to be a carpenter named Frank Boley of the same place lie cold and stark at the Morgue.

At what precise time the two men met their death it is hard to say. At 6:30 a.m. the men were discovered in stateroom 1, secured by the physician, by Porter George Miller, who had been ordered by Captain H. Potuin to awaken the passengers and inform them that San Francisco had been reached.

When Miller informed the captain that no answer was made to his repeated calls and knocks and that on unlocking and opening the door, which had been locked from the inside, the expression on the faces of the two men did not appear natural, he dressed himself at once and went down to see what was the trouble.

Dr. McCall was found on the bed, fully dressed, and the man supposed to be Boley, the carpenter, was lying on the floor with a pillow under his head. The latter's coat, vest and shoes had been carelessly tossed into a corner of the apartment and on the floor beside him lay and empty pint flask, which still contained about a teaspoon of whiskey.

Purser Gillis was immediately summoned as soon as the two men were found dead, and identified the man in the berth as Dr. James C. McCall, at one time a prominent physician in Stockton, who had been dragged to his lowly position by the demon rum, and still further, by morphine, a habit acquired later on. He remembered to have seen the two men conversing at Stockton before the steamer left. Both had been drinking heavily, as was evidenced in their red and swollen countenances.

At midnight the steamer stopped at Antioch. There McCall saluted Purser Gillis and inquired where he could purchase a drink. The latter told the doctor he would have time to go ashore and get one, and he at once left the steamer.

It is entirely probable that while off the steamer he purchased the whisky. Whether he also purchased morphine at Antioch or had it already with him cannot be known. But he is said to have used the dangerous drug to excess.

The carpenter Boley, must have drunk last, for the flask was found by his side. He had not engaged a berth, but had a ticket which called only for a general passage.

The Morgue authorities was notified, and at 7:30 o'clock the two men were removed there. During the morning the autopsy physician to the Coroner, Dr. Gallagher, removed Boley's stomach and gave it to Dr. Morgan for chemical analysis. Indications of morphine were in that organ, but the whisky remaining in the flask will require several days to be properly analyzed.

The pockets of Boley contained a 25 cent piece, a pair of spectacles and a small brass ball. The only other article discovered on him was a Chinese laundry ticket, on the back of which was written: "There is no one to blame."

In Dr. McCall's pockets nothing at all was discovered but a small pocket-knife. Sergeant Mahoney and Officer James Mackle, who were detailed on the case by Captain Dunlevy of the Harbor police, as a result of their investigations reported that it was a case of double suicide.

The man believed on good authority to be Boley was about 45 years old and 5 feet 8 or 9 inches in height. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a light brown mustache. He wore a gray fedora hat, a dark suit, somewhat faded; white shirt, with turndown collar, and a brown-figured four-in-hand cravat. His gaiters were tan.

Dr. McCall emigrated to Stockton from the East about five years ago, accompanied by his wife and child. He was induced to do so by his deceased brother, who was Mayor McCall of Stockton and well connected.

McCall did well for some time, as he was a good physician, but when he began to drink his business was neglected and rapidly went to the dogs. After he added the habit of using morphine to his other practices his wife obtained a divorce.

It seems that the two men were imbued with a drunken idea to kill themselves in a manner that would attract attention. If analyses of the whisky shows no morphine this theory can be taken as almost certain. If it does, it may never be known whether Boley knew that the physician had placed it there or not. But the writing on the laundry ticket would indicate that he chose death himself. His wife is said to be divorced and now living in San Francisco with her three children.

An examination of Dr. McCall's stomach, made late in the afternoon, showed the presence of morphine in large quantities.

Dr. McCall's Companion Thought to Have Been a Stockton Carpenter

STOCKTON, Cal, April 23 - The description of the unknown man which was telegraphed from San Francisco to the Mail answers to that of Frank Boley, a carpenter, who had been working for Joseph Hoeri at the latter's planning-mill in the western part of town. Recently Boley was laid off temporarily, but he was to have gone to work again to-day. Yesterday he entered the mill and acted in a peculiar manner. Without making any explanation of what he intended to do he snatched up his toolchest and walked out. This forenoon Mr. Hoert was hunting for him to go to work, when he heard of the double suicide aboard the steamer Weber.

Boley's father is a cook, who works for William Hareison, a farmer of Roberts Island, and a few days ago he sent word to his father by George Mowry, a neighbor of the elder Boley, saying that he wanted to see him. The father arranged to be here last Monday. The younger Boley told Mowry that he intended to go to San Francisco in a few days. Still another circumstance which corroborated the suspicion that it was he who was found dead with McCall is the fact that he had been drinking with him about town for several days, and was seen with him in the neighborhood of Masonic Temple, opposite the Union Company's boat landing, and also in water-front saloons, less than an hour before the steamer started for San Francisco.

They must have boarded the boat and purchased their tickets at the purser's office, for no ticket was sold to Dr. McCall at the office on the wharf.

About three years ago Boley was divorced from his wife in this city. She and their three children reside in San Francisco, and it is supposed that one of his objects in going there was to see them. He could not have started in search of work, for Hoert, his employer, had told him that there would be work for him at the planing-mill.

The Weekly Gazette and Stockman (Reno, Nevada) - May 5, 1897

A Double Suicide

Special to the Gazette:
San Francisco, April 28. - On the arrival of the steamer Weber from Stockton this morning, a mysterious case of double death on the steamer was reported. George Miller, porter on the steamer, on opening a stateroom, found in the berth the dead body of Dr. McCall of Stockton, and on the floor the dead body of an unknown man, fully dressed. On the floor was a pint bottle partly filled with whiskey. In the pocket of the unknown man was a Chinese was ticket on the back of which was written the words, "No one to blame."

The officers of the steamer and the local police believe the case one of double suicide. The body of Dr. McCall was identified by several of the crew and passengers. The man found dead in the stateroom of the steamer Weber this morning with Dr. McCall was Frank Boley, a carpenter. The pair had been together drinking heavily for the last four days.

McCall was a confirmed dipsomanic and addicted to opium, having recently been released from the county jail, where he served six months. He was well connected, but latterly friends and practice left him. It is supposed both men were despondent through drink.

Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) - May 15, 1897

Dr. J. C. McCall and Frank Boley, both of Stockton, were found died in McCall's stateroom on the steamer Captain Weber. Indications pointed to a double suicide.

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