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 Mathias Skroch (son of Nicholas) 1844-1884

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Mathias was born in Dammratsch, Krais Oppeln, Silesia, Poland on 9-19-1844.  In 1872, he emigrated to the U.S. with his parents Nicholas and Catharina Skroch and settled in the town Two Rivers, Morrison County, Minnesota.   His first marriage was to Hedwig Stodolka and they had one child John Skroch (1873 – 1945).  Hedwig died in 1874, and Mathias remarried to Susanna Schlichting (1852 – 1936).

(Note:  Some genealogists have confused this Mathias with the Mathias (1834 – 1873), son of Simon, who died in Independence, WI in 1873 as a result of a wagon/salt barrel accident.)

Mathias Skroch (son of Nicholas) died on June 1, 1884 in North Prairie, Morrison Co., Minnesota.   The following is an article in the “Little Falls Sun” newspaper dated June 5, 1884 regarding the circumstances of Mathias’ death.

Whiskey and Death

While a lot of Polanders were having a little picnic at Miller’s saloon, at North Prairie, last Sunday, and had sampled the seductive alcohol till they had about all they could carry, Mathias Skroch hinted to Stephen Burris that he (Burris) had jumped the old country to escape the army, thus branding him a coward, an imputation that the average Polander with a quart of alcohol on board will not swallow.  Burris at once wounded Sckrouch’s anatomy with his fist.  The latter representative from Poland not being able to stand up under a combination of dose of fist and bug-juice went down in the first round, and in falling struck the back of his head on an iron door sill, breaking his head and rendering him insensible.  At this juncture they became scared and began using more coffin varnish as a restorative, but which had the effect of farther stupefying him.  Upon discovering this they put him on in an ice house to cool off.  Finding that this did not have the desired effect they removed him more dead than alive from the ice house, after which he soon died.  Justice is a little tardy at North prairie, and it was not until late Monday afternoon when the coroner, sheriff and county attorney was telegraphed for, and immediately responded to the call.  An inquest was held and the following verdict rendered in this case:

State of Minnesota, County of Morrison

An inquisition taken at Two Rivers, Morrison county, on the 3rd day of June, A.D.1884, before A.J.McMannis, coroner of the said county of Morrison, upon view of the body of Mathias Skroch, lying there dead, by the oaths of the jurors, whose names are hereunto subscribed, who, being sworn to inquire on behalf of the state of Minnesota, when, how, and by what means, the said Mathias Skroch, came to his death, upon their oath do say, that at the town of Two Rivers, in the county and state aforesaid, on the first day of June, A.D. 1884, the said Mathias Skroch, came to his death by reason of an assault and battery, by another, one Stephen Burris as follows, to-wit:  He the said Stephen Burris, then and there violently pushing unlawfully and maliciously, him the said deceased, Mathias Skroch thereby causing him to fall, striking the back of his head upon the iron threshold of a door with such force as to cause concussion of the brain, the same causing the death of the said Mathias Skroch.  In testimony whereof the said coroner and jurors of this inquest have hereunto set there hands, the day and year aforesaid.

Updated: 6 July 2014