12 results for month: 07/1916


Saturday, July 15: Matawan

Stanley Fisher and Lester Stillwell have separate funeral services. Both are interred at Rosehill Cemetery in Matawan. The Fisher family used money from a life insurance policy ($7,500) Mr. Fisher had recently received - in exchange for work for a client - to purchase a stained glass window for the front of the Methodist Church. It was dedicated in July 1918 and damaged by a local blast five months later. In the 1970's, the church was demolished and the window was auctioned off to the highest bidder to a private collector. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

Friday, July 14: Matawan

NJ Governor James Fielder "virtually mandated" that steel wire mesh be used to enclose all popular swimming locations. 5:30 am: Train conductor Harry Van Cleaf spots Lester Stillwell's body floating in the creek by the train trestle (approx. 150 ft. west of Wycoff dock). 10:00 am: Stanley Fisher's parents - who had been out of state visiting their daughter - arrive by train in Matawan.

Thursday, July 13: Matawan

Possibly both panicked and enraged by the loss of two members of their tightly-knit community, underwater blasting with dynamite in the creek was done in an attempt to kill the shark. Arris B. Henderson, Matawan Mayor, posted a $100 reward for "killing the shark."

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (5:06 pm)

5:06 pm: Stanley Fisher was placed on the train to Long Branch. 5:30 pm: Mr. Fisher was wheeled into the operating room. Dr. Edwin Field was the surgeon working to save his life. 6:45 pm: Mr. Fisher died from blood loss and shock. For more information about Stanley Fisher, please visit our Historic People page.

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (2:35 pm)

Another group of children was swimming in the creek at the brickyard dock, about 1/2 mile to the east from the Wycoff dock. Joseph Dunn, a 12-year-old from New York City, was visiting his aunt in Cliffwood Beach with his brother Michael, who was 14 years old. Joseph and Michael joined their friend Jerry Hourihan and two other friends in the creek by the NJ Clay Co. docks. The boys heard yelling and the word "shark" and quickly tried to make their way out of the creek. Joseph was farthest away from the dock ladder and last to reach it. He felt his left lower leg being bitten and he was pulled under. Michael and Jerry tried to pull him out, but it ...

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (2:05 pm)

Approx. 2:10 pm: The boys ran past Mr. Fisher's store, screaming that Lester had been attacked by a shark. Mr. Fisher thought perhaps Lester was drowning as a result of a seizure; he immediately left his store and took Red Burlew (who was passing by) and Arthur Smith with him. At first, the three men searched for Lester in a boat. It was 30 minutes since Lester went under the water, but they still didn't believe it was a shark attack. However, at this point, they knew they would not be finding Lester alive as he had been under water for too long, but they wanted to recover his body for his family. All three men changed into swim tights and dove in. ...

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (1:45 pm)

1:45 pm: Lester's father lets him leave work early to go swimming in the creek with friends. Approx. 1:50 pm: Capt. Cottrell runs through town, including past Stanley Fisher's shop and other businesses, shouting warnings about the shark. Still no one believed him. Approx. 1:55 pm: The boat of teens warned Lester's group of friends about the shark. According to Albert O'Hara, they thought it was a joke. 1 The group of boys swimming at the Wycoff dock: Lester Stillwell, Ally O'Hara, Charles Van Brunt, Johnson Cartan, Frank Close, Anthony Bubblin. [Local note: Johnson Cartan's parents owned Cartan's Department Store at 92 Main ...

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (1:30 pm)

Approx. 1:30 pm: Capt. Thomas Cottrell, a retired sea captain, was walking back from fishing and while crossing the trolley drawbridge over Matawan Creek, he saw a dark, gray shape approximately 8 feet in length, going west, up the creek, with the incoming tide. He recognized that it was a shark. Four workmen on the bridge at that time also saw it. Capt. Cottrell ran to bridge keeper Welling's booth, where there was a phone and called Mulsoff's Barber Shop (John Mulsoff is the town barber and chief of police) to warn about the shark. However, Mulsoff doesn't believe him and thinks it's just a prank stemming from the attacks along the shore. Capt. ...

Wednesday, July 12: Matawan (6:30 am)

The remains of the Wycoff dock along Matawan Creek was a popular swimming spot known for having a deep section, which made it a particularly attractive location for the town's young boys to escape the oppressive heat of the summer (girls would not swim there). Located several miles inland from the ocean, it would have been absolutely unfathomable to Matawan residents that a shark could possibly be in the creek. The temperature that afternoon would reach 96 degrees. That morning, the Coast Guard released a statement that there were "so many sharks [spotted along the shore] that a patrol of cutters would be useless." 6:30 am: Lester Stillwell left ...

Saturday, July 8: Asbury Park

A shark is spotted just outside of the swim ropes. The lifeguard captain on duty took a boat out and beat it with an oar to chase it away. It was an allegedly 12-foot shark.