MIEL, Percy F.

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MIEL, Percy F. a.k.a. TURNER, P. L. ( -1902)



In the News~

June 28, 1902 [SFCall]: “Peculiar death at Avalon. Los Angeles, June 27. — P. L. Turner of Bisbee, Arizona, where he is said to own valuable mining interests, died at Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, today, under peculiar circumstances. With his wife he arrived there today and went rowing. After an hour on the water they were returning and as they neared the shore Turner arose in the boat and fell backward into the water. His wife extended an oar toward him, but apparently he was unconscious and paid no heed to it. His body was recovered within a few minutes, but although skilled physicians worked over it for an hour and a half, applying every known remedy, no signs of life could be detected. It is thought he may have been attacked by heart failure.“


June 30, 1902 [SFCall]: “Strange death puzzles friends. Man drowned in the Bay of Avalon was Percy F. Miel. Deep mystery shrouds his effort to conceal his identity. Los Angeles, June 29. Last Friday a man calling himself P. F. Turner of Bisbee, Ariz., died in the bay of Avalon under very peculiar circumstances. He had come from Los Angeles that morning with a woman whom he said was his wife. In the afternoon he had chartered a boat for a row. They had been paddling about the bay for some time, when suddenly he fell backward into the water and there floated, face down and some little distance beneath the surface, until brought up a few minutes later by the boatmen who came at once to the rescue on hearing the woman's cries. All efforts at resuscitation proved unavailing and the death was apparently not caused by drowning. The woman who passed as his wife stated that he was subject to epileptic fits, and that one of these was probably what caused his death. Now it is discovered that the man's real name was Percy F. Miel, and the reason for his false registration is more or less of a mystery to his friends here. Miel had lived in Los Angeles about four years, coming here from San Francisco. His father, a very old man, is a retired clergyman of the Episcopal church and lives in Philadelphia. An elder brother, also connected with the same organization, has for several year been rector of a leading church in San Francisco. Some years ago, while in spiritual charge of a Sausalito flock, he was elected and served through one session as chaplain of the State Senate. In response to a telegram sent to the brother this morning, the Rev. Mr. Miel telegraphed to have the body embalmed and sent at once to the north. It will be shipped tomorrow at noon. Percy F. Miel had many warm friends here. His former wife and two children reside with Mrs. Miel's father, ex-Judge Sullivan of Alameda. A recent decision of the court here in some mining litigation gave the deceased $6000. Only a pert of this had been received by him, and just how much remains for the widow and children is not known.“


July 2, 1902 [Arizona Republican Newspaper, Bisbee]: “P. L. Turner, a Bisbee mining man died Friday at Avalon, Catalina Island, under peculiar circumstances. He went with his wife for a row on the bay. When a hundred feet from the shore, returning, he stood up in the boat to change his seat. Suddenly he fell backward into the water. When help reached him he apparently was dead though floating. After working over him for an hour, the physicians gave up and gave the opinion that he died probably from heart failure.“


July 5, 1902: “ The telegraph dispatches of last Saturday stated that a Bisbee mining man named P. F. Turner visiting Catalina Island had fallen out of a row boat and drowned. Inquiry failed to place him among the Bisbee people as no one by that name was known here. When he met his death Turner was with a woman supposed to be his wife. The woman who passed as his wife stated that he was subject to epileptic fits and that one of these was probably what caused his swift and awful end. Now it is discovered that the man's real name was Percy F. Miel of Los Angeles and the reason for his false registration is more or less a mystery to his friends in Los Angeles.“