June 6, 1907


He Receives Much Advice and De-
clines a Possible Offer of Mar-
riage -- His Case Hopeless,
Says Examining Doctor.

Edward Murphy, who left the Jackson county poor farm with the firm intention of selling his body for enough money on which to live a few days at his own expense, is still at the Helping Hand Institute. Many people called to see him yesterday. Most of them called to cheer him up.

"One fellow took me to see Colonel Scott of the Salvation Army," said Murphy. "But he as the wrong idea. I nave never said I was going to commit suicide. I only want to sell my body for $5 or $10. The purchaser may do with it as he sees fit. My hope is to be put out of the way by some painless method, however."

Dr. O. E. McKillup, physician for the institute, examined Murphy yesterday and pronounced his case hopeless. He has epilepsy, partial paralysis, rheumatism and heart disease. While Murphy was in front of the place last night a negro in the garb of a minister approached and asked to be directed to the man who wanted to sell his body. When Murphy was pointed out the man said in ministerial tones:


"Dear brother, I have been directed to you by the Lord. I read of your intentions in the papers, prayed over the matter and the Lord sent me here."

"Is that so?" asked Murphy. "What'd he tell you to say?"

"That there was hope for you, brother," was the reply. "I bring a message of hope to you. Happiness and health await you."

"Well," replied Murphy with a drawl, "all I've got to say is that you've been an awful long time finding it out."

A woman called at the Helping Hand during the day with a propsition that actually startled. She was a small woman, not good looking, probably 40 years old and modestly dressed.

"Is it true that he really will sign a contract to sell himself?" she asked.

"Yes," she was told, "but he prefers to be put out of the way when he as lived up the purchase money -- buying his own bed and board for a time."

"Is he good looking?' she asked timidly, "I hear that he is only 40 years old. Is he incurable? Don't you think that the proper treatment under different conditions would benefit him -- that eh might get entirely well? Do you think that he would mind if a woman bought him and --"

"What would you like to do with him?"

"I would like to see him first. If he suited me -- my tastes, I mean, I might spend a little money on him and possibly get him in condition. He might be a very different man if cured, you know, and --"

"Would you marry him, then? Is this what's on your mind?" she was asked.

"I have not come here to discuss that," she replied. "Stranger things than that have taken place."

"He's not in just now, anyway," the woman was informed. "A man took him out for a car ride a while ago. Will you leave your card or call again later?" the man asked her.

"I'm sorry," she said, sadly. "I may call again tomorrow."

When Murphy was told that a woman had been there to see him and that she was inquiring about his age and his looks, he laughed.

"I've had enough trouble in my forty years of life," he said, "without getting a woman mixed up in the case."

Tehn he talked to himself in an undertone: "Sell myself to a woman to do with as she pleased. Not much. Not for Murf."

Murphy said that half of his life was spent in the logging camps of Michigan and Wisconsin, where he waded in rivers of broken ice waist deep half the year. He said that his rheumatism started there. Murphy was reared a Catholic, but had never been confirmed until two years ago in Quincy, Ill., where he went for treatment.

"I got my first good meal in this place that I have had in a long time," he broke in. "Had eggs, too -- first I've seen in months. Had steak that I could chew, good bread, butter and coffee and onions. Yes, sir, I did."