Julius Earll Jr. had everything going for him: born into a wealthy family, the only son of a very successful businessman. But as a child, he lost an eye in an accident, and then much of his hearing to disease. When he was 10 years old, his father died. And yet young Julius grew up to be “much given to manly sports.” He rode horses, went sailing and ice-boating, and it was said that his yacht and ice-boat were among the fastest on the lake. He was thoughtful and charming; people loved the young man. It seemed that he had found a way to surmount every obstacle placed in his path.
On a Saturday in February of 1882, Julius Earll went ice-boating with a party of his friends. Earll was at the tiller, and B. Frank Petheram, Frank’s sister Gertie, Ella Stacy and Fred Foote were in the boat as well. One other boat was out on the ice, piloted by George Whitfield. As the two boats approached one another, a gust of wind lifted Earll’s boat, he lost the use of his rudder, his craft veered into the path of Whitfield’s, and they collided.
Everyone escaped injury, except for Julius Earll. He was impaled on a sharp iron runner of the other boat and carried several yards across the ice before the boat could be brought to a stop. The wound was just below Earll’s left hip, and it was grievous, some eight inches deep, “penetrating the vitals.”
Unconscious and bleeding profusely, Earll was carried to a store on the shore where Dr. Phillip Benson made a quick examination of the wound. Earll was then carried to his home, and Dr. George W. Earll, a relation, arrived. Dr. R.W. Pease, a surgeon, was summoned from Syracuse, and arrived on the 9:30 p.m. train. But all that the three men could do was give the young man opium for the pain, and wait. Dr. Pease thought Julius Earll had a 50-50 chance, and he did hold onto life for another 24 hours, but death came at 10:15 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Julius Earll was 24 years old; he was survived by his mother and sister. His funeral was held at his family’s home on Wednesday afternoon. The newspaper noted, “The floral offerings were profuse, and of rare designs, typical of the life of the deceased.”