Milton’s Murderous Lover – 1907

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | July 7, 2019

A crazed Milton shoe-worker tried to murder his “sweetheart” when she refused his proposal. Fortunately, she survived, although it was a very close thing.

Boston Post, June 17, 1907
“Pretty Milton, N.H., young woman and how she was attacked by a sharp knife and left for dead by a man in the woods outside the village” (Boston Post).

MURDEROUS LOVER FORGIVEN BY GIRL. Arthur Marcoux, Who Cut Sweetheart’s Throat, Weeps in Jail. MILTON, N.H., June 16. “I bear no malice against Arthur for what he did; I think just as much of him and I know he loves me. They shall never make me testify against him.”

Lying wan and pale on a bed in the Milton Hotel Miss Annie Drapeau received a Post reporter and in these words proved her devoted love for the youth who assaulted and nearly killed her in the lonely woods of the old Flume and who will be arraigned in Rochester in the morning, charged with the attempted murder of his 19-year-old sweetheart. Tonight Arthur Marcoux, himself barely 20, is guarded in the Strafford county jail at Dover without bail.

Moans and Weeps

When brought over from Milton this afternoon by High Sheriff Frank I. Smith and Deputies Bert Wentworth and Charles Roscoe Allen he collapsed completely, and when Rochester was reached a stop had to be made while the moaning, weeping boy was attended by Dr. Edson M. Abbott. He was in a pitiable condition when taken to a cell in the Dover [revolving] jail, but will in any case be taken to Rochester on the 8.30 electric to be arraigned before Judge McGill. Dr. M.A.H. Hart of Milton is attending Marcoux’s victim, and also looked after the youth this morning. He alone has heard the true story of this mysterious affair from the lips of the lovers and consented to tell the story of the tragedy for the readers of the Post.

M.A.H. [Malcolm Allen Hayes] Hart, a general practice physician, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton (“Milton 3 Ponds”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty years), Estelle [(Draper)] Hart, aged forty-six years (b. VT), and his children, Wentworth Hart, aged nineteen years (b. NH), and Ezra Hart, aged sixteen years (b. NH).

By Doctor M.A.H. Hart

“The stories that are being told around of this affair are far from the truth. Both Marcoux and the girl have told me the truth, and while there are some things I may not tell, I shall be glad to tell what I can. Annie Drapeau is 19 and, while not pretty, she is rather a pleasant companion. Arthur Marcoux is a handsome young chap of 20, and has admired Annie for some time, but she did not pay him much attention. She was not feeling well lately and left her employment at Thayer’s shoe shop to go under the care of a Rochester physician. Saturday noon she came from a trip to Rochester from her home in Sanbornville and stopped off at Milton to keep an appointment with Marcoux. They went to his home to dinner, and about 2.30 they started on a walk to the old Flume, a famous trysting place for lovers a mile down Main street in South Milton. Here it is densely wooded, and they walked down towards the Salmon Falls River.

Old Slum Picnic Grounds.jpg
The scene of the crime

She Refused to Wed

“The boy asked the girl to marry him and she refused. From here on the memory of both is hazy. He had his razor with him by pure accident. He had just gotten it from Arthur Marchand, the [Rochester] barber who had honed it. Well, he got the girl down, so they say, and slashed her across the throat. Then he ran across lots straight home. Apparently the girl was dazed, but not unconscious, for although the blood was pouring from a great gash in her throat, she started for home. She was so confused that she went the wrong direction, falling, crawling, staggering along through the woods and underbrush till she reached the brook.

“This she waded and finally staggered into the old leatherboard mill. Some Greeks there were terrified by her appearance, disheveled, her clothing blood-soaked, and that terrible gash across her throat. They called to their boss, William S. Drew, and he telephoned to me. I hastily got some necessary things together and drove there. I found the cut had not severed the jugular, although it was six inches long and exposed the epiglottis. The girl seemed rational and as much as she could told me what had happened. “Arthur didn’t mean to hurt me,” she said again and again.

“She kept asking us to take her to her home in Sanbornville. When I saw what a serious affair it was I sent for Selectman Hazen Plummer and Chief of Police Fred Howard. We got the girl to the Milton Hotel on an improvised stretcher, and then Marcoux was arrested. He tried to conceal nothing, and later told me the whole story. He said from the time the girl refused his mind is blank. Annie says the same. Marcoux is a fine boy and the last fellow I would pick to do such a thing. He is now a complete nervous wreck.”

When the Post reporter arrived in Milton he was admitted to Miss Drapeau’s room at the Milton Hotel and presented to her.

Girl May Live

While very weak she is able to talk a little and Dr. Hart believes she will ultimately recover unless blood poisoning develops. She is being nursed by Mrs. Charles [Lydia (Marcoux)] Welch, a married sister of the youth who assaulted her, and when the Post writer called he found a brother of Marcoux with the wounded girl. To the reporter Miss Drapeau whispered the amazing message that she now loved Arthur more than ever and wanted him to know it. She is not a pretty girl, but yet is rather attractive. She is very tall, while Marcoux is undersized. This morning Arthur Marcoux was taken from the town lockup and willing took the officers to where he attempted his crime. Here he found the razor and Sheriff Smith now has it. It is a cheap razor with a black rubber handle. The blade is stained with blood and rusted. On one side a large clot of blood can be seen. In this connection Marcoux’s clothes were blood-stained. Before starting for the jail he asked to see his mother, and an affecting scene took place. He has five brothers and the same number of sisters.

Later his mother drove to Rochester, where she retained Attorney Walter Scott to defend her son. Attorney Scott went to Dover jail this evening to have a talk with the prisoner, but could do nothing because of Marcoux’s condition. Sheriff Smith sent out summons for Dr. Hart, Chief of Police Fred Howard and Selectman Plummer to testify at the preliminary hearing in the morning.

Marcoux’s father, Joseph Marcoux, a laborer, had his house on Charles street in Milton, near its intersection with Tappan court, in 1905 (Dover Directory, 1905). Marcoux’s mother, Theotiste Adelaide “Addie” (Cyr) Marcoux, would have set out for Rochester from there. They moved to Farmington after these terrible events (Dover Directory, 1908).

Feeling Against Youth

The feeling against the boy would-be murderer is very intense, and it is said that even if his victim refuses to testify against him and he will not confess on the stand, he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law by County Solicitor Dwight Hall. The maximum penalty is 20 years at hard labor. The members of Marcoux’s family are heartbroken.

“I know Arthur did not mean it,” said his sister, who is nursing Miss Drapeau. “He loved the girl and we all liked her. He wanted to marry her and she wouldn’t say yes. She said she loved Arthur but they were too young. If Annie dies they will never have a chance to punish Arthur, for it will kill him.”

Annie Drapeau had been employed as a shoe stitcher in Thayer’s shoe factory and went back and forth from her home in Sanbornville every day. Her mother is very ill, but her father came to her today (Boston Post, June 17, 1907).

Eusebe Drapeau, a farmer (working out [i.e., working off his farmstead]), aged forty-eight years (b. Canada), headed a Wakefield (“Sanbornville Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of twenty-five years), Aurelia [(Carrier)] Drapeau, aged forty-nine years (b. Canada), and his children, Eusebe G. Drapeau, odd jobs, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Leda Drapeau, aged fourteen years (b. NH), Heliodore Drapeau, aged twelve years (b. NH), Valore Drapeau, aged ten years (b. NH), Euclide Drapeau, aged eight years (b. NH), and Eliana Drapeu, aged three years (b. NH).

LEFT FOR DEAD, GIRL CRAWLS FAR WITH THROAT CUT. Attacked by Lover Who Confesses Crime to Police. Jugular Vein Missed by Thinness of Tissue Paper. MILTON, N.H., June 18. With a gash five and one-half inches long in her throat inflicted, she said, by her sweetheart, Annie Crapau crawled half a mile before she found assistance. Arthur Marcoux, the man accused by the girl, has been arrested, and he will be arraigned in court in Rochester.

“I don’t know why I did it,” he said. After he had been taken to the police station, he confessed, the police say, and told substantially the same story of the crime that had been related previously by the wounded girl. 

Slashed on Throat. “We left our homes and started out together in the woods to hunt for wildflowers,” the girl said after her wound had been dressed. “When we arrived at the Old Flume we sat down beside the brook to rest. We had been there several minutes when Arthur, without a word of warning or explanation, pulled a long knife from his pocket. He attempted to stab me with it. I noticed that his eyes were wild, and so I jumped up and ran away. I screamed as I went, but no one heard me. Arthur pursued me. He could run faster than I and he soon overtook me. Then he caught me by the hair, drew my head back, and slashed me across the throat with the knife. I must have fainted from fright, because I do not remember anything more. When I came to I was lying in a clump of bushes near the brook. I guess he threw me there. I called for help, but nobody came. Then I began crawling.”

Fainting Saves Life. Almost dead, she reached Spaulding’s mill. Several men there rushed to her assistance and carried her into the mill. She accused Marcoux of the crime, and action was taken at once to effect his arrest. The chief of police rushed off to Marcoux’s home. He found the man in the yard unconcernedly drawing a pail of water. The chief accused him flatly of having cut the girls throat and he admitted it, but would give no motive for the crime.

Dr. Hart reached the mill a few minutes after he had been summoned. He examined the wound and expressed the opinion that unless blood poisoning should result the girl would survive.

“Both the jugular vein and the windpipe were missed by the thinness of a sheet of tissue paper,” he said.

The girl was brought to her home here. It is believed her life was saved by the fact that she fainted when the knife ripped her throat open, and that Marcoux, when he left her, believed she was dead (Washington Times, June 18, 1907).

Marcoux, Arthur

Milton. Another trouble is the assault at the Flume in Milton, Arthur J. Marcoux having drawn a razor upon Miss Annie Drapeau, whom he had proposed to marry. He had cut her throat in a way that barely avoided the jugular vein, after which he left his victim supposedly to die. But she recovered consciousness sufficiently to drag herself to the road, where she was discovered by persons driving, who carried her to the office of Dr. Hart, and gave the alarm which was followed by the arrest of Marcoux. The assailant was taken to Rochester in care of Sheriff F.I. Smith and one of his deputies, and it was ordered by Judge McGill that he be held without bail at Dover jail, for appearance at the September term of the superior court. Miss Drapeau expresses opinion that the man is not right in his head. She had objected to immediate marriage as she thought they were both too young. There may be other opinions as to this assault, but this seems to be as nearly correct a report as can be made at this time. Such an event confirms the assertion of many that a good chaperon never is out of place, when young men and women are together. (Farmington News, June 21, 1907).

PARENTS REFUSED CONSENT. Young Man Could Not Marry Girl and Cut Her Throat In Revenge. Milton, N.H., June 17. Mamie Trebeau of Sanbornvllle, aged 19, is suffering from knife wounds in the throat alleged to have been inflicted by her sweetheart, Arthur Marcoux of this village. Although there is a cut in her neck nearly six inches long, she is thought to have a chance of recovery, as the wound is not of great depth. Marcoux, who was arrested after the wounded girl had been found in a lonely spot near a picnic ground, was taken to Dover jail to await the outcome of her injuries. Marcoux is said to have told the officers that he was infatuated with the girl, but that her parents refused to allow her to marry him. Marcoux accompanied the officers to the scene of the attack and assisted in finding the knife which he used upon the girl’s throat. Marcoux is a shoe factory employe, 21 years old (North Adams Transcript, June 23, 1907).

Arthur J. Marcoux was committed to the New Hampshire State Hospital early in February of the following year. Annie Drapeau married someone else in May of that year.

BOTH SENT TO ASYLUM. Morgan Charged With Killing Lowell Man in Dover, Marcoux With Attempt to Kill Woman. DOVER, N.H., Feb. 27. Two defendants before the superior court, one charged with murder and the other with assault with intent to kill, were committed to the state asylum at Concord today after entering pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity. The murder case was that in which Patrick Morgan was accused of having killed Dennis Doherty of Lowell in a quarrel in this city last February. The assault case was that of Arthur J. Marcoux of Milton against Miss Annie Drapeau of the same place. Both men had been under examination at the Concord institution since last August, and Dr. Charles E. Bancroft, the superintendent, informed the court that both undoubtedly were insane (Boston Globe, February 27, 1908).

Arthur Marcoux, an inmate, aged twenty-two years (b. NH), resided in the New Hampshire State Hospital in Concord, NH, at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census.

Arthur Joseph Xavier Marcoux registered for the WW I military draft in Strafford County, October 21, 1918. He was an unemployed shoemaker, aged thirty years. He gave his address as PO Box 776, in Farmington, NH. His physical appearance was given as a medium height, a medium build, with brown eyes and black hair. His nearest relative was his brother, Fredk. Jos. Marcoux, at the same Farmington PO Box.

Arthur J. Marcoux’s obituary says that he lived and worked in Boston for many years, returning later in life to work in Rochester. He never married. When he fell ill, he lived his last six months in a rotation through his sisters’ houses in Farmington.

Arthur J. Marcoux died in Farmington, NH, October 28, 1935, aged forty-nine years. (His birthday). Annie died in Sanford, ME, July 12, 1941.


Find a Grave. (2012, July 8). Arthur J. Marcoux. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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