monument on Union Cemetery's Crest Drive is dedicated to the memory of
Tillie Smith, an 18 year old domestic who lived and worked at Centenary
Collegiate Institute in the late 19th century, Smith was raped and
strangled in the early hours of April 9, 1886, her body left in an open
field in plain view.
Hackettstown resident and employee of CCI, James J. Titus was charged
with Tillie's murder and in October 1866, was sentenced to hang for the
crime. A book authored by Denis Sullivan, 'In Defence of Her
Honor' provides compelling evidence that Titus was convicted
on circumstantial evidence, sensational journalism and a Victorian
society's emotional outcry for accountability.
Sullivan's book is
on file in the Hackettstown Historical Society museum's research room.