Excerpt from William M. Singerly obituary from New York Times from February 28, 1898

William M. Singerly Dead

Taken Off Suddenly by Heart Disease While Smoking a Cigar in His Bedroom.

Had Had a Cold Ten Days

Physicians Say He Had Weakened His Heart by Excessive Smoking - A Successful Business Man Until His Failure in December


Philadelphia, Feb. 27 -- William M. Singerly died suddenly at his residence, 1701 Locust Street, this afternoon. Heart disease was the immediate cause of death.

Mr. Singerly had been suffering for about ten days from a cold, and had remained at home since last Wednesday, although his indisposition appeared in no way serious. While sitting in his bedroom smoking a cigar he was seized with a violent fit of coughing anf immediately died. In the room at the time were Mr. Singerly's granddaughter, Miss Mabel Singerly Meredith, and two servants. His son-in-law, James S. McCartney, had left the room only a few minutes before.

The physicians say they frequently had cautioned Mr. Singerly that his heart was weak as a result of excessive smoking, and that of late his habit had been to take "dry smokers." To-day his cigar was lighted, and it is thoughts that the smoke brought on the coughing spell, the severity of which ruptured a vessel of the heart.

Mr. Singerly married twice He leaves one child, Mrs. Elisabeth Singerly Balch, and two grandchildren, Miss Mabel Singerly Meredith and William Singerly McCartney, both children of a daughter now dead, Mrs. Katherine Singerly McCartney. Mrs. Balch is in Europe.

Mr. Singerly was proprietor of The Record Publishing Company, President of the Chestnut Street National Bank, and the Chestnut Savings Fund and Trust Company, which recently collapsed, and President of the Singerly Pulp and Paper Mill. He was a member of the Fairmount Park Commission, and until lately its Treasurer. He also was a Trustee of the Philadelphia Commercial Museum.