General History/brother's quote?


I once read of two millionaire brothers, around the 1880's or 90's, who were practical jokers. Supposedly on one's deathbed he touched the other and said, "You're it".
Is this apocryphal or is there truth and can you tell me more?

Thank you.


Hi Jr:
Sorry, about the wait, I did not receive the original notice.
All I can offer are guesses, some from personal experience rather than academic.
My suggestion is there is probably a 50% chance the story is apocryphal and would be accredited to some pair of brothers such as those of the Dodge family who set up the automobile company - that would have put the 'deathbed' scene into a later era.
We know the Dodge Brothers had a sense of humour.  Perhaps one could research the Ringling Brothers of Circus fame. Volumes I have at hand do not contain information on either set of brothers.  I am being somewhat prejudicial in making the suggestion about the Ringling Brothers simply based on their business.
On the human side we can see two brothers/siblings behaving this way at a deathbed scene because of the fear of death and fear of the unknown when one has to go into the afterlife without the other.
There is a Ringling Brothers Museum in Florida, but when I accessed some information on them, I discovered one died in 1936 which, like the Dodge Brothers, is after the date frame to which your question refers.
All I can suggest is making a list of 'known' wealthy brothers and researching each pair.  That would be extensive and unfortunately not exhaustive (complete) until the researcher finds an actual (verifiable) witnessed account of the happenstance to which the question refers.
Apologies, for not being able to take this further for you.
You are actually within bounds on this site to ask for another respondent to consider the question.  One helpful detail would be to narrow down the geography or general location in which the event is supposed to have occurred.
Bob Matheson, Ontario, Canada

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Rev. Bob Matheson


I have experience on-line responding to questions primarily in history: Modern England; Modern Europe: North America (Canada and the United States); as well as Europe in the Middle Ages. Despite, or actually perhaps because of, my profession as a Clergy of The United Church of Canada, I have tended to steer away from questions in the realm of Religion and Spirituality. I have also responded to some questions regarding the preparation and presentation of scholarly papers in terms of the use of such style sheets as The Chicago Manual of Style and that published by The Modern Language Association of America.


My interest in history was sparked by the black sheep of the staff at the Secondary School I attended in Ottawa, Canada. He pressed us to prepare polished papers of a style not normally anticipated by others on staff at this educational site. I have purposely worked at being a 'generalist' rather than a 'specialist' in education and attended Sheridan College in Brampton, Ontario with current location in Oakville, Ontario. From there I attended Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario which is an 'essay' university. My Master of Divinity comes from Queen's Theological College which was part of Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario at the time. While I have responded to questions in history on-line, primarily, I have experience in fielding some theoretical questions in the realm of sociology.

Liberal Party of Canada

Matriculation (equivalent) - Humber College, Toronto, Ontario, 1979. Diploma in General Arts - Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, 1971. Bachelor of Arts Degree - Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, 1975 - Double Major in History and Sociology. Master of Divinity Degree - Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, 1977.

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Honour Roll of the College President, Sheridan College, 1971

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Full-time Clergy at Emmanuel United Church, Foxboro (part of the City of Belleville), Ontario since 2007.

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