Tag Archives: North Tonawanda

Shot by Italian in Saloon Row

Death of Nora Thursam
Newspaper article about the death of Nora Thursam

This is another interesting story I encountered while researching the history of my family. This story concerns Nora Thursam, my grandfather Alfred Johnson’s aunt and my great-grandaunt. Nora was born Leonora Johnson in 1868 in Oswego, New York. Her father, Peter Johnson, migrated to the United States from Denmark.

In 1888 Nora married John Thursam, and in 1912 they owned and operated the Thursam Hotel in North Tonawanda, New York. On the night of September 1, 1912, men entered the hotel and “demanded a drink of liquor.” Mr Thursam and Francis Boland (a semi-pro pugilist) ejected the men from the hotel after refusing to serve them. One of the men, Fred DeAngelo, then fired two shots from a revolver, one of which lodged in Nora’s neck. Nora was taken to a hospital and the bullet in her neck was removed. Unfortunately, she died a few days later from the effects of the surgery.

Below is a picture of the hotel today, where it operates as Betty’s Bar and Grill.

Thursam Hotel
Formerly Thursam Hotel, now Betty’s, in North Tonawanda, New York