A Tragic Quirk of Fate: George Spencer Millet’s Unfortunate Demise

In the annals of history, there are tales that intrigue, stories that resonate with the curious nature of human existence, and then there are those that appear as if scripted from the whimsical pages of fiction. The saga of George Spencer Millet, a 15-year-old boy whose untimely demise was intertwined with a peculiar turn of events, belongs to the latter category. Though his life was brief, his memory has been preserved not only for the tragic circumstances of his death but also for the curious gravestone inscription that has captured the imagination of those who stumble upon his resting place.

The Innocence of Youth in the Metropolitan Life Building

At the turn of the 20th century, the bustling city of New York was a beacon of modernity and progress. Amidst its towering skyscrapers and vibrant streets, the Metropolitan Life Building stood as a testament to the urban landscape’s rapid evolution. Within its walls, a young boy named George Spencer Millet found himself employed as an office boy. Despite his limited tenure of just two months, he had already garnered the affection of the office’s female stenographers, thanks to his mild manners and fair countenance.

The year was 1909, and on a seemingly ordinary day in February, George casually revealed that he had celebrated his 15th birthday the day before. Little did he know that this innocent confession would set into motion a chain of events that would forever alter the course of his fate.

The Unintended Consequences of Innocent Teasing

Upon learning of George’s recent birthday, the girls in the office seized the opportunity to tease him playfully. Playful banter quickly escalated as they decided that George deserved a kiss for each year he had lived. The young boy, with a mix of bashfulness and bravado, declared that he would evade their attempts to kiss him. This friendly teasing persisted throughout the day, culminating in a lighthearted game of cat and mouse as the clock ticked toward the end of office hours.

As the fateful hour of 4:30 PM arrived, the girls playfully descended upon George with the intent of bestowing their birthday kisses upon him. In a scene that could have been taken from a romantic comedy, George attempted to escape their advances. However, fate had other plans, and the lighthearted chase took a tragic turn as George stumbled and fell to the ground, uttering the chilling words, “I’m stabbed.”

A Tragic Twist of Fate

Amidst the commotion that ensued, one of the girls rushed to George’s aid, only to be confronted by the harrowing sight of blood flowing from his wound. Overwhelmed by the trauma of the scene, she fainted. The office’s medical department was alerted, and an ambulance was swiftly called. Tragically, George Millet succumbed to his injuries during the journey home, leaving behind a bewildered and sorrowful office community.

Unraveling the Mystery

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the authorities were tasked with unraveling the mystery behind George’s untimely demise. Initially, suspicion fell upon a certain Miss Robins, a 23-year-old stenographer who had been among the girls chasing and teasing George. Miss Robins recounted a crucial detail: just before the chaotic chase, she had noticed that George was clutching a “knife ink eraser,” a seemingly harmless office tool with an unexpected potential for harm.

Her account was supported by the discovery of a knife-shaped ink eraser in George’s coat pocket, and the nature of the wound on his body aligned with the accidental use of such a tool. As it became evident that George’s death was the result of a tragic accident rather than foul play, the charges against Miss Robins were dropped, and the focus shifted to commemorating the memory of the young boy who had left this world in such an unexpected manner.

A Quirky Epitaph

In the grand tapestry of human history, moments of poignancy and absurdity often intertwine in ways that are difficult to predict. George Spencer Millet’s story is no exception. While his death is undoubtedly a tragedy that echoes with the fragility of life, the narrative takes an unexpected twist when considering the inscription on his gravestone.

In a move that might leave some perplexed and others amused, George’s family chose to etch into his tombstone the details of his unfortunate demise. The gravestone serves as a peculiar testament to the confluence of innocence, youth, and the unpredictable quirk of fate. The inclusion of this unconventional epitaph, bearing the words “Lost life by stab in falling on ink eraser, evading six young women trying to give him birthday kisses in office Metropolitan Life Building,” ensures that George’s memory lives on not just as a tragic figure but also as a symbol of the capriciousness of life’s narratives.


The tale of George Spencer Millet’s life and death is a reminder that history often holds within its folds stories that encompass both tragedy and the inexplicable twists of fate. Through the lens of this peculiar episode, we glimpse a moment in time where innocence, laughter, and youthful teasing gave way to unforeseen consequences. George’s story resonates with the idea that even in the most tragic of circumstances, there is room for the unexpected and the absurd, and that the quirkier aspects of human experience are sometimes what make history truly captivating. As we reflect on his story, we are reminded of the delicate balance between the somber and the surreal that characterizes the human journey through time.

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