1859: Alfred Vail, co-inventor of the telegraph, died.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Vail was an American machinist and inventor. He was central, with Samuel F. B. Morse, in developing and commercializing the telegraph between 1837 and 1844. Vail and Morse were the first two telegraph operators on Morse's first experimental line between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, and Vail took charge of building and managing several early telegraph lines between 1845 and 1848. He was also responsible for several technical innovations of Morse's system, particularly the sending key and improved recording registers and relay magnets. Vail left the telegraph industry in 1848 because he believed that the managers of Morse's lines did not fully value his contributions. He spent his last ten years conducting genealogical research. Vail's cousin was Theodore N. Vail, who became the first president of American Telephone & Telegraph.