John B. Davis was my great-great grandfather. He was born in Cornwall, England, and immigrated to the United States about 1850. On April 7, 1913, he committed suicide by hanging himself under the floor of his barn. One newspaper stated it was his despondency over ill health that drove him to this drastic action; another newspaper said he had a cold. Family lore says he was not happy over sons’ drinking. Whatever the reason, he hung himself in the oddest place and it does not read as a quick death.
Here is the inquest determination/obituary for John B. Davis, which was published in the Galena Daily Gazette, Thursday, April 10, 1913. I believe the newspaper states the date of their marriage as June 25, 1865; however I have the date of their marriage as August 12, 1864. Since their daughter, Estella, was born July 28, 1865, I think that the August date is correct.
Transcription of text:
Mr. Daviees [sic] was born in Cornwall, England, July 7, 1836, came to the United States when 14 years of age. Lived in Pennsylvania for about ten years, then came to Council Hill where he resided, except for the last six years in this township, for over one half of a century. He was married to Miss Margaret J. Hicks June 25, 1865. The home was blessed with four sons, Alvin, Laban, John and Percy, and two daughters, Estella, the wife of a Mr. Brew, of Oelwein, Ia, and Miss Lovella, who with the wife survive. Mr. Davis was an honest, industrious gentleman, never known to defraud anyone out of their just dues. He never left the home unless there was business requiring his attention. His death is greatly deplored by many. His age was 76 years and 9 months. The funeral services were held at the home at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning. Rev. R. W. Van Alatyne conducting the services assisted by a choice from the M. E. church. Interment was made in the Scales Mound Cemetery. Messrs. Nicholas Bausman, J. W. Spenser, Fred Neusehwange, John Gessner Wallace and Arnor J. Ford were the pall bearers.