Inquest results for John B. Davis

Headstone: John B Davis

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.

Inquest/Obituary: John B Davis

Transcription of text:

Mr. John B. Davis had not been feeling the best for a few days, troubled with a cold. Last Monday afternoon, between three and four o’clock, he went out to the barn to gather eggs, and as he was gone longer from the house than usual a search of the barn yard was made for him, and finally his son Laban found him under the floor of the barn which was about three feet from the ground. Mr. Davis had crawled under the barn about fifteen feet, tied a pair of suspenders around his neck and over the floor [unknown] and was dead when Laban went to where he lay with his face downward not one foot from the ground. Dr. Tyrrell was at once telephoned for, but on his arrival at the home, one half mile south of town, found that his services were not required. Coroner Weoner was phoned for and came on the 6:05 evening train and held an inquest before the following jury: George Rittweger, foreman, L.J. Foley, R.R. Pooley, Ray James, Levi Williams, and Earl Rummel. The verdict of the Jury was that death was caused by his own act. No known cause for the rash deed had been thought of by the family.

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.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Tim Hull says:

    I am also a descendent of the Davis bunch here. My grandmother was Dorean Davis-Hull.

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