New Jersey Obituaries - 1899 - Charles E. Truex

Chas. Truex’s Body Found

He Had Committed suicide In A Straw Mow

Drank Laudanum and Then Gashed His Wrists With a Razor-The Body Partially Eaten by Rats-Left a Note Saying “Tired of Life”

The body of Charles E. Truex, who had been missing from his home at Green Grove, near Wayside, for nearly a month past, was found on Sunday in a neighbor’s straw mow. Mr. Truex had dug a hole in the mow and had then committed suicide by drinking laudanum and by cutting the arteries in his wrist.

For some time past Mr. Truex had given evidence of a wandering and feeble mind. He was well-to-do, but in his talk with some of his neighbors he seemed to fear that reverses might come upon him. When he disappeared three or four weeks ago it was thought that he had wandered away in a period of mental weakness. A systematic search was made, the woods in the locality being scoured by searching parties. One or two of the ponds in the vicinity were drained with the idea that he might have fallen in the water and drowned, but the draining of the ponds disclosed nothing.

His family, which comprised his wife, three daughters and a son, became distracted, and as the search apparently became more vain, they offered a reward of $100 to any person who would bring tidings of the missing man. As the days went by, many people began to believe that he had wandered away and would never again be heard from.

On Sunday afternoon, about half-past four o’clock, Archie Jackson, aged sixteen years, son of Goodenough Jackson, the Truex’s nearest neighbor, went up in the mow over the cowshed to get some straw for bedding. He saw a man’s foot sticking out of the straw and he fled down the ladder affrighted. He told of what he had seen and some of the neighbors went up in the loft to investigate. On moving some of the straw Mr. Truex’s body was brought to view.

It was apparent at a glance that Mr. Truex had committed suicide and the body was not touched until Coroner Herbert of Asbury Park had been notified and had viewed the body. The case was so clearly one of suicide that the coroner deemed an inquest unnecessary and gave a permit for burial.

Mr. Truex’s suicide had been carefully planned. Mrs. Uriah White of Asbury Park killed herself several weeks ago by cutting her wrists with a razor, and Mr. Truex, in speaking of the matter to some of his neighbors, had said that that was an easy way to die. After determining upon his suicide Mr. Truex had got a bottle of laudanum and a razor. He went into the mow of his neighbor, Goodenough Jackson, and dug a deep hole in the straw. Then he took off his overcoat and folded it up. He laid it on the floor of the hole so that the blood would not run through to the floor below and thus betray his location. He penciled a note in irregular letters, saying “Tired of Life.” He laid the pencil on his overcoat, put the note in his coat pocket, drank the laudanum and returned the bottle to his pocket, and then gashed his wrists with the razor. The flesh was cut clear to the bone, and the overcoat was soaked in places with the blood, which had become hard and dried by the time the body was found. Mr. Truex had had strength enough after cutting his wrists to place the razor near the pencil, and from the position in which he was found he had then apparently lurched forward (sic).

Before cutting his wrists he had pulled enough straw down into the hole to cover him loosely, and it was because of this that the body had not been found until the removal of some of the straw had exposed his foot.

The body had been partly eaten by rats. One eye and one side of the face had been eaten, and one of the arms was partially devoured. As soon as coroner Herbert had given permission for burial the body was taken to Mr. Truex’s home.

Mr. Truex was 53 years old. One daughter, Ada E., is unmarried. The other daughters are Mrs. Jesse Clayton of Lakewood and Mrs. Horace Miller. The son is Hamilton Truex.

Mr. Truex was the only son of John Truex and was the grandson of Elias Truex. He was the nephew of ‘Squire Anthony Truex, who died at Poplar a short time ago. He has five sisters besides his immediate family.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, April 26, 1899