Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - George M. Walters

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Obituaries - NJ - 1901 - George M. Walters

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A Well Planned Suicide George M. Walters Hangs Himself

He visited John P. Richdale of Little Silver on Monday, and on Tuesday Morning Mr. Richdale Found His body Hanging in His Barn.

George M. Walters, a carpenter at Elberon, carried out a deliberately planned suicide at John P. Richdale's at Little Silver on Monday night. He wrote several notes, telling what he wished done with his body, and then strung himself to a rafter in Mr. Richdale's barn.

Walters stopped at Mr. Richdale's on his bicycle about five o'clock on Monday afternoon. He had boarded at Mr. Richdale's several years ago and nothing unusual was thought of his visit. He appeared perfectly sober and in rational mind. Mr. Richdale, who runs a milk route, was starting out for some milk as Walters rode into the yard. He asked Walters to accompany him, but Walters said that he would stay at the farm and look over the stock until Mr. Richdale came back. After looking at the stock Walters went to the house and conversed with Mrs. Richdale, telling her, among other things , of a visit that Mrs. Walters intended making the family. He seemed a little depressed in spirits and during his conversation with Mrs. Richdale he remarked "that no man would take better care of his family than he would if he had the means." After talking awhile with Mrs. Richdale he went away in the direction of the Little Silver station and nothing more was seen of him that night.

Yesterday morning Mr. Richdale went to the barn before daylight. As he opened the barn door he saw the form of a man dangling from a rope. He left the barn at once and went to a neighbor's for a lantern. When he entered the barn with a lantern he saw that the body was that of Mr. Walters. Walters had gone up in the hay mow and had tied a rope around a rafter and had fastened the other end of the rope in a noose around his neck. Then he had sat down at the edge of the hay mow and had tied his hands together around his leg, tying a rope to each hand and slipping the rope between his legs, so that he could not release himself if he changed his mind about dying when the rope began to strangle him. After making everything ready he slipped down from the mow and was strangled to death.

Coroner Tetley of Red Bank was notified by Mr. Richdale. He went to Little Silver and cut the body down, but as it was a clear case of suicide he did not deem an inquest necessary.

Pinned to Walters's shirt were letters, and in a time book in his pocket were more letters, all of them showing that his death had been planned with great deliberation. Two letters were pinned to his shirt on leaves torn from the time book. One letter was addressed to Mr. Richdale personally and was as follows: "Please let Lidie know before my body is taken away. I have told her what to do with it. I want it sent to the Long Branch crematory." This letter was signed. The other letter pinned to his shirt read, "either cremate or let my body go for scientific purposes."

Two letters in the time book in his pocket, although not addressed to anyone in particular, were evidently meant for Mr. Richdale. One read, "Now don't get excited; go deliver your milk and then go tell Lidie." The other read, "Hope you won't be put out over this, as I intended to do it anyway. Carry the news to Lidie before anyone else." Another letter in the time book, and evidently the last one he wrote, said "It is very dark. If I could only come back to tell how little anyone fears death after they make up their mind to die."

The Lidie referred to in the letters is Mr. Walters's wife, who survives him. He also leaves one child.

The day of his death Mr. Walters was working on a contract job at Long Branch, and he had four men employed on the job. Before he left to go to Mr. Richdale's he discharged the men and he left his coat and dinner kettle where he was at work. Before going to Little Silver he wrote two letters to his wife, presumably in the Long Branch post-office. In one of these letters he enclosed $5 and in the other he gave a vague intimation that he contemplated taking his life.

Mrs. Walters's father was at Red Bank yesterday. He could assign no reason for Mr. Walters's act. He said that he was a sober, industrious man, that he was getting along well and had a happy home. The only theory advanced as a reason for Mr. Walters's act is that he was seized with a suicidal mania.

Mr. Walters was about forty years old. His body was taken to Asbury Park today by Undertaker Mount for burial.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Aug 21, 1901

George A. Walters's Funeral

George A. Walters, the Elberon builder, who committed suicide last Tuesday at Little Silver, was buried on Friday in Mount Prospect cemetery, near Asbury Park. The burial service was in charge of the Junior American Mechanics, and the ritual was read by H. D. Chamberlain. A preliminary service was held at his late residence at Elberon, at which Rev. M. L. Ferris of Asbury Park officiated.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, Aug 28, 1901

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