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JANSSEN, Ommo 1865-1909


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 6/24/2014 at 09:38:04

Beaver Township Farmer Commits Suicide

Ommo Janssen Ends Life By Strangulation Tuesday Afternoon

Became Mentally Unbalanced Over Religion

Ommo Janssen committed suicide by strangulation in his barn two miles north of Fern Tuesday afternoon. He placed the loop of a rope about his neck and threw the other end of the rope over a cross beam in the hay loft at his farm. By pulling on one end of the rope he strangled himself while he was resting on his knees. He was missed from the house about three o'clock in the afternoon and he was found by the hired man in the hay loft at 7:30 in the evening. He is believed to have been dead several hours when found.

The cause of the suicide is not known positively but it is believed to have been due to worry over religious matters. He owned a farm two miles southeast of Stout. He sold this a year ago and moved to the J. P. Brown farm in order to be nearer the church to which he belonged.

County Coroner L. H. Carpenter and Sheriff Black were notified Tuesday night and they drove out to the suicide's home and conducted an inquest.

The coroner's jury was composed of R. L. Peiper, J. P. Brown and Fred Holmers. Their verdict was that death was the result of strangulation inflicted by the deceased's own hands.

Mr. Janssen was forty-two years old. He was married and leaves a wife and six children. The oldest of the children is twelve and the youngest is two. He had been living in Beaver township the past twenty years and was a man held in high esteem by his neighbors. His relations with his family were always most pleasant and agreeable.

While Mr. Janssen the past year had at times been gloomy and melancholy he had never spoken about suicide.

Funeral services to be conducted by Rev. Voss will be held at the Lutheran church two miles north of Fern at one o'clock Friday.

--Grundy County Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 22 April 1909, pg 1


Ommo Janssen Dead

The people of this and surrounding vicinity were greatly shocked last Tuesday evening, when it was learned that Ommo Janssen a tenant on the J. P. Brown farm had sometime during the afternoon ended his life by choking himself with a rope in a hay loft in the barn on the farm. The act was due to melancholy and temporarily insanity caused by great worry, believed to have been over religion which affected his mind.

Mr. Janssen had been to Parkersburg during the forenoon transacting business matters and after arriving home partook of a late dinner. After dinner he accompanied his hired man to the field to look after the work of a new disc that he had, had sharpened during the forenoon. He was pleased with the work and was in his usual good spirits when he returned home at about three o'clock going into the barn from the rear end, this was the last seen of him by anyone till his body was found by the hired man at 7:30 cold in death. His wife and children had looked for him late during the afternoon but not seeing him around they thought that probably he had gone to a neighbors on a call and that he would soon return. When he did not appear at the supper hour the family became alarmed over his absence and a search was made about the barn and farm, search was made in the hay mow and the children had also been up to put down hay but there being no windows in the upper part of the barn it was dark and he was not discovered until the hired man was sent to the loft with a lantern finding his lifeless body resting on his knees in one corner of an empty hay loft. He had placed the loop of the rope about his neck and threw the the other end over a cross beam and pulled on it until he became chocked. Immediately after the body was found the neighbors were notified and were soon at the scene. Mr. Brown untied the rope about his neck and laid the body down on the hay. Sheriff Black and Coroner Carpenter were called and an inquest was held the particulars of which were given in last weeks issue.

During the last few weeks it had been plain to those that met him that the man had something on his mind. He was gloomy, downhearted and despondent and at times also quite nervous. He had become pale and his bearing was that of a man burdened with a great care or deep grief. Although he was kind to his family he did not care to mingle with his neighbors of late, yet he always talked with them when meeting them. The burden of a great care had been upon his mind for a year or more, he had never made any remarks to any one and his wife was the only one that was aware of it. She frequently attempted to cheer him up and at times succeeded in doing so, but he would soon relapse into his moody spells again. He never gave a hint of his intention to commit suicide.

Mr. Janssen owned an 80 acre farm two miles southeast of Stout until last summer when he sold it for $8400. He rented the Brown farm for the purpose of being nearer church in order to give himself and family better facilities to attend church. Whenever possible he wanted to be alone. He was a good man and was looked upon and had every appearance of being a christian, he was never heard by his neighbors to use obscene or vulgar language, endeavoring at all times to live an active christian life. He also was a sober man and was never known to enter a saloon. His farm that he disposed of was free from encumbrance and he was

Ommo K. Janssen was born June 22, 1865 at West Ochtersum, Auchuk Ostfriesland and ended his life as stated above April 20, 1909 at his home. He attained the age of 43 years 9 months, and 28 days. He was baptized after birth and later renewed his baptism alliance and became a member of the Lutheran church.

At the age of 14 he learned the baker trade and continued at that trade for 10 years. He enlisted as a soldier Nov. 15, 1886 and was a member of Com. 3 Mageburg, Inf. Reg. No. 66. He served three years the first year as a soldier and the later two as a militars baker.

On Sept. 23, 1889 he received his dismission and a month later came to America to Grundy county. Remaining there two years he returned to the old country for a visit. His father returned to this country with him, but was taken sick and died on the voyage across the ocean where also interred. After his arrival here he was a servant.

He was united in marriage to Sarah Haack March 1, 1895. This union was blessed with seven children, four boys and three girls, one daughter died March 5, 1897, at the age of 9 months, the remaining six survive the father and are aged from to twelve years.

Mr. Janssen was a prosperous and industrious farmer a strait, honest, and upright man, a faithful and loving husband and father, he was a deep thinking man and was very easily worried. his tragic end is a hard blow to his family.

He leaves to mourn his sudden loss a wife, six children and one sister, two brothers and brother-in-law in Germany, besides a large number of other relatives. Burial was held Friday afternoon.

The people of the community extend their heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family in their great sorrow.

--Grundy County Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 29 April 1909, pg 3


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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