DEWEERDT, Martin 1881-1924
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/16/2015 at 11:20:57
Feared Scandal And Ends Life By Taking Poison
Martin DeWeerat Commits Suicide At Relatives Home Wednesday Morning
Believed Unsound Mentally
Left Letter For Relatives Stating Reason For Taking His Life
Martin DeWeerat committed suicide yesterday morning by taking poison at the home of his brother-in-law, Lambert Hoffman, living a half mile south of Buck Grove. The family were aroused about six o'clock in the morning by screams from DeWeerat's bedroom and on reaching it they found him in bed in spasms of pain. The man was taken with violent convulsions from which death relieved a few minutes after his relatives reached his room.
They found on the bed an empty bottle which is believed to have contained poison and to have been emptied by DeWeerat with the intention of ending his life. The label on the bottle indicated that it had been used for vanilla extract. It is believed that the poison that was taken was bought at Marshalltown on October 24th.
Lambert Hoffman and DeWeerat were at Marshalltown on that day and were in a drug store there together, and Mr. Hoffman states that his brother-in-law bought something which was put up in a bottle and he thinks it was the poison which brought about his brother-in-law's death. If this supposition is correct the poison must have been poured into a different bottle because the bottle left on the victim's bed was not one secured at a Marshalltown drug store.
County Coroner H. W. Engelkes was notified yesterday forenoon of the suicide. Shortly after he arrived at the Hoffman home a jury was empanneled who after having considered all of the evidence obtainable returned a verdict that the deceased came to his death from poison administered by himself. The jury was composed of Dick and Nan Walters and Jake Rindels.
A letter which DeWeerat left in his room indicates that he was mentally unbalanced and that he feared some imaginary scandal. No grounds for such fears were justified according to members of his family. The letter was not addressed to anyone nor does it bear any signature. It was written with a pencil and several erasures were made. The letter is written in very good English. The letter follows:
"I am through with life. I cannot face the public when they believe me guilty of such a deed. Take me to the Buck Grove Cemetery in the folks' lot. I think there is room on the south side or buy a lot. Every car that goes by seems to hiss the same thing. I cannot forget. I feel more sorry for my relatives than anything else. The thing hissed at me from Omaha is not true but I was not able to defend myself behind my back. I could not release my mind of the thought that everybody would believe the story although my health failed me for 20 years and over which I brooded much but said very little. This however was more than I could withstand but will say again that the statement made is untrue. My trunk is at Charles place."
DeWeerat is 42 years old. His folks formerly resided in Pleasant Valley township. In late years he has been making his home with his brothers and sisters of whom he has several. He had been at the home of his sister, Mrs. Hoffman, during the past two weeks. He has relatives living at George, Iowa, at Ackley and at Minneapolis.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 13 November 1924, pg 1
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