BECKER, Lawrence 1847-1912
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 10/5/2016 at 10:47:29
Two Tire Of Life And Commit Suicide
L. Becker And J. M. Brassfield Hang Themselves
Deeds Committed Four Days Apart
We have had two suicides in this community within a week. Both have been by hanging, and both deeds were committed in a barn. The lifeless body of Lawrence Becker was found suspended from a rafter in the barn at his home in this city Friday night and the body of J. M. Brassfield was found in the same condition in the barn at the home of John Rohwer living four miles northeast of Beaman.
We wish to take this means of thanking our friends for their help, sympathy and floral contributions during our late bereavement.
George Becker and Sisters.
Lawrence Becker committed suicide Friday afternoon by hanging himself in his barn at his home in the southeast part of town. There is every reason to believe that the man was temporarily insane when the deed was committed. The man was at home alone during the afternoon while daughter attended the Mutch funeral services. When the daughter returned home about 3:30 her father was missing from the house. When the son George came home for supper about six o'clock he went to the barn to look for his father and found his lifeless body suspended from a rafter. The man had built a little platform and he stepped off this after placing his head through the noose. His feet were only a few inches from the ground.
At a coroner's inquest held shortly after, the jury decided that the man met his death by his own hands during a fit of insanity.
Mr. Becker was virtually property crazy. He sold a 120 acre farm last year that he had owned for many years. He was given a mortgage for the largest share of the payment. For months he had been worrying over this mortgage. He was afraid it was not sound. He had seen a lawyer and his banker about it. They told him the mortgage was all right but he did not believe them. His assessment and taxes had been bothering him for weeks.
Funeral services were held at the Catholic church Monday forenoon. Interment was made in the Catholic cemetery.
This community was shocked on Good Friday evening, when word was passed from one to another that Loranz Becker had hanged himself. Mr. Becker had been in feeble health for some years, which as far as human knowledge goes is the only way of accounting for the unnatural act.
Born of Catholic parentage upward of seventy-eight years ago in Germany, he was firm in the old faith during all these years. In the last act of his life he broke one of God's Commandments and died without repentance. The Catholic church is most rigid and unrelenting regarding those who seek their own death, or otherwise died unrepentant. She executes the Command of her Founder. He that will not hear the Church let him be considered as a Heathen, and therefore there are some here and there to whom in the exercise of her God given authority she denies Christian burial. Amongst those are Infidels, Heretics, Schismatics. All persons belonging to societies which in word or act are known to asking forgiveness before death, be hostile to her teaching, and not also all persons living notoriously sinful lives and acting in that manner, as well as those who commit suicide in any of its many forms. To all these the church says, go and abide in the potters field until the Judgment Day.
The case of the deceased was carefully examined by his pastor, an affidavit was secured from Dr. Thielen as to the unbalanced condition of his mind, the matter was laid before the Bishop of the Diocese and it was decided that the man knew not what he was doing when he broke the cord of life.
Accordingly the funeral services were held at the Sacred Heart church on Monday, at 10 o'clock a.m., and the remains were laid to rest by those of his wife in St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Three children remain to regret the unfortunate act, with whom the community mourns, May God have mercy on his soul.
--The Grundy Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 11 April 1912, pg 1
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