STUMBERG, Joe E. 1900-1951
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/11/2016 at 18:50:20
Grundy Farmer Suicides Over Car Argument
Joe E. Stumberg; Farmer Near Zaneta, Placed 12-Gauge Shotgun In Mouth And Blew Off Top Of His Head
Joe E. Stumberg, 51, a farmer living three miles west of Zaneta, committed suicide about 9:00 last Wednesday evening, by putting a 12-gauge shotgun in his mouth and using his right thumb to pull the trigger. The blast tore off the top of his head.
According to Mrs. Stumberg, her husband had a serious argument with his partner, Andrew Cannegieter, about ten the same morning. Stumberg and Cannegieter have been farming the Frank Severance farm for the past four years; there are two houses on the place. The disagreement was about buying new cars. Cannegieter and Stumberg were both supposed to have new cars and the deal had been made with an auto concern in Dike. Cannegieter had gotten his new car but Stumberg hadn't, and apparently it was this fact that caused the argument.
Mrs. Stumberg stated that after the quarrel in the morning, her husband had come home, gotten his shotgun, and put two shells in his pocket. When queried as to why he was doing that, he answered that he intended to shoot pheasants. Mrs. Stumberg stated that her husband had never shot a pheasant out of season.
That evening about 8:00 o'clock Stumberg and Cannegieter again discussed the car deal, and according to Cannegieter, seemed to have the argument settled. Stumberg returned home about 8:45 for the evening meal, but refused to eat and immediately left the house. He hadn't brought the shotgun back to the house, so apparently he had left it outside somewhere. At 9:00 o'clock Mrs. Stumberg heard a shot, so she went outside and called to her husband but failed to get an answer. She then walked to a neighbor living east of them and told them her husband was missing. They drove her back to the house and again they attempted to call to Stumberg.
Elke DeVries, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Stumberg, drove into the yard with his wife, and Mrs. Stumberg told him her husband was missing. He immediately called Sheriff Meyer, who arrived at the farm home shortly after. When told that the shot had come from the north side of the house, the Sheriff walked about 30 rods towards a cornfield and it was there at 11:00 p.m. he discovered the body leaning against some cornstalks.
Stumberg had put the 12 gauge shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger with his right thumb, blowing off the top of his head. One empty cartridge was found in the gun.
Joe Stumberg came to this country from Germany about 20 years ago. He was no relatives in this country, but does have one brother, Gesko, living in the British zone in Germany. After coming to this country he worked 15 years for Swier Cannegieter and left there to go into partnership with Andrew Cannegieter.
Funeral services were held at the farm home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and interment was made in the Grundy Center cemetery. Surviving are his wife, Alberta Crull Stumberg, and a brother, Gesko, living in Germany.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 9 August 1951, pg 1, 6
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