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WARD, Peter 1841-1883


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/7/2018 at 11:47:48

Peter Ward
(about 1841 – March 24, 1883)

Ida County Pioneer, Ida Grove, Iowa, Thurs., Mar 29, 1883, p.3, col.1
Suicide at Battle Creek
Battle Creek, our sister on the west has had a suicidal excitement. One Peter Ward, a foreigner, about 42 years of age, had been working at the harness trade for several months past in the shop of H. S. Smith. He made few acquaintances and was exceedingly quiet. No one knew anything of him or his relatives. Last Friday he received a letter from a sister in the old country; after reading it, he cast it into the fire. On Saturday night, he quit at the usual hour, leaving a set of traces in the bench unfinished, saying he would come back in the morning to finish them so that the man could have his harness Monday morning. Mr. Smith paid him $2, that being the balance, save 75 cents due him. Ward proceeded to the City Hotel, ate his supper, and paid the landlord 50 cents, the balance due for the week’s board. He retired to his room at the usual hour. At 10 o’clock that night, or shortly after he had retired, a gunshot was heard upstairs. The landlord ran up and after making search found Ward lying in bed, on his back, clinching a 38 caliber revolver in his right hand, while a hole about an inch wide was in his forehead over his right eye, and blood and brains were scattered all over his face and pillow. The mayor and a physician were immediately called, but nothing could be done. The victim lay motionless for several minutes, then commenced groaning, but died in about an hour. He was not conscious after the fatal shot. His eyes were closed, and his whole face bore evidence of his contracting every muscle in it, before shooting. The remains were buried the next morning by the town. Ward died a pauper, by a shot from his own hands and without leaving a word or scratch of a letter to show the whereabouts of any of his relatives. No cause can be attributed to the deed. He was not a bad man, nor much addicted to drink. Coroner Baker was summoned, and rendered the following verdict.
State of Iowa, Ida County
An inquisition at City Hotel, Battle Creek, Iowa, on the 25th day of March, A.D. 1883, before A. T. Baker, coroner of the said county, by the jurors whose names are hereto subscribed. The said jurors upon oat do say that Peter Ward, at 11 ‘clock, P.M., March 24, 1883, at the City Hotel, Battle Creek, Iowa, came to his death by suicide with a fatal revolver shot penetrating his brain. C. H. Virgil, A. Bassett, S. Warnock


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