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Joe S. Merica - (1893)


Posted By: Pat Hochstetler (email)
Date: 3/2/2008 at 12:30:08

Winterset Madisonian – December 8, 1893
Winterset, Iowa
Page 3

From Jackson

The entire community was shocked on hearing of the suicide of Joseph Merica, on Tuesday morning of this week. He drove to Winterset the day before and purchased strychnine, telling the druggist he wanted it to poison rats with. The unfortunate young man was about twenty years of age. He has made his home with Mr. Eppard for about four years. His parents live in Virginia.
Winterset Madisonian – December 8, 1893
Winterset, Iowa
Page 7


J. S. Merica, of Jackson Township, Takes His Own Life.

The news was brought to town last Tuesday, that J. S. Merica, a young man employed on the farm of W. S. Eppard, a short distance north of Pitzer had committed suicide that morning by taking strychnine. Coroner Hobson went out to Mr. Eppard’s as soon as possible, and empaneled a jury consisting of L. Banker, A. M. Meacham and J. F. Aitchison. F. A. Sackett was appointed clerk. Testimony was given by Dr. John Milholland, W. S. Eppard, J. W. Cocklin, August Johnson, Vernie Eppard, and Mary C. Eppard, and the following facts developed:

Joe Merica, as he was usually called, was a young man of twenty-three or four, and had made his home at Mr. Eppard’s most of the time for four years past. He was usually cheerful, and did not appear to be brooding over anything, and no one knows of his having any particular trouble. On Monday last he came to Winterset, and bought some strychnine at Sherman Catterlin’s drug store, saying that he wanted it to kill rats. On Tuesday morning he rose at about half past five with the rest of the family, but before breakfast he returned to his room, remarking that he did not feel well. After breakfast, Mr. J. W. Cocklin, who boards at Mr. Eppard’s and teaches school in the neighborhood, wanted to know the correct time, and as Joe had been to town the day before, he sent Mr. Eppard’s son to the young man’s room to see if he had set his watch correctly. Young Eppard returned immediately, saying that Joe was very sick. Mr. Eppard then went to the room and found him in a spasm. The spasm seemed to pass off, and Eppard left the room, but in a few moments his wife came out and reported that Joe was dead.

Dr. Milholland testified at the inquest that from what testimony he could obtain, he believed that the young man came to his death from poisoning, and that all the evidence went to show that the case was one of strychnine poisoning.
Winterset Madisonian – December 15, 1893
Winterset, Iowa
Page 2

County and City

The body of Joe Merica, the young man who committed suicide at Mr. Eppard’s, in Jackson township, was buried at the U. P. cemetery, at Pitzer last week. His parents in Virginia telegraphed that they could not come, and requested that the body be sent to them, but on learning that it could not be sent unless some one went in charge of it, they directed to have it buried here.


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