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Oscar A. Hougeland (1894-1925)


Posted By: Mark Christian
Date: 5/4/2024 at 22:15:15

From the Roland Record, Roland, Story County, Iowa, May 7, 1925.



Relatives and other friends at this place, of Oscar Hougeland of Marshalltown, were shocked last Thursday to learn that he had committed suicide the day before. Mr. Hougeland was known to many here, having been here on visits to his relatives at different times. He was a popular young man, was an active worker in his church, and the news of his drastic action came as a shock. He was a nephew of O. J. Erickson, Mrs. H. J. Amensen and Mrs. L. M. Olson of this place.

Funeral services were held at Marshalltown Saturday afternoon from Elim Lutheran church. Members of the Ku Klux Klan, of which the deceased was a member, were in attendance dressed in the klan regalia. Out-of-town people in attendance at the funeral were Messrs and Mesdames O. J. Erickson, M. O. Rod, C. J. Jacobson, S. O. Birkeland, M. J. Rod, J. S. Wilson, Mesdames L. M. Olson, T. C. Jacobson, Otis M. Olson, and Elliott Thompson, Misses Ella Erickson and Margaret Olson, and Messrs Elmer and Erwin Amensen, Archibald Erickson, Mike Olson and Amos Jacobson, all of this place, and Mr. and Mrs. Rasmus Thorsheim of Radcliffe.

The following account of the suicide appeared in the Marshalltown Times-Republican in Thursday's issue:

Oscar A. Hougeland, 31, world war veteran and local collector for the Prudential Life Insurance Company, committed suicide late Wednesday at his home, 509 1/2 West Boone street, by shooting.

While in a temporary fit of despondency, Hougeland went to his room at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, placed a .32 caliber revolver to his head and fired. The ball entered just above the right temple, passed downward and lodged within the skull on the left side, above the ear. Mrs. Hougeland, hearing the shot, rushed to the room to find her husband lying on the bed. Dr. R. S. Grossman was called and found Hougeland dying.

The young man lived a half hour but did not regain consciousness. He left no statement. Slackness of business and illness in the family is believed to have caused him to become despondent and to have taken his life while mentally depressed.

Dr. Grossman remained until Hougeland had died and as there was no evidence of murder and the case was clearly one of suicide, the coroner was not called at the time. The revolver remained in Hougeland's hand. Coroner Molison investigated this forenoon and decided an inquest was not necessary.

Hougeland had been in good physical health and had been at work Wednesday as usual. He returned home early and seemed depressed.

He had been with the Prudential for two years as agent as was regarded as dependable.

Oscar A. Hougeland was born in this city, Feb. 3, 1894, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Hougeland, 609 West Nevada street. He was in business with Wilhau & Halverson, grocers, when called for service in the world war.

He left this city with the draft contingent of Sept. 17, 1917, being sent to Camp Dodge. Later he was transferred to a southern camp and assigned to the machine gun company of the 133rd infantry. He went to France with the Thirty-fourth division and served there six months. He was mustered out at Camp Dodge, June 10, 1919.

Returning home he returned to business with Herman E. Halverson and Wilhau & Halverson, conducting stores at 401 South Center street and at First Avenue and Church street. Later with Herman Halverson, he managed a store at LeGrand.

He was married in this city to Miss Hattie Sallow, Oct. 20, 1920, who with a daughter, Hallie H., aged 4, survive. The parent and a sister, Mrs. Frank Anderson, the latter of Des Moines, also are living. He was a member of the Elim Lutheran church.


Marshall Obituaries maintained by Jennie Williams.
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