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Mortimer Brigham Wheelock (1868-1913)


Posted By: Dorian Myhre (email)
Date: 9/25/2017 at 19:53:42

From Nevada Representative December 9, 1913 (front page)


Wheelock of Colfax Dragged from Des Moines River.

The body of M. B. Wheelock cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Colfax, who had been missing for nearly a week, was found Monday in the Des Moines river near what is known as the Beaver road in the north part of the city of Des Moines. On Monday of last week Wheelock had mailed to his wife from the Chamberlain hotel in Des Moines note to the effect that his body would be at the bottom of the river, but dragging operations, though carried on with some persistence resulted in nothing, until Sunday a hat and overcoat were found on the river bank and were identified by his relatives as his. Dragging of the river near this place began Monday and resulted soon in bringing out the body. A grain sack containing nearly a hundred pounds of stones was tied in his neck and the method of suicide was manifest.

Investigation of the bank has not brought to light any adequate reason for the suicide. The bookkeeping appeared correct and the only thing the matter with the bank was that it had some $41,000 worth of paper which the bank examiner did not regard as good. It appeared, moreover, that Wheelock had outside of the bank of which he was principal stockholder, fully $10,000 worth of property, and he was in a situation, therefore, to make good on any temporary embarrassment of the bank. Because of this poor paper, however, the bank was not running as smoothly as it should, and the state auditor was insisting upon more detailed information. Following the investigation after the banker's disappearance the state auditor ordered an assessment of seventy-five percent on the stock of the bank, which assessment the surviving Wheelocks and others concerned appeared disposed and able to meet, and the bank will be reopened in a wholly solvent condition. The case of Mr. Wheelock seems to be one of worrying too much with results running into temporary insanity and it it not at all parallel to that of the other Colfax banker who some ten years ago stole all the money there was in the bank and then called in a couple of friends and shot himself.


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