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Obituary ~ Benjamin R. Johnson
May 07, 1863 ~ April 20, 1913

Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, April 24, 1913, Page 1

A SUNDAY EVE SUICIDE

________________

Benjamin Johnson Shot Himself at the Home of His Sister
in South Leon Sunday Evening.

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Benjamin Johnson, an unmarried man, 51 years of age, committed suicide by shooting himself through the head with a .38 calibre revolver at the home of his sister, Mrs. Mary J. Fogelman, on south Main street, Sunday evening about 7 o'clock.

Mr Johnson had been employed for some time as a farm hand on farms near Leon, having worked until the latter part of the week for Lewis Hinkst, and last Friday commenced work for Dennis Daughton who lives just east of Leon. He was a very quiet man, a good worker, and was not known to have any troubles of any kind.

Last winter he had a severe attack of the grippe, and since that time had complained of fearful pains in his head. On Thursday he drove out to the Hinkst farm after his clothing, having invited his sister, Mrs. S. A. Craig to accompany him for a ride. He complained to her of his head hurting him at times so that he hardly knew what he was doing. He came to Leon Saturday evening and after getting shaved went to the home of his nephew, Dol Johnson, in south Leon, arriving there between 8 and 9 o'clock. He spent the night there and on Sunday morning ate only a bite or two of breakfast, and then went back and laid down again. He later went to the home of another nephew, Eldredge Craig, where he remained for dinner, but at very little, and again laid down. Along towards evening he went back to the Johnson home and had Mrs. Johnson unlock a machine drawer, in which he had previously paced (sic) a revolver which he owned, and spent some time there working with the gun cleaning it up. He finally tied up the box and Mrs. Johnson supposed he had put the revolver back again. A little after 6 o'clock he left the Johnson home and went to the home of his sister, Mrs. Fogleman. Mrs. Fogelman was visiting at a neighbor's and about 7 o'clock returned home accompanied by her little granddaughter, who was staying with her. Presently they went into the front room of the little house, and Mrs. Fogelman started to go into the bedroom when she stumbled over the dead body of her brother. He was lying full length on the floor with his hands folded on his breast, a great pool of blood covering the floor. He had placed the pistol against the side of his head, the bullet passing entirely through his head, and then through the side of the house, and was not found.

The deceased would have been 51 years of age on May 7th. He was born and raised near Saline, Mo., where most of his life was spent. He was never married and made his home with his aged parents until their death. He had followed the vocation of a farm hand and was a good worker. It is supposed that the rash act was committed while he was suffering from mental aberration, caused from the pains in his head.

His body was taken to Saline Tuesday, where the funeral was held and interment was in the Mullins grave yard, four miles north of Cainsville [Missouri].

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2015