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Obits > abt. 1913 - John Olsson

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Well Known Farmer Commits Suicide By Hanging Self in Hay Barn

John Olsson a well known farmer residing six miles southwest of Tampico committed suicide early Monday morning by hanging himself in the hay shed at his farm where the body was found a short time after the act by a son, Otto, who had missed his father after doing the milking and going to the house.

Mr. Olsson was about his mornings work as usual Monday and his son saw him take a rope the father remarking that he was going to use it to fasten on the back of the hay rack having planned to haul hay that day. his father took the rope and left the barn going towards the hay shed where he climbed up on a ladder adjusted the rope about his neck and swung off into eternity. The rope was tied to a beam about eighteen feet from the ground and the dead man's feet were only about three feet from the ground. He had made careful preparations for his rash act. He removed his coat, neck scarf and hat which were hung on a round of the ladder about sixteen feet from the ground. These were probably removed when he adjusted the rope around his neck just before swinging off the ladder which rested against the beam.

No sounds were heard by the son milking in the barn and when the task was finished he went to the house. Not finding the father there he began a search and was horrified to find the body swinging from a beam in the hay shed. The hay shed is about sixty feet distant from the barn and enclosed so that any sounds or struggles made there would probably not be heard.

When the son discovered the body of his father he had no knife with  which to cut him down and was compelled to run for assistance. A doctor from Prophetstown was called and relatives and friends summoned but the man was beyond all earthly assistance.

The coroner's inquest was held Monday and a verdict was rendered that Mr. Olsson too his own life while in a fit of temporary insanity.

The deceased was about fifty-three years of age and was well known in Tampico. For a  number of years before his marriage he made his home with John W.Glassburn. He was a good hard working man. He leaves his wife and seven children, three sons and four daughters.

The funeral services will be held Thursday in Prophetstown.

Conflicting opinions are given for his committing suicide. There are rumors that there was domestic  trouble in his family. It is said that he had trouble with a son last summer which resulted in the son leaving home and caused an estrangement between husband and wife that had grown somewhat bitter. He had also been sick with stomach trouble the evening before which coupled with his troubles was the probable cause of the act.

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