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Obits > 1930 - Burt D. Greenman

Submitted by Melva Taylor

The Sterling Daily Gazette, Sterling, Illinois
October 20, 1930 - Monday, pg. 10, col. 1
Burt D. Greenman Ends Own Life By Swallowing Carbolic Acid
Burt D. Greenman, one of the oldest businessmen of Tampico, passed away at 1 o'clock Monday morning in his apartments above the drug store which he operated.  Death was due to the swallowing of about two thirds of an ounce of carbolic acid about 10 o'clock Sunday night, with suicidal intent.  Delos Craddock, Ernest McKenzie, W. J. McCreedy and Charles Smith were in the Greenman store when the rash act was committed.  They were at his side immediately, and medical aid was summoned.  In spite of everything that could be done to save his life, death came three hours later.  Mr. Greenman had been an invalid for many years.  His physical condition and grief over the death of his wife, which occurred April 20, 1927, caused despondency, to which the rash act is attributed. 
A sketch of his life was left in an envelope addressed to Charles Smith.  The closing paragraphs spoke of his 12 years of suffering from rheumatism.  "I am sore to move and able to get but little out of life," Mr. Greenman wrote.  "Had the fear the end of life would confine me to the bed for years and that I would be a burden to my friends and in the way.  Most of all I cannot live without that dear little wife of mine.  I want to thank my many friends for what they have done for me.  They sure made life easier for me."
Mr. Greenman had been in business in the same location for more than 45 years, the building now on the site having been erected by him in 1891.  When he acquired the business it was operated solely as a drug store.  Later jewelry was added to the stock, and afterwards harness.  A visit to the store will reveal articles from the primitive to the modern, evidencing the continuity of the business.
Never Complained
Although Mr. Greenman had been partically paralyzed for 12 years or more, he continued to give his business personal attention.  He was compelled to get around by the use of a wheel chair.  A cot was kept in the rear of the store, where he rested at intervals during the day.  An electric elevator was also installed in the store to carry him to his upstairs apartment.  In spite of his physical condition he never complained, appearing bright and cheerful, except at periods when he became despondent.  In recent years, since the death of his wife, Henry B. Cleaveland had been attendant, being faithful in his care.  Mr. Greenman had intimated several times that he would "end it all," and about a week ago an attempt to take his own life by swallowing cyanide was frustrated.
Burt D. Greenman was born three miles west of Yorktown, Henry county, August 12, 1863, the son of Job and Albina Greenman.  The parents and son moved to Whiteside county, two miles north and one half mile east of Yorktown, when the latter was five years of age.  They resided at that place until the fall of 1877, when they moved to Tampico.  In 1883 they moved to South Dakota, returning a year later to the farm north of Yorktown on which they had previously lived.  In 1885, they again became residents of Tampico.
In the spring of that year, March 14, 1885, Burt D. Greenman bought a small drug store from E. A. LaDue, which he continued to operate until his death.  He was married to Emma C. Smith, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. A. C. Smith, Thanksgiving day, Nov. 25, 1886.  She passed away April 20, 1927.  In the prepared obituary which was left by Mr. Greenman a high tribute was paid to the memory of his wife, referring to her as "loving, kind, faithful and affectionate."
No immediate relatives survive Mr. Greenman.  Funeral arrangements will be announced following inquest which will be held in Tampico Monday evening.

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