Henry Reitz Suicide
Newspaper Unknown, 1905

An Aged Menard County Farmer Suicides Wednesday Evening.
Henry Reitz, living on his farm four and one-half miles south-east of Petersburg, committed suicide by drowning in a well Wednesday evening at about 8:30 o'clock. His son, son's wife and daughter left their home that evening after supper for Petersburg and during their absence the deceased arranged his shoes, hat and cane upon the ground near the well and leaped down feet first. The well had but four feet of water in it and the old gentleman was compelled to change his position, which he did, forcing his head under the water. In this position he was found by the family and neighbors. Coroner Wilkins was called and a jury empanelled. The evidence and verdict are as follows:

Harmon Reitz being duly sworn, said:
At this place I live, occupation farmer. This evening about fifteen minutes of seven my wife, daughter and I went to town, I left father here in good shape, so far as I know and when we returned about eleven o'clock and came in we found father's bed was not used and we searched the house but could not find anything and then we went to Mr. Will Sampson's and got them and we went over the same ground again, till Edgar Sampson said we might look in the stock well which we did and finally found the body there, at about 11:15 or judging as far as I can say one-half hour hunt. So far as I can say was well, never said he intended to commit suicide, never said he was tired of living, seemed to be happy and cheerful and could get around fairly well. Henry Herman Reitz

Edgar Sampson being duly sworn said:
I live in Tice, practicing law, about 7:30 p.m., I was at Baker Prairie church to attend a lecture, I saw Mr. Reitz and family going into town, and was at home when they came to my home and while still awake I gathered from Mr. Reitz's conversation with my father about that his father could not be found and so father and I came over here and we searched the same ground through barn, hen house, etc. I sent father home as mother was alone, then we found him in the well, the hour when we were coming over was five minutes of eleven or five minutes after eleven and we found the body in about one-half hour. After the body was found I had the family go to our house till I could get help. Do not know that he made any threats to take his life. Was well cared for.
William Edgar Sampson

Verdict that he came to his death by drowning in a stock well, about 200 feet from the family residence and from all evidence we can find his death suicidal and no one to blame. Death occurred at 8:30 p.m. July 18, 1905, in Menard county, Illinois, about four and one-half miles east of Petersburg.
Tom O'Hara,
J.O Turner,
Louis Stier,
Wm. Ensley,
B.I. Tice,
P.D. Tice.
Attest: H.E. Wilkins, Coroner.
Henry Reitz was 82 years, 5 months and 13 days old, and came to Illinois in 1846.

Submitted by: Matthew


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