Obituary of William James Smith

William James Smith

Jefferson City Daily Tribune, Tuesday, June 21, 1898, Local Notes

Took Morphine

It is supposed that W.J. Smith of Osage City has committed suicide. He took a dose of morphine yesterday morning with suicidal intent and at noon he was alive but sinking. The physician reported that he could not recover. This is the second attempt to end his life made by Smith within the last few months. He has lived as long as he wants to, he states, and he wants to die. He may have succeeded. He was a tie inspector for many years for T.J. Moss and is well known in the county.


Jefferson City Daily Tribune, Thursday, June 23, 1898, Local Notes

W.J. Smith died at Osage City Tuesday at 3 o'clock. Dr. E.E. Soo, the county coroner, stated Wednesday that it was too late for him to do Smith any good when he reached the patient. Smith took the dose of morphine at 4 o'clock and it was 12 o'clock before he saw him. The drug had done its work and the patient died.


Note: William James Smith was the son of Robert Smith and Nancy Linville, born about 1847 in Scott County, Indiana. He served in the Civil War as a Private in the 48th MO Infantry. He was married to Martha Jane McCollough in 1866 and had the following children: Joseph, Mary Leona, Delilah O., William Oscar (my great-grandfather), Alma May, and Frank A. His military pension papers of 1897 state that he had heart disease, rheumatism and failing eyesight, which is supposedly his reason for committing suicide. His wife and children moved to Howard County, Missouri after his death.

Submitted by: Judy Milan


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