Submitted by Kathy Lorenz
Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, VA) April 24, 1886:
WAS IT SUICIDE?
A Grand Officer of Texas Pythians
Shoots Himself in the Breast
[By telegraph to the Dispatch.]
Terrel, Tex., April 23 - The Grand Lodge of Knights of Pythias has been in session here since Wednesday morning. At 9 o'clock yesterday morning, in a room at the Harris Hotel, Alexander Abey, the retiring Grand Chancellor of Texas, shot himself with a pistol, the ball entering his breast just to the left of his heart. There is much mystery surrounding the affair, and it is believed the shooting was accidental. Abey is a prominent lawyer of Longview, and has occupied the highest offices in the Knights of Pythias order in Texas.
Joseph B. Clamans, who had just been elected Grand Master of the Exchequer, was in the room at the time. Clamans and Abey have been warm friends many years. Clamans says Abey met him yesterday morning and asked whether he could lend him (Abey) a good pistol, as his (Abey's) was out of order. Clamans said his pistol was in his valise at the hotel, and together they repaired to the room. While Clamans was getting the revolver from the valise Abey was sitting on the edge of the bed. Clamans was startled by a report of a pistol, and turning saw Abey gasping on the bed and his weapon on the floor.
For several years Abey has had a feud with P. S. Aren, county clerk of Galveston county, a prominent Knight of Pythias, who is at the convention. The theory is that Abey, in view of the possibility of meeting Aren, desired to be well armed, and that he was examining his own weapon when it was discharged.
Abey is very low, and there is little chance of his recovery. Shortly after the shooting he sent for Aren, but what passed between them at the bedside is not known.
For a number of years Abey was editor of the Longview Democrat, retiring recently.
There are many believers in the suicide theory, but the motive for self destruction is hidden.
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