January 20, 1916 - Thursday 
Clinton Daily Public

Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Pickering at Last Abandon Old Shack to Accept Aid of Charity.

Mr. and Mrs. A. R. PICKERING last night spent their first night under the roof of a county charity home.  They were taken to the county farm near Hallville yesterday.  Long opposed to this extremity, they consented at last and together made the trip to a place where they will be cared for during the short time that remains for both to live.

Took Much Persuasion.

Supervisor W. M. Lane, with the assistance of a number of good neighbors of the aged couple, induced them after weeks of persuasion to accept the good offices of the county.  They were living in the most uninhabitable shack in town.  It was a disgrace to the community and the stench of the place is said to have been almost unbearable to any who had to call on the old couple.

Mr. Pickering followed two occupations during his active life.  In his younger days he was a salesman for pianos and a piano tuner.  He had a big business.  In his latter days he was a sort of junk dealer.  The old shack in which they lived is piled high with junk of every conceivable description.

Drug Habit Blamed.

The old man’s fall to poverty and indescribable living conditions is said to have been due to his habitual use of drugs.  His aged partner is also said to be addicted to the habit.  Sickness caused the habit to be formed and the drugs made it possible for them to live in the surroundings in which they spent several years.  Both have been physical wrecks for years, though the old man has been seen on the street several times a week.  His wife has been ill in bed for some time.

Mrs. H. S. Gowdy, a neighbor, has been given the authority to dispose of the old junk which Mr. Pickering has collected and it is thought that it will bring enough to supply them with funds for the remainder of their days.  A bid was made yesterday on the stuff.

Mrs. Gowdy accompanied the aged couple to the county farm.  She has helped to take care of them this winter and had it not been for her kind assistance and that of other neighbors the old couple would have suffered more severely than they have.

Note: Mr. Pickering was referred to as W. A. Pickering in this article, but since their marriage record and their obituaries had A. R. Pickering, his name was corrected.

Mr. A. R. Pickering obituary      Mrs. A. R. Pickering obituary

May 26, 1916 - Friday
Clinton Daily Public


W. A. PICKERING arrived home Thursday from Martinsville, Ill., where he took his aged wife for burial.  Mr. Pickering said that there were over 400 persons present at his wife’s funeral.  She was born and raised at Martinsville and everybody loved her, said Mr. Pickering.  The floral offerings were many and beautiful.  Mr. Pickering expects to continue to make his home in Clinton.  His health is very bad and his condition is pitiful.  He will miss his companion greatly.  He expects one of his nieces or a widowed sister to make their home with him.

Note: Mr. Pickering was referred to, again, as W. A. Pickering in this article.  I don't know why, as his name was Abishia R. Pickering.