Tuesday noon the community was shocked when the news spread that A. W. Steen had taken his own life at his home on South Broadway.
Friday, January 2, Mr. Steen who was despondent over financial affairs went into the garage at the family home and shot himself. He had been down town and had appeared to be his usual self, giving no intimation of the regrettable deed. He went home at the noon hour for lunch and after finishing his lunch, he excused himself to hs son, Russel, and Mrs. Steen and went out the back door of the house to the garage. No report of the revolver nor had he given any intimation of this rash or intention, and nothing was thought of his absence from the house, at the garage, but about a quarter of an hour later when his son, Russel, went to the garage to get the car, he found his father slumped down in the corner of the garage, with a ghastly bullet hole in his right temple.
Neighbors and officials were called, but Mr. Steen had died instantly. He had used a 38 caliber revolver, placing it over his right temple. The first cartridge snapped and he pulled the gun for the second shot. The bullet ranged upward, groving (grooving) the temple for about an inch, then deflected by the cranium ridge, it penetrated directly downward into the brain.
Death was instantaneous. The body slumped down a board standing in the corner into a sitting position, with the hands folded across the lap and the revolver fell into his lap, lying across the hands. No powder burns were evident as he had pressed the muzzle of the revolver close against the temple.
Mr. Steen was one of the most widely known and universally respected business men of Protection.
For long years, he had been prominently identified with the business life of the Southwest. He first came to Protection in 1908, when he became the first manager of the then newly organized Farmers Cooperative elevator, now the Protection Cooperative Supply Company. He continued as the manager for this firm for several years and built it into a large and successful institution.
He resigned his position with the elevator after several years, and in partnership with Harry Marshall of Coldwater established a commission firm in Wichita. Some two years later the firm dissolved and Mr. Steen returned to Protection and served for a short time as assistant cashier of the Protection State Bank, resigning in a few months and removing to Meade, Kansas, where as the manager of the Meade Farmers Cooperative elevator, he again repeated his success as with a larger and successful organization.
About five years ago, he resigned at Meade and removed to Anthony, Kansas, where he had purchased a couple of elevators and entered the grain business as an independent dealer. Some thing over a year ago, he disposed of one of the elevators, and last fall lost the other by fire. As he had purchased the Pastime Theater in Protection some months previous, he disposed of his interests in Anthony after the fire loss and came to Protection and joined his son, Russel in the active management of The Pastime.
Before coming to Protection in 1908, he had been a very successful and versatile merchant and business man in Oklahoma.
By nature of a cheerful and pleasing disposition, always in a good and courteous humor, Mr. Steen had gathered to himself a host of warm personal friends, wherever he had lived and labored and his passing will be witnessed with keen regret by this state wide circle of friends, as he was possessed of an extensive acquaintance among business interests over the state, especially so among the grain fraternity.
He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife, and one son, Russel, his step son, Ben E. Schmoker, all of Protection, a son, Chas. Steen of Hutchinson, and several children, who reside in California.
Funeral services are awaiting the arrival of relatives from California, who are motoring through to Protection and have not been definitely assigned to this time, Tuesday afternoon.
The Peacock mortuary have charge of the funeral arrangements.
Allen W. Steen is buried in the Protection Cemetery.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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