I've been telling several people about how many suicide reports I run into in our past.
Even a doctor I was visiting with recently was surprised at what I was telling him - which surprised me...
Just in my life-time I can name a lot of suicides...some of whom I won't list their names, because not everyone would know about it, AND there would still be a lot of family members living who I think is best not to comment here, and now there would be several younger generations in those families who may not be aware of it.
My mother worked with me hand-in-hand on Manning history and obituaries...as we would work on old obituaries, she would tell me many times how that person committed suicide but it was not mentioned in the obituary...so I've been aware of a lot more suicides in the past than what was reported in the obituary.

So while suicides are nothing new, I think this effort by a local group is important to help people become aware of this final act.

Below are several suicides I've run into (just in the last week or so) while going through the various articles sent to me by my Manning helpers, whose goal is to help me find information about our Manning Veterans, including obituaries...and of course some of them tell of suicides of past Manning citizens.

Newspaper Man Ends Life
Karl Hasselmann, age 45, a partner with Paul Warner in the publication of Der Manning Herald (Manning's German newspaper), committed suicide in his office by shooting himself through the left temple.
North Nebraska Eagle, Dakota City, Nebraska November 7, 1913

Karl Johannes August Hasselmann was born July 13, 1862 and died November 3, 1913. He is buried with his wife in the Manning Cemetery.
Laura (Hellerich) Hasselmann (June 30, 1865 - April 22, 1926)



This man apparently had health issues that MAY have caused his demise, but at first he gave an account of taking the "special elixir" which was so very common back then.

Valentine Loch
A fair sample of the many testimonials that pour into the United Doctors Institute daily is one from Valentine Loch of Manning, Iowa, who writes:
"Dear Doctors: In response to the many inquiries of my many friends and others of mere acquaintance as to the cause or reason of my recovery from the paralytic stroke I had a little over three years ago, I want to say to you and for the benefit of others, who are skeptical, these simple statements:
"Five months ago, before I commenced to doctor with you, I only weighed 129 pounds and went very lame on my left leg, which I sort of dragged along. Today I weigh 159 pounds and the lameness in my leg is hardly noticeable, and I can get about as lively as ever. I eat and sleep good and haven't an ache or pain. My left arm and hand, which were altogether helpless, are getting stronger, and I can do lots of work which I formerly was unable to do. I want to give you the credit for the improvement in my case, because you have done me more good in five months than all the other doctors had in three years. Also you have done exactly what you agreed to do when you took my case and have more than fulfilled your promise.
"Thanking you again and again, I am, Yours truly,
"VALENTINE, LOCH, "Manning, Iowa"
Omaha Daily News Omaha, Nebraska May 2, 1909

VALENTINE LOCH DEAD:
December 19, 1912 Manning Monitor

Tuesday forenoon, sometime between ten o'clock and half past eleven. Valentine Loch in a fit of temporary insanity took his own life. He was alone at the time, his mother being away working. The weapon he used was a single barrel shot gun with stock between his knee and the barrel poked under his chin, the deed was committed.

For the past few months he has worked nights at the railroad camp east of Manning. At times it had been noted he appeared not perfectly right, but no one thought he would commit such an act on himself. Nothing unusual was noted that day other than he appeared melancholy.

The deceased years ago suffered a slight stroke of paralysis and has not enjoyed health or peace of mind since. At one time he became so irrational that he was sent to a hospital for treatment. He once had a very bright mind and never had bad habits. At one time he taught successfully in a country school.

His brothers Peter and Charlie who live in Omaha at once came home to help care for the remains. The body will be buried this afternoon the funeral being held at the German hall. The many friends of the relatives sympathize deeply with them in their sad hours.



Marvin Sander Dies at Audubon
Marvin Sander, 39, who operated a cleaning establishment here, was found dead yesterday, April 2, 1950, at his home in Audubon. Dr. W.H. Halloran, Audubon County Coroner, said Sander died of a gunshot wound.

Funeral arrangements have not been completed but services and burial are set tentatively at Manning.

Mr. Sander was born November 21, 1910, and reared in Manning, son of Adolph C. and Mary Margaret (Stang) Sander and attended school here. He leaves his widow, three children, Milo, Lois, and Barbara; his mother, Mrs. Mary Sander, two sisters, Mrs. Fred Jensen, Manning, and Mrs. Ted Groteluschen, Audubon.

Mr. Sander formerly lived in Carroll. He was active in Boy Scouts work.
Carroll Daily Times Herald Carroll, Iowa April 3, 1950



This one was reported as a suicide, but the coroner listed it as accidental overdose - either way it was a tragedy.

SUDDEN DEATH
Eli C. Sharp Takes An Overdose of Morphine and the Doctor's Efforts Fail to Save Life.

Eli C. Sharp, who has been residing at the boarding house of Mrs. Swaney, died there suddenly last night, February 23, 1903, at about nine o'clock, of an overdose of morphine.

It was reported this morning that he had suicided by the morphine route, but the death certificate bearing the signature of F.R. Smith says that the deceased came to his death from an overdose of morphine, taken by accident.

Dr. Smith was called last night to the Swaney residence, when it was discovered that Sharp was suffering from the effect of the morphine. This was about nine o'clock and Dr. Smith arrived there before the man expired. Dr. Smith says that from his examination the man did not take the morphine with suicidal attempt, but that in taking the drug to ease pain, he took an overdose by accident, death resulting.

Yesterday the deceased purchased at the Arthur Drug Store, one dozen quarter grain capsules of morphine. Last night there was still found in the box, in which the morphine was contained, three capsules. Thus he did not take to exceed 2 1/4 grains, so far as what was purchased yesterday was concerned, if he had not some on hand at time of the above purchase.

As Dr. Smith arrived there was on the scene at the time of the man's death, he is doubtless the most competent authority upon the causes that led up to the death of the man.

Sharp was a married man, his wife residing at Manning, Iowa. For some little time, the deceased was employed in the Bliss Store as a clerk, but lately he has been doing nothing of any consequence. There are some who know the man who say that he was suffering greatly from melancholia and that he had been despondent for some time.

Little is known of him in regards to his habits, as he was a man of somewhat retired disposition.

Communication was had at once this morning with his wife in Iowa, with other relatives also and Undertaker Gourley who has charge of the case, was instructed to ship the body to Manning, Iowa, his former home. It is said that Sharp was insured in some fraternal insurance company. The deceased was forty-seven years of age.
The Daily Sentinel Grand Junction, Colorado February 24, 1903



This is one of the more troubling articles - a murder/suicide

A Verdict of Double Murder
By Associated Press OMAHA

The Coroner's Jury in the supposed murder and suicide of A.N. Gafford of Manning, Iowa, and Mabel Mooney of this city, returned a verdict of double murder. No arrests have been made. The identity of the supposed murderer is kept secret.
Reno Gazette-Journal, Reno, Nevada March 30, 1892

Mabel Mooney Birth unknown
Death March 1892 Omaha, Nebraska
Burial Unknown - Cemetery unknown

Abner N. Gafford Birth unknown
Death March 1892 Omaha, Nebraska
Burial unknown - Cemetery Unknown

SINNED AND DIED
Illicit Love at Omaha Ends in Double Tragedy
The Evening News, Lincoln, Nebraska March 28, 1892

Nellie King's house of ill fame was the scene of a double tragedy Saturday night. The exact hour at which Abner N. Gafford, a young traveling man from Manning, Iowa, shot and killed a girl known as Mabel Stevens and then killed himself, will never be fully ascertained. When discovered they were both lying stiff and cold in bed.
Gafford came to Omaha about one week ago and met the Stevens woman and since that time he has been stopping at the house in company with the woman and spending his money quite freely. It is believed that he wanted Miss Stevens to accompany him to Denver, and as she refused to do so he killed her and then ended his own life.
The dead woman was lying in the back part of the bed, apparently asleep, but upon closer observation a bullet at the base of the skull could be seen. The suicide, after shooting the woman, placed the revolver at his right temple and fired the fatal shot.
Gafford traveled for his brother, a wholesale butter and egg merchant at Manning. His parents, who are prominent and wealthy, live in Des Moines, Iowa. The girl's proper name is Mooney. Her parents live in Denver.

Omaha Evening Bee Omaha, Nebraska March 28, 1892
HOW THE DEAD BODIES WERE FOUND

Terrible Discovery of a Friend of the Dead Girl - Coroner Maul Takes Charge of the Bodies and Notifies the Friends.

About 3:20 Sunday morning a friend and chum of Mabel Stevens, an inmate of Nellie King's establishment on Ninth Street, entered the room occupied by the young woman and Abner N. Gafford, the young Iowa commission man. She wanted to speak to Mabel and being acquainted with both the occupants of the room felt no hesitancy in entering. The gas was burning dimly and she walked directly to the bedside and shook Gafford's arm. One touch of the flesh was enough to alarm her, for the arm was cold and stiff. With a cry for help the girl rushed from the apartment and down the stairs as fast as her feet could carry her. An officer was quickly called who tried to report the matter to police headquarters, but the wires were down and he had to run clear to the Millard Hotel in order to find a telephone that was in working order.

In a moment after the discovery of the awful crime the whole house was is an uproar. The inmates huddled together in the parlors or rushed wildly up and down the hall asking all sorts of questions from the frightened woman who had found the bodies. After a moment or two of intense excitement the women quieted down and hardly spoke above a whisper until the bodies had been removed from the premises.

When the Coroner Came
Owing to the fact that no telephones in the western part of the city were working, a cab had to be called and sent to Coroner Maul's residence in order to get that official on the scene as soon as possible.

After the bodies had been viewed by the coroner a search among the effects of the dead was instituted.

The coroner at first decided to leave the bodies as they were until morning, in order to give the jury an opportunity to view the remains before removal, but this suggestion of Mr. Maul was met with so much opposition from Nellie King and the inmates that the coroner gave up the idea and sent for his wagon and two coffins.

The dead man's satchel was the first thing examined and from books and papers it was found that the murderer's name was Abner N. Gafford and not J.J. Gafford, as was first supposed. Every scrap of paper both in the dead man's clothing and satchel was carefully looked over in hopes of finding a bit of writing which would clear up the mystery of the crime. But the search was fruitless and nothing but a half dozen business memoranda books were found and their contents threw no light on the subject except to establish the name and residence of the dead man. Some letters addressed to Mabel Daniels from Denver arid signed Aggie Mooney were found in the top drawer of the dressing case. These were taken possession of by the coroner, who afterwards learned that the Denver woman was a sister of the dead girl. When the bodies were being prepared for removal it was found that Gafford held tightly clutched in his left hand a crumpled $1 bill, which, when unwrapped, was found to contain 15 cents.

The revolver which lay close to the cold and stiff right hand was one of the latest pattern Smith & Wesson, 38-caliber, hammerless weapons.

A tiny stream of blood had flowed from the wound in Gafford's temple, across his death white face and down onto the snowy pillows and into the bed.

It was found that the bullet which entered the woman's brain had clipped off one little curly lock of jet black hair which lay on the pillow directly below the spot where the bullet had entered.

On Gafford's coat was found the insignia of the Iowa State Traveling Men's Association and in the pockets enough money in silver to make the total amount $2.40 was found. When the room occupied by Gafford and the apartment adjoining were being cleaned the money which it was stated the young man had was found. Scattered under the bed in the next room was a bundle of bills amounting to $240. It is presumed, judging from this fact, that Gafford had opened the folding doors and tossed the money into the room where it was found; that the crime was premeditated and not committed on the spur of the moment, as was first supposed.

Just as the first streaks of dawn were peeping through the windows the bodies were placed in separate coffins and taken to the morgue.

Concerning the Victims
As soon as possible the coroner telegraphed to the sister of the dead woman and received a reply asking him to notify two brothers who were stopping at the Pacific House in Council Bluffs. This was done and the brothers called at the morgue later in the day to learn the full particulars of the affair. One of the brothers said that his sister's name was Mary Mabel Mooney and that she was 16 years old. He also said that their parents were dead and that the girl had lived in the Bluffs until last August, when she left saying she was going to Carroll, Iowa. Since then nothing had been heard from her.

A telegram was also sent to J.J. Gafford, the father of the deceased, at Manning, Iowa, who replied stating that he would arrive this morning.

Notwithstanding notices which were posted in the doors of the morgue denying permission to see the bodies, a small crowd of curious people hung about the front entrance nearly all day.
The inquest will be held this afternoon.

The Macon Telegraph Macon, Georgia April 1, 1892
MURDER AND SUICIDE
He Became Infatuated With Mabel Stevens and Killed Her.

Nellie King's house of ill-fame was the scene of a double tragedy sometime last night. The exact hour at which A.N. Gafford, a young man from Manning, Iowa, shot and killed Mabel Stevens and then killed himself will never be fully ascertained. When discovered by a girl named Cecil they were both lying stiff and cold. The circumstances leading up to the shooting and all the facts surrounding the couple will, for a time, remain unknown. All that could be learned was obtained from the landlady of the house. She said Gafford came to Omaha about one week ago and met the Stevens woman and that since that time he had been stopping at the house in company with the woman and spending his money quite freely.
"It is surmised that as he wanted Miss Stevens to accompany him to Denver, and as she refused to do so, he killed her and them concluded to end his own life. The dead woman was lying in the back part of the bed, apparently, at first sight, asleep. But upon closer observation a bullet wound at the base of the skull could be seen. The suicide, after shooting the woman, placed the revolver at his right temple and fired the fatal shot. The position of the bodies showed that death in both cases were without a struggle. The last time Gafford was seen alive was at 6 o'clock last evening. A $5 bill, crumpled, lay beside the revolver, which had dropped directly at the man's side.
Gafford traveled for Fish Brothers, wholesale butter and egg merchants, at Manning. His parents, who are prominent, live in Des Moines. The girl's proper name was Mooney.
Her parents live in Denver.



Harold Reinke told me that he and some of his friends noticed someone walking across the trestle bridge carrying a rope...they thought nothing of it and went back to playing.
Then all of a sudden they heard the Great Western train (coming from the north) blowing the whistle continuously, so they ran to see what was going on and then noticed a body hanging under the trestle and over the Great Western tracks...it was Mr. Flenker.
Other accounts I heard are that you could see the body hanging from the north end of Main Street as people were driving down it after church services...today if you drive down Main Street, you can still see the area where the Great Western tracks once came under the trestle.

This is one of the obituaries that does not mention the suicide, but everyone from that time-frame knew about it because of the very public nature of that event.

It also shows how even having a huge family with what you would assume would have given him a lot of support during his life - people become desperate and will end their lives...

Obituary of Charles Flenker

Charley Henry Flenker was born in Scott County, Iowa, December 31, 1877, and died in Manning Sunday morning, October 6, 1929, at the age of 51 years, 9 months, and 7 days.

The deceased came with his parents from Scott County when but a child and settled with them in Washington Township, Carroll County on a farm. He spent his boyhood days with his parents and assisted them in their farm work.

In 1902, on the 24th of September he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Fonken, to which union nine children were born, of which one passed away in infancy. Those surviving, and who are now mourning the untimely death of the husband and father besides the bereaved wife and mother, are Arnetha, Mrs. Martin Fritz; Grace, Mrs. Stanley Cushing; Wayne, Woodrow, Lucia, Idaleen, Eleonora, and Edna. He also leaves to mourn, his aged mother, Mrs. C.H. Flenker of Manning; five brothers, August, of Kansas City, Missouri; William, of Council Bluffs; Henry, of Tillemook, Oregon; Emil, of Casper, Wyoming; and Louie, of Sioux City; also two sisters, Anna Funk of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Helen Kent, of Denver, Colorado, his lodge brothers of the Modern Woodmen of America Camp 1771, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen of lodge number 262 of which he was a member, and many other friends and relatives.

The funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Presbyterian Church, the Reverend Howland officiating.

Interment was made at the Manning Cemetery.

The deceased was an honest, upright man, a hard worker and an expert in his business. The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the family in their bereavement.