Bridging Generations

Ancestors and descendents of Joyce Verla Pratt and Mark Richard Berrett

. . . in a moment of despondency

Alexander Roberts and unknown (1)

Alexander Roberts with unknown woman – perhaps a daughter or daughter-in-law

My 2nd great grandfather, Alexander Roberts, died in 1916 at the age of 91.  His death certificate states that he committed suicide “in a moment of despondency.”

Roberts, Alexander Death Cert (1)

The following is the account of Alex Roberts’ death as reported in the Friday, October 27, 1916, edition of The Advertiser (local newspaper of Caro, Michigan):

Alexander Roberts, Civil War veteran of Wilmot Suicides by shooting
     “Despondency because of failing sight and a haunting fear that he might lose his mind, are given as probable causes for the suicide by shooting of Alexander Roberts at Wilmot Tuesday.

     “Had he lived until next January he would have reached the age of 92, and in spite of his advanced years, he enjoyed fairly good health.  He lived in the family of his son , John, where he had a large front room, when he received every attention from all.  Mrs. Roberts had left him to get supper after being assured by the old man that he desired nothing further.  In a few minutes a shot was heard, and going to his room he was found dead with a bullet in his brain and the revolver still grasped in the right hand.
     “For many years he had kept the weapon in a stand drawer, near his bed, but had never shown any disposition to kill himself.
     “He was married twice:  his first wife bore 13 children, six of whom survive.  There are 36 living grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren.
     “He was a veteran of the Civil War and 12 of his comrades of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) acted as pall bearers at the funeral at the funeral held at the Baptist Church, Kingston, Friday.  Mrs. Daniel Cummins of Caro is a granddaughter and attended the funeral.”

It seems a rather sad ending . . .


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