Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dead Man Walking

Don’t let the title of the article lead you in the wrong direction. I of course thought the title would lead to another perfect article from GenealgoyBank.com for the Halloween season. This one appeared in the Kansas City Star paper out of Kansas City, Missouri in November of 1918. I’m sure some of us have been told or told someone else they have twin walking around. Well this unknown twin had some amazing similarities. 


A Man Who Committed Suicide Had
Been Identified As Absent Member
of Family When Relatives Saw Him on Street.

An unidentified man committed suicide last Sunday at 214 Missouri Avenue by taking poison. Efforts to identify him failed. The body was sent to the John J. Sheehan undertaking rooms, Thirty-first and Campbell streets, and a small news item was carried in the newspapers the day following.
And then ensued an amazing recital that was vouched for by Mr. Sheehan.
A woman who had seen the newspaper notice called to see the body Wednesday. She said she had separated from her husband and he had threatened to end his life. She took one look at the man lying on the undertaker’s slab.
“It’s my husband,” she said.
Then she decided to make sure. The dead man had a stubby iron gray mustache, had worn a blue serge suit, had carried a brown cane, and there was an Odd Fellow’s pin in the lapel of his coat. He was 6 feet and weighted slightly more than two hundred pounds, the undertaker estimated. His age was about 70 years. Every point tallied with the woman’s description of her husband.
“Let me look at his forehead,” the woman said.
Just below the forelock she counted eight small scars. Her husband had exactly the same marks on the forehead, she said.
“My husband’s right leg was broken between the knee and the ankle and the leg was two inches shorter than the other,” she said.
An examination of the dad man showed he had the same physical imperfection.
Positive in her identification, the woman asked her daughter to view the body. The daughter arrived, took one look at the dead man and fainted.
The woman’s son and son-in-law came to assist in the funeral arrangements. They, too, were certain of the dead man’s identity. The relatives left. The husband and father was to be given a fitting burial.
The members of the family obtained burial clothing and returned to the undertaker’s in a motor car. Near their destination one of the women, looking from the motor car, saw a man walking on the sidewalk. She screamed and fainted. Then the other woman looked at the man and she fainted.
The car was stopped. A man dressed in a blue serge suit, walking with a limp, carrying a brown cane, wearing an Odd Fellow’s pin and with eight small scars on his forehead entered it. The women revived expressed joy and chagrin. The party proceeded to the undertaker’s.
The returning “mourners” were met at the front door by the Undertaker Sheehan. When the “corpse” himself stepping in the undertaker gasped, then recovered sufficiently to invite the stranger to the rear room to meet his double.
So an unidentified man who committed suicide last Sunday at 214 Missouri Avenue, will be buried tomorrow morning, unmourned and unattended. His resting place will be in the potter’s field of the Highland Park Cemetery. Kansas side, and Jackson County will pay the funeral expenses.