The Coroner Investigates

Light Shed on Albert Pearce Suicide

[]ing Soldier of Liberty Township
[Bl]ew Out His Brains, Leaving No
Reasonable Motive for the
Deed Behind

[T]he investigation made by Coroner [Tho]mas and a jury upon the suicide of [Alb]ert Pearce, of Liberty, threw no [ligh]t upon a motive and the only ex[plan]ation made is that the young man [had] been in rather poor health of late [and] was inclined to be despondent.

[Pa]rticulars of the death were given [to] The Herald. Coroner [Tho]mas drove to Liberty yesterday af[tern]oon and held the inquest immedi[ately] upon his arrival. The body was [left] as it was discovered until the cor[oner] reached the spot and then at his [orde]r was turned over to Edward Kel[ly] the Barry undertaker, to be pre[pare]d for burial.

[Th]e coroner’s jury was composed of []. Ulrch, G. B. Cottrell, F. F. Mil[], J. B. Nations, C. H. Clark and I. [M]iller. There were but two wit[ness]es sworn. Phillip J. Pearce, a [brot]her of the deceased, testified that [he] was standing at the telephone in [the] house talking to a neighbor when [he h]eard the report of a gun upstairs. [He r]an to the steps and from the land[ing c]ould see into the room occupied by [his b]rother. There was blood all over [every]thing and he was so shocked and []ed that he could not enter the [room]. He knew what had happened [and] was so prostrated by the sight that [he co]uld not investigate further.

[Ge]orge Pearce, Sr., the father of the [youn]g man testified that his son had [been] in rather poor health for some [time] but seemed to be in good spirits [Satu]rday. He ate a hearty meal at [] and about an hour later went up [to his] room. It was only a few mo[ment]s afterward before the sound of [the f]atal shot was heard.

[Cor]oner Thomas said that he found a []e barrel breech loading shot gun [] beside the dead body of Pearce [when] he entered the room. There was [an em]pty shell in the gun and a loaded [] lying on the dresser in the room. [Appar]ently young Pearce had held the [hand]le of the gun against his right [temp]le with his left hand and with the [right] had pulled the trigger.

[Th]e upper part of the head was [blow]n entirely away by the discharge [and] the walls and ceiling were splat[tered] with blood and brains. The [blood] also ran all over the bed and [floor] until the room resembled a ver[itabl]e shambles.

[Th]e suicide left no note or word of [any] kind behind and had appar[ently] gone to the room with the de[liber]ate intention of ending his life [and] carring whatever secret there [may] have been behind the motive to [the] grave with him.

[Th]e jury brought in a verdict that []ce came to his death by the dis[char]ge of a shotgun in his own hand [and] held with suicidal intent.

[Al]bert Pearce was 22 years old. His [paren]ts and four brothers survive.

George Pearce, Jr., a brother [of th]e deceased, who was somewhat [invol]ved in the Lohmiller tragedy a []n years ago, committed suicide [in a] St Louis hotel three years ago, [by r]etiring to his room and turning [on th]e gas. He came home about [] ago from having spent three [years] in the heavy artillery service of [the] United States army at Key West.

First Editors Note: Copied from microfilm in the Quincy Pu

blic Library, Quincy, Adams Co, IL. There was a black line on the left side. Most of the words could be deciphered but some were in doubt. I have left spaces in these places. MLB

Second Editors Note: Edited and corrected a second time by Dennis N. Partridge on 27 April 2018 using image copy attached.

Source: The Quincy Daily Herald, Quincy, Illinois, Saturday Evening, 28 Oct 1905, p. 3, col. 1.