Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jerry Scott Ends His Existence By A Rifle Shot (1890)

East Liverpool, Ohio
Daily Crisis
Tuesday, June 10, 1890

Of a Well-known Character.

Through his Head, Early This Morning—Particulars of the Affair—The Coroner’s Inquest.

The quietness that characterizes life across the rive in Hancock county was rudely broken this morning by the announcement that Jerry Scott, a well known eccentric character, had ended his existence by blowing off the top of his head with a rifle, near the residence of John Finley, on the hill, opposite this place, where he had been making his home for some time. Mrs. Finley being a sister of the deceased.
Squire Pusey was notified at an early hour of the affair and at 7 o’clock this morning empaneled a jury composed of John Martin, David Cunningham, Jas. Doty, John P. Cochran, Joseph Metis, and J. C. Cunningham. From an investigation made, the following facts were elicited:
Jeremiah Scott was 52 years of age, an old resident of West Virginia and a carpenter by trade. He had been afflicted with a complication of diseases among them being a serious kidney trouble, and the physicians recently informed his friends that he could not recover. For some time he has been noticed as acting somewhat queer, but as he was always eccentric, no particular notice was paid to him until after he knew he could not recover, when he expressed a desire to end his existence, asking the Finley boys to purchase ammunition for him. The Finleys at once took precautions to remove all loaded firearms and kept a watch on his actions. Last night some of the family were up until 11 o’clock, Jerry had been sleeping off and on and he seemed more easy than usual, so the watch was relaxed and all retired, about 4 o’clock Mrs. Finley arose and repaired to his bedside, to see how he was doing, when she found him gone, and the bed cold, as if it had not been occupied for some hours. A search was at once instated, which was unavailing for some time. It was then noticed that the rifle was gone from its accustomed place. It appears that Jerry had gotten up some time in the night and gone out, and taking with him a new Winfield rifle belong to one of the boys started out on the road leading from the house. The cartridges for the rifle had been secreted in an old log building across from the house and whether he got them then or had previously secured them is unknown, but this morning the box of cartridges had been broken into and some abstracted. The unfortunate man made his way down the lane about 200 yards to a point back of the wash house where he placed the muzzle of the rifle against his left temple and pulling the trigger blew the front top of his head off, the bullet coming out on the opposite side to which it entered. The body was discovered about five o’clock in the morning, and the authorities were at once notified. After the jury had heard the evidence and examined the body the following verdict was rendered:
On examination of the body we find that the deceased came to his death by shooting himself in the head with a Winfield rifle with suicide intent.
The deceased has three sisters living, Mrs. McHenry, of this place, Mrs. John Finley, where he was living a the time of his death, and Mrs. Marshall, who’s and inmate of the insane asylum at Weston, W. Va., and a half-sister, Nannie Scott, a school teacher of this city. He had a brother, John who died recently at Ohioville, who followed the same trade as he. Jerry was always noted for the abnormal size of his head, and was always considered a little “off” he used to work in this city, but for the past two years has been doing only occasional jobs of tinkering about on the farms. He is reported to be worth considerable of money, about $1,700 of it being personal; besides this he has property in New Cumberland, on which a house in snow being completed; on his person he had 12.75 when the jury examined the body.
The deceased was a son of Nathan Scott, of Hancock county, and a batchelor. He is said to have left a will but what the contents are have not been made known. He will be buried in the Pughtown cemetery.
The house near where the tragedy occurred is one and a half story building set back some distance from the brow of the hill, in a beautiful location, which, just tat this season of the year, looks like a patch form the garden of Eden, and the last place in the world for any person to think of leaving by suicide.
When he was found he was holding the gun and trigger still in his hands.
The deceased was not considered an educated man, yet this spring he arose in church and gave a prayer that surprised the congregation by the eloquence and force with which it was delivered. He had never before spoken in church.

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