The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 7, 1904
Message From Dead Found in Bottle
Boys Fish Out the Bottle as it is Floating in the River Near Kalo.
“Matt McDermott, Clare, Iowa. Tired of living, will seek a watery grave.”
This message was found enclosed in a tightly corked bottle by some small boys at Kalo. While playing near the river they noticed the bottle floating near the shore and fished it out with a pole.
Matt McDermott, a young farmer living near Clare, disappeared last summer and if the note in the botle (sic) proves to be writen (sic) by him it is the firs real clue discovered as to his possible fate. McDermott drove to Fort Dodge one Saturday. He put his team in a livery stable and was seen at several places until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. He is supposed to have been seen later in the day but conclusive evidence to that effect has never been produced and the same holds in regard to his being seen near the public square the following morning. Many rumors were afloat for a time, but after the first three hours he spent in the city that afternoon he had disappeared almost as completely as if the earth had opened and swallowed him. Suicide was the theory for his disappearance, but the authorities and many of the missing man’s friends were not wont to disbelieve the theory that he is still living. McDermott had been inclined to be morose for a year or so preceding his disappearance and various troubles are assigned as the causes for his wishing to suddenly disappear.
A brother of the missing man living at Clare was notified of the discovery and immediately went to Kalo. He identified the handwriting as that of his brother and feels certain it is not a deceit. The only unusual feature of the note is the fact that it was signed Matt McDermott. His brother’s usual way of signing was his initials only.
The discovery has created considerable excitement in Kalo, but no search has yet been made for the body.
It is quite likely, if the missing man did take his life in this was he threw himself into the Des Moines at a point not far from this city and there is no way of accurately judging how far the body may have drifted since the deed was done.