The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 16, 1904
Would End Life of Trouble
Clarence Anderson, a Young Man Twenty-One Years of Age, Tires of a Life Filled With Discouragements and Attempts to Die
Shoots Himself Below the Heart
Was Seated in the Great Western depot at the Time – Walks Out and Falls Upon the Sidewalk – Disappointed and says, “I Missed My Aim”
“My God, go away and let me die,” was the expression of dispair (sic) with which Clarence Anderson answered the kindly disposed strangers who gathered around him as he lay on the sidewalk in front of the Citizen’s Lumber company office on Twelfth street Friday evening. With a bullet in his body, fired from a revolver held in his own hand as he sat in the waiting room of the Great Western depot, refusing to answer the questions of those who sought to assist him, he lay on the cold pavement and patiently waited the end which he confidently believed to be near at hand.
“I missed my aim. You’ll find the gun in the depot,” were among the few words he was prevailed upon to speak after he had been lifted to his feet and given a stimulant which partly revived him. “Go away and let me die. I want to die,” he repeated time and again.
“I have committed no crime, but others have and they have driven me to this.” This somewhat tragic statement was made by the wounded man as he lay on a stretcher in the Corey drug store. After he refused to answer as to his home and friends he was asked if he had committed some crime for which he feared arrest and probably unintentionally he allowed himself to make the above statement. To further questions as to the nature of the crime or the identity of those who committed it he was dumb.
Anderson’s Act a Mystery.
The attempted suicide of the young man is one of many unusual circumstances, particularly so because of his refusal to give any information that might lead to a discovery of his motive for committing the rash act, other than his statement that he was driven to it. Clarence Anderson is the name he gave, but no manner of questioning could lead him to tell his address, the motive which prompted the act, how long he had been in the city or from where he had come. Two stories are told of his attempt upon his own life.
One is told by a boy named Hauser, the son of Rev. Mr. Hauser, pastor of Zion’s Evangelical church. The boy claims that Anderson was standing on the depot platform just outside the door of the men’s waiting room. While there he opened his coat and pressing the revolver against his left side pulled the trigger. After that according to the boy’s version of the story he threw the revolver into the waiting room and staggered down the platform. The boy admits being frightened and leaving when Anderson walked down the platform and for that reason and several others the story that the shooting took place inside the depot is given more credence.
The second account in substance is that Anderson shot himself while sitting in a seat on the south side of the men’s waiting room. The revolver was found just where he said it was, on the floor near the southwest corner of the room where it would have been almost impossible to have thrown it from the doorway.
Falls in the Street.
After shooting himself, Anderson walked down the depot platform to the corner of Central avenue and Twelfth street. He stepped off the sidewalk into the street and then hesitated. He started as it about to go west on Central avenue, but turned south on Twelfth street. He walked in the street about twenty yards until he was opposite the building of the Citizen’s Lumber company, when he attempted to step upon the sidewalk. As he did so his left foot struck the curbing and he toppled over upon his face. he lay on the sidewalk several minutes before assistance arrived, after which he was assisted to the Corey drug store, where he was cared for until the arrival of the amublance (sic), when he was taken to the hospital, where he now is.
The bullet, a thirty-two calibre entered the left side of his body and passed little more than an inch below the heart. Anderson’s statement, “I missed my aim,” would indicate that his attempt at self-destruction was deliberate and the proximity of the bullet to the vital organ shows how near he came to accomplishing his purpose.
The bullet was taken out this morning from its position where he had lodged in his back. His condition this afternoon was reported to be about an even chance for his recovery. It is somewhat difficult to ascertain just how even this chance is, however, as his recovery depends on several things. Providing he does not suffer an attack of pneumonia, or that blood poison does not set in, he will probably recover.
Did Not Know He Was Shot.
Persons who were among the first to see Anderson fall upon the sidewalk were under the impression that he was intoxicated. Later it was thought that he had succumbed to heart failure or some like disease.
Andrew Hower and C.J. Hohn were the first to reach him. Mr. Hower said today that when he lifted Anderson head’s (sic) he asked him if he was sick. Anderson gave a negative answer. He was asked where he had come from and he said Chicago. In answer to the question of how long he had been in the city he replied that he had been here for seven days. When these same questions were asked him later he refused to answer.
Even after a crowd had gathered it was not thought that the young man was seriously hurt, even though he repeatedly said that he had shot himself. When lifted from the position in which he had been lying face downward, he said:
“Go away, go away. I only want to die.”
Stimulants were administered, and with the aid of two men he (word missing – went? walked?) to the Corey drug store across (words missing – the street?) where he was laid on a stretcher. It was only after being taken into the drug store that it was positively learned that he had shot himself and that his statements were true. He wore no vest, but in place had on a sweater. In the left side of this was a small hole and an investigation showed where the bullet had entered his body. Bot the sweater and his body were powder-burned. There was practically no blood on his clothing ten minutes after the shooting as evidence that he had shot himself and it is this fact that led those who assisted him to disbelieve his statement.
His one wish he expressed and that was that he wanted to die. This he repeated at intervals and seemed determined to receive no aid by which his life might be prolonged.
Sister to Come Here.
When taken into the drug store he said he was twenty-one years old last January. He admitted that his mother his mother (sic) was living, but refused to give her address, saying that she was sick and that he did not want to frighten her. He has a sister living in Menominee, Mich., and in his pocket at the time was a sealed letter addressed, miss Amelia Anderson, Menonimee (sic), Mich.” A telegram was sent to the address this morning and this noon an answer was received by Chief of Police Welch saying that Anderson’s sister left Menominee for Fort Dodge this noon.
Anderson Comes From Freeport.
It was learned this afternoon that Anderson came to Fort Dodge from Manson on an Illinois Central train late Friday afternoon and went up to the Great Western depot where he soon after shot himself. He arrived in Manson Thursday from Freeport, Ill., where he had been working. He said today that he has had trouble all his life and admitted that his rash act of Friday was partly due to trouble in which was also concerned a girl. Further information on the subject he refused, except saying that when his sister arrives she may tell more. His sister, according to his statement is employed in Menominee as a stenographer.
Tells of Shooting.
Anderson this afternoon corroberated (sic) the statement that he was in the waiting room of the depot when he shot himself. He was seated at the time and after shooting himself threw the revolver into a corner and started out of the room. In doing so he fell once, but arose and kept his feet until he again fell in front of the lumber company’s office.
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The Fort Dodge Messenger: April 18, 1904
Why Anderson Wanted to Die
Young Man who Shot Himself Said to be both Homesick and Lovesick
Prospects for Recovery are Bright – Sister Arrives From Michigan.
Homesickness and discouragement following his first venture in the battle of life and an unfortunate love affair are given as reasons for the act of Clarence Anderson, the young man who attempted suicide by shooting in the Great Western depot last Friday evening. Just what extent the last named reason influenced him in his desire to end his mortal existence is not to be ascertained, as on this subject neither the young man himself nor his sister, who arrived in the city Sunday are inclined to discuss details. It is said that his unfortunate love affair was the refusal of a young woman living in a Michigan town near Anderson’s home to receive his attentions.
Anderson, who is only twenty-one years of age, had seldom or never been away from home until recently. His home is in Michigan and only a short time ago he left his native town to earn his living in the outside world. Golden dreams of success, if he entertained any, evidently failed to realize. Homesick and disheartened he arrived in the city last Friday and still brooding over his unrequited love, life held forth no hope and seemed not worth the living. from the time of leaving home until his arrival in the city, Anderson spent practically all the money he had, but little being found on his person after the shooting.
His condition today is reported to be encouraging and hopes are now entertained that his recovery is only a matter of time. Sunday he rested well and his condition continued to show improvement today. Miss Amelia Anderson of Menominee, Mich., sister of the young man whose address was on a letter found in his pocket soon after the shooting, arrived in the city Sunday noon in response to a telegram sent her the day before. She is still here and will probably remain in the city until her brother is assured of recovery.
Tags: 1904, Great Western, Hohn, Hower