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THE WESTERN STAR, 23 April 1915
Obituary of THOS. R. HINKLE
TRAGIC DEATH OF THOS. R. HINKLE.

Early last Sunday morning the entire community in the southeastern part of the county was shocked to learn the sad news of the death of Thos. R. Hinkle, at the Perry Wall home about 22 miles southeast of Coldwater. The tragic manner in which death came about added to the sadness of the news. Mr. Hinkle had been working for Perry Wall much of the time during the past 3 years. He was staying on the place now owned by Mr. Wall and which was recently vacated by Neal White and family. Sunday morning
neighbors noticed that the house on the farm was missing, and smoke was seen rising from the premises. It was thought at first by those who saw the smoke that Mr. Hinkle had been burning straw, but an investigation
by J. L. Alley, one of the nearest neighbors and a brother-in-law of Mr. Hinkle, and by Chas. Brown, who happened to be passing within sight of the farm, revealed the fact that the residence had been fired, also that the body of Mr. Hinkle was in the building when it burned. It was at first thought that the explosion of an oil or gas stove had caused the fire, but further investigation gave almost positive proof that Mr.
Hinkle had taken his own life and in some way had set fire to the house. Upon going to the barn, Mr. Alley and Mr. Brown found that Mr. Hinkle's favorite old mare was lying dead in the stall, with a bullet hole through the head. The suicide theory was then suggested. County
Attorney, C. E. Baker and Dr. T. H. Crawford were immediately notified and were soon on the scene. The body of Mr. Hinkle was burned almost to a crisp, entirely, beyond recognition, but an examination of the skull showed that a bullet had entered near one side of the head and passed entirely through the skull. Near the dead body was a Winchester rifle, evidently the same gun with which the mare had been killed. An empty
coal oil can was found near the place where the bed stood. The oil can had been carried by Mr. Hinkle from a woodshed some distance away. Just how the house was set in fire, of course was not known. The building and its contents was an entire loss. There was not very much furniture in it at the time, however, on the building, Mr. Wall carried $600 insurance. The body of the unfortunate man was brought to the Coldwater cemetery on Monday for burial. Rev. Ralph W. Wyrick of the M. E. church conducted funeral services at the cemetery.

Deceased was a native of Jefferson-co., Tenn. About ten years ago, he came west, and for a while lived in Oklahoma. For the past 8 years he had lived in this county. He was a quiet, industrious and honorable man.
His strict integrity was unquestioned. As a neighbor and citizen he was well liked by all who knew him. In his death the community loses one of its best citizens. There seems to be absolutely no reason for Mr. Hinkle's suicidal act. As far as is known he had not an enemy, nor was there any known provocation from any cause. For several months, however, he had been in failing health, and it is very probable that this fact had much to do with his mind becoming unbalanced to the extent that, while he realized it not, the tragic end was brought about. The only surviving relative in the west is a sister, Mrs. J. L. Alley, of this county. At the time of death Mr. Hinkle was 50 years, 4 months and 29 days of age. He had never married. He lived alone during most of the time he worked for Mr. Wall.
Transcribed and Contributed by Shirley Brier


Last Updated:  Wednesday, December 14, 2005 22:23:45


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