Sunday, June 13, 2010

Highly Respected Citizen Dies of Strychnine Poisoning

Did I get your attention? Here's the newspaper article that explains:

September 5, 1901

Mr. John M. Lemasters, an aged and highly respected citizen living 3 miles north of Middletown, the edge of Pike County, died at 9 o'clock last Friday morning, from the effects of a dose of strychnine. Whether the drug was taken with suicidal intent or was the work of some other persons is not known and perhaps never will be.

It had been Mr. Lemasters' custom to keep whiskey in the house, and to take a dram each morning before breakfast. This custom was inaugurated as a cure for a stomach trouble, and his liquor was bought in the gallon quantities, put up in quart bottles. On last Friday morning he took his usual dram, but remarked after swallowing it, that the whiskey was as bitter as quinine. He took his seat on the front porch to await breakfast, and started to read a paper. A few minutes afterwards, however, he was seen to fall forward in a convulsion, and these continued from that time until his death some two or three hours afterward. Doctor's Hollingsworth and Regg were both summoned, and at the suggestion that he be given whiskey, he said not to get it out of the old bottle, as he was poisoned from that bottle. That was near as he ever came to whether it had been taken on purpose or otherwise, and it is to be regretted that he failed to leave no doubt about it.

After his death his 'old' whiskey bottle - the one from which he did not wish to drink - was found, empty, but with many grains of undissolved strychnine sticking to the sides of the bottle, from the very bottom there of to the mouth.

John is the older gentleman seated in the front row with his wife to the right. He is surrounded by his children. This picture was taken in 1900 which is the year prior to his death.

I used the current Swirlydoos kit to complete this lo. The circle in the background is the one I made to demonstrate how to use your edge punches around a circle. All the flowers are from the current kit except the hand-made tissue flower. The bling, tag, and cb numbers are from my stash.