Lewis J. Gibbs

From: Times; pub. March 23, 1926

Lewis J. Gibbs was found dead about 12:30 o'clock this afternoon in the pond known as the Chance or L&N pond.  The body was found by a young man named George Guyatt and two or three small boys who were fishing in that pond.  Coroner Waller Buckham was immediately notified and with Sheriff Grant Holcomb, visited the scene, and the coroner took charge of the body, which was brought downtown.  An inquest was to be held this afternoon sometime.  A note was found in the overcoat of the dead man asking that his son, Herman Gibbs of Carbondale, be notified of his death, and asked to take charge of the body, and the funeral arrangements.

Mr. Gibbs lived ease of Mt. Vernon on Route 7, on the hard road, and was known to a large number of people in Mt. Vernon and vicinity.  Although the note to the son did not contain any intimation of family troubles, it is reported that the death of Mr. Gibbs probably was due to that cause.  The addressed to the son follows:

"Midnight.  To Hotel Clerk: Please post these letters early in the morning, the 23d, and telephone my son, Herbert Gibbs, of Carbondale to come at once and take charge of my remains.  Call J. T. McCauley, Route 7, and have Mrs. Ana Gibbs informed of my death so she will help see to my funeral.  I wish the body embalmed and await further orders from persons concerned."

The letter was signed Lewis J. Gibbs and dated 5:25 p.m., although the word midnight preceded the letter.  According to wishes expressed in writing by Mr. Gibbs, the body was taken to the Appleman & Hawkins funeral parlor, as he asked that Mr. Appleman have charge.

Mr. Gibbs' wife died in November 1925, and he was married about a month ago to Mrs. Ana Maulding of McLeansboro, who survives.

Mrs. Gibbs' watch was in one of his pockets when found, and was still running, but was stopped shortly after the body was removed from the water.  The watch stopped at 1:05 p.m.

On the bank near where the body was found lay the overcoat of the dead man and it was found to contain the letter addressed to the son and letters to a number of friends.  In the pockets of the clothing worn by Mr. Gibbs was found a small sum of money, $1.40.  It is thought the body had lain in the water but a few hours, probably not more than four hours, or a little longer.  Non one saw the suicide, or at least no one is thought to have seen it.  Mr. Gibbs is thought to have been about 60 years old.  The letters were written on stationery of the Grand Hotel.

Obituary Extract from Legacy of Kin by Harold Felty:

Pub. Times, April 1, 1926; Lewis Joseph Gibbs was born 19 Jan 1863 in Buchanan, MO.; d. 23 Mar 1926; son of John W. and Mary J. Gibbs.  John W. died in 1866 and Mary J. Gibbs moved the family to her native Jackson Co., Ill.  Lewis taught 21 years in Jackson Co., Ill., and retired in 1925.  He married Louise C. Nangle, 13 March 1884 - she died Nov, 1925; 10 children, 2 d. Joseph Arthur Gibbs d. 1891 at age of 3 and Francis Lewis Gibbs d. in 1918 at age of 33 years.  He moved to east of Mt. Vernon in 1925.  Married Mrs. Ana Lane Maulding 23 Jan 1926 of McLeansboro -- also a teacher.  In Jan 1926, he moved membership to First Baptist Church of McLeansboro.  He is interred at Oakdale Cem. 


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