Aged, Life Long Astoria Resident Commits Suicide

W. W. Cassel Ends His Life By Shooting Himself At The Mary Wickert Home Saturday Morning; Despondent Over Ill Health

This community was terribly shocked Saturday morning, when the news was spread that William W. Cassel, a life-long, well-known Astoria resident had committed suicide in his room at the Mrs. Mary Wickert nursing home on East Broadway by shooting himself with a Stephens .22 caliber target pistol. His body was found slumped down on a couch, with the pistol lying in his lap.

Mr. Cassel had gone to the post office for Mrs. Wickert’s mail, but before he returned, he stopped at the office of Dr. H. T. Baxter for some medicine for his heart. He made the statement that he would be better off under the ground than to keep on taking medicine. About thirty minutes later, according to the Doctor, he was called to the Wickert home, where he found Mr. Cassel sitting on a couch in his room, slumped over against the wall, dead. The bullet had entered his right temple and had passed through the head, coming out back of the left ear.

Upon returning from uptown, Mr. Cassel went to his room and a short time later a maid in the home was sent to his room with some fruit which had been sent to him by local church members. She immediately informed Mrs. Wickert of what had happened and aid was summoned. While there are several persons in the home, no one had heard the shot.

Mr. Cassel had roomed at the Wickert home for the past two years. Mrs. Wickert said that Mr. Cassel had appeared in his usual good spirits that morning and that he had not given any indications of his intentions to commit the rash act.

Coroner Dr. Lester Lambert held an inquest Sunday evening at about 5 o’clock at the Shawgo Memorial Home. The verdict of the jury was to the effect that William W. Cassel came to his death at about 9:30 o’clock Saturday morning by a bullet wound, self-inflicted, while despondent over ill health.

William W. Cassel was born in Astoria township at the Cassel homestead southeast of Astoria on Sept. 28, 1867, the son of William and Anna Schisler Cassel. He was aged 78 years, 2 months and 24 days. He was married three times. He leaves to mourn his death the following children: Jesse W. Cassel, Astoria; Mrs. Myrna Kost, Ipava, and Mrs. Anna Regan, Peoria; also eleven grandchildren and two sisters, Mrs. Anna Miller of Bader, and Mrs. Mary Page of Vermont.

Funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock at the United Brethren church, conducted by Rev. H. Sheldon Pattison, pastor of the Methodist church, assisted by Rev. C. W. Perkins, with Rev. and Mrs. G. G. Canfield singing. Burial was made in the Astoria cemetery.


Published in the Argus-Searchlight on 12/26/1945


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