Ends Life At Daughter's Home

Ernest J. France, Aged 52, Father of 9 Children; Funeral Today

Ernest France, son of Mrs. Allen France of Astoria, committed suicide at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Fred Simpson, eight miles southwest of Havana in Kerton township, sometime Sunday night. The body was discovered Monday morning at about 7 o'clock by his son-in-law, Mr. Simpson, lying under a truck on a rug, directly beneath the exhaust pipe. The car was parked in a driveway of a corn crib and from evidence brought out at the inquest, he started the motor of the truck, then spread out the rug and lay down under the exhaust and allowed fumes of the engine to pour into his face.

Mr. Simpson and family left their home Sunday for the day. They returned at about 6:30 in the evening and not finding Mr. France about, did not think anything unusual had happened.

The next morning Mr. Simpson went to the barn and in passing the crib noticed the truck in the driveway. Making an examination, he discovered the body of his father-in-law lying as above stated.

Mr. Simpson immediately notified A. L. Howe, whose employ he is in as a farm hand and upon his arrival they notified Coroner Mark S. Nelson at Canton.

The body was removed to the Carl Shawgo undertaking parlors where an inquest was held Monday evening at 8:30 o'clock. The jury was composed of A. N. Price, Sam Rawley, T. M. Camp, Ernest Bubb, Lester Walters and Edgar Smith. After hearing the evidence of two witnesses, A. L. Howe and Fred Simpson, with whom Mr. France had made his home for the past several months, a verdict was returned to the effect that death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning, self-inflicted with suicidal intent.

Ernest John France, son of Allen and Christina (Heston) France was born Oct. 10, 1885 in Rushville, Ill. He was united in marriage to Chloe Stone who, with the following children survive: Mrs. Vera Rose, Farmington; Virgil, Vermont; Mrs. Jean Heavenridge, Chicago; Mrs. Fred Simpson; Mrs. Eileen Clark, Astoria, and Wilma, Charles, Merle and Phyllis who live with their mother in Vermont. Brothers and sisters are Mrs. Mae Bollinger and Clarence France, Astoria; Mrs. Pearl Foster, Albuquerque, N. M.; Mrs. Clara Hott, Hoppeston, Ill., Ralph France of Beardstown and his mother, Mrs. Allen France, Astoria.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 o'clock this afternoon at the U. B. church, with Rev. I. E. Vanwey officiating. Burial in Astoria cemetery.


Published in the Astoria Argus-Searchlight on 8/10/1938

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