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The Mount Ayr Record-News
Wednesday, January 28, 1925

FARMER TAKES HIS OWN LIFE

Respected Citizen Shoots Self Through Forehead.
Death Instantaneous.

The shadow of deep sorrow was again cast over the community Friday noon when it became known that W. F. CHANCE, a highly respected citizen of Rice township, had taken his own life by shooting himself through the forehead at his home seven miles southwest of Mount Ayr. Ill health is ascribed as the cause.

The body was first discovered by Mrs. CHANCE, who had been at the school house during the forenoon, and who upon returning home found the body lying on the kitchen floor. Assuming that Mr. CHANCE had suffered a hemmorrhage, she hurried to the telephone and called for a doctor. Realizing something was seriously wrong, the neighbors responded and upon reaching the CHANCE home the fact was revealed that Mr. CHANCE had come to his death by a wound self-inflicted. The county coroner, Dr. Samuel BAILEY, was summoned and, in company with Sheriff Marion STEPHENS, went to the home. Doctor BAILEY examined the body and his official report shows that the deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound, self-inflicted. A note pinned to the clothing of the dead man gave direction as to some matters of a personal nature and left no question as to the intent. A single-shot 410-gauge shotgun was used, the barrel having been placed against the forehead and the gun discharged. The entire load entered the brain, causing instantaneous death.

Mr. CHANCE was fifty-two years old and his entire life was spent in Ringgold county. He was known as a man of sterling character and high ideals and was held in high esteem. He was born on the old CHANCE homestead nortwest of Mount Ayr, where he grew to manhood. For twenty-five yerars he ws engaged in business in Mount Ayr and was known to be strictly honest in all his dealings. He had been in ill health for several years and during the past few months had submitted to two surgical operations, but without relief. At his death the community mourns.

William Franklin CHANCE was born December 4, 1872, near Mount Ayr, Iowa, and departed this life January 23, 1925, aged 52 years, one month and sixteen days. He was the son of Dorington and Sarah M. (LEWIS) CHANCE. He was united in marriage to Dortha THOMAS December 26, 1894. To this union were born five children, two daughters and three sons. The daughters are Mrs. Pearl DICKEY and Mrs. Nellie ANDERSON, of Des Moines, and the sons, Dorington, Edward and Milan are still at home. He also leaves his aged mother, Mrs. Sarah M. CHANCE of Mount Ayr, and four sisters, Mrs. John C. GOODWIN of Fort Collins, Colo., Mrs. A. H. JOHNSTON of Ottumwa, Iowa, Mrs. John C. CRISCO of Creston, Iowa, and Mrs. Walter A. JENSEN of Long Beach, Calif,; also a brother, Henderson CHANCE of Clarinda, Iowa, and a host of friends.

Mr. CHANCE was a kind and loving husand and father, a loyal friend and worthy citizen. When a young man he united with the Methodist Episcopal church and remained true to the faith until the end. He was a member of and active worker in the Mount Ayr Lodge No. 169, I. O. O. F., being a member of all branches of the order, and his regard for the teachings of Odd Fellowhip was shown in his constant endeavor to exemplify in his life the fundamental principles of friendship, love and truth.

Funeral services were held from the Methodist church Monday afternoon, conducted by the pastor, Rev. Jay KIRKENDALL, and the interment was in Rose Hill cemetery*. Members of the Odd Fellows lodge attended the service in a body; the floral offerings were profuse and beautiful and friends who came to pay their last tribute of respect and to show sympathy for the sorrowing family filled the church to capacity. The pall bearers were H. C. BOYLES, B. H. THOMPSON, L. M. BRINKERHOFF of Bedford, Emery C. BOYLES, Ed FERBER and George H. RAINS.

Card of Thanks.

For the beneficence of generously bestowed in our hour of bereavement we wish to express to the neighbors and friends out profound gratitude. For every kind deed, for sympathy expressed and for the beautiful floral tributes we are thankful.
MRS. W. F. CHANCE AND FAMILY.
MRS. SARAH M. CHANCE AND FAMILY.

*NOTE: William was interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery near Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Transcription & note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008

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