Date of Death: Apr 1913
Subject: John Wandfluh
Source: Savannah Reporter, Friday, April 11, 1913, front page


John Wandfluh of Lenox, Ia., Aged 25 Buried Here Wednesday

At the age of twenty-five years John Wandfluh committed suicide at his home one mile from Lenox, Iowa, Tuesday morning about 10 o'clock by shooting the top of his head off with a shot gun because he was despondent. The remains were brought to Savannah Wednesday and placed in the Savannah cemetery.

John Wandfluh was the son of Chris Wandfluh who died at Amazonia several years ago. Chris Wandfluh was a respected and influential citizen in Germany and invested heavily in the output of his slate mine and marketed a very large quantity at one time and the company who received the slate became insolvent because of a slump in the markets and the elder Wandfluh lost almost everything by the transaction. He had enough capital left to bring his family to America against the advice of his neighbors who wished him to remain and build up there again but the glowing account brought him to Amazonia thirty years ago. He was always despondent after coming here and could never succeed financially and finally died leaving his wife and eight children.

Mrs. Wandfluh, who is past sixty, and the youngest daughter Edith are yet living in Amazona [sic] and the other children who grew up there are Adolph Wandfluh, Mrs. Lucy Dell, Albert Wandfluh, at Beloit, Ks., Willie Wandfluh, in California, Mrs. Lucy Foster of Amazonia, Fred and John. The first four children which includes Fred, who is now spending a year in the county jail for debauchery last January while intoxicated, were born in Germany.

John Wandfluh who had married about four years ago Mrs. A. Bishop, who had five children and with their three-year old son rented their farm last fall and went to Lenox, Iowa, in order to get away from temptation, not only the whiskey habit, but from enmities. Mrs. Wandfluh says that she and John both were endeavoring to live right and be respected by their neighbors and that after attending church they had recently decided that they would enter the church and ask the Methodist people to help them to a better life.

John came to Savannah Monday to see his brother Fred and visited him and talked to him of his year of confinement and of their mother at Amazonia and while in Savannah he was sober. Business compelled him to go to St. Joseph and while there temptation overcame him and he missed his train to see his mother at Amazonia and took a through train for home a few hours later and walked a mile out home reaching there about 11 o'clock and was despondent over not seeing his mother, for he was only twenty-five years old, and also over his brother's disobedience of the law and his own seemingly unconquerable appetite for liquor, which causes the members of his family who use it to be vicious. He went to bed and slept some and after 9 o'clock he opened the gate for the boy who had returned from taking the children to school and he went to the house and into the bedroom and there alone sitting in the rocking chair put the gun to his throat and fired upward.

The Wandfluh boys are all hard workers and pay their debts and John bore a good record in that line and was also skillful about farm work.

The stepchildren he leaves are ambitious for an education. Two of them say that there is nothing that can keep them from it and may all the bereaved ones and the small boy be lead to that influence of Unconquerable Faith that will help them for "To him that overcometh all things shall be given" and may every human being who has an opportunity to encourage them do so."

Source: Bedford [IA] Times-Republican, April 10, 1913, front page


Firing a shot at his own head, John Wandfluh, residing a mile southwest of Lenox, ended his own life about 10 o'clock Tuesday morning. He was about 45 years of age, had only recently moved to that locality from Missouri, and leaves a wife and several children.

When Mrs. Wandfluh heard the shot she went to the room where her husband was. He was sitting in a chair, the gun dropped down between his legs, the top of his head blown off. Nearby was a broken bottle, which is said to have given forth an odor that told the story of the conduct of its possessor.

Wandfluh had returned the night before from St. Joseph.


C. M. Paschal Elected but Fails to Qualify for Office

Upon the occasion of the suicide of John Wandfluh, a call from Lenox for the coroner brought to view the fact that Taylor county is without a coroner. Dr. C. M. Paschal was elected to the office in November, but he failed to qualify, and this is the first time public attention has been called to the fact. County Attorney Burrell says he will call the attention of the board of supervisors to the state of affairs, as it may be that an occasion would arise when one would be badly needed.

In the case of Wandfluh an inquest was not necessary as there was no question as to how he came to his death and who was responsible for it. There were those who thought there should be an inquest and one was held by Justice of the Peace George Goodale.

In the absence of a coroner County Attorney Burrell and Sheriff Morley both went to Lenox to attend to any duties that might happen to evolve upon them, but there was no occasion for official action by either.

Source: Bedford [IA] Free Press, April 8, 1913, page 15


Blowing the top of his head off with a shotgun, John Wandfluh, residing a mile southwest of Lenox, died by his own hand this morning about 10 o'clock. He was about 45 years of age and leaves a wife and several children.

Wandfluh had moved to Lenox recently from Missouri. He had returned from a trip to Savannah, Mo., Monday night. No cause is assigned for his act.

The county coroner left immediately for the scene and the sheriff went on the noon train.