Thomas L. Koger was born March 9, 1864, in Harrison County, Missouri, moved from there with his parents in 1865 on a farm four miles north of Decatur City where he lived until he was married, on the 19th day of June, 1887, to Anna B. Chamberlin. They lived in Decatur a few years and from there moved to Ringgold County where they lived six years, then back to Decatur for two years and from there to Leon where they lived until his death. He died December 30, 1902, and leaves a wife and six children, brothers and sisters to mourn the loss of a dear husband, father, and brother.
The funeral services were conducted by Reverend Jones, Pastor of the Christian Church, and the remains laid to rest in Decatur Cemetery, January 1st.
Tom Koger Commits Suicide
The citizens of our community were startled and shocked Tuesday evening by the sad intelligence, which spread rapidly through the city, to the effect that Tom Koger had committed suicide at his home in the south part of town, known as the Gibson property. Shortly before 6 o'clock the family consisting of Mr. Koger, wife and five children, were chatting pleasantly together in the east room of the house, the eldest son being at work at Swift & Company's Packing House. Mrs. Koger remarked that she must go up town and get some meat for supper and at once departed on her errand. In a few minutes after she had left, Mr. Koger procured a 32 caliber revolver, went into a bedroom, lay down on a bed and shot himself through the head, the bullet penerating the head about an inch in front and above the right ear. Death was instantenous. The children heard the explosion and saw the flash and ran terrorized from the house to give the alarm. In a few minutes, the oldest boy arrived from his work and finding the house in darkness suspected something wrong. He lit a lamp and began a search which revealed his father lying on the bed with the revolver clutched in his hand. Soon Harry Bullock and other employees from the packing house arrived. Dr. Layton was summoned who made an examination of the body. He said it was evidently a case of suicide and thought an inquest unnecessary.
Mr. Koger was 38 years of age and was a quiet, temperate and industrious citizen. He is survived by his wife and six children. No work or writing was left to indicate the cause of his untimely taking off. Various rumors as to the cause are afloat, including domestic trouble, all apparently without foundation. Mrs. Koger's theory is that the deceased had become mentally unbalanced. He had been employed at Swift and Co's until two weeks ago and quit without apparent cause. He refused to come up town to transact necessary business and these and other peculiar actions are cited to support Mrs. Koger's theory.
Posted in Decatur County Journal-Iowa January 1, 1903
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