Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Confederate Jumps to Death

Accounts of life in the Confederate soldiers’ homes are all too often sprinkled with stories of suicide by some aged inmates.

It’s understandable, I suppose. These were old men, often ill or mentally altered, living away from home and family. (At the time, clinical depression was not a medically diagnosed condition and there was certainly no pharmaceutical treatment for it.)

Some of these old guys were pretty brutal about how they took their own lives.

For example, Christian Theimer, age 82, woke one morning in 1910 and threw himself headfirst out of his upper-floor bedroom of the Texas Confederate Home for Men. He hit the sidewalk twenty-five feet below, splitting his noggin like a ripe watermelon and died almost instantly.

“Theimer lived in Galveston prior to [the devastating hurricane of 1900] and in it lost several relatives and all his property. He has been at the Home here since and has often been despondent.”

See Dallas Morning News, June 24, 1910

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