Sunday, May 1, 2011

William Edward Reiter

 My great-grandmother's brother William Edward Reiter has been whispered about for years.  He was Mary Celecia Reiter Long's youngest brother born in 1883.  In the 1900 census he was living at home with his widowed mother Eliza Tyrey Reiter and his sister Annie. His father Louis Reiter had already died.
 He joined Bethlehem Baptist Church around 1909 according to the record above.  He registered from the draft in 1918 naming my great-grandmother Mary Reiter Long as his nearest relative.  It's here that we find that he was tall, slender, blond and blue-eyed---taking after the Tyrey side of the family.
We also know that by 1920 he was living in DeSoto, Mo with his sister Annie and her husband Vincent Phenty.  Ed was single and worked as a blacksmith's helper for the Missouri Pacific Railroad.  But, the whispers were, "Grandma had a brother that committed suicide."  I wasn't sure which Grandma nor which brother, but I was finally able to locate his death certificate. . .
He had been in the mental hospital in Farmington, Mo when he died in May 1925 "By strangulation caused by wrapping a sheet around his neck by his own hands."  How he died didn't surprise me but where he died did---I had never heard that he'd been in the mental hospital.  Oddly enough, my great-grandmother Martha Silas Watson Tuttleton on the other side of the family had been in that same hospital at the same time.  The other surprise on the death certificate was that he had been married although her name is "Unknown".

I wish we had a photo of "Ed", and we may in one of those Baptist group photos, but for now I will just think of him as looking like his handsome brothers and sisters. Click here for the photo that has Ed's brother Fred, and sisters Annie, Amanda and Mary.  If he's on this photo, I suspect he is between Annie and Fred, but we may never know.

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