Frank A. Brooks Dies by His Own Hand
Goaded to despair by financial troubles and despondent over the loss of his position, Frank A. Brooks took his life about noon today by shooting himself through the heart according to the family’s history he had complained of feeling unwell shortly after breakfast and went up stairs to his room. While his wife was in the coal shed getting a pail of coal about 11:20 she heard a revolver shot and hurried to the house. As she entered the hall way she smelled powder, smoke and fearing the worst she ran to the sidewalk screaming for her neighbor, Mrs. Jacob Brown, who lives just west of the Brooks home. Together the women ran upstairs and into the bedroom and there on the bed lay the unfortunate man gasping his last, with blood streaming from a bullet wound in his left breast. A revolver on the bed at his side with one chamber empty told the story. The dead man was only in his underwear, had lain down on the bed. Grasping the weapon with one hand he had pulled up his shirt with the other one and deliberately placing the weapon over his heart and pulled the trigger. Death followed within a few seconds.
The only reason that could be given over the suicide is financial troubles Brooks had lately being employed by Severance Bros., of the Queen City market, and meat deliverer. About a month ago his employers found it necessary to get a man to help the butcher as well as deliver meat, and this being something Brooks could not do, he was compelled to give up his position.
The loss of his job and his inability to secure other employment weighed heavily on his mind. To add to his troubles he had been gambling lately and was losing heavily. What money he had at hand was soon lost at the cards and Saturday he succeeded in borrowing a small sum. He got in a poker game with hopes of winning his lost money like so many times before, he played a game and his last cent was gone. He kept the matter quiet from his wife that night; they attended service at the Methodist Church. He complained at church of feeling bad, and seemed very despondent. This morning he got up early and did the usual chores but went to bed without breakfast. His wife took up a lunch to his room but he ate little. This was the last she saw him alive.
The bullet passed through the lower part of his heart, and death was almost instant.
Brooks had always maintained an excellent reputation, and although known to addict to gambling occasionally, no one suspected that he was in such desperate straits. He was not a drinking man, and his employers say he was a very faithful and steady workman. His sad affair is a shock to his acquaintances and especially so to his family.
He leaves a wife and two daughter, Miss Edith Brooks, a stenographer, and Miss Hattie, who is present in Galena. He was about 48 years of age.
Mr. Brooks came to Hutchinson in 1887 and was engaged in the grocery business with E. Edwards in the firm of Edwards and Brooks. Later he opened up a feed business under the name of Brooks & Co. After the dissolving of this firm he secured employment with Severance Bros.
He had been very unsuccessful in business, and he leaves his family little besides the insurance he carried in the Modern Woodmen order.
Death Date: July 31, 1899
Hutchinson Daily News
July 31, 1899
Submitted by Kathleen Dankanyin