02 May 2012

Old Newspaper - Suicide of John C Cheppius, 1907

By Pamela Pattison Lash

John C Chappouis (various spellings)
(1827 France – 31 March 1907 Springfield Twp, Williams Co, OH); burial Boynton Cem; son of Nicholas and Catherine Teiseau Chappius and brother to Justin Constant and Joseph; married to Virginia E/Lydia Richard

Bryan Democrat, 2 Apr 1907 p1
Despondent From Ill Health
Aged Farmer Committed Suicide
John Cheppius Threw Himself into Tiffin River Five Miles from Bryan Early Sunday Morning; Difficulties Experienced in the Search for Body; 81 Years Old

From all indications John Cheppius, an aged farmer living five miles east of Bryan, committed suicide early Sunday morning by throwing himself into the Tiffin River.

Mr Cheppius had become despondent over ill health and being 81 years old was badly crippled from rheumatism.  He left the home of his son-in-law Charles Clark about 5 o’clock Sunday morning.  Not returning for some time it was feared the aged man had gone to the river nearby and ended his life.  After a search along the banks of the stream, the man’s crutch and cane were found and his steps were traced to the edge of the water.  Neighbors immediately began a search of the river with poles.  Dynamite was also used.  The search for the body was continued all day Sunday but up to 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon the body had not yet been recovered or further trace of the missing man found.

Once before Mr Cheppius had attempted suicide in a similar manner but he was discovered in the act.  At that time he said he was tired of living but would not again attempt to end his life.  He was highly respected in the community and had been living with his wife at the home of Mr Clark for some time.  Mr Cheppius also leaves five children. (Note - he left six children as mentioned in the next article)

On account of the high and swift water in the Tiffin River, the search for the body became difficult problem Sunday.  The water is quite deep at certain points and the searchers were almost unable to reach the bottom of the stream with long poles.  Dragging the river was also impossible on account of the swiftness of the water.  It is feared that the body has been carried down the stream a considerable distance and will not be recovered for some time.

Bryan Democrat, 5 Apr 1907 p1
Remains of Mr. Cheppius Recovered Wednesday
Aged Farmer had Many Relatives in Springfield Township; Funeral Thursday

The body of John Cheppius, who committed suicide by jumping into the Tiffin River 5 miles east of Bryan as first mentioned in the Democrat Tuesday was not found until about 8 o-clock Wednesday morning.  The aged farmer’s body had been carried down stream over 2 miles by swift current and was washed ashore.

The funeral services over the remains were held yesterday afternoon at his late home with his son-in-law Charles Clark.  Interment in the French Cemetery at Stryker.

Mr. Cheppius was a highly respected and well-known resident of  Springfield Township where he had resided over 50 years.  He was born in France 81 years ago coming to this county when about 30 years of age.  Mr. Cheppius conducted a grist and saw mill on the old Boynton place along the Tiffin River for 10 years when he exchanged the place for the farm owned by him at the time of his death.

Mr. Cheppius leaves an aged wife and six children, all of whom are married.  These are Mrs. Gigax, Mrs. Byrow, Mrs. Charles Clark, Mrs George Barber, Mrs. Cooly, and John Cheppius.  All are residents of Springfield Township except Mrs Gigax who resides in Archbold.

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