Monday, November 23, 2009

Paul Kolbe's Death Information

Paul Kolbe's Holy Cross Cemetery burial card listed his date of death and burial. However, a mystery emerged - his cause of death was listed as gas asphyxiation. Cousin Sue said Paul had committed suicide. My mother in law said she had never heard that he had taken his own life. More research to do. Perhaps his death certificate and/or a newspaper article might be helpful.

Paul Kolbe died on October 15, 1928 and was buried on October 17. This fits into the suggested death time frame of 1920 to 1930 as he was listed in the 1920 census, but not in the 1930 census. (See the October 10, 2009 blog entry).

Thinking about Paul's possible suicide I noticed that he passed away 3 months after his mother. Perhaps he was depressed due to her death. Maybe he had financial difficulties; Cousin Sue said that Paul was the manager of the Belle Isle Casino.

Suicide rates in the U.S. for 1920-1928 were about 12%, then rose sharply following the market crash in 1929 and subsequent depression. The current rate is about 11% and has decreased about 2% since 1950. Perhaps increased depression/suicide screening helps people avoid that decision.

Next: Holy Cross Cemetery Wrap-Up

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