1867 – July 28, 1903
Div./Dept. Commander 1899
City Clerk Edward H. Smith a Suicide
Body Found in the Presumpscot Saturday
Man Was Last Seen on Tuesday
Saturday afternoon about 2:30 o’clock the body of a man was discovered floating down the Presumpscot river near the Dana bridge by and employee of the S.D. Warren Company. He succeeded in getting the body near the shore and after tying it to a tree on the bank, informed City Marshal Wight of his discovery.
Coroner McDonough of Portland was notified and arrived at the scene about 5:30 o’clock and upon investigation it was found to be the body of Edward H. Smith, who for a number of years conducted a printing office in Portland. At one time, he was foreman at Smith & Sale’s office. About a week ago he went to Mr. Alex Speirs and told him that he must dispose of his plant at once and Mr. Speirs purchased it, and Mr. Smith agreed to work for Speirs until January 1st, 1904.
Last Monday, Mr. Smith went to the blacksmith shop of his father-in-law, Mr. W.H. Hanson, and gave him some papers, among them his life insurance policy, telling him to keep them for a while.
Last Tuesday morning on leaving his home in Gorham, he told his wife if he did not return that night not to worry about him as he had sold out his business and might possibly go away. On arriving at his office he made the remark that he was in great trouble and wished he was dead and left the office.
Mr. Smith was in 1900 and 1901 colonel of the Maine division, Sons of Veterans, and was for several years city clerk of this city. He was a member of Temple Lodge of Masons, Pequaket Tribe of Red Men, S.D. Warren Council, O.U.A.M. and the N.E.O.P.
It is thought that on account of financial difficulties that he committed suicide. On his person was found his watch and chain. The watch had stopped at 3:25 o’clock. Eleven dollars in bills besides some small change were found in his pockets. There was also a farewell letter, showing that the deed was carefully planned.
Coroner McDonough thought an inquest was unnecessary and turned the body over to Undertaker Hodadon.
Mr. Smith married about eight years ago, Miss Minnie Hanson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Hanson, and leaves besides a wife, three children, Esther, aged 6, Ruth 5, and Phillip 3. Mr. Smith was about 26 years of age.
The last seen of the unfortunate man was Tuesday afternoon at about 5:40. He rode out to the end of the line on the Windham car, which reaches Little Falls at twenty minutes of six. It is probable that he left the car and started down the canal, and after wandering about for some little time, took the fatal plunge. Smith has been acting strangely for some months past and those who knew best are confident that he has not been in his right mind for some time.
The members of the Wade Camp, Sons of Veterans, are to attend the funeral services of the late Co. E.H. Smith this afternoon at four o’clock at the residence, Johnson avenue Gorham.
The funeral obsequies over the late E.H. Smith occurred at his late residence, Johnson avenue, yesterday afternoon at four o’clock.
The service was conducted by Rev. J.C. Gregory, pastor of the Congregational church of which Mr. Smith and his family were constant attendants and were most impressive.
Two appropriate musical selections were given by Mr. John A. Hinkley, Miss Henrietta F??, Miss Elisabeth Bradbury, and Mr. Chas. Alden.
The floral remembrances were very….
Andrew Cloudman and J.W. Phinney from the S. of V. and John Boody and Harry Pride from the U.O.A.M, which latter society had charge of the service at the grave, performing their beautiful ritualistic service under the direction of Willis F. Pearson, exec-junior of the council. Wade Camp. No 10, S. of V. did escort duty, of which L.F. Harriman is captain and Will Cressey lieutenant.
The following order to which the deceased belonged sent delegations: F.A.A.M, O.U.A.M., the Red Men, Presumpscot Lodge, No. 158, N.E.O.P. of which latter order Mr. Smith was recording secretary.
Mr. Smith was the efficient secretary of the Cumberland County Agricultural Society and will be greatly missed in this capacity. The president and trustees of the Cumberland County Agricultural Society attended.
The house was completely filled with relatives and friend, many being unable to gain entrance.
The internment was at the Eastern Cemetery, Mr. Hodgdon of Westbrook, undertaker.
Mr. Smith was extremely popular as State commander of the S. of V. and was a member of the State council for the past year.
Burial at Eastern Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland, Maine