Category: Suicide

“The Best Way Out Of My Heartaches”: A Double Suicide in Trumbull County

Cortland, Ohio
April 15, 1954

Leavittsburg, Ohio
April 16, 1954

A Gunshot and A Leap

Within the first months of 1954, three Cortland children became orphaned. Their mother died from cancer on January 29th, leaving their father to raise them alone. Yet on Thursday, April 15th, they discovered his lifeless body in the garage with a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Their father’s name was Marvin Hayden Barnard and he was forty-five years old.

Less than 24 hours later, early Friday morning, a Leavittsburg woman went missing. Thirty-three-year-old Maxine Elliott Hickox had been estranged from her husband and sought a divorce. Around midnight, police discovered her locked car parked on Denman Road near the Mahoning River. Breaking in, they found all of her possessions, including clothing, money, and purse. Within the purse, a suicide note addressed to her husband read, “This is the best way out of my heartaches.”

Page 3 of Niles Daily Times,
Friday, April 16th, 1954

The missing person search immediately turned into a body recovery. The Mahoning River ran ten feet deep along that stretch and police came to the assumption that she had left her vehicle and drowned herself. Torrential rains from the night previous had washed away any clues of where she may have entered the water.

Interviews with family and friends concluded that Maxine had been involved in a love affair with Marvin Barnard. She had hoped to divorce her husband and begin a new life with the widower, but Marvin dashed all plans by taking his own life. Investigators assumed the devastated Maxine followed his lead and wasted no time in planning her own suicide.

Family History

Maxine’s “heartaches” had been numerous. She was born in Youngstown on August 12, 1920, the daughter of Ernest Schaible and Effie Mae Masters. A near-drowning incident in her childhood triggered a life-long fear of water. She first married Fred Springer in 1940 and settled in Newton Falls. In 1943, their son, Lloyd George, died at four months old from pneumonia. Their surviving children were Royal and Eileen Mae. By 1947, the couple was living separately when their names appeared in the Niles paper for failure to pay their mortgage.

Niles Daily Times, Friday, August 22nd, 1947, pg. 3

Following the legal divorce, Maxine made ends meet with a job at Packard Electric. In 1948, she married divorcé Archibald “Archie” Hickox who worked as a truck driver. They had a child, Aaron Charles, in 1952. Unfortunately, Maxine and Archie’s union would prove the second failed marriage for them both. The couple separated and had not yet divorced when Maxine took comfort in the company of Marvin Barnard.

Marvin had grown up in Trumbull County, the son of Oliver Bernard and Sadie Hayden. He first married Edith Margaret Oller in 1928. The couple had one child, Vernetta, before separating. He married second to Alice (Strom) Schiefelhein in 1932. She also had a child, Albert, from her first marriage. Together, Marvin and Alice had two children, Robert and Lola.

A Doomed Coupling

Marvin’s children reportedly disapproved of his relationship with Maxine. Their mother had only just died and Marvin had begun dating far too soon. They surely frowned upon the fact that Maxine was still married, though there may have been additional reasons for their dislike. In any case, Marvin—perhaps depressed over the death of his wife Alice earlier that year combined with “family problems”—doubtlessly drifted into despair. We may never know the exact reason Marvin lost all hope. Perhaps Maxine had broken off the relationship or the couple had argued, sending Marvin into melancholia.

Marvin’s children Robert, Lola, and stepson Albert all lived at his Cortland home where they discovered his body. Albert’s biological father had died in 1945 and he too became orphaned in 1954. Marvin’s children were in their twenties at the time of his death. Around the same time they discovered his body, they also located a note he left for them. In this letter, he asked for forgiveness.

Underwater Search

Volunteer firemen from Warren, Champion, Bazetta, and other nearby stations assisted in the search. Sheriff deputies focused their investigation on the stretch of river between Maxine’s abandoned vehicle to the Schaible home. As they dragged the river for Maxine’s body, those who knew her believed they were wasting their time. They doubted she would choose to jump into the river because of her extreme phobia of water.

Experts said that if she had indeed entered the water and drowned, her body would sink. Bodies typically rise in water as soon as decay sets in. Because the water was so cold, decay would take longer and two weeks could pass until her body resurfaced.

Heavy rain continued through the weekend and the water level swelled by two feet, hindering search efforts. The grappling hooks caught on logs, branches, and other debris, but the searchers persevered. The body could have become tangled in the detritus on the river floor. Fireman managed to pull up a piece of fabric that the family claimed belonged to a jacket Maxine owned. If this was the case, they had just missed the body, but further dragging efforts brought up nothing. At last, deputies abandoned the search and left nature to give up the body on its own terms. They believed it would eventually surface downstream.


With the discovery of the jacket remnant and no sighting of Maxine, her loved ones came to accept that she had indeed entered the waters with the intent to take her own life. It proved a difficult pill to swallow knowing she had left behind her children, the youngest only a toddler.

Maxine’s brother—unnamed in the papers—remained by the riverside close to the Schaible family home, his eyes constantly scanning the flowing waters. He watched for nearly a week and at last on Thursday morning of April 22nd, his vigilance paid off. Floating on the surface, his eyes caught sight of his sister’s remains. Her body had not gone far from where she most likely jumped in and despite the rushing waters, had remained pinned to the bottom before dislodging.

Maxine was buried in Union Cemetery in Warren.

The deaths of Marvin and Maxine were senseless tragedies. This was no real-life story of Romeo and Juliet, forbidden love, or star-crossed lovers. There was nothing romantic about their joint suicides. It was simply sad. Sad for those children and step-children who needed them. Marvin and Maxine’s issues proved insurmountable in their minds and rather than put the lives of their children first, they thought only of ending their pain. That pain transferred to the children. It’s no doubt that Marvin’s children suffered lifelong trauma from witnessing his suicide scene. Maxine’s suicide came off as brash, arriving quickly on the heels of her boyfriend’s self-destruction. Not only were her young children left motherless, but numerous hours and great efforts from many volunteers were expended so that her body could be brought home for a proper burial.

I write this not as a fascinated witness to past tragedies, but as an observer and reporter. We will never know what motivated Marvin and Maxine to take their own lives, but I do hope that their story could prevent someone else from following in their footsteps. All dignity is relinquished in this manner of death. Heavy is the burden of pain and trauma transferred to the living. When life seems too unbearable, know that all things, including emotions, pass. They alter, transform, grow and shrink with the variation of time. The universe has a way of sorting out the most difficult of situations organically. A natural adjustment in the mortal skein. I can say this from my own experiences living with crippling anxiety and depression. Most heartbreaks can be overcome with time. Forgive the platitude, but it is our scars that shape us. Are we human if not a little jaded? Pain is an unwelcome passenger in life, but if we allow love to be the driver, we can make it to our destination—on time and not a moment too soon.


Note: Exact spelling of Schaible surname is yet to be determined. Maxine’s maiden name is spelled differently in nearly every available record. Other spellings include Schieble, Schauble, and Schabbel/Schabel.

  • Marvin Barnard suicide, “Bulletin”: Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Thursday, April 15th, 1954
  • “Drag Mahoning for Suicide’s ‘Girl Friend’ ”: Page 3 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Friday, April 16th, 1954
  • “Continue Dragging Mahoning for Body of Suicide Suspect”: Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Monday, April 19th, 1954
  • “Find Body of Warren Woman Who Sought Death In River”: Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Thursday, April 22nd, 1954
  • 1940 US Census, Fred and Maxine Springer: “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 January 2021), Fred Springer, Newton Falls, Newton Township, Trumbull, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78-81, sheet 1A, line 1, family 1, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3158.
  • 1940 US Census, Marvin Barnard: “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 January 2021), Marvin Barnard, Newton Falls, Newton Township, Trumbull, Ohio, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78-79, sheet 5B, line 58, family 85, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3158.
  • Archibald Hickox and Maxine Springer Marriage Record: “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 2 February 2016), > image 1 of 1; county courthouses, Ohio.
  • Marvin Bernard and Edith Oller marriage record: “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 November 2021), Marvin Hayden Bernard and Edith Margaret Oller, 1928
  • Marvin Bernard and Alice Schiefelhein marriage record: “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 November 2021), Marvin Barnard and Alice Schiefelhein, 1932.

Mollie and the Massacre: A Sad History of the Verbias Family

Trigger Warning: This post contains details of abuse and fatal injuries to a minor

A deadly shadow followed the Verbias family of Niles, Ohio for years, leaving horror, tragedy, and destruction in its path. Today, the family would be termed dysfunctional, the children neglected, abused, and allowed to run wild. The walls of their Belmont Avenue home could not contain their instability, their conflicts leaching outdoors for all the neighborhood to witness. When a daughter was discovered murdered, their darkness became exposed to the public and a son began a lifelong mission to take “a lot of people” with him to the grave.

Warren Daily Tribune, July 22, 1921 Headline

A Body In the Brush

Thursday, July 21, 1921
Niles, Trumbull County, Ohio

Two little boys entered a grassy area off of Russell Avenue on their way to pick berries when they stumbled across a decomposing body. Some five or six-hundred feet from the road, lying face-up in the tall grass was a teenaged girl wearing a simple blue sundress and lightweight slippers. A dark blue straw hat lay nearby. The body belonged to 14-year-old Molly Verbias who lived nearby with her family.

The Autopsy

Mollie’s body was discovered at 2:35 p.m. and she was presumed to have been dead for at least several hours, the summer heat hastening decomposition. The evidence suggested that Mollie had been killed elsewhere and moved to the location her body had been found. Investigators believed the sundress she wore had been placed on her body after she was killed as it had no drops of blood on its fabric and was not ripped during her death throes. The ground around her body was undisturbed, with no indication a struggle had taken place there. 

Holloway’s ambulance removed Mollie’s body from the scene and took her to their Niles morgue where Coroner Henshaw, attended by Doctors Thomas and Elder, conducted an autopsy. Her cause of death could not be immediately discerned, though slight markings were visible on her neck. On Mollie’s side, Henshaw found indents of teeth and believed she had been bitten. Her body showed no signs of having been sexually molested before or after death. 

Besides the impressions on her neck, the doctors theorized a rope could have been used to strangle her. They believed the markings on her throat were consistent with fibers wound tightly about her neck, but such a weapon could not be found near the crime scene. Henshaw was not quick to rule strangulation because he believed the impressions on Mollie’s throat were not deep enough to cause death and could be explained by postmortem insect activity.

Though a cause of death was not immediately released, the local papers pushed the notion that Mollie had been choked to death.

Marks upon the child’s throat are of a peculiar type. The fingerprints seem to be made by a hand, small but strong, such as a woman might possess. The windpipe seems to have been clutched by some powerful fingernails, inflicted when the child made a frantic death struggle and the victim’s death hold was tightened.

– The Niles Daily News, July 22, 1921, Page 1

Another theory besides murder, was the possibility that Mollie had ingested poison, either intentionally or accidentally. She could have accidentally ate poisonous berries in the woods without knowing the difference between them and the edible ones. A person who had swallowed poison could claw at their own throat in such a manner to cause comparable markings before succumbing to the toxic effects. Henshaw wanted to rule out such a possibility, so on Friday morning he sent Mollie’s stomach to a local pathologist, R.C. McBride, to study its contents. He then returned the girl’s body to her family’s home so they could prepare for her funeral.

A Troubled Family

Mollie, described as “pretty”, “attractive”, and appearing older than her years, was the daughter of Joseph Verbias and Elizabeth Botciti who lived at 602 Belmont Avenue, an address that no longer exists. She had two older siblings, Helen and Alex, and four little sisters. She attended the 5th grade at Bentley Avenue School.

The Verbias family immigrated from Barkasso, Hungary, departing from Fiume on the ship Franconia and processed through Ellis Island in New York City on December 26th, 1913. They settled in Niles, Ohio, the state that received the highest amount of Hungarian immigrants in all of the United States. Most made their homes around Cleveland and Youngstown where factories reigned the landscape and work could be obtained. 

The oldest daughter, Helen, married Steve Laboda in 1917 when she was fifteen years old. Prior to the marriage, she attempted suicide and when asked why she wanted to end her own life, she claimed her mother had treated her so cruelly that she could not bear to live any longer. Her marriage proved a welcome escape from the evil within their Belmont Avenue home, but her younger siblings were left behind to live in the chaos.

The neighbors claimed Mollie lived in a chaotic, abusive household and they often heard her cries as she was beaten frequently and with a brutality unacceptable to inflict on a child. Her screams could even be heard the afternoon prior to her body’s discovery as her mother whipped her fiercely.

One month before Mollie’s death, Mrs. Verbias pressed charges against 34-year-old Gasper Logar of Niles, alleging that he had held Mollie hostage overnight in his locked bedroom. The Hungarian-born Logar was crippled, his right leg having been amputated above the knee. He had left a wife and child in Hungary. Logar was acquitted due to lack of evidence against him. The weekend before her murder, Mollie again ran away and her parents went in search of her. She was missing for three days. On Sunday, a policeman found her wandering in Girard and brought her home. The wrath she suffered as a result was heard by the neighbors.

The Hunt For A Killer

Police Chief Rounds immediately put his officers on the task of searching for clues about the field and Mason’s woods. County Detective Gillen joined the men in the gathering of evidence, particularly searching for any bloodied clothing or indication of the kill site. The search fanned out for a mile in every direction from the location Mollie’s body had been discovered.

A group of civilians took to the woods in search for Mollie’s murderer in hopes he was hiding out beneath the cover of brush and foliage. They carried rifles, shot guns, and clubs. Mollie’s death had arrived at the heels of an attack on a Niles woman, 51-year-old Elizabeth Dellinger and assaults of two New Castle girls. The suspect of the Dellinger assault had been arrested, but that fact did nothing to calm the city’s frayed nerves. The entire community was on edge and prepared to capture the coward who had taken the life of a young girl.

When Chief Rounds questioned Mollie’s mother, he discovered she understood hardly a word of English and could speak very few words outside of her native language. Employing an interpreter, he was able to obtain a statement, though this method made it very difficult to accurately discern Mrs. Verbias’ state of mind. She claimed she had last seen Mollie alive when the pair took their cow to the pasture around five o’clock Wednesday evening. Mollie ran off to pick berries in the bushes and her mother returned home, leaving her daughter behind. She claimed Mollie did not show up at the house that night, but was not alarmed and did not go in search of the girl.  This fact puzzled police and when questioned of why she had no concern over her daughter’s disappearance, Mrs. Verbias stated Mollie had been in the habit of running off and not coming home for the night. Mrs. Verbias claimed Mollie had exhibited this “wanderlust” for three years, therefore was unconcerned for her daughter’s welfare.

When asked about the abuse witnessed by the neighbors, Mrs. Verbias declared Mollie to be a rebellious child and professed the beatings were the only method of keeping her daughter in line. According to her, the severe manner of punishment was justifiable. During the cross-examination, Mrs. Verbias fainted twice, and the police called a doctor to tend to the woman. Mrs. Verbias did not shed a single tear during the questioning, but she did moan and call out for Mollie. Finally, due to Mrs. Verbias’ unerring hysterics, the doctor ordered police to end the questioning and allow Mrs. Verbias to return home.

Chief Rounds brought Gasper Logar into the station and interrogated him forcefully.  However, due to lack of evidence and the near physical incapability for Logar to have carried her body into the pasture, Logar was released. 

At 2 o’clock on Friday the 23rd, investigators had formed no verdict and Chief Rounds released a statement.

We have no information to give out in connection with the case. The death of the girl is the most baffling and mysterious that has come under my notice for many years, but we mean to keep on the job until the mystery is solved.

-Chief Rounds, as quoted by the Warren Daily Tribune, July 22, 1921 1:7


As neighbor spoke to neighbor, passing the news of Mollie’s death and discussing the horror of the murder, they spun lurid tales involving the nature of the girl’s death. Someone began a rumor that Mollie’s head had been severed from her body. Another person suggested that in Mollie’s despair over her home life, she had committed suicide, possibly by drinking poison. Others, including some of authority, believed that Molly did not meet a violent end but rather died of shock or natural causes.

Police received the information that Mollie had been so out of control and impossible to parent, that Mr. and Mrs. Verbias were sending her to reform school. Whether the girl was truly scheduled to go is not known, but a rumor formed that Mollie went into a deep state of depression. Police formed the theory that perhaps in her unwillingness to go, the girl had taken her own life and the parents had placed Mollie’s body in the pasture out of fear they would be implicated. Investigators took this information seriously and Coroner Henshaw submitted Mollie’s stomach for chemical analysis. However, when speaking with Mollie’s school teachers, police found Mollie to be a very well-adjusted pupil, despite her troubled home-life. 

The town gossips pointed many fingers at Mrs. Verbias, convinced that the mother knew more than she was telling police. Many had heard Mollie’s cries of pain coming from inside the home on several occasions throughout the prior months and witnessed Mrs. Verbias’ strange, dry-eyed demeanor following her daughter’s death.

The town grocer, Thomas Mullican, told investigators that he had observed Mollie walking along the railroad tracks around 4 o’clock with an unidentified male on the day before her body was discovered. She was near Kane’s corners and walking towards the direction of her home. The vague description Mullican provided matched the description some of Mollie’s family gave concerning a strange man they had seen Mollie with on other occasions. Many residents shared the belief that Mollie’s death had been sexually motivated, but the assailant was frightened off before he could molest her body.

A Niles resident tipped off the police about the presence of a man driving a buggy past the field where Mollie’s body had been found around noontime on Wednesday. They conjectured that possibly he was somehow involved in the murder and had dumped her body off the road in the high grass. The man was brought in to the police station for questioning, but he had no knowledge of the girl and was released.

The day prior to Mollie’s funeral, police conducted a thorough search throughout the Verbias home, but did not uncover any incriminating evidence. They also found no vials or indication of fatal poison having been present in the house. Though the search turned up nothing, investigators were certain that Mollie was murdered, either by a member of her family or by an unknown assailant who saw her alone in the pasture and took the opportunity to attack her. Though they had yet to receive the results of the analysis on Mollie’s stomach, they could hardly further entertain the thought of suicide by poison when a container to carry it had not been present at the home or near Mollie’s body.

Investigators noted how laundry day took place at the Verbias home the day Mollie’s body had been discovered. Though it could mean nothing, it also meant Mrs. Verbias had a chance to clean any traces of blood from clothing. On the other hand, they speculated that the marks on Mollie’s neck may have not exuded a large enough quantity of blood to transfer to another surface. They were not deep by any means and the small amount of blood may have quickly congealed in the wounds.

The Funeral

Mollie’s body lay in state at the Verbias home before her funeral on Saturday, July 23rd. She was encased in a white casket, surrounded by a vast array of flowers. 

 Robes of virginal whiteness concealed the ugly black bruises inflicted by the assassin, and the calm sleep of death enhanced the childish innocence of the small white face.

– The Niles Daily News, July 22, 1921, Page 1

A Hungarian priest from Youngstown led the 3 o’clock services, chanting verse in the family’s native language. Mourners cried at the right of Molly’s body and her siblings took one last look at their beautiful sister, knowing she would not have the chance to grow up with them, forever fourteen.

Investigators were present at the simple funeral, watching the family’s every movement, particularly the actions of the parents. The police remained quiet fixtures in the background, searching for any suspicious word, act, or insincere weeping.

Chief Rounds stated to the Niles Daily News, “If we knew who the murderer was, we would not arrest him until after the funeral. We do not wish to make any arrests until we are sure of what we are doing, but it is possible that some arrests may be made after the services.” (Niles Daily News, July 23, 1921, Pg 1)

The community became incensed at Round’s words, claiming if he knew who the killer was, they should be arrested immediately. In a corrected statement, Rounds said, “We would have considered it inhuman to take any member of the family into custody on suspicion until after the services. If we had positive proof of the identity of the criminal, however, we should not hesitate a second before placing them under arrest.” (Niles Daily News, July 25, 1921, Pg 1)

Mollie was laid to rest in Niles Union Cemetery

Family Implicated

Warren Daily Tribune, July 27, 1921 Headline

Coroner Henshaw received the results from the analysis on Mollie’s stomach on the morning of July 26th. He had hoped an easy explanation of poison would be found within the contents, but the results were disappointing. The chemist had found only undigested cheese, blackberries, and a starchy substance he believed to be bread. He found no trace of poison, vegetable alkaloids, or phenol, leaving authorities to move onto their next plan of action. They could finally act on the clues they had collected throughout the week since Mollie’s murder.

That same day at 4 o’clock, Officers Whittaker, Gilbert, and Mears took Mollie’s father, mother, and older brother Alex into custody.  The three members of the family were locked in separate cells and were not allowed to communicate with one another. Mrs. Verbias raved constantly in her cell, shouting in her native language. She carried on all through the night, crying hysterically.

Since Mr. and Mrs. Verbias spoke very little English, all of the questioning was carried out through interpreters. Attorney Anthony A. Pessenieher of Youngstown represented the family. During examinations, the Verbias’ statements were inconsistent with one another as far as the time of day they last saw Mollie. However, each family member proved so overwrought with grief and confusion that Attorney Passenieher insisted police could not judge them on timing alone. The years of abuse by Mrs. Verbias were also brought up, not just the abuse of Mollie, but upon the other children as well. Investigators had spoken with the oldest daughter, Helen, and learned of her suicide attempt years earlier in attempt to escape the abuse at home. Yet the ill-treatment alone could not prove Mollie was murdered by Mrs. Verbias while carrying out punishment.

Investigators awaited the coroner’s verdict as to a cause of death, as it was difficult to move forward until such information was finalized. Police could not hold the family for very long as concrete evidence was lacking. However, with the arrival of a new crumb of information, the parents’ innocence and lack of involvement in Mollie’s death seemed to be clear. Chief Rounds received the statement by Niles resident Joe Kovak who claimed he saw Mollie at 6 or 6:30p.m. Wednesday as he was driving his cow to pasture. She was all alone and occupied picking berries. Because Kovach stated she had been wearing the blue sundress, the theory the dress had been placed on her after death was voided. Because this information of Mollie’s whereabouts was consistent with Mrs. Verbias’ account, Chief Rounds believed the woman was telling the truth. 

Chief Rounds received a letter from police in Athens, Ohio who were investigating a similar crime in their district. They were without a suspect and proposed that the assailant could be a serial killer going from city to city, making him difficult to capture. 

By July 30th, Mr. and Mrs. Verbias were released from jail, but Alex, remaining beneath the veil of suspicion, was detained longer.


Warren Daily Tribune, August 9, 1921 Headline

Coroner Henshaw scheduled the inquest for Wednesday, August 3rd. Many family members of the murdered girl and locals around the community were served notices, asking them to appear for questioning. They showed up and gave their testimonies, the interrogation lasting until the morning of the 4th, but the witnesses could provide no new information. Nothing was said to incriminate Mollie’s parents or brother and Henshaw set to work, drawing up a verdict. Unable to hold Alex any longer, he was released from jail.

On August 9th, Coroner Henshaw at last issued Mollie’s cause of death as manual strangulation. The faint finger markings proved the only evidence for her manner of death. Yet after the thorough inquest, investigators could not pin the murder on anyone and Mollie’s case went cold.

A Series Of Incidents

The Niles Daily News, Page 5
June 19th, 1916

Years previous to the murder, 12-year-old Alex Verbias had a brush with death. On the afternoon of June 19th, 1916, he was walking along North Main Street in a rain shower with his cap pulled low over his eyes. When he attempted to cross the street, he stepped directly in front of a slow-moving roadster driven by W.T. Bell of Youngstown and was hit. He fell to the road, suffering a fractured rib, lacerated scalp, and a bruised knee. A passerby helped pick the boy up and drove Alex to the Niles Dry Goods Store to seek help, followed by Mr. Bell and his wife. Niles police officer Whittaker came along by chance and placed the boy in Mr. Bell’s vehicle. He led the roadster to Dr. Smith’s office where Alex was treated. Mr. Bell could not be blamed for the accident, but he felt quite badly and paid the lad’s medical bill.

Six years following his daughter’s murder, Mr. Verbias succumbed to pneumonia and lagrippe at his home. He was only 51 and left an obscure mark on the world. Though the Verbias family received considerable attention from the local community, we know very little about the patriarch and his personality. One recorded incident in June of 1916 occurred when Mr. Verbias’ cow wandered into a neighbor’s garden, destroying it. After the neighbor, Sam Natole, confronted Mr. Verbias, he refused to pay for the damages. Natole sued Mr. Verbias for the $5 value of the lost crops. Besides his brushes with the law, Joseph was hardly mentioned in the local papers and was not even afforded an obituary. 

On May 17, 1929, Mollie’s 15-year-old sister Elizabeth “Lizzie” Verbias was injured in a car accident. She was riding in the backseat with her friend Minnie Shehedan in a vehicle driven by an older boy, Sam Maile. Sam lost control of the vehicle on Niles-Warren Road near Deforest. The car went off the road into the ditch and flipped over. All three suffered non-fatal injuries. Fortunately, a patrolman had been driving behind them and gave the girls a ride to Warren City Hospital. Sam refused the ride and never sought treatment. Lizzie was treated for lacerations about her face and Minnie for a broken nose and cuts around her eye.

An Unhappy Marriage

Alex Verbias was a troubled youth. The combined terrors of growing up in an abusive household and the murder of his little sister for which he was accused produced an erratic, depressed personality within him. Those closest to him noted how he became unhinged since Mollie’s death, recalling him as acting “queer”. Whenever he mentioned Mollie’s murder to family or friends, he repeated prophetically, “When I die I’m going to take a lot of people with me.”

He was eighteen when he wed Helen Krivac on May 26th, 1928 in a ceremony performed by Rev. S. Csepke at the Hungarian Presbyterian Church. The bride was dressed in an ornate white satin gown paired with satin slippers and held a bouquet bursting with roses and lilies of the valley. Her bridesmaids wore orange georgette dresses and held arrangements of roses and sweet peas. Following the nuptials, the German Hall hosted the bridal party as well as two hundred guests. Alex and Helen honeymooned in Michigan before returning to Niles to live with Alex’s mother at their home on Belmont Avenue. 

Helen’s joy would last only as long as the beautiful ceremony. It could not have been easy for her to live with a woman as formidable as Mrs. Verbias who made ends meet by doing the washing, ironing, and cleaning for the better-off households of Niles. Alex would drink to excess and his moods were often unbearable.

Niles Daily Times, Page 4
Friday, October 18th, 1929

A bright spot among the darkness arrived with the birth of a son, Edward Joseph, on October 17, 1929. Alex was smitten with his child from the start, showering Edward with affection. Alex was excited about bringing his son up, planning his future before the boy could even walk. It was as if Alex suppressed all his dark energy, allowing his tiny son to hold all of life’s hope and promise. 

Yet as Helen raised their beautiful baby boy in that gloomy Niles home, Alex failed to provide for his wife and the son he loved to extremes. Though employed as a cold roller for a Mahoning Valley steel plant for four years, he drank and gambled away his wages. Unable to raise her child in such conditions, Helen begged and pleaded with him to improve his character, but his intense devotion to his son was not enough to raise him from the demons’ clutches.

Finally, Helen said, “I can’t stand it any longer,” and left.

Just before Edward’s first birthday, she took the baby to the home of her parents, John and Anna Krivac, at 28 West Federal Street in Weathersfield. Three of Helen’s four brothers also lived at the house. Alex became incensed, often going to the Krivac home to argue with Helen, wishing to see his child. Helen and her parents ordered him to stay away, but he visited often and they allowed him entry every occasion so that he could see Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Krivac refused to get in the middle of Helen and Alex’s arguments, usually leaving the room while the pair quarreled.

Murderous Rampage

Alex’s coworkers and creditors held a very different opinion of the man who led a tumultuous home life. At work, he displayed a most respectable character. Foreman Jesse Lewis proclaimed Alex to be one of the hardest workers he had ever witnessed and that he was always punctual, never once hinting at having a problem with alcohol. The Niles Credit Bureau proclaimed Alex paid his loans on time, rating him “in the highest class”. With this information, we see Alex had two different sides and an ability to hide his melancholia and addictions behind the guise of normalcy.

Alex attempted reparations with his wife many times, beseeching Helen to come home. She rejected him, stating he would have to prove himself to her first by showing he could be a better husband and provider. However, his demons proved too raucous and he was unable to do as she asked.

In the late summer of 1930, Alex walked into the Krivac’s house, entering the kitchen and snatched Edward out of the crib kept on the floor. He ran off with his son and the Krivacs notified the police. Alex gave the boy up without issue but went into an intensely morose state. Ordered by the authorities to stay away from the Krivac’s house, he made threats that he would kill himself if Helen did not return home with their child.

On one occasion, Alex made several insults to one of Helen’s brothers and the pair came to fisticuffs. Alex often threatened that he would “get them all”. 

On Monday, October 13th, one of Alex’s acquaintances stated the depressed father purchased a revolver on the pretense it would be used to ward off chicken thieves. That afternoon, Alex entered a speakeasy lounge and between sips of alcohol raved to the other patrons that he was going to kill himself and take everyone with him.

At 8:15 p.m. Alex came to the Krivac home, banging on the door and demanded to see his wife and child. At the time, only Helen, Edward, and Helen’s parents were home. Helen let him in and she conversed with him for several minutes in the foyer while her parents remained in the other room. Alex raised his voice, speaking angrily to her, and as soon as he began to threaten Helen, Mr. Krivac intervened. Mr. Krivac walked into the foyer after hearing Alex tell Helen he would kill her if she and Edward did not accompany him home.

Alex turned to his father-in-law and declared ominously, “I’ll shoot every damn one of you!”

He pulled a revolver from his coat and fired at Mr. Krivac who abruptly fell to the floor, the bullet having pierced his face.

Helen ran from the front hall, shrieking, “My God! Save my baby! Save my baby!” 

Mrs. Krivac flew into the foyer, hands raised as if in surrender and said, “Alex you don’t know what you do! You don’t know what you do!”

Alex pointed the revolver at her and shot her through the eye. She staggered and fell dead just inside the front door. 

Helen fled to the porch, shouting, “Help, help, someone come! Alex is killing us all!”

When a neighbor, Paul Kearney, ran out of his house he witnessed Alex chase Helen down and shoot her in the face. Bleeding profusely, Helen managed to run back in the house and scoop up her child. She ran howling from room to room, so out of her mind with terror, before she finally collapsed in her neighbor’s arms. Kearney placed the screaming baby into his kitchen crib and began making several phone calls, summoning help. When the ambulance arrived, medics could hardly believe what they saw, the bodies lying about with blood splattered on the walls and smeared across the floor. They tended to the blood-soaked baby who cried inconsolably inside his crib. They initially believed the child had been wounded and they brought him to the hospital with his mother and grandfather. When they loaded up Mr. Krivac for transportation, he was semiconscious. Mrs. Krivac was clearly gone and her body left where it fell as medics rushed the survivors to the hospital.

“He’ll kill my baby,” Helen moaned as medics loaded her into the ambulance, her face covered with blood.

Helen thought Alex had escaped, but while surveying the home the first responders discovered his body at the foot of the stairs. He bore a self-inflicted bullet wound behind his right ear while a dead hand clutched the revolver. The gun still contained two useable cartridges and another round of ammunition was found in his pocket. It was believed he planned to find his brothers-in-law at home and take their lives in a plot to massacre the Krivac family. 

Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Tuesday, October 14th, 1930

Spectators crowded around the home, their number in the hundreds, craning their necks to obtain a view of the bodies inside. They gaped at the murderer, his blood pooling out beneath him, a life wrought with grief and pain ended in violence. The Krivac’s son Louis returned home that evening to the collection of neighbors at his doorstep. He witnessed the blood everywhere, forming a zig-zag pattern across the kitchen floor. He found his mother laying bereft of all life and fell to her side. Moaning in grief, he ran to the second floor of the house in frantic search for his father. After learning that his father had survived and was at the hospital, he gathered his faculties enough to sign his mother’s death certificate as informant.

The bodies of Alex Verbias and Mrs. Anna Krivac were transported next door to the Kearney Funeral Home, victim lying next to murderer while they awaited funeral arrangements. Mrs. Krivac’s remains were returned to her home for the services and the body of Alex was brought to his mother at their Belmont Avenue home. Mrs. Krivac’s services were held at St. Stephen’s Church at 9 o’clock on the morning of Thursday, October 16th and was buried in St. Stephen Cemetery, having celebrated her 53rd birthday two days prior to her death. It appears Alex was unceremoniously buried in Niles Union Cemetery, his family baffled by his murderous rampage and suicide.

Helen and her father both recovered at Warren City Hospital, having each been shot through the jaw. Their survival was miraculous, as Alex had aimed to kill, but ultimately failed in his endeavor to take many souls with him. Unfortunately, Mr. Krivac died six years later from a respiratory ailment.

Crushed Beneath Vehicle

Sunday, August 2, 1936
Bazetta, Trumbull County, Ohio

Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Monday, August 3rd, 1936

As if all the untimely death and violence proved not enough for one family, the tragedies continued. Helen Laboda, daughter of Helen Verbias and Steve Laboda, was fourteen when she was killed, the same age her aunt Mollie was at the time of her murder. Helen and her sister Margaret had come to Bazetta Township to fish along Mosquito Creek with a group of friends. As they picnicked, they realized they needed more bread for their sandwiches, so Helen and Margaret hopped into the car of William Berenics, another Niles youth. He drove them to the Klondike store where they made the necessary purchase around 6 p.m. and headed back towards the creek. Yet on the way, William’s car skidded on a patch of gravel between the Lee Scoville and Raymond Hudson farms. He lost control and the vehicle careened over a ditch before flipping. Helen was thrown from the car and crushed beneath it, pressed face-down into the ditch. Her head was pinned so firmly beneath the vehicle that it took a group of passing motorists twenty minutes to extricate her. When she was finally pulled free, it was too late. Margaret and William were not injured, but suffered extreme shock as a result of the accident and Helen’s violent death.

Helen’s body was first taken to the Cortland Funeral Home and then transferred to the Laboda’s home on North Road. There, Rev. Steve Csepke officiated her funeral and she was buried in St. Stephen’s Cemetery. She left behind her bereaved parents, sister Margaret, and brother Steve Jr.

Death of the Matriarch

Mrs. Elizabeth Verbias died at the home of her daughter Helen and son-in-law Steve Laboda, just after Christmas in 1944, after suffering for three years with an asthmatic condition. She passed away under the care of the daughter she had so tormented and abused in her youth, driving her to attempted suicide. Mrs. Verbias’ calling hours were at the Rossi Funeral Home and the funeral services were held at the Hungarian Presbyterian Church. She was buried in Niles Union Cemetery. If she ever admitted to anyone in her family that she or Alex had strangled her daughter Mollie to death, the secret died with them. It seems easy to pin Mollie’s murder on Alex because he went on to kill so ruthlessly nearly a decade later. The police must have had their reasons for holding him under suspicion. Perhaps he did kill her, but it is also quite possible that their mother choked Mollie to death, an instance of abuse gone too far. Then again, maybe she had the misfortune of tarrying in the pasture at the wrong time, attacked by an unknown predator. To this day, the young girl’s murder is unsolved.

Killed Getting Off Bus

Wednesday, March 7th, 1945
Girard, Trumbull County, Ohio

Page 1 of Niles Daily Times, published in Niles, Ohio on Thursday, March 8th, 1945

Elizabeth, Alex and Mollie’s younger sister who had been injured as a teen in a car accident, grew up to marry Pasquale (Patrick) Rinaldo Dinard and settled in Girard. Patrick, who was known by his nickname “Push”, worked for the Ohio Leather Co. in Girard. He was also a member of the FOE Lodge of Girard and was well-known and liked throughout the Niles community. After a day’s work one day, he descended the stairs of a Penn-Ohio coach at the corner of North State Street and Smithsonian Avenue. As he crossed the street in front of the bus, he did not see the oncoming truck before he walked right into it. A Blackstone-Reese Ambulance rushed him to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, but he was dead on arrival. Besides the grief imposed on his wife by his loss, he left a wide group of extended family in the area. He was buried in Niles Union Cemetery. Elizabeth remarried to Michael Niebauer who died in 1971. She had no children from either marriage.

Life Goes On

Niles Daily Times, Page 6
Friday, March 27th, 1953

Helen Krivac Verbias married Samuel Morrall on February 6, 1936 in Cuyahoga County, and settled in Weathersfield. The couple had a daughter, Joanne Marie, in 1937. Edward took on his step-father’s surname Morrall and attended McKinley school. He played trombone in the school band and graduated in 1948. Edward would grow up to become the music director for Central Baptist Church. Both Edward and his half-sister Joanne wed their spouses in 1955 with Edward marrying Rae Gwendolyn Monteith and Joanne marrying Charles Fanos George in a lavish ceremony. Helen enjoyed several grandchildren from these pairings. She was a member of the Cardettes Club and often hosted grand lunches for the group. The family lived wonderfully, were largely integrated into Niles society, and were well respected. For Helen to have endured such tragedy as a young woman, the bulk of her life was spent in happiness. She outlived her son Edward by five years, passing away in 2005 at the age of 94. 

Niles Daily Times, Page 4
August 10th, 1954

Helen and Edward were able to start over in a way, though the horror of that October night in 1930 remained with them until they died. No branch of the Verbias family seemed to exist untouched from violence and untimely death. One can only imagine the heartache the connected Verbias, Krivac, Laboda, and Dinard families endured from these senseless tragedies. My hope is that the dark shadow that cloaked their lives has dissipated and their souls are at peace.

Note: Conflicting reports give differing accounts of who actually discovered Mollie’s body. The Warren Tribune said it was a man coming home from work who segued into the pasture to pick berries in Mason’s Woods. The Niles Daily News claimed it was two little boys who entered the grassy area along the way to pick berries.


  • Immigration: New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924,
  • Young Lad Run Down By Auto: The Niles Daily News, Monday, June 19th, 1916, Pg 5
  • Gasper Logar WWI Draft Registration: World War I Selective Service System draft registration cards, 1917-1918,
  • Slays Child: The Niles Daily News 7-22-1921, Pgs 1 and 5
  • Posses Hunt Assailant of Niles School Girl; Finger Prints on Neck: The Sandusky Star-Journal (Sandusky, Ohio) · 22 Jul 1921, Fri · Page 1
  • Body of 14-Year-Old Mollie Verbias Is Found In Thicket: Warren Daily Tribune, 22 Jul 1921 Pgs 1:7 and 5:4
  • Mystery Is Unsolved As Police Work: Warren Daily Tribune, July 23, 1921 1:1
  • Girl’s Body Found In Woods: The Bucyrus Evening Telegraph, 23 Jul 1921, Sat Pg 6
  • Bury Girl As Police Trace Clues: Niles Daily Times, July 23, 1921, Pg 1
  • Death Mystery Still Unsolved: Niles Daily News, July 25, 1921, Pg 1
  • No Poison Was Found: Warren Daily Tribune, July 26, 1921 1:6
  • Parents of Mollie Verbias Are Under Arrest – Taken Into Custody By Police of Niles: Warren Daily Tribune: July 27, 1921 1:7
  • Coroner is Not Talking Verbias Case: Warren Daily Tribune, July 28, 1921 1:4
  • Probing Verbias Murder: The Niles Daily Times, July 28, 1921, Pg 1
  • Hold Brother Of Dead Girl: Warren Daily Tribune, July 30, 1921 1:2
  • Verbias Case Inquest Aug. 3: The Niles Daily News, July 22, 1921
  • No Decision In Verbias Inquest: The Niles Daily News, August 4, 1921
  • Niles Girl Was Choked Is Verdict: Warren Daily Tribune, August 9th, 1921 1:1
  • Krivac-Verbias Marriage: Niles Daily Times Monday May 28, 1928, Pg 4
  • Girls Injured in Accident: Niles Daily Times, Saturday, May 18, 1929
  • Alex Verbias Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1930 > 60501-63300 > image 2813 of 3129.
  • Death Threat Fulfilled: News-Journal, 14 Oct 1930, Tue, Page 1
  • Crazed Husband Injures Wife and Her Father: Niles Daily Times, Tuesday, October 14th, 1930, Pgs 1 and 5
  • Crazed Man Shoots 3, Takes Own Life: Warren Tribune Chronicle October 14, 1930 Pg 1
  • Niles Man Wounds Wife, Her Father: Warren Tribune Chronicle 14 Oct 1930 1:8
  • Last Rites For Killer, Victim: Niles Daily Times, 10-15-1930, Pg 1
  • Situations Wanted: Niles Daily Times, Thursday, August 24th, 1933, Pg 14
  • Elizabeth Verbias Obituary: Warren Tribune Chronicle 23 Dec 1944, Pg 7
  • Funeral Services: Niles Daily Times, Thursday, December 28th, 1944, Pg 3
  • Car Skids In Gravel, Hits Ditch: Warren Tribune Chronicle, August 3, 1936 1:1
  • Helen Laboda, North Road, Is Victim: Niles Daily Times, Monday August 3, 1936, Pg 1
  • Girard Man Leaves Bus, Killed By Passing Truck: Niles Daily Times, Thursday, March 8th, 1945, Pg 1
  • Samuel Morrall and Helen Krivac Marriage Record: Marriage records (Cuyahoga County, Ohio), 1810-1941; indexes, 1810-1952,

The Deadly Mahoning Valley Interurban Street Car

Mahoning & Shenango Railway and Light car #65 at Warren
Image from the Columbus Library’s Collection

In 1893, streetcars were first introduced to the Mahoning Valley. The Mahoning Valley Railway Company ran interurbans between Youngstown, Girard, Niles, and Warren and also connected to the Shenango Valley Railway that ran from New Castle, Pennsylvania to Youngstown. The line ran until 1939 when it was converted to electric streetcar trolleys and then switched to buses in 1941.

Advertisement for Interurban streetcars that were once constructed at a factory in Niles, Ohio
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Due to all the hazards surrounding streetcars operating along roadways, the Mahoning Valley Railway Company was often defendant in many injury and wrongful death suits. Several settlements were doled out to bereaved families and injured individuals.

On October 30, 1915, Mr. and Mrs. Mawby were hit by a limited car at the intersection of Belmont and Robbins avenues while riding in a rig, resulting in the death of Mr. Charles Mawby. Mrs. Mawby suffered serious injuries. She sued the Mahoning Valley Railway Company for $50,000, but in May of 1916, lost the suit when a jury made a verdict of non-negligence on behalf of the railway company. Emma Williams sued the company for $25,000 after she received injuries while riding a streetcar from Niles to Youngstown in December of 1915. When the car restarted after a stop at Spring Commons, the machine jerked forward so suddenly that she was thrown from her seat and suffered a dislocated spine. She claimed her injuries were permanent. In another suit, N.B. Crofford asked for $15,000 from the company when in early 1916 the streetcar he was riding in hit a moving van and he sustained injuries after falling from his seat. On May 12, 1916, James M. O’Connell received damages of $200 when the jury at Warren’s Court of Common Pleas issued a verdict in his favor against the Mahoning Valley Railway. A year prior, he was injured when his car fell into a hole between the railway track. He had sued for the amount of $1,000.

On August 3, 1918, Della Ray, of 77 Arlington, Youngstown, was hit by a west bound street car on West Federal Street and dragged forty feet. She was treated for non-fatal injuries at Youngstown City Hospital. She suffered a dislocated collarbone, lacerations to her head, shoulders, and hips, and bruises about the body. 

A Treacherous Slope: Bolin Hill at Deforest

Deforest was a former railroad junction near Niles that ran along the paved brick highway between Niles and Warren. Today, the site of the former junction rests near the old steel mills in Warren at Deforest Road between Warren Avenue and State Route 169. The railway track rolled over Bolin Hill, a slope 1,000 feet above sea level that was deemed picturesque for the homes built along its curves, but proved altogether fatal when combined with the track. Due to the steep crest, pedestrians and drivers could not see a streetcar until it was nearly on top of them. It was custom for the motorman to ring the bell along this stretch of road, but that precaution did not always prevent accidents. The Mahoning Valley Railway Company eventually came under fire for streetcars flying down Bolin Hill at a high rate of speed but would not admit to any amount of negligence on their part.

The present-day bird’s eye view of Deforest Junction
Image via Google Maps
The Niles Daily News
Wednesday, July 7th, 1909
Page 8
The Niles Daily News
Tuesday, May 4th, 1909
Page 8

9-Year-Old Harry Hazlett
Deforest Crossing
July 10, 1915

A limited car operated by Motorman McConkey and Conductor Artlip left Niles at 7:36, heading towards Niles. At 7:45 p.m., the car plunged down Bolin Hill and struck a nine-year-old boy riding his bicycle, killing him instantly. The boy was Harry Hazlett of Deforest, a student at Deforest School and a Sunday school member. He and his friend, Sydney Sayers, were riding home from Niles when Harry turned into the path of the limited as it came down the hill. The motorman immediately stopped the streetcar and several passengers exited to crowd around the boy as he lay still on the ground. They found him to be dead, having been struck in the back of the head. The inspector called Holeton & Son’s Ambulance, which arrived at the scene within minutes. Coroner Henshaw ­­­­­made an examination of the body at Holeton Morgue and found the boy to have suffered a fractured skull. At 11 p.m., Harry’s body arrived at the home of his bereaved parents, Harry and Alice (Johnson) Hazlett, on Deforest Road. Funeral services were held at 7 p.m. on July 12th and Harry was buried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the city of his birth.

Blanche Unangst
Deforest Crossing
Saturday, May 20, 1916

Blanche Unangst of Orangeville Township, a young 22-year-old teacher at Bolin High School, was killed by an interurban at the Deforest Crossing. Friday had been the last day of the school year and on Saturday, Blanche was enjoying the first day of summer break out on a stroll with one of her pupils, Louise Devinna. At 3:15 that afternoon, Blanche and her fourteen year-old charge walked along the roadway arm-in-arm, making their way to the foot of Bolin Hill. There, the pair proceeded to walk across the railway tracks, unaware that a streetcar was coming straight at them. Louisa managed to escape with her life by dodging the oncoming car by mere inches, but her teacher was struck and killed instantly. Blanche sustained a broken left leg, fractured skull, and internal injuries. Her body was transported to her parent’s home in Orangeville for the funeral services.

The Mahoning Valley Railway Company stated that the streetcar had operated at a normal rate of speed, despite allegations that it was seen “flying” down the hill.

Father and Son: William and Leroy Carnsew
Deforest Crossing
April 13, 1916 & May 1, 1916

Thomas Leroy “Roy” Carnsew of Mecca township was a month shy of his twentieth birthday when his life was cut short. He had worked for three months as a milk peddler for Collins’ Dairy Farm and at the time of his death lived at the residence of his employer, Samuel Collins, in Niles. On Thursday, April 13, 1916, he drove his milk wagon through Deforest after returning from Sam Stillwagon’s farm where he had picked up twenty-five gallons of milk in preparation for the next morning’s deliveries.  When he arrived at the Collins farm a mile from Deforest, he turned into the driveway to cross the street car tracks that ran parallel to the highway. This section of road was at the foot of Bolin’s Hill and the tracks were higher than the road. Roy did not see the Mahoning Valley Streetcar until it was too late. 

The limited which left Warren at 9:00 o’clock was traveling at the usual rate of speed down the steep hill. Whether the young man failed to see the car, whether a warning whistle sounded or not or whether the motorman saw him before his car was close onto the rig could not be ascertained.

-Warren Daily Tribune, April 14, 1916 1:6

The streetcar came down Bolin’s Hill and collided with Roy’s cart, sending wood shards and milk in all directions and slicing one leg off the horse. Roy was thrown to the road and those that came to his aid found him still alive, but doubted he could survive. The streetcar halted completely and someone phoned Holloway’s Ambulance of Niles. The suffering horse was immediately put down at the site of the accident. The force of the crash was so intense that only a single wagon wheel survived intact. Splintered wood and shattered glass were scattered everywhere and Roy lay among the debris, completely helpless. The ambulance arrived at the scene, including Dr. J.D. Knox  who had ridden along, and loaded Roy into the vehicle. When the doctor examined him, he found Roy to have a fracture at the base of his skull along with other severe injuries. They transported him to the Warren City Hospital but were turned away because the facility was in lockdown due to a case of scarlet fever. The ambulance took Roy to the City Hospital in Youngstown. The staff knew he was a hopeless case as soon as they saw him. The collision occurred at 9:25 that evening and despite the desperate measures of the doctors and nurses, Roy died just hours later at 12:36 a.m. Holloway’s picked the deceased up and transported him to their morgue where his father claimed the body. Roy’s remains were taken to the family home in East Mecca where the funeral was held two days later on Sunday at 1 p.m. His employer and employer’s wife, Mr. and Mrs. Collins, attended the service as well as a large gathering of family and friends who deemed Roy a well-liked and hard-working young man. Roy was buried in East Mecca Cemetery

H. Enycart had been the motorman of the street car and said he had followed the normal safety protocol by sounding the whistle regularly from the top of Bolin’s Hill to the time of the accident. He noticed the milk wagon but claimed Carnsew showed no sign of turning until the streetcar was two car lengths away. As soon as he saw Carnsew turn, he attempted to brake the streetcar but the gravity of the downward slope rapidly propelled the vehicle towards the wagon. At 9:25 in the evening, it would have been quite dark besides the streetlights and lights of the streetcar. Paired with the steepness of the hill, visibility would have been much reduced. 

The result was the same, another life lost and property destroyed and attributed to the terrific speed attained by street cars and automobiles in traveling down either side of Bolin’s Hill.

-Warren Daily Tribune, April 14, 1916 1:6

Two weeks later on May 1st, Roy’s father William Carnsew traveled to Niles to make arrangements for the retrieval of Leroy’s personal belongings from the Collins’ home. After he left, he was on his way to Warren and at 10:45 a.m. was at the Deforest junction. This is where stories differ. Some say William began walking across the tracks while others say he was standing too close to the tracks while waiting for a car. In any case, a streetcar came at him. He leapt out of the way, but his foot was clipped by the passing train, sending him forcefully to the ground. Unlike his son, his injuries were not fatal, though the two lacerations on his head were quite deep and painful. He also had bruises on his body. Holloway’s ambulance picked him up and took him to Warren City Hospital, now out of quarantine. His injuries were treated and he recovered, though it is safe to say his emotional wounds would never fully heal.

On December 22, 1916, the court of common pleas heard a damages suit from Roy’s mother, Lorena Carnsew. She filed against the Mahoning Valley Railway the wrongful death of her son and sought damages of $25,000, though I could find no record of whether or not she found justice. 

A.D. Bowman, Hit Thrice
Mason Switch, Weathersfield
December 22, 1916

32-year-old A.D. “Dan” Bowman had all the bad luck. He was hit by street cars three times, the third strike being fatal. Dan was a teamster working for F.E. Bryan and in the first incident, his wagon was hit by a streetcar in Mineral Ridge. Dan suffered several broken ribs and a broken arm. During the summer of 1916, his wagon was hit a second time by a streetcar. Dan was thrown to the ground and received injuries as a result.  On Saturday, December 22, Dan left his Warren home to collect his paycheck at Bryan’s feed store and told his wife to meet him later at Callidine’s store at 7 o’clock. When he did not arrive at the arranged time, she returned home after waiting an hour and a half. Just after 10 o’clock, a neighbor knocked on her door and told her Dan had been struck by a streetcar and killed. Mrs. Bowman was beside herself with grief. She had only just buried a child and was left to care for four children all on her own without her husband’s much-needed wages. 

Backpedaling to seven o’clock, when he was supposed to be meeting his wife, Dan had been observed by his brother-in-law near the MV Station in Weathersfield and appeared to be waiting for a street car. He had never picked up his pay from his employer and there was no known reason he should have been at the Mason Switch at that time. He was standing by the tracks when a westbound limited streetcar picked up some passengers and began leaving the station, rapidly increasing in speed. That moment, Dan began crossing in front of the oncoming car and tripped, falling on the tracks. The streetcar could not stop in time and the aftermath proved a gruesome sight for all who witnessed it. Dan’s body became crammed beneath the wheels of the car and a jack was required to lift the car enough to retrieve the body. His head was crushed with the lower maxillary fractured and neck dislocated. Dan was buried in Niles Union Cemetery and how his wife managed life without him is a mystery lost to time. She and their children had depended completely on his paycheck to survive and it does not seem that she received a settlement from the railway company as it was clear Dan walked deliberately in front of a moving car.

The Carnsew Coincidence…or Curse?

Tragedy seemed to plague the Carnsew family of Mecca Township. As mentioned earlier, both father William and son Leroy were hit by interurban cars on separate incidents two weeks apart. 

William Carnsew was born in Wisconsin and married Lorena Hoffman in Ohio in 1894. The couple settled on a farm on Rt. 46 in Mecca and in rapid succession had several children: Thomas Leroy, William Bryan, Lulu Lenore, Weldon Lionel, Clarence Courtland, Carrie Elizabeth, Paul Shirley and Mary Mildred. The second son William died at the age of twelve in Johnston, but no death record or obituary could be found to uncover the circumstances of his death. In 1916, firstborn Leroy was killed in the aforementioned interurban car accident and his father William was injured by one in the same vicinity.

Over the years, William’s son Clarence often made threats to end his own life. He was a bachelor and lived on the family farm, suffering from depression. He surely grieved the losses of his two brothers most profoundly. He had never acted upon his threats until he was thirty-eight years old. On the day of July 6, 1941, he chatted with neighbors at the garage in Mecca Circle and appeared calm and congenial. However, when he came home he notified his parents that he was going to kill himself. Having heard this threat many times before, they did not take him seriously and continued on with their daily activities. 

Clarence went to the barn and grabbed a sturdy length of rope. From there he walked rearward deeper into the property, passing an oat field he had helped his father plant. He was followed by his nephew, Mildred’s son William Larson, who was staying for the summer. William presumed his uncle was off to retrieve the cows from the back pasture and went along to help, but a quarter mile later, Clarence told the boy to return to the house. William, an introspective boy, recognized something odd in Clarence’s behavior and therefore refused. Clarence then brandished a stick at his nephew until he “did as he was told”. 

William, fearful of his uncle’s mysterious actions, raced to the house and told his grandparents that Clarence was acting strangely. The elder William and Lorena decided that Clarence was alas making good on his threat and gathered a retinue of neighbors that headed to the back of the property. They arrived too late. Clarence had executed his motive rapidly and with precision. He hung from a tree, the rope tied around his neck and his feet seven feet above the ground.

A powerfully-built man, he apparently had clambered almost to the top of the 40-foot tree to attach the rope, had climbed down part way, then jumped, falling about 15 feet before the rope tightened.  

Warren Daily Tribune, July 7, 1941 1:4

The neighbors called Gail Banning, the local Justice of the Peace, and she in turn called the sheriff. Deputies W.H. Stone, Edward James and Dick Jones arrived at the Carnsew farm and cut the body down from the tree. They found .22 caliber shells in Clarence’s pocket, but no gun. Love’s Ambulance of Cortland drove back through the field to pick up the deceased. Clarence’s funeral was held at the Love Funeral Home in Cortland at 2 p.m. the following Wednesday.

Pallbeareres Shubert Armstrong, Andy Kuchembo, Marvin Garber, Lawrence Simpson, Ray Johnson, and Chet Tomlinson carried Clarence’s coffin from the hearse to his place of rest in East Mecca Cemetery. There, he was buried next to the brothers lost long before him in a service conducted by Rev. George Wingerden.

Clarence’s stone at East Mecca Cemetery
Photo by Ashley Armstrong

I can only imagine the indescribable grief Clarence’s parents must have felt in losing another child, not only so young but having inflicted his own death. William’s wife Lorena died three years after Clarence and his daughter Lulu died one year later. She was also unmarried. William died at the old age of 89, having buried his wife and too many children before their time. William Carnsew and his family are buried in East Mecca Cemetery in Mecca Township.


  • History of Mahoning & Shenango Railway: Columbus Metropolitan Library Collections
  • Deforest & Bolin Hill: History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Pg 297
  • Harry Hazlett Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, Boy of Nine Years Is Killed By Niles-Warren Lim. Car: The Niles Daily News, July 12, 1915, Pg 1
  • FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1915 > 40541-43300 > image 843 of 3171.
  • Asks Damages: Niles Daily News, March 3, 1916, Pg 5
  • Awards Damages to Niles Man: May 13, 1916, Pg 4
  • Renders Verdict For Defendant: Niles Daily News, May 18, 1916, Pg 4
  • Local Man Asks Damages: Niles Daily News, May 25, 1916, Pg 5
  • Didn’t See Car: Warren Daily Tribune, May 22 1916 1:2
  • Leroy Carnsew killed: “The Times Democrat” Lima, OH, Saturday, April 13, 1916
  • Limited Car Strikes Milk Wagon; Driver Is Killed: The Niles Daily News, Pg 1, Apr14, 1916
  • Fast Going Car Kills Young Man At Foot Of Bolin Hill: Warren Daily Tribune, April 14, 1916 1:6
  • Leroy Carnsew Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1916 > 25781-28620 > image 1132 of 3306.
  • Met Same Fate At His Son: Dayton Daily News, 1 May 1916, Mon. Pg 1
  • Man Hit By Limited, Father of Boy Killed In Same Way: Warren Daily Tribune, May 1, 1916
  • A.D. Bowman Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1917 > 78941-81948 > image 2193 of 3118.
  • Third Time Is Fatal: The Niles Daily News, Monday, December 24th, 1917, Pg 1
  • Killed Instantly: Warren Daily Tribune, Dec 24 1917 1:2
  • 2 Killed, 7 Hurt In Accident Wave: Youngstown Telegram, August 5, 1918, Pg 13
  • Mecca Farmer Hangs Himself: Warren Daily Tribune, July 7, 1941 1:4 & 2:4
  • Clarence Carnsew Funeral: Warren Daily Tribune July 10, 1941 7:3

Death On A Lonely Dirt Road: The Murder of 17-Year-Old Mildred Moore

October 28, 1953
Irish Ridge Road, Marshall County, W
est Virginia

Several years ago, I was reading through one of my great aunt Lulu Winters’ diaries when I came upon a startling entry that read:

“Friday, October 30, 1953 – Arnold McCardle’s niece got murdered on Irish Ridge by 68 year old Chas Ray who stayed there. She was 17. Mildred Virginia Moore. So Iva called for Ed about plot at cemetery. I hunted for him. Funeral Sunday 2:30 at our church. Alta, Lila, and I to sing.”

Mildred Moore in an undated school photo

I set about researching the story and with the help of fellow Find-A-Graver Charles Logston, we unearthed the details of what occurred that October day. Unfortunately, it is one of those events long forgotten through the decades and I want to make certain Mildred remains in Moundsville, West Virginia’s memory .

A Grim Discovery

While driving along an isolated dirt road known as Irish Ridge near Moundsville, West Virginia, a Soil Conservation Service employee came upon a dreadful scene. Harold Burke had been doing field work when he discovered a teenaged girl laying behind a pickup truck sitting beside the road.  The discovery was made at 2 o’clock on that fall afternoon, and after Burke parked his vehicle, he checked on the girl to see what distressed her. To his horror, he realized that she was deceased, having two bullet wounds in her head and two more in her back. He rushed to the nearest phone and called police.

State Troopers W.P. Dove and Joseph A. Shroutt arrived shortly after and discovered a second body in the pickup truck . Slumped in the driver’s seat was an elderly man with a single bullet hole to the head and .32 revolver found beneath him.

Investigators identified the body of the teenaged girl as that of seventeen-year-old Mildred Moore and the man in the truck as sixty-eight-year-old Charles Ray. Mildred lived with her parents on a farm in rural Sand Hill township. Charles Ray, a retired co-op worker, lived at 303 Baker Ave. and worked for the Moore family as a hired hand. According to my aunt, he was living with the Moore family at the time, which was more than likely a temporary situation.

The pair had last been seen around noon at the Moore home when they left for the main road to purchase groceries from a produce truck. Investigators determined that Mildred had been in the act of running away when Ray shot her four times before turning the revolver on herself. It was unclear what series of events led to the murder suicide. Family and friends could provide law enforcement with no clues towards a motive. Marshall County Coroner Ernest D. Conner determined that the theory of a suicide pact was not possible due to the position of Mildred’s body and the location of her wounds.

Family Background

Charles Grover Cleveland Ray was born on Nov 15, 1884 in West Virginia, the son of David Bruce and Ella Gray Ray. His mother died when he was nine years old and his father remarried to Rose Barnett. Charles married Mary Leta West and had a son, Charles Edward in 1919 and a daughter, Freda Vina in 1922. 

On Charles Rays’ 1918 WWI draft registration card, he described himself as having medium height, of medium build, with light brown hair and light blue eyes. He wrote that he was employed as a “sivel [civil] engineer” for Wheeling Terminal Railroad Company. At the time, he lived with his wife at 1311 North Street in Moundsville. 

Mary Leta died of a heart attack five years before Charles committed the murder.

Mildred Virginia Moore was born on April 7, 1936, the daughter of Everett and Elsie McCardle Moore. They lived on a farm in Elm Grove on Stull Run. A little known fact not published in the newspaper articles was that Mildred and Charles were related. Mildred’s maternal grandmother, Minnie, was Charles’ first cousin. Because my mom’s side of the family is from West Virginia, I understand some of the dynamics of family in West Virginia and many rural communities for that matter. I’ve found that even long after my mom and her relatives moved to Ohio, they treat second and third cousins as close family. Blood relation is blood relation, no matter the distance, so Mildred’s parents no doubt trusted Charles Ray with their daughter’s safety.

John Ray and Mary Ann Games children:
Leander Ray (married Sarah McWhorter), brother of David Bruce Ray (married Rose Barnett)
Minnie Ray, dau. of Leander Ray (married James McCardle), first cousin of Charles G.C. Ray, son of Bruce Ray
Elsie McCardle, dau. of James and Minnie McCardle (Married Everett Moore)
Mildred Moore
, dau. of Everett and Elsie Moore


What passed between them that day while driving on Irish Ridge is a mystery and one could theorize until they are red in the face on why Charles Ray committed such a terrible act.

Charles Ray was buried with his wife in Wood Hill Cemetery in Moundsville.

Mildred was laid to rest at Sand Hill Methodist Church Cemetery on Sunday, November 3. A considerable gathering of mourners filled the church, even crowding in the vestibule to hear the funeral service. My great-grandmother Alta, her sister Lulu, and two other women from the congregation sang during the service.

Mildred’s stone at Sand Hill Cemetery, photographed by my cousin Carla Tustin

After the horrific murder of their only child, we can only imagine how terrible life for the Moores became. No doubt they also carried the guilt of hiring a man, a relative they trusted, who turned a gun on their daughter. Everett, the father, suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away in 1957 at the age of 48. Elsie passed away in 1992 and shares a stone with her brother James in Sand Hill Cemetery.


They Wrote Their Own Ending: Suicides of Trumbull County Ohio Women

It is always a tragedy when anyone takes their own life. Sadder still is the fact that suicides are increasing year by year. Men resort to suicide more often than women and using more violent methods than their female counterparts to dispatch themselves. Women have been viewed as “long-suffering” and strangers to violence then and even now, but for some women in the distant past, living became too much to bear and they took their fate into their own hands, leaving their friends and family to suffer the effects. These are the stories of a few Trumbull County, Ohio women whose suicides once filled the headlines of the local newspapers.

Rosa Sparks
North Bloomfield, Trumbull County, Ohio
March 25, 1879

Twenty-year-old E. Rosa Sparks allowed the disgrace from her passion to drive her to the grave. Reportedly, she ruined her reputation, by giving herself to an unknown man, most likely feeling that she loved him dearly. He must have not loved her enough to marry her, it’s possible she was pregnant or someone discovered the nature of her relationship, so she despaired. Employed at the Ensign Hotel, she must have fallen for another worker or perhaps a customer, who abandoned her. In any case, another worker discovered her body on the bed in her room. She had fashioned a garotte, a piece of clothesline wound around her neck and tightened with a stick that she twisted with one hand until death enveloped her. So little did she struggle that the bed sheets were hardly wrinkled. She was buried in North Colebrook Cemetery in New Lyme, Ashtabula County, Ohio.

Her family and friends were not content with the coroner’s official cause of death as suicide, believing foul play to have played a part. Her step-father demanded her body to be reexamined, thus her body was exhumed and the contents of her stomach sent for analysis to Cleveland. Unfortunately, nothing came of the inquest and poor Rosa was forgotten with the passage of time.

The Ensign Hotel, also known as the Bloomfield Hotel, used to stand on the Northwest corner of the intersection of routes 87 and 46, in the present location of Gallo’s auto sales.

Nellie Schultz
Niles, Trumbull County, Ohio
May 16, 1910

Nellie Schultz decided at the incredibly young age of nineteen that she no longer wished to live. She had only been married to Enos Schultz for a year, having moved to the area from Pennsylvania shortly before the wedding. Six months into their marriage, the couple moved to Niles from Mineral Ridge when Enos took a job as a craneman at the Deforest Iron and Steel plant. The night of Sunday, May 15th, Nellie fell into a state of despair and swallowed a dram of carbolic acid. She suffered through the night and at last gave up her spirit on Monday morning.

Enos and Nellie’s Niles home, built in 1884

Enos remarried the following year to Annie Rapp and returned to his birthplace in Reading, Pennsylvania. The couple had two children together. Once again, tragedy entered Enos’ life when five years into their marriage, Annie succumbed to tuberculosis. He married for a third time to Elizabeth, who outlived him. Enos and his last two wives were buried in Reading, Pennsylvania. 

Nellie’s burial place is unknown.

Betsey Pratt Storier
Farmdale, Trumbull County, Ohio
June 21, 1912

At 80-years-old, Elizabeth “Betsey” Storier had enjoyed a long life with a wide circle of friends and family. However, after the death of her husband, she fell into the usual listlessness and poor health of the widowed. Rather than slowly succumb to her fate, she decided to leave this world on her own terms.

Betsey began life in Warren County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of  Ambrose and Parmelia Pratt. Ambrose and his wife had hailed from the east coast, Massachusetts and Connecticut respectively, and settled in Brokenstraw Township, Pennsylvania. Betsey was born in Youngsville, a borough of Brokenstraw. The family moved to Gustavus, Ohio in 1835 where Betsey later met and married John Storier in 1852.

When John passed away in 1910, Betsey was not left alone in her grief. Her son William and his wife invited her to live with them at their home nearby in Farmdale. Through the passage of time, ill health prodded Betsy forth into her despair. One morning, her daughter-in-law came upstairs to wake her for breakfast and found Betsy dead on the floor. Sometime in the night, Betsy had wrapped a rope around her neck, tied the other end to the bed post, and leaned in a manner constricting the airflow in her throat. Her suicide sent shockwaves through not only her family, but her community. 

Betsey was laid to rest in Logan Cemetery in Gustavus, Ohio. 

Sarah Effie Scanlon
Niles, Trumbull County, Ohio
September 6, 1913

Sarah Hammon, a 21-year-old stenographer, married Thomas Scanlon in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The couple came to Niles and rented an apartment in the Daughtery Building on the northwest corner of Mainstreet and Park Avenue. Sarah, a member of the German Reformed Church, had many friends and acquaintances but even her wide support system could not save her from her own sense of doom.

Only three weeks into their marriage, Sarah flew into a fit of jealousy over her husband and fell into despair. On Friday, September 4th, she drank a combination of red precipitate and bi-chloride, hoping for a swift end to her pain. Yet the chemicals burned within and sent her into unbearable agony. Despite the intervention of doctors, the internal damage proved too great and Sarah died at 9 o’clock in the morning of September 6th.

Sarah had written two suicide notes, one to her husband and one to her mother, that were later found on the dining table. Within them, she asked forgiveness for her rash actions. Sarah was laid to rest in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Bertha Little Maple 
Johnston, Trumbull County, Ohio
July 20, 1933

When a 51-year-old farmer, William Stanley Maple, completed his work in the fields and walked into his home, he expected to see his 54-year-old wife Bertha making supper. Instead, he discovered her limp body hanging from a self-fashioned noose in the stairwell. 

Bertha had been alive after lunchtime when her husband returned to work at 1:30, but she was not well. Bertha had reportedly been in ill-health for some time and despairing of the burden she would be on her family. The country was in the midst of the Great Depression, and though some farmers fared better than other professions, they still suffered along with everyone else. Bertha climbed to the top of her staircase, tied a rope to the balustrade, and placed the noose around her neck. She then leapt forth and plunged downward to her tragic end.

William had married the daughter of George and Sarah Little on March 31, 1907 in Trumbull County. Bertha bore him two sons, George and Kenneth, who were both in their late twenties when their mother committed suicide. Upon her death, she also left behind a grandchild.

Photo copyright Ashley Armstrong

Bertha is buried with her husband at Hillside Cemetery in Bazetta Twp., Trumbull Co., Ohio. William lived to the age of 80.

Despite an exhaustive search, I have been unable to find the location of the Maple’s house because in the 1930’s, rural homes did not have house numbers. I do not know if the farmhouse survives, though many historic homes remain standing in Johnston Twp. If the home is still standing, a deed would exist with William Maple’s name. If the house endures, perhaps Bertha’s spirit dwells in the stairwell, chilling the air on a hot summer’s day.

Lillian Boger Morris 
Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio
February 21, 1940

Lillian Morris arrived at the Esquire Bar where she worked as a waitress at her usual time of 5:40 a.m. The restaurant was owned and operated by her husband, Christ, and was located on the corner of East Market and Pine. Her shift began at 6 a.m., but she would never wait tables that day. She walked behind the bar and grabbed a .38 caliber revolver from a drawer without anyone noticing. The chef and another employee were already at work and watched as she went down to the basement where on any other day she would remove her coat and hat. Instead, she sat down at a table, aimed the revolver at her heart, and fired. The bullet traveled through her body, killing her, and landed in a coal bin behind her. A muscle spasm in her hand caused the gun to go off a second time and the bullet hit the ceiling.

The two men upstairs heard the two bangs but assumed it was a passing auto backfiring. At 6 a.m., the chef walked down into the basement to fetch supplies and discovered Lillian’s bloodied body slumped over the table. He immediately called police.

Friends and family had noticed that Lillian had seemed depressed, but did not seem to have reason to take her own life at the young age of 31. 

Christopher “Christ” Morris, of Grecian descent, married Lillian, the daughter of Marshall Boger and Maggie Bole, on an unknown date. They had no children. In 1927, Christ had been in some kind of trouble, for he was caught giving money to a policeman, Thomas Fagadore,so that he would offer him protection against harm. Perhaps Christ was in trouble again and the fear was too much for Lillian to bear? Or perhaps she simply wasn’t happy with her life for whatever reason? How much I wish she had left a diary behind…or even a suicide note…to tell us what troubled her to the point of casting off her earthly shell.

Photo copyright Ashley Armstrong

Lillian was laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery in Bazetta Twp., Trumbull Co., Ohio. I do not know what became of her husband, Christ, other than the fact that he remarried and was still living in Warren in 1953. Here, you can view a photo of him standing in front of the Esquire Bar.

After some sleuthing, I discovered that the Esquire Bar changed hands and has been known as the Horseshoe Bar to this day. You can still go in for a drink and offer a toast to Lillian. Maybe she’s still there, walking through the restaurant, checking the inventory, observing the patrons and wishing to ask: did they want another round?

Here, you can view a photo of the original Horseshoe Bar after its transformation from Esquire Bar.

Here is a photo of the interior of the Esquire Bar during WWII.

Finally, here is a photo of Horseshoe Bar as it appears today:

Horseshoe Bar on the Corner of East Market and Pine

Hazel Noble
Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio
June 13, 1946

Six years after Lillian’s suicide, another Warren woman took her own life in a similar fashion. Hazel Noble was the daughter of John and Jeanette Hunt. She married Harry Noble and had at least two children, Donald and Jean. She was a school teacher in Ashtabula County for many years before moving to Warren in 1921.

Hazel’s home on Seneca NE built in 1897. It was a law office for some time and is now a private residence.

When Donald went off to war, his parents heard the heartbreaking news that he went missing in action on December 2, 1944. A faint glimmer of hope arrived when the Nobles received a letter from their son that stated he was in a POW camp, but was wounded. When word arrived that 19-year-old Donald had died from blood poisoning on January 24, 1945, Hazel became hopeless and her health rapidly declined.

Hazel pulled herself through life for a year and half before she decided she could go on no longer. One summer day, Hazel brought a .38 caliber revolver down into the basement and shot herself in the stomach. An employee of the real estate office on the first floor heard the blast and went to investigate. After he found the wounded woman, he called for an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital. Hazel died a few hours later at the age of 48.

Hazel is buried in Howland Township Cemetery, Trumbull County, Ohio with her husband and son.

The Nobles lived on Seneca NE in an apartment above the Roy Westover Real Estate office. The building still stands to this day and is a private residence. Does Hazel wander the upper floor where she resided or does she linger yet in the basement where she shot herself?


  • Rosa Sparks: Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph in Ashtabula, Ohio, April 11, 1879
  • Rosa Sparks Find A Grave
  • Nellie Schultz suicide: Warren Daily Tribune, May 16, 1910 1:3
  • Enos Schultz Find A Grave
  • Ambrose Pratt living in Brokenstraw Twp., Warren Co., PA, 1820 United States Census,
  • Ambrose Pratt living in Gustavus, Trumbull Co., OH: 1850 United States Census,
  • Betsey Storier Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 March 2021), Betsey Pratt Storier, 21 Jun 1912; citing Kinsman Township, Trumbull, Ohio, reference fn 35410; FHL microfilm 1,953,421.
  • Betsey Storier Obituary: Warren Daily Tribune, June 21 1912 1:6
  • Betsey Storier Find A Grave
  • Sarah Scanlon Suicide: Warren Daily Tribune, Sept 8, 1913 1:3
  • Sarah Scanlon Cause of Death: Warren Daily Tribune, Sep 9, 1913 1:1
  • Sarah Effie Scanlon Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1913 > 54501-57400 > image 758 of 3319.
  • George Maple and Bertha Little Marriage Certificate: “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958,” database, FamilySearch( : 10 February 2018), William S. Maple and Bertha E. Little, 31 Mar 1907; citing Trumbull Co., Ohio, reference 2:3Z3WW26; FHL microfilm 905,554.
  • Bertha Maple Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch( : 8 March 2018), Bertha E Maple, 20 Jul 1933; citing Johnson, Trumbull, Ohio, reference fn 43336; FHL microfilm 1,992,879.
  • Bertha Maple Obituary: Warren Tribune Chronicle, July 21, 1933 1:8
  • Bertha Maple Find A Grave Memorial
  • Lillian Morris Death Certificate: “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 May 2014), Lillian Boger Morris, 21 Feb 1940; citing Warren, Trumbull, Ohio, reference fn 13778; FHL microfilm 2023829.
  • Lillian Morris Obituary: Warren Tribune Chronicle, February 21, 1940, 1:2 and 8:2
  • Lillian Morris Find A Grave Memorial
  • Hazel Noble Death Certificate: “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 March 2018), Hazel J Noble, 13 Jun 1946; citing , reference certificate; FHL microfilm 2,372,811.
  • Hazel Noble Obituary: Warren Tribune Chronicle June 14, 1946 1-1
  • Hazel Noble Find A Grave Memorial