Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Harry Hanley

Marion Daily Leader
Monday Evening, October 22, 1906


Harry Hanley dies at hospital
of wounds received from gun in
hands of companion

While out hunting with Walter Hanthorn Sunday gun was accidentally discharged

An investingation into the death of Harry HANLEY, which occured at the Marion Hospital at 4:15 o'clock this morning as the result of being shot with a rifle in the hands of Walter Hanthorn, a young man of about the same age, living at Nineteenth and Meridan streets, is being made by the coroner.

Coroner Davis said this morning that the evidence at hand clearly showed that Hanley's death was caused accidentally and he did not believe anyone would be held to blame for the sad affair.

Dr. G.D. Kimball, the attending physician, secured a statement from the youth before he died to which he places the responsibility on no one, but says it was clearly due to an accident.

Hanley formerly lived here, but his house is now in Alexandria. He is a glassworker. He and Hanthorn were intimate friends. The two were together Sunday and decided to go hunting in the afternoon. They took a twenty-two caliber rifle, going across the Railroad Avenue bridge and up the river near the Monroe Pike. They were about a half mile east of the bridge when the shooting occured.

A squirrel had been chased into a hollow log, Hanthron was at one end of the log with the rifle and Hanley was at the other trying to punch the squirrel from the log. The rifle was discharged in some way and Hanley fell crying that he was shot.

Hanley was carried to the Hanthron home and Digg's ambulance was called. The boy suffered intensely during the ride to the hospital, and when examination was made of his injuries it was found there were twelve holes in his intestines. All the perferations were serious.

The bullet entered the abdomen on the right side, only a few inches below the diaphragm.

"Papa, no one is to blame for this affair," said the lad before he died.

The boy's father arrived here from Alexandria several hours before he died. He was conscious at the time and remained so until a short time before the end came.

The Hanthorn boy is almost prostrated as the result of the accident and could hardly be controlled when he learned of his friend's death.

The funeral arrangements have not been made, but interment will be made at Alexandria.

Bert White, superintendent of the police, says all evidence at hand shows that the shooting was entirely accidental. Officer Rosencrance spent sometime on the case Sunday night.

John Hanley, father of the boy, called at the Police Station this morning and demanded a more rigid investigation of the circumstances leading to the death of his son. He said he was not fully satisfied it was clearly accidental. He was referred to the prosecutor and after hearing his story Mr. Friendline sent him to the coroner. Dr. Davis said this afternoon he intended to take all evidence, but as far as he could learn there was no reason to think the shooting was anything but accidental.

Harry HANLEY is my great-grand Uncle. 

He was born 21 Feb 1893 in Hamiton, Ontario, Canada to Henry HANLEY and Mary Jessie Patterson HANLEY.  He was only 13 years old when he died 23 Oct 1906 in Marion, Indiana.  He was the 5th out of 13 children.

Two items in this newspaper account caught my interest.  The first is that it states he is a glassworker in Alexandria, Indiana.  He was only 13 years old but his mother had died in 1902 when he was just 9.  His father remarried in 1903 and began having more children with his second wife, including a step-sister to Harry born just 4 months before his death.  With so many mouths to feed I suppose sending your 13 year old son to work was probably necessary.

It also states that his fathers name was John.  It wasn't.  It was Henry Harry HANLEY.  I've never heard that he went by the nickname John and don't know why he would.  I'm guessing this was incorrect information given to the newspaper.

I want to learn more about Harry including where he was buried.  I have a research trip planned to Marion in May.  I hope to find more to add to the story of young Harry's life.


  1. what a sad and tragic ending to such a young life.

  2. I lived in Alexandria from 3rd grade until I graduated from high school. It was funny to hear the town mentioned again. There is a very large cemetery out of town toward Anderson on highway 9. My mother is buried there. I used to play there with a friend whose uncle owned a local funeral home. It didn't seem funny at the time.

  3. Wow, that's cool Margel! I had to look it up on the map to see how far away from Marion the city of Alexandria was!

    Maybe playing in that cemetery when you were little started you obsession! LOL!

    That cemetery could end up being where Harry is buried, however, many in the Hanley family are buried in the same cemetery in Marion so I just don't know for sure. Hope to find out in May!