Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Fri, 27 Oct 1899
James B. Leffew, a returned soldier from the 131st U, S. infantry, came into The Journal office Thursday, Oct. 19, and requested the publication of the fact that he was to leave at once for Petersburg, to recruit for the army. He alleged that he was commissioned so to do, but subsequent developments go to show that he was romancing. He was not commissioned to recruit at all, and on his person last Thursday was found a discharge from the army because of disability. Leffew was enlisted here some two or three months ago by Capt. Tarlton for service in the 31st regiment, and left with that organization for the Pacific slope There he was rejected for physical disabilities two or three weeks ago. He came at once to Crawfordsville and-found on arriving here on Tuesday that hie wife had just entered suit for divorce. He was much depressed by this, but until last evening, seemed hopeful of persuading her withdraw the case He stood about the streets talking to her for some time Thursday, but was evidently unable to get her to consent to withdraw the action. Then he began to drink and was quite drunk at 9 o'clock. It is rumored that he had a fight and whipped a shyster of this city late in the evening, but this report cannot be verified. Anyhow he was drunk and finally wandered to the home of one Joe Douglas, who lives in one of Zack Williams's cottages. He sat around with the Douglas people for some time and finally swallowed a powder which he said was a headache powder. Then he lighted a cigar and after he had smoked awhile he remarked that it was his last cigar on earth. He then stated that he had swallowed morphine with suicidal intent. the Douglass family with commendably intelligent aptitude sent for the police. They arrived in due season and they sent for the doctors Dr. Barcus and Dr. Ristine were soon on the scene pumping away on the soldier for dear life. There had been to great delay, however after working all night they gave the case up as a hopeless one Friday afternoon, He was apparently dying then, but lingered until half past one Friday afternoon, when death ended his suffering. Leffew's wife arrived at the bedside Friday morning and was greatly distressed, weeping copiously and repentantly. She said that when Jim left her Thursday afternoon he had quite a sum of money, but on his person Friday only about two dollars were found.
Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal, October 27, 1899
The body of James Leffew was taken to Carver & Bobbin's undertaking establishment after his death last week and Saturday it was buried at the expense of the township. There were no funeral services over the body of the unfortunate young man. - thanks to Kim H for these super Leffew obits - one of our Poor Farm boys -s
Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Friday, 27 October 1899
Coroner Ball was up from Waveland last Friday and Saturday, investigating the death of James B. Leffew, the soldier suicide. He found that he came to his death by poison, self administered. Coroner Ball made an unsuccessful attempt to learn what became of Leffew’s money. It is known that he had $40 or $50 in his possession late on the evening he took poison, but Friday morning only a little over $2 could be found when his effects were examined at the Douglas place. -s