Fired Bullet Into His Brain Saturday Morning
Monday Night as Result--- Was Sick and Discouraged.
Ed Maples is the latest victim of self destruction, of which Cleveland has had her full share of late. At 10:05 o’clock Saturday morning he shot himself through the head in the shoe shop on the west side of the Public Square, inflicting a wound that would ordinarily would produce death instantaneously. The brain oozed out of the wound on each side of the skull, yet the unfortunate man lived until Monday night. The skull where the bullet left it, was crushed and mashed completely all around the wound and is the wonder that the man lived any time at all after the deed.
Will Maples, the shoemaker, a cousin of Ed Maples, had just left his shop on the west side of Public Square and gone to Fillauer Bros. Hardware store to get some leather. Just as the unfortunate man entered the shop, Ben Crox, the young son of Sheriff W. H. Crox, left it and had not gone 75 feet before he heard the crack of the pistol that sent a bullet crashing through the skull of the discouraged man. A passerby first discovered him but before he entered the shop Will Maples had returned and made the discovery of the deed himself. Maples had fallen in a heap upon the floor and blood was spurting from the wounds in his head. In a few moments an excited crowd had gathered among them Sheriff Crox and John Craig who placed the dying man, as they believed, in the front of the shop and tried to render him assistance. A great pool of clotted blood marked the spot where Maples head lay as he fell, stricken by his own hand.
Sheriff Crox, noticing that the vital force of the lite had not yet been spent, began to question Maples, and he was able to give a fairly coherent story of the awful deed. He said he was "having trouble", by which he probably referred to his having suffered several years from an incurable disease, and it may be he had in mind his dismissal from the Woolen Mills, where he held a job until recently as a spinner. He was addicted to strong drink and used drugs in considerable quantity and he may have had reference to his disordered nervous system and mental condition. So far as could be learned no other possible cause can be assigned for his deed. Questioned further he said he snapped the pistol once and it did not go off. He pulled the trigger again and this shot produced two holes in the skull the ball entering the right temple and leaving the skull above the left. He told the Sheriff Crox he "shot a little higher up" than he intended other wise death would have resulted instantaneously. As soon as it was known what had happened, several in the crowd ran in various directions about town in search of a doctor and it was fully 15 minutes before one could be found. Dr. C.T. Speck was found and summoned. On arrival he found Maples breathing heavily. He made a hasty examination and at once arranged for his removal to the home of Jerry Huges on South Church Street, Mrs. Huges, being the man’s mother and because of Mrs. Huges condition the patient was removed to the home of his cousin, Will Maples , who resided on Church Street. Although Maples was out of work he was well supplied with cash for all his present needs. He had $117 in cash in his pocket at the time he shot himself and a check on his person drawn against a deposit of $180 in the bank. Ed Maples was married to Miss Vena Kile ten years ago. One son, Percy, a lad of about 7 or 8 years of age, survives his mother, who died two years ago. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon. ( July 13, 1909 Cleveland Herald, Bradley Co. TN)