September 1925, from an unknown newspaper (maybe Lincoln Park) in Wayne County, Michigan:
Willis Wells, 17-year-old son of George Wells, a contractor of 1284 Arlington Ave., accidently killed himself in a room where E.K. Belknap had gone with the youth to look for a flashlight.
Young Wells opened a dresser drawer and picked up an old .22 caliber pistol which was kept there. A little later E.K. Belknap stated, when his back was turned, he heard the report of the pistol and Willis exclaimed, “I’m shot.”
Dr. Loeffler was called, and upon arriving he found the lad lying on the bed dead. Soon after Coroner Burgess ordered the body turned over to Undertaker Stohl.
The accident happened at 6:40 Monday Evening.
Mrs. Arthur Belknap, 60 years old, of Fayette, Ohio, was instantly killed and her son Orville, 24 years old, seriously injured Tuesday evening, when the automobile which Orville Belknap borrowed from Sergeant William Born, and drove to Fayette to bring his mother and wife here for the funeral, ran into the rear of a body truck, ripping off the top and turning over at Telegraph and Eureka Roads. The driver of the truck apparently did not stop. Belknap is in the Eloise hospital, where it is said he is suffering from a fractured skull and other injuries.
A report of the accident indicated that Orville Belknap’s wife was with him and his mother in the car. This has since been disproved.
The inquest into the death of Mrs. Belknap was held at Eloise Wednesday.
Funeral was held Thursday from the home. Interment at Woodmere Cemetery.
Some parts of this news story are familiar to me. I had heard that my paternal grandfather had a brother who died when he was 17. First, the story was by drowning, then it was by gunshot. It took place in Lincoln Park, which is where 1284 Arlington Ave. is located. E. K. Belknap could possibly/probably be my great-grandfather Earl Ervan Belknap. I know Mrs. Arthur Belknap is his mother, Martha. She died in a car accident in 1925 which corresponds with this news article. I know Orville is Earl’s brother. I had no idea the families knew each other this early. Earl’s daughter married my grandfather Wells in 1932.
Mystery: Who is George Wells? I know of no George Wells. My grandfather’s parents were named Robert and Nannie. Robert Wells died in Virginia in 1919. Nannie moved her four sons and 1 daughter to Michigan around 1924, I think. Could this be a typo in the news article? I sure hope so. Otherwise I have no idea what is going on.
Willis Wells, Nannie’s son, is referred to as James W. Wells and is almost 2 years old in the 1910 Virginia census. In 1920, he is listed as an 11-year-old Willis J. Wells.
The Willis Wells of 1284 Arlington Ave. died on September 14, 1925 and was buried September 17, 1925 in Section 6, Block 4, Lot 121 at Woodmere Cemetery.
Think this needs a little more research…