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Salem Pioneer Cemetery ~ Elijah C. Bressler ~ part of the Marion County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Elijah C. Bressler
BORN: Abt 1868 DIED: 9 Mar 1894 BURIED: 10 Mar 1894
DEATH PLACE: Salem, Marion Co., Oregon
Name of father Georger Bressler
Maiden name of mother Mary Ann Powers
IOOF - Elijah C. Bressler, age 26 y's 11 m's 13 d's, died in South Salem, "suicide by shooting himself".
From the Testimony of Witnesses He Was Temporarily Insane. 
At about 8 o’clock yesterday morning Elijah Bressler, aged about 26 years, committed suicide at the residence of himself and brother on the Independence road in South Salem. 
The deed was done with a single-barrel No. 12 smooth-bore shotgun and the charge entered the top of the head a little to the left and ranged down and forward. Immediately after this happened a young man named Herman Brown hurried to the court house and notified Sheriff Knight. This officer at once went to the house and there found the body of Bressler lying in exactly the same place where it fell. The coroner at Gervais was notified of the affair and he called upon Justice Jas. Batchelor to conduct an inquest. The official impanelled R. E. Cannon, C. C. Sarvis, S. P. Wadtkins, C. W. Benson, J. F. Biggs, and J. Macey to sit as a coroner’s jury. 
The residence where the young man committed the act was thoroughly investigated and the position of the body also. Then it was decided to remove the body to the undertaking rooms of A. M. Clough, on State street, and there examine the witnesses and hold a post-mortem examination of the remains, if deemed necessary. The witnesses summoned to appear were Geo. Bressler, the deceased’s father, Joseph Bressler, his brother, Edith Bressler, his wife, Francis Bressler, his sister-in-law, Herman brown, and E. Cooper. 
At 1 o’clock Drs. J. N. Smith and Lane were called to hold the post-mortem and their report was to the effect that the deceased "came to his death from the effects of a gun-shot wound, received in the head, which shot entered the top of the head a little to the left and ranged down and forward." 
Joseph Bressler was the first witness called. He has been a resident of Oregon about 15 years, he moved into the same house occupied by his brother on Monday last, his brother, he said, was aged about 26 years and had been a resident of that portion of Salem since October last. At the time of the shooting he was sitting by the kitchen stove. He noticed his brother take the gun down from the rack on the wall and he never said anything as to what he intended to do with it. Then his brother went into his bedroom and told his family that he intended to take his gun and clothes and go away. He came out into the kitchen a few feet and resting the stock of the gun on the floor held the end of the barrel in his left hand and with a stick in his right touched the hammer and the gun was discharged. He partially sank on his knees and fell over backward. His wife was standing near the stove in the room used as the kitchen. Just as he leaned over the muzzle of the gun he was heard to say "here goes." 
The young man had caused some trouble during Thursday night by appearing to become temporarily insane. About 11 p.m. his wife was awakened by his loud ravings and frequent calls for his gun. She got him quieted and then arose and went and took the gun down from the rack on the wall and asked that it be hid in his (Joseph Bressler’s) bedroom. He said that he noticed whenever his brother had employment he was quiet but, generally, when not engaged he seemed to be taken with fits of rage. Joseph said his brother was always of a quarrelsome disposition. 
Immediately upon the shot being fired he rushed out of the house and started to notify his parents who reside a short distance away. The jury questioned him quite closely regarding any trouble between himself and his brothers, but did not succeed in eliciting much information on that point. 
Eda Bressler, the deceased’s wife, was called. She has been his wife a little over a year. She stated that her husband got up yesterday morning and built a fire and then went over to his father’s place. Returning he took the gun down and loaded it and then shot himself. (She described how he held the gun.) 
Her husband awakened her Thursday night about 11 o’clock by his wild talk in reference to wanting his gun. She managed to quiet him and then went and told his brother what had happened and the gun was taken down from the wall and she hid it in her brother-in-law’s room. She told him that she would get his gun in the morning. 
After he left the house to go to his father’s home she went and brought the gun out and placed it back on the rack. During the night he often said "that his gun was his best friend." One time when they attended a dance together at a neighbor’s house her husband refused to enter into the dance and when she accepted an invitation to dance one number he afterwards abused her by calling her vile names and seemed to be most jealous of her thereafter. Her husband frequently called for his knife during the night when he learned that he could not have the gun. She slipped the knife out of his pocket and also hid it In the morning when he was absent from the room she took the knife and laid it on the floor by the bed. By this he would think the knife fell from his pocket and he would not become enraged by reason of supposing that she concealed it from him. She was afraid that he might kill her also while in his mad spells. 
Frances Bressler’s testimony consisted of about the same statements as the above. George Bressler, father of the deceased, said that his son came to his residence early yesterday morning and appeared to be in a despondent mood. He made the remark to his parents that he had but one friend and that "was his gun." He was talked to in a manner by his folks that was intended to discourage such an idea and later he started on his return home. Soon afterwards he heard the report of a gun and then saw his son Joseph coming towards his home. He went to where his dead son was lying on the floor of the kitchen. 
The evidence of Brown and Cooper was then taken. Andrew Coss, chief engineer of the Salem fire department, had been one of the number to visit the scene of the shooting ad he had discovered where some shot had entered the ceiling of the kitchen. He dug them out and brought them to one of the jurymen. His evidence was taken concerning this. 
Another witness was subpoenaed and his testimony will be heard by the jury at 10 a.m. today, adjournment having been taken till then. The deceased leaves (besides his wife) one child. The body is now lying in a rude coffin at Mr. Clough’s undertaking parlors and will be given burial soon after the coroner’s jury reaches a verdict. The gun and the empty shell, and a nickel open-face watch with leather chain, a knife, a couple of loaded cartridges taken from his pocket and some other small articles are in the charge of Justice Batchelor. 
It is evident that someone of the jury suspicions that Bressler did not commit suicide - that someone murdered him. The family and relatives of the deceased did not exhibit the feelings of sadness that are generally expected under such circumstances, but it seems impossible to establish such a crime upon any one of them. It is almost certain that sufficient evidence cannot be brought out on that point. 
Oregon Statesman 10 Mar 1894 4:2-3
No marker
IOOF Register of Burials 
OS 10 Mar 1894 4:2-3

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