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Florence Alabama October 6, 1905 – Suicide of a prominent citizen.

WARNING: This transcribed news article is graphic.



Old and Highly Respected Citizen Suicides by Shooting Through Head

Mental Faculties Undermined by Continued Ill Health Prompts Fatal Act

Saturday morning the people were shocked by the news that passed from one to the other that Mr. Thomas E. Barry had shot himself in a fit of mental aberration.

Prominent Citizen

Mr. Barry was a prominent citizen, an active member of secret and fraternal orders, and had been engaged in commercial pursuits for years until about two years ago, when ill health forced him to retire from the confinement enforced on merchants, when he engaged in the wholesale and brokerage business, but continued failing health confined him to his room about two months ago, and Saturday morning about 7 o’clock, while his family were at breakfast, he secured his pistol and fired the fatal shot.

The weapon was a 38 calibre Smith and Wesson revolver, the muzzle of which he placed against his right temple, and, pressing the trigger, sent the bullet crashing through his brain, and emerging from the rear of the left ear. Several days previous he expressed a wish to die, and Friday night he sent his little son to Mr. Will Young, his son-in-law, for his pistol saying he wanted to clean it. Members of his family, realizing his mental condition, concealed the pistol in another room, but while they were absent at breakfast he secured the weapon and fired the shot that proved instantly fatal.

Click here to see all family research and genealogy books by Donna R. Causey

Printer in early life

The deceased was reared in Florence and stood high with his business associates and friends. In early life, he was a printer and was employed in the offices of the Florence Journal and the Literary Indes edited by Dr. David R. Lindsay, Isaac and Silas G. Barr and Capt. Robert McFarland, who long since joined the silent majority. Leaving the printing business in 1871, Mr. Barry entered upon a commercial life, being employed by ex-postmaster F. G. Lambeth while he remained in business, and later engaged in business on his own account which he followed until his death.

He was upright and honorable in his dealings with his fellow man, and was always active in furthering those interests he considered best for the community and his neighbors.



He was 50 years old, and is survived by a widow and six children, Mrs. Will Young, Mrs. Lonnie Lewis, of Memphis, Miss Kate Edward, William and Andrew. He held trust offices in the Masonic Odd Fellows, being Knights of Pythias lodges, besides being a member of several mutual and fraternal societies.

Funeral services were conducted in the Methodist church Sunday afternoon at 8 o’clock by Dr. Waggoner, and the remains were followed to their last resting place in Oakwood cemetery by one of the largest processions ever seen in Florence.

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011 As wife of one of the Grand Masters, Donna R. Causey, had the unique opportunity to work with Alabama’s Grand Lodge to provide biographical data into the lives and backgrounds of all the Grand Masters of Freemasonry in Alabama from 1811 to 2011. Many early photographs of the Grand Masters are included in this work.



  1. Beth Langcuster Jim Langcuster is this ghost bridge?

    1. I think that is O’Neil Bridge.