Thursday, January 10, 2013

1913 - Congressman Leaps to Death After Losing Re-election Bid

Dakota County Herald
January 10 1913

LEGISLATOR A SUICIDE
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Michigan Leaps Into Sea.
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Became Ill, Then Violent, on Trip to Panama
Raved Over Failure to be Re-Elected.
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Washington, Jan. 6--Representative William W. Wedemeyer of Ann Arbor, Mich., who suddenly became ill and was thought to be insane at Colon, Panama, at the time of President Taft's recent visit to the isthmus, jumped overboard from a ship on which he had been taken at Colon.  His body has not been recovered.

Representative Wedemeyer went to the isthmus with a congressional party at the same time the president visited there.  On the voyage from New York he collapsed and was taken first to a sanitarium in Panama and later was put in confinement in a hospital where he became violent and raved about his defeat at the last election.  He developed a suicidal tendency and was closely watched.  Mr. Wedemeyer's close friends say that a few days before leaving for the isthmus he fell and struck his head on an icy sidewalk.  It was not regarded as serious and did not deter him from going with the congressional party.

Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan 6--Although it was reported that the mental condition of Congressman William W. Wedemeyer, who, while insane leaped overboard from the steamer carrying him home from Colon, Panama, was due largely to a fall he received recently in Washington, his local friends and associates attribute the congressman's breakdown to the strenuous campaign he went through last fall, which resulted in his defeat by S.W. Beakes, Democrat, and his enthusiastic congressional work in general.

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