Walter Catton

Stark County News, Stark Co., Il., Wednesday, May 4, 1921
Submitted by Barbara Miroslaw 

Body of Well-Known Toulon Boy Laid to Rest Here Yesterday

Another tragedy in which a Toulon man was a participant occurred last Saturday morning in Virginia when Walter Catton shot himself. The details of the affair have not yet been received so that no one can tell just what occurred. A telegram which was received stated that a letter was following but up to this morning it had not yet been received.

The first that was received came to Franklin Catton Saturday morning and was sent from Fortress, Virginia by Fred L. Perry, formerly of Toulon and for whom Catton was working. It stated, "Your brother Walter shot himself at 5:40 this morning. Must have died instantly. Wire any instructions."

A later telegram from Glenn Hodges stated when the body was started on its way and this said that a letter would follow. The body reached here yesterday morning but the letter has not yet come as he doubtless took a little more time to write it and get it started.

The coroner's verdict which came with the body merely stated that the death was caused by a gun shot wound, self inflicted. From the looks of the body the shot evidently entered under the chin and and came out the top of the head. It is difficult to tell whether it was from a shotgun or a rifle, but it looked more like a rifle shot. The face was more or less scratched as if it might have taken place in a thicket or bunch of bushes or possibly on the ground where there was a supply of gravel.

No one can imagine what may have led to the shooting. Letters received by the family and friends recently seemed to indicate that he was cheerful and contented. It is not known that he had any particular troubles that might bring about such an act and it may never be known what led to it.

Along early in January, Walter, in company with Sidney Winans and Ted Perry drove to Virginia in the Perry car. He took with him his surveying instruments and he and Perry expected to do some tilling and surveying down there. A number of Toulon people are in the vicinity of Norfolk and although some of them are separated by a few miles they are all close enough together so that they often see each other.

Until more information is received, it is impossible to know just what took place down there and it may be that there will be nothing more known when letters do get through. The news was a great shock to the members of the family who have the sympathy of the whole community.

Walter was a fine young man and was held in the highest esteem by all.

The following sketch of his life was read at the funeral service.

"Walter Clark Catton, eldest son of Arthur H. and Anna M. Catton was born at West Jersey, Illinois, February 17, 1889 and died at Hickory, Virginia, April 30, 1921.

When but a few months old he moved with his family to Toulon where he has since made his home. Here he received his education in the public school, graduating with the class of 1905. He became a member of the Congregational church under the pastorate of the Reverend G. A. Rexford.

During his service in the World War he was located at Laredo, Texas for several months, later he was transferred to the Officers' Training School, Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, from whence he was discharged after the armistice.

He was a member of Toulon Lodge No. 93, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter N. 10 and of the local post of the American Legion. He was a man who loved his home, a kind and affectionate son and brother, a true friend, a delightful companion to those who knew him best, in his service to his country, a soldier in the highest sense of the word.

He made his work a success because he studied his profession and put into practice the result of that study, and to the successful outcome of his work the many who employed him bear evidence."

Besides his parents there are left to mourn his loss, his sisters, Mrs. A. D. Alldredge, Edelstein, Illinois; Mrs. William F. Munro, Griswold, Iowa; and his brother Franklin and family of Toulon and brother Miles, at home, also many relatives and friends.

The funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Congregational church which was taxed to its capacity with the relatives and friends of the deceased. The members of Toulon Lodge No. 93, A. F. & A. M., Toulon Chapter No. 10, O. E. S. and the American Legion attended as organizations. The services were in charge of Reverend C. A. Parmiter, of Kewaunee, former pastor of the Toulon Congregational church, and he was assisted by Reverend M. J. Norton.

The music was furnished by a quartet consisting of Mrs. E. H. Lloyd, Mrs. Grace Brace, G. S. Walker, and H. W. Lloyd, who sang, "In The Hour of Trial," "In Thy Love, O God," and "They'll Be No Tears In Paradise." Mis Irene Nowlan accompanied them on the organ.

The bearers were Masons who had been close friends of Walter's. They were Carl Vansickle, Forrest Scott (DePue), W. S. Newton, Eugene Rennick, Lee Stillman and William Lehman. There were many very beautiful floral offerings which testified to the love and respect of many for the one who is gone. The Masons had charge of the service at the cemetery and used the regular ceremony. The interment was in the Toulon cemetery.

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