Samuel Mathers

Payette Enterprise
Thursday, August 12, 1915



On last Friday, August 6th, word reached Payette that Samuel Teets Mathers, who has been living with his daughter Mrs. William Wing, and her husband, on Big Willow, had committed suicide, at the Wing home. By authority of the County coroner the remains were brought to Payette Friday evening, at which time statements of witnesses were taken.

The following memorandum notes of Dr. J. C. Woodward, taken about 6 P.M., Friday evening, August 6, 1915, at J. A. Lauer's store, from the statements of Lloyd Pence and P.E. Miller, in the presence of Burt Venable, J.A. Lauer and Glenn Landon gives the facts fully.

Statement of Lloyd Pence:

"Sometime after dinner Violet Wing granddaughter of the deceased came to my residence and asked for the loan of a horse to go and notify Mr. Wm. Wing, who was working for Mr. P. E. Miller, that her grandfather had killed himself and that he should come home. Violet said that her grandfather had cut his throat with a razor. I notified Mr. Miller at once by telephone and Mr. Miller took Mr. Wing home in the automobile. Ike Carter and I then went to the Wing home. I found there Mrs. Wing and her sister, Miss Mathers, and I inquired where the body was and was informed that it was in the cellar. Mr. Carter and I went to the door of the cellar and saw the deceased lying dead in a reclining position against the unfinished portion of the cellar. He held the razor in his right hand and his throat was cut across. There was blood everywhere. Some of it had spurted up on the points of the house. Mr. Miller and Mr. Wing arrived shortly afterward and we four entered the cellar covered the body with a canvas and hung two quilts over the door. I then came home and telephoned the facts of the suicide to Dr. J. C. Woodward, who in turn notified the coroner who authorized me by telephone to remove the body to the undertaking rooms of J. A. Lauer and Bro. Accompanied by Mr. Miller we took the body by automobile to Payette and arrived there about 5:20 p.m. I found a letter near the body which I turned over to the daughter Miss Mathers. This letter was read by Mr. Miller. The body must have been dead over an hour when I first saw it. Death occurred on this day, Friday, August 6, 1915."

Deceased is survived by his wife and two daughters. Mrs. Mathers arrived from Oregon City Saturday noon. The funeral was held Saturday afternoon and interment was at Riverside cemetery.

Payette Independent (Thursday, August 12, 1915)


Samuel T. Mathers passed away last Friday, Aug. 6 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Wing, on Big Willow, his death the result of his own deliverate act. The statement of Loyd Pence and P. E. Miller, who brought the body to town, to the undertaking rooms of J. A. Lauer & Bro., shows. That sometime after dinner Violet Wing, grand-daughter of deceased, went to the Lloyd Pence home and asked for the loan of a horse to go and notify William Wing, who was working for J. llLE. Miller, that her grandfather had killed himself. Mr. Pence notified Mr. Miller by phone and Miller at once took Wing home in his auto. Ike Carter and Lloyd Pence went to the Wing home and found here Mrs. Wing and her sister, Miss Mathers. Upon inquiry they were informed that the body was in the cellar. Mr. Pence and Mr. Carter went to the cellar and found Mr. Mathers lying dead, reclining against the unfinished wall. A razor in his hand and a ghastly wound in his throat made plain what had taken place.

Miller and Wing soon arrived and he went to the cellar and viewed the body and arranged to have no one enter until coroner Farris of Caldwell and Dr. J. C. Woodward, deputy county physician at Payette had been communicated with. the coroner ordered the body taken to the undertaking rooms of J. A. Lauer and Bro. at Payette, where Pence and Miller arrived with it about 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Pence found a letter near the body which he handed to the daughter, Miss Mathers. The belief is that death had taken place about an hour before the body found. Dr. Woodward took the statement of Lloyd Pence and P. E. Miller, which left no doubt that Mr. Mathers had taken his own life.

the Mathers family reside at Oregon City, Oregon, and Miss Mathers was with her sister, Mrs. Wing, who had been sick, and Mr. Mathers had recently come down from his home to work on a farm in the Wing neighborhood. Mrs. Mathers was notified of the death on Friday evening and arrived in Payette Saturday on the noon train and the funeral service was held at the M. E. church at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon, conducted by the pastor, Rev. Barnes.

Miss Mathers, daughter, said her father had always been a good man and she could not possibly conceive of a reason for his rash act except temporary unbalance of mind. Mr. Mathers was 59 years of age and life's struggle with him had been difficult of late years.