The following is an obituary taken from the Glasgow Times, dated Thursday 2 February 1928. Lera was my mother’s aunt, and the sadness of this story remains with the family today. Back in the late 1980s, I visited the Morton-Pritchard Cemetery, and was taken to the spot where Lera Gass was buried. She did not have a tombstone, but someone had placed a small white rock, about the size of a cantaloupe, on her grave. I was back out there in the early 1990s, and someone had removed the rock. This has been a drawback to the old family cemeteries. I hope to someday get a replacement put there before no one is left to remember her!
My great-grandparents lived in a house on Monroe Street at the time of this occurrence. The streets in that section have been renamed with the era of the 911 service, but the neighborhood lies off of East Main Street, between Bowen Ave and Carnation Drive. The house was still standing until the 1990s, when Mr. Roddy, who owned the property, decided the house was in a condition that could not be repaired. And on with the obit.
Glasgow Times – Thursday 2 February 1928. Shot Fatal to Girl 14.
“Miss Valera Gass, 14 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gass, shot and killed herself at their home in East Glasgow around 1 pm last Friday. She had been in seemingly good health and cheerful, and the suicide was a great surprise and shock to the family.
“A shotgun was in a closet downstairs, and was unloaded. While the family was out of the room, the girl took the gun out, put a shell in it. Going upstairs, she set on a trunk, put the butt of the gun on the floor, aimed at her heart, took a stick and sent the charge to her heart. She died instantly. The shot attracted her mother, who found her on the trunk, but dead. None of the family can give good reason for the terrible deed of the young lady.
“Mr. Gass and his family came here from Moss, Tennessee some 8 years ago. The father works on the state roads under Mr. Wallace Page, and at the time of the death was at work on the Tompkinsville Road. Mr. and Mrs. Gass have 6 children left: Sam, Frank, Andrew, and Theodore Gass, Mrs. Millard Pace, and Mrs. Jack Pickett. There is also a half-sister, Mrs. Ebert Morton.
“Funeral services will be conducted by Bro. Piercy at the Morton burying ground at Lecta.”
Lera Gass, the girl on the left, in white, and an unknown friend, taken shortly before her death.