McCASLIN, Margaret (Maggie)

Date of Death: 20 Jun 1918 – Johnson County, Indiana

Source: Franklin Evening Star, Friday, June 21, 1918

Margaret McCaslin a Suicide.

Miss Margaret McCaslin ended her life sometime Thursday by hanging herself in the attic at her farm home three miles southwest of Franklin. Her body was discovered late Thursday evening by Gilbert Luyster, her cousin and guardian, who went to the McCaslin home after receiving a strange letter written by Miss McCaslin last Sunday. In the letter Miss McCaslin said that she was planning to end her life. She spoke of having cleaned up the house, gave instructions regarding some personal effects, asked that her chickens be cared for and closed with the request that Mr. Luyster come to the house as soon as he received the letter. The letter was dated June 16, but Mr. Luyster did not receive it until Thursday evening. He hurried im­mediately to the McCaslin farm and after making a thorough search through the house, which he found immacu­lately clean, he went to the attic and discovered the lifeless body hanging from a rafter.

Inquiry among the neighbors dis­closed the fact that a boy had seen Miss McCaslin early Thursday morning, which indicates that she either post­poned mailing her letter or had mis­dated it. She had been in an impaired mental condition for several years and recently, according to the neighbors, had acted strangely.

Dr. Carl Payne, who was called, said the body probably had been dead ten or eleven hours. Dr. L. C. Bice, county coroner, also was notified and his investigation showed she had died by hanging herself.

Miss McCaslin was forty-three years old and was born on the farm where she died. She was the daughter of Gilbert and Anna McCaslin, both of whom are dead. Her mother died seven years ago, since when she had lived as a recluse on the farm. She was a niece of the late John Ditmars and one of his principal heirs. Two years ago Gilbert Luyster was appointed as guardian for her and last winter she was at his home for several weeks but grew restless and insisted on returning to her own home to live alone. She raised many chickens and kept them in her own house during the winter and early spring months. She was eccentric but truly kind hearted in every way.

She is survived by an aunt, Mrs. Hattie Luyster, who is now living in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Luyster and the services being conducted by the Rev. R. P. Jones of the Franklin Presbyterian church, of which Miss McCaslin was a member. Burial will be at Greenlawn cemetery.

Source: Franklin Evening Star, Tuesday, June 25, 1918

Will of Maggie L. McCaslin.

The will of Miss Maggie L. McCaslin, who ended her life by hanging herself last week, has been filed for probate. By the terms of the will, which was executed Sept. 24, 1915, the estate, valued at $25,000, is to be divided equally between Mrs. Hattie Luyster, her aunt, who is to receive one-half, and the children of a deceased aunt, Alma McCaslin Van­Nuys, who are to share the other half. The latter heirs are Lowery VanNuys, James L. VanNuys, Ezra VanNuys, Olive VanNuys Oliver and Mary Van­Nuys Foster. The Union Trust company is named as executor of the estate.

Note: The people identified in the will are Harriet Ditmars McCaslin Luyster, and the children of her sister, Mary Alma McCaslin VanNuys, who are Walter Lowery VanNuys, James Edward VanNuys, Ezra Allen VanNuys, Alice VanNuys Oliver, and Mary VanNuys Fisher. The paper got some of the names wrong.

Submitted by Lois Johnson