Event Place

Constable Double Found Dead

Constable Frank Double, 62, well-known official in Washington township was found dead on Slab Run less than a quarter mile down the road from his home about 9:00 o’clock Tuesday morning after a three hour search of the hillsides near his home. Mr. Double had been missing since early Monday night when he went down the hollow a short distance to get his evening paper. The official who had been suffering with a mental disorder for some time, fell from a footbridge a short distance below his home, wandered over a 100 years down the road and fell into a creek a second time.”

“He was stunned so the first time that he did not know in which direction he was traveling and on the second fall struck his head on a rock a second time and remained helpless until death came several hours later. All of his body except his head was in the cold water all night and according to Coroner Virgil Fowler the cold water on the body was enough to cause death, although the blows on the head contributed to the final summons and hastened the end.

The lifeless form was found by Mrs. Gladys Hopkins less than fifty feet from the home of WM Howard who heard the man’s cries for help last night but did not go outside to investigate.”

“Mr. Double was in the habit of making a trip down the hollow every night to the home of Edward Distel, who always brings the evening paper to his home from Union Mills. Last evening Mr. Distel was not at home and Charles Welshire brought the papers up the hollow last evening. He did not leave Mr. Double’s paper at the Ed Distel home, but took it to the Welshire home. Mr. Double on not finding Mr. Distel at home went down the road a short distance to the home of Mrs. Elizabeth Distel and spent a few minutes there, telling her that he was anxious to see Edward Distel. Leaving Mrs. Distel he went back up the road to the Welshire home and got his paper and started on home shortly after 7 o’clock.”

“That was the last time he was seen alive. Under the foot-logs over the creek Mr. Double’s hat and lantern were found this morning shortly after six o’clock when Mrs. Double notified neighbors of her husband’s continued absence. It was only a short time before the searching party was of good size. They gave all their attention to searching the hillsides and adjoining hollows, not giving a thought to the idea that the missing man might be in the creek.”

“After the body was found the searchers soon found the route the man had taken from where he had first fallen into the creek. After climbing up the bank near the foot-logs Mr. Double, in a dazed condition, climbed through a wire fence and started through a field back down the hollow, instead of going up the hollow towards home. Near the wire fence one of his gloves was found. It was easy to trace his footprints to the spot where he was found.”

“After the body was found Mr. Howard recalled that early last night he head a person’s voice three separate times. He got up after he heard the cry the second time, but returned to bed dismissing the incident that the noise was made by a barnyard animal.”

“Mr. Double was a native of Lombardsville, this county, but had lived on Slab Run for nearly 25 years. He had lived in his present home for 18 years. Surviving, besides the wife1, are two brothers, Grant, of Piqua, James and a sister.”

“Mr. Double was a member of Portsmouth Camp, Modern Woodmen of America.”2

  1. Emma Dell Bolton
  2. Constable Double Found Dead. (1925, February 17). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 11.
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