Obituary Details

Orrin William Tatum

(02/10/1909 - 07/23/1933)
Courtesy of Lusk Free Lance, 07/27/1933

Orrin Tatum, Victim of Cyclone, Takes Life

Constant Suffering Causes Young Man to Take Poison Sunday at Ranch Home; Funeral Held Here Tuesday

William Orrin Tatum, 24-year-old son of Mrs. Dora Tatum, succumbed to the effects of poison, self-administered, at the Lusk hospital last Sunday evening at 8:30 o'clock. Young Tatum had been a constant sufferer from injuries received in a cyclone which struck the family home, about 14 miles west of Jay Em, a little more than three years ago, and this, it is believed, was the (?) of his act.

(During) the cyclone, young Tatum was carried for a distance of several hundred feet, and was seriously injured. He lay in the Lusk hospital (?) weeks, and suffered intense pain constantly while there. He finally improved sufficiently to return to his home but the suffering continued until last Sunday afternoon, while his mother was visiting at a neighborhood home, he conceived the plan of ending his life.

As his mother and the neighbors were driving into the Tatum farm yard, Orrin drank a quantity of (carbolic) acid. He was standing in the driveway as they approached. Noticing the pallid color of his face, one of the party asked him what was wrong, in which he replied, "Nothing." He was evidently in great pain at that time, and his mother then asked, "Orrin, what have you done?" It was then he said, "Mother, I cannot go on suffering as I have been."

The empty bottle which contained the deadly poison lay on the floor inside the door, telling the tale of the deed. First aid was rendered at the Tatum home and then he was (put) in the car and rushed to this city, where he was taken to the hospital. Every effort was made to counteract the effects of the poison, but he died an hour and a half after reaching the institution.

Although he took the poison in Goshen county, he died in this county and his remains were placed in charge of George Earl Peet, county coroner.

Deceased is survived by his mother, Mrs. Dora Tatum, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Chaffee. His father is still living although his whereabouts are unknown.

Funeral services were held from the Peet Mortuary at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, July 25th, Rev. B. Farrar, pastor of the First Baptist church of this city, officiating. The remains were laid to rest in the Lusk cemetery.
Complete obituary will be found on Page four.

Orrin Tatum

Orrin William Tatum was born at Lincoln Nebraska, February 10th, 1909, the only son of Thomas and Dora Tatum.

When he was a lad of little more than six years he came with his parents to the community 14 miles west of Jay Em, where the family have since resided for more than 18 years.

Three years ago, June the 8th, a tornado destroyed the home in which he was residing and he was most severely injured. He spent some time in the hospital here at Lusk, but seems never to have recovered from the injuries then received. Indeed he was a great sufferer most of the time. Always uncomplaining, he was not want to speak of his sufferings so perhaps none ever knew just how much he did suffer.

He is survived by his parents, grandmother, half-brother and other relatives.

Alone in the home for awhile last Sunday afternoon, he seems to have convinced himself that his sufferings were more than he could continue to endure. So he determined to end it all by taking deadly poison. Upon his mothers return home he was rushed to the hospital but all efforts were unavailing and he passed the bourne at eight o'clock Sunday evening. Thus, his sojourn in life was but 24 years, five months and thirteen days.

No doubt he justified his act to his own satisfaction and who are we that we should judge him. He is in the hands of a just God and a loving Saviour and there we leave him. We would not call him back if we could.

"His languished head is at rest,
Its thinking and aching are o'er;
His quiet immovable breast
Is heaved by afflictions no more."

Funeral services were held from the Peet Mortuary Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 Rev. B. F. Farrar, pastor of the First Baptist Church, preached the sermon from the text, "Lord thou hast been our Home in all generations." Psalm 90:1. Mrs. Harriet Smith, Mrs. C. E. Marvin, Mrs. Etta Ellis and Mrs. Farrar, were the singers and Mrs. Edna DeCastro presided at the piano. The songs were: "Rock of Ages," "When the Roll is Called up Yonder," ()Requested) and "Nearer My God to Thee."

The Pallbearers were: Cecil Pugsley, Harold Hoy, Kermit Brown, Gerald Henderson, Leonard Vroman and Edward Vroman.

Images & Attachments

Photo/Debbie Rose

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Chaffee, Orrin (07/29/1855 - 12/12/1933) View Record
Obituary Chaffee, Catherine (03/07/1865 - 10/06/1939) View Record
Obituary Tatum, Dora (03/08/1883 - 05/31/1958) View Record
Cemetery Record TATUM, ORRIN WILLIAM View Record