obituary Bethany Newspaper
Seth Stanley Dead
-met a tragic death either by his own hands or by foul play
-coroner's jury unable to Decide-still a mystery to All-Funeral Held Saturday.
Seth Stanley, a prominent citizen of this country, large land owner, and Bethany business man was taken from a well in his own marble shop, dead, last Thursday morning, March 10, after his unusual absence from his home all night.
His family gave the alarm early on Thursday morning that he had come to town as usual the evening before and had not returned, or communicated with them all night. The searchers went to his marble yard and found his Ford car parked across the street and his office door unlocked. Further investigation found his overcoat and cap on a chair, and the lid to the well covering open, and an examination found his body at the bottom of the well weighted down with a sack of sand tied with the well rope around his neck and when the body was raised outo f about sixteen foot of water, it was seen that his hands were wired together, the right hand slipping out of the wire loop by the process of being taken from the well, but the wrists showed the marks of the wire having been securely fastened. This fact caused the rescuing party to suspect foul play and the county coroner was notified and took charge of the body.
A jury was impanelled and an autopsy held in their presence and after a number of witnesses were examined, rendered a verdict that he came to his death by means unknown to them.
Mr. Stanley was a character that his friends claim would not be one to commit suicide because of financial troubles. He was in good health and no known reason was given at the inquest why he would destroy himself. And on the other hand, no one is suspected of foul play or nothing has developed that there would be a motive for anyone to commit a crime like his tragic death.
On Monday the well was drained but revealed nothing that would throw any light on the mystery.
He visited different places of business during the evening, chatting as usual, and was last seen alive about 9 o'clock. About an hour later James Taylor in making his usual round tried the Stanley marble yard door and found it unlocked and going in, someone whom he recognized as Mr. Stanley's voice called to him from the rear of the shop, that he was there, and the night watch passed on his way.
This was 10 o'clock or after the night watch says, the watch taken from Mr. Stanley's dead body having stopped at 9:45. The night watch might have been mistaken as to the time of his visit to the marble yard or the watch might have stopped before it went into the well.
Wild rumors of cold-blooded murder have been advanced by persons not familiar with all the details, and before the coroner's jury made their investigation, but so far nothing has developed that would conclusively show foul play.
Most of his friends, which are numbered in the hundreds in Bethany, and in his former home in the east part of the county accept the suicide theory, but are ready to consider adn investigate anything that might look like murder.