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Jackson County, Illinois

MAN KILLS SELF RATHER THAN VACATE PROPERTY

Transcribed by Michael P. McGuigan

06 Jul 1953

A Carbondale man apparently killed himself rather than be forced from the house he refused to leave. Raymond Hagler was to be evicted from the home at 1201 W. College St., Carbondale, today by police acting on a court order. When the court proceedings to evict were begun, Hagler told a friend: "I'm not going to leave this place." He asked, "Do I have to go?" His friend advised that it looked as if he must.

Today nine officers went to the home to force Hagler out. They broke into the locked house and found Hagler dead of a gunshot wound. He apparently shot himself several days ago. Fired Once  Hagler was sitting in a chair in his bedroom. The wound under his chin apparently was inflicted by the .410 gauge shotgun nearby, police said. The old, single-shot gun had been fired once. Hagler, who did painting and paperhanging around Carbondale, had lived in the home 10 or 11 years. His mother bought the house when it was new. He remained in it after her death.

In her will, dated in 1961, she left the home to her children, Raymond, Harold, Alvin, Vernon, Connie, Gladys, and Beulah, who has since died. Raymond Hagler was to get an extra $500 from the sale of the property for burial expenses, she said. She specified he was to get the furnishings in his bedroom. Other relatives wanted to sell the home, but Hagler would not leave. Harold, Alvin, and Vernon Hagler, Connie Hagler Hopkins, and Gladys Hagler Bittler brought suit in September. The suit claimed that Raymond Hagler refused to vacate the house and would not join with the others in selling it.  The Circut Court ordered a public sale last November. John Stewart, master of chancery, sold the house at an auction to Wilma Sue Everhart of Carbondale. The price was $12,000. All six of the heirs got $1,529. Raymond Hagler's extra $500 brought his portion to $2,029.

Held In Trust.  The new owner, in February, filed a statement that Raymond Hagler would not accept his money and would not leave the house. The money was turned over to the county treasurer to hold in trust. On March 19, the buyer asked for a writ forcibly to remove Hagler.  The court found that Hagler was in contempt and ordered him to be removed. He did not appear in court Monday, as ordered, so the officers moved in today. Sheriff Arch Edwards and two deputies, two Carbondale policement, two State Troopers, and two Southern Illinois University security officers went to the house about 9:45 a.m. today.  Edward said there were so many because he thought Hagler might resist the eviction. Edwards said deputies and city police watched for Hagler at the house Monday, but did not attempt to enter the house. He said he had been advised by court officers to wait until after 9 a.m. today before entering. Edwards said he tried to telephone Hagler Monday night but received no answer.

Edwards said he took Hagler to see a lawyer Friday. The lawyer told Hagler he had no recourse but to obey the court order, Edwards said. Police suspected that Hagler may have shot himself that night. They said he apparently had not been seen around the house since then. Mr. Hagler leaves his brothers, Harold of Carbondale, Vernon of Tampa, Fla., and Alvin of Biloxi, Miss.; sisters, Mrs. Bittler of San Diego, Calif., and Mrs. Hopkins of Trenton, Iowa. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Van Natta Funeral Home, with Rev. Bert Cherry, Pastor of the Walnut Street Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale. Mr. Hagler, 60, had never married.

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