1932 - January 14, Thursday
The Haralson County Tribune
A.B. Latham Ends Own Life
Leaves Note Giving Ill Health As Reason
The body of A.B. Latham, known intimately to the people of this section as "Bije" Latham, Saturday morning was found slumped in the seat of his car with almost his entire head blown from his body. Clutched in his arms was a shotgun with which the deed was committed. The car was in the garage at the Latham home in the Mountain View District.
For some time Mr. Latham and his nephew Hoke Latham had lived together, but the nephew was away from home at the time, on a visit.
Mrs. Gaudie Cansler, who lived nearby, and who helped with the housework, on Saturday morning went to the Latham home to milk the cows. All was quiet around the home. A search of the house failed to reveal the whereabouts of Mr. Latham. Mrs. Cansler's young son, going into the garage, discovered his body in the car. Neighbors were quickly notified and officers summoned. Later Coroner Cole held an inquest, the jury returning a verdict that the deceased came to his death by self-inflicted wounds.
The entire neighborhood was shocked, as were people of this section.
In one of Mr. Latham's pockets was a blood-bespattered letter which was written on both sides of legal cap paper. In this letter, which was not addressed to anyone in particular, Mr. Latham dwelt upon the fact that his health was wrecked and at his age he could not expect to build it back.
"I have seen Jesus face-to-face," he wrote, "and feel he will give me life ever-lasting and I will be happy with my loved ones gone before. It might have been better to go 31 years ago, as I started to do with a .32 pistol, but God told me not to. I feel that I have suffered through bad health to pay all dues ahead and I feel God will pardon me for all sins."
The letter went on at length, showing the hardships entailed in farming the past few years.
A considerable portion of the note dwelt upon the condition of his health, which had been gradually failing him. The deceased's health had not been so good during the past few weeks, and close friends were aware of the fact that he had brooded considerably over recent events.
He is survived by four brothers: J.T. Latham and Edgar Latham of Atlanta, and Victor and Virgil Latham of this county. He has numerous other relatives.
Funeral services and internment at Philadelphia Church were attended by a large crowd of sorrowing relatives and friends.