Friday, March 22, 2019

Decomposed Body in Toisnot Creek Is Jonas Reeves, March 22, 1919

From the Daily Times, Sylva, N.C., March 22, 1919. The headline spelled the last name as Reaves, but all of the references in the article spelled it Reeves.

It May be Jonas Reaves Whose Body Was Found in Toisnot Creek This Morning Below Pump Station. . . Body Is Decomposed

Early this morning while fishing in Toisnot Creek just below the water forks about half a mile from town, some boys found the partly decomposed body of what is supposed to be the remains of Jonas Reeves, a white man who mysteriously disappeared from this city about a month ago.

Our readers will recall that Mr. Reeves inserted an advertisement in the Times for a wife and it was answered by a young lady of this town, and that he went to see her but was refused admission, the letter having been written by some one in the house as a joke. Being slightly demented he took the matter seriously and when some one told him she lived out in the country he started to look for her.

On the day he was last seen he was in town with his boys who, realizing his condition, had been keeping watch over him. But that afternoon, January 28th, which fell on Tuesday, about 4 o’clock he asked someone to allow him to go in the country with them and so got on their car. Who that was neither he nor the editor of the Times have been able to learn, but at any rate he returned to town that night, though his sons went back home without him that night, if we recalled correctly. Their home is near Dunn, but he was seen by Dr. Bethea whose home he visited that night and asked if he could be shown the hospital where he either had a relative for treatment or someone was confined sometime back.

This is the last trace of the man until this morning, when Mayor Gillette, who after viewing the body, makes affidavit that he believes that the man is Jonas Reeves and that he came to his death as the result of foul play.

We have not seen the body but we learn there are marks on the back of the head, though the hair is off the head and both ears are gone.

The body was found on the edge of the swimming pool and lying face downward. There are all sorts of rumors to the effect that he wandered down there and either fell in or committed suicide or was knocked in the head and thrown in. After 80 arrives this afternoon an inquest will be held by Coroner Clark.

Reeves is about 60 years old and has several children who have been diligently search for him since his disappearance. He is reputed to be well off.


At the coroner’s inquest this afternoon the body was identified by the two sons of Mr. Reeves, who came in on 80, as that of their father, Jonas Reeves, and as to the matter of foul play, that was not positively determined on account of the condition of the body, but it is believed there is a scar on the back of his head. The body of Mr. Reeves was sent to the undertaking establishment of Quinn and McGowan for preparation for shipment to his home.

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