Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harry Lud Hamilton -- 4 Cents and a Note

Eden Park Reservoir
A native of Marysville, Kentucky, Hamilton, 65, spent 43 years in theatrical work and served as manager of Gus Sun's vaudeville houses throughout Ohio.  In his career, he was also an advance manager for stage productions, carnivals, and circuses, and business manager to former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Bob Fitzsimmons, and magicians Howard Thurston and Blackstone.  The veteran showman, however, had been unemployed since the beginning of 1940 and living in a room at the Oxford Hotel in Cincinnati since June 4.  Shortly after 7:00 A.M. on November 18, 1940, a passerby stopped to investigate a coat and hat hanging on the west wall of the Eden Park Reservoir in that city.  Nearby, Hamilton's body was visible close to shore standing upright in some ten feet of water.  Authorities found 4 cents and a note outlining his burial arrangements in the showman's pockets.  Personal effects in Hamilton's hotel room included insurance policies and several notes.  One to a hotel clerk read:  "What is the use of fooling myself any longer.  I will take the step that will part us.  You will find my body over near the band stand in the park.  I am going with my chin up.  No regrets!  Good wishes." Police determined that Hamilton probably drowned himself two days before he was found.

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