Monday, January 29, 2018

The Wanderer's Ending

    Back in November, I told the tale of young Grayson Moore, who, at the tender age of 13, ran away from home after thinking he had shot and killed his friend Louis. Grayson appears to have led an interesting and perhaps troubled life and I've discovered a couple of things that tell the end of his tale - things that lead me to wonder how much he was scarred by his early adventures.

After His Marriage
    Grayson married his wife Carrie Keiser sometime before 1907. They don't appear in the 1910 census so it is unclear as to what they did between being married and 1917 when Grayson completes a draft registration. He gives his date of birth as June 19, 1886, born in Elmira New York, married, occupation chauffeur - and living in Washington, D.C. 

    This seemed surprising but in the 1920 census, Grayson and his wife Carrie are living in Washington D.C. at the home of Frank and Katie Ayers. He is listed as a stepson. Since his father died in 1911, it is obvious that his mother Katie remarried to Mr Ayers and a large extended family lived in Washington. The household included Grayson's brother Alden, his wife, Hilda and their son Grayson A, two nieces, Cora and Theresa Manning and Susan Osborne, Katie's sister.  Our Grayson is listed as an Engineer, working for the U.S. Government. This census was enumerated on June 6, 1920. 

    After going missing in 1910, Grayson and Carrie made up for this by being enumerated twice in 1920. On 2 March 1920 they are listed in Elizabeth City Virginia. Grayson is listed as a 2nd Engineer, perhaps working for the Bethel Waterworks.

Death Comes to Grayson
    Grayson Osborne Moore died on January 6th, 1923 at his residence in Washington D.C. This much I knew from finding a grave record. But while in Salt Lake City, I was also able to find a copy of his death certificate. It listed him as aged 36, married to Carrie Moore and working as an automobile dealer.  His parents are Grayson R. Moore and Katherine Osborne. The informant is listed as A.M. Moore, brother. 

    The sad thing, however, is the cause of death - Inhalation of Illuminating Gas - Suicide. Illuminating Gas was commonly used in gas lighting - it was a combination of hydrogen and carbon monoxide produced by coal. By this time, electricity was taking its place more and more but it was still in use in some areas. The dangers of this gas were fairly well known - at least in the medical community and there were stories of many accidental deaths from this gas. In the case of Grayson, there must have been some indication that this was not an accident. 

    His obituary was very simple, listing him as beloved husband of Carrie Moore (nee Kaiser) and indicating that the funeral would be private.  A few simple words for a young man who generated many a news story as a young boy.


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