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|Johnstown Tribune, 2 Nov 1923, Contributed by Lisa Baker|
|Special to The Tribune. |
CARROLLTOWN, Nov. 2. -- With gunshot wound under the right arm, the lifeless body of Nicholas Luther, age 23 years, one of the best-known young men of Carrolltown and a veteran Of the World War, was found lying in his Ford coupe, parked along Carrolltown-Nicktown road between 12 and 1 o'clock this morning.
An empty gun case the car lent an air of mystery.
Mr. Luther and his brother James were Hunting trip. Yesterday the woods in this section and dusk James returned to his home here while Nicholas had gone to visit his wife who is staying with there parents at Nicktown. Shortly before midnight he started for his home in Carrolltown. An automobile party of young folks, returning to their home in Hellwood after attending a dance at Sylvan Park, saw a automobile parked along the road about a mile and a half from Carrolltown with a man lying in the machine attired in a hunting outfit. They immediately returned to Carrolltown and notified Dr. E.F. Arble who accompanied by Earl Sharbaugh and Elmer Schroth and set out to conduct an investigation.
Upon reaching the scene, the three Carrolltown men found Luther's car alongside the road, the rear right wheel up on an embankment about two feet high while the front wheel were down on the roadway.
All the lights on the Luther machine were on. Opening the door of the coupe, Dr. Arble found Luther with one hand on the steering wheel and his body leaning to one side of the machine.
Upon opening up the hunter's heavy leather coat, Dr. Arble discovered blood streaming from under the right arm. Further investigation disclosed a large gunshot wound apparently fired at a close range as powder burns were very noticable. Leaving the body in the car, Dr. Arble and Messrs. Sharbaugh and Schroth returned to Carrolltown and notified Deputy Corner R. Rusell Yost of Johnstown who ordered that the body be turned over to undertaker, J.E. Stevens. The body was later brought to the Stevens mortuary, coroner M.W. Swabb of Johnstown came here this morning to conduct an investigation and directed Dr. Arble to hold a postmortem examination for the purpose of determining the exact cause of Mr. Luther's death.
Following the discovery of the body, District Attorney D.P. Welmer of Johnstown also was notified and he immediately ordered County Detective Ed Whited to investigate the case. Mr. Luther's shotgun being missing when the gruesome discovery was made mystery surrounded the shooting and it was first believed that the young had been murdered as it was believed almost a physical impossibility for him to have shot himself outside of the car and then climbed into the machine. A group of men from Carrolltown started out this morning in search of Mr. Luther's shotgun. It was found lying along the road about 150 yards from where the automobile was found. It is the supposition that Mr. Luther had apparently seen something at which he attempted to shoot and in opening the door his gun accidentally discharged, the charge striking him under the right arm.
It is believed that after the shotgun, the weapon fell out of the machine onto the road. After being shot, Mr. Luther apparently closed the door and drove along for a short distance before he collapsed.
Nicholas Luther was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Luther. He was employed by William Wetzel, a local dairyman.
The deceased was married about five months ago to Miss Cecelia Cook, residing near Nicktown. Since their marriage, Mr. Luther lived with his parents while his young bride stayed with her parents. After spending the day in the woods on a hunting trip yesterday, Mr. Luther went to the Cook home to visit his wife before returning home. Mr. Luther is survived by his widow, parents and two brothers, James and William and three sisters. He was a veteran of the world war and active member of Fox-Peale Post, American Legion. Funeral services will be held at 9 o'clock Monday morning in St. Benedict's Catholic Church with a solemn high mass of requiem. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Mr. Luther will be given a Military funeral by members of the American Legion.