Mrs. W. K. Rowland Victim of Accident.


Says He Had Leaned Over To Kiss Mate
When Leaving For Work When Pistol
Fell and Fired.

Mrs. William K. Rowland, was killed in the parlor of her home, 1106 North Orchard Knob avenue, late last night. Death came from a bullet, her husband says, when he fumbled a pistol and it fell to the floor, as he was placing it in his holster. Mrs. Rowland, about 35 years-old, was seated at the time. The bullet entered her right cheek and went upward through the brain, coming out at the back of her head.

Death came instantly, Coroner Hancock believes. No one else was in the room at the time, it was said. Capt. Carter, Detectives Gillespie and Bass and Officers' Williamson, and Setliffe investigated the death for the police.

Rowland was in a wildly hysterical condition when the police arrived, and they were able to get only an incoherent story from him as he beat his chest and cried aloud. From bits he stated between appeals from the Almighty and requests for someone to kill him, police and Coroner Hancock gathered that there had been several friends at the home earlier in the evening, and that shortly after they left Rowland prepared to go to work. He picked up his gun and leaned over to kiss Mrs. Rowland. At the same time he attempted to place the pistol in his holster. The weapon fell, discharging the shot that killed his wife. Her chair turned over and police found the body with the victim's legs across the back of it.

The coroner and police are inclined to believe Rowland's version of the tragedy, but he will be taken to police headquarters for questioning this morning, after he quiets down. Rowland holds a special deputy sheriff's commission and has always carried a pistol to his work at the Teminal station.

Coroner Hancock took the hysterical man to Erlanger hospital last night and it was all that he and Motorcycle Officer Roth could do to keep him subdued enough to remain in the machine. Arriving at the hospital he was given a hypodermic, but it had little or no effect on his violent actions.

The body of Mrs. Rowland was taken to Wann's where it will be prepared for burial. She leaves three children, Effie Lee, a telephone operator, and two young boys, William K. Jr., and Buster. Arrangements for the funeral have not been made.

Chattanooga Times, December 27,1926.

Submitted by Karen Chastain