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Sevierville, June 29th – This evening about 2 o'clock, Virena Stafford, committed suicide by hanging herself.

She ate her dinner with the family and after her father and the work hands had gone from the house, she went out and was soon missed by a young lady who was staying with Mr. Stafford. A search was made and after some time she was found hanging to a joist in the smoke house near by the dwelling.

Miss Stafford was a daughter of James Stafford, one of the best citizens of Sevier County, who is very old and feeble and this sad occurrence will be a great shock to him. Virena as about forty years old. She has been in bad health for many years and at times has been insane. Some fifteen years ago she was sent to the insane asylum, but soon after she was thought to be so much better that she was brought back to her home and for many years was apparently of sane mind.

A few months ago she became deranged and was again sent to the Asylum at Lyon's View, Knoxville, Tennessee, where she remained for several weeks. Becoming much improved again, she came back home and lived with her father until the sad hour when she took her own life.

Miss Stafford was a single woman. She was a sister to the late Pleas Stafford, who committed suicide in our town about six years ago by cutting his throat. Jesse Stafford, the father of the deceased, is one of our best men. He is an honest Christian gentleman and has considerable property. The people all over this country will sympathize with him in his almost heartrending troubles in his old and declining years.

Source: The Knoxville Journal, Thursday, June 30, 1892

Transcribed by Robert McGinnis

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