Tragic Happenings

Robert Livingston Ireland Sr. - Suicide in New York City

11801Lake Shore Boulevard
Robert Livingston Ireland Sr., Bratenahl, Ohio
Robert Livingston Ireland Sr.

On February 17, 1928, Robert Livingston Ireland had luncheon with his wife and some friends at a Manhattan hotel, after which she left to do some shopping. Robert went to the University Club, later returning to his apartment suite at the Hotel Seymour, 50 West 45th Street in Manhattan, where he had lived for several years. His wife returned to the apartment at about 6:30 p.m. and discovered his body.

After a medical examiner determined the death was due to suicide, New York Police continued their investigation. They were puzzled as to how a man of Mr. Ireland’s age could have withstood the shock of four bullets fired into his body at a distance of only a few inches and then stagger five feet to his bed.

Investigators were unable to find a reason for his actions. He had recently suffered a heart attack and was under the care of his physician. He had regained his health and was planning to leave in a few days to Honolulu for an extended trip. His wife stated that he appeared in good spirits when they left lunch.

A large sealed envelope spotted with blood and found on the floor was marked, “Not to be opened until death,” contained five other envelopes addressed to members of his family. They contained notes of a personal nature written in 1926 and related to the disposal of some property.

According to his request, there was a funeral service held at Trinity Church in New York City after his cremation with his ashes placed in the family vault in the Trinity Churchyard.

Robert Livingston Ireland Sr. was born on August 20, 1867, to John and Adelia (Duane) Ireland in Stratford, Connecticut. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Yale in 1890. Robert came from New York to Cleveland in 1892.

Robert married Kate Hanna on May 2, 1894. They had two children, Robert Livingston Ireland, Jr. “Liv” born on February 1, 1895, and Elizabeth (Poe) born on October 31, 1897. Robert and Kate divorced in 1919, and he remarried a year later to Mary Ester Wood on August 1, 1920, at the home of friends in Palm Beach, Florida.

Robert and Mary traveled a good deal and lived much of the time in Bermuda and Nassau. Both were aviation enthusiasts and made many long trips by airplane.

In a further sad note, Robert’s widowed second wife, Mary, was found strangled in her New York apartment in 1946. Police reported that she had tied a nylon stocking around her throat. She is interred in the Ireland family vault in the Trinity Churchyard.

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