Premonition that something fearful had happened

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Northwestern ‘U’ Student Kills Himself

Two years ago Dr. John R. Minahan, wealthy and prominent surgeon of Green Bay, Wis., was summoned to Chicago. His oldest son, John Jr., had ended his life in a fraternity house at the University of Chicago by firing a bullet into his brain.

Yesterday, led by premonition that “something fearful had happened” Dr. Minahan hurried to Juneau Park, Milwaukee. He had read in a newspaper that an unidentified young man had shot and killed himself there.

The young man proved to be Dr. Minahan’s younger son, Robert C., 21 years old, a student in the medical school of Northwestern University.

Wife Also Kills Self

With the death of the Northwestern University student, Dr. Minahan was robbed of the third member of his family by suicide. His wife ended her life several years before the older boy shot himself.

Chicago Tribune, Friday, Feb. 20, 1925, p. 11:


Not unrequited love, but a tilt with his father over money matters, was responsible for the suicide in Juneau park, Milwaukee, of young Robert C. Minahan, Northwestern University freshman, an uncle of the victim declared yesterday.

Young Minahan’s suicide marked the fifth tragedy within his immediate family within recent years. Four years ago his mother was killed in a railroad accident. Two years ago, an older brother, John, shot himself to death at a University of Chicago fraternity house, and in 1912 two of the boy’s uncles lost their lives when the Titanic sank.

The shooting marked the third tragedy in the Minahan family within recent years. N uncle, William E. Minahan, an attorney, perished when the steamship Titanic was sunk in 1912. And, according to reports from Green Bay, the boy’s mother was killed by a Chicago and Northwestern train near her home ten years ago. It was never definitely established whether the mother’s death was due to accident of suicide.

Chicago Tribune, Thursday, Feb. 19, 1925, p. 1:

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Related Biographies:

William Edward Minahan
Lillian Mae Minahan


Encyclopedia Titanica (2009) THIRD SUICIDE IN FAMILY MYSTERY (Chicago Tribune, Friday 20th February 1925, ref: #10869, published 9 June 2009, generated 4th August 2021 06:00:59 AM); URL :