What Really Happened to Margaret Keating’s Husband

It’s been one of those searches that has left me puzzled – until today. When I was a kid, my folks told me not to ask Margaret Keating about her husband William, telling me it was impolite and that, “Mrs. Keating still misses him dearly.”

That left me unable to find out what had happened to Mr. Keating. Further,  All I knew was that he had died in 1947, which left me assuming that perhaps he had been severely wounded during World War II and died of those injuries as a result.

This theory made the rounds over and over again in Klamath, California, back when I was a child and as far as I know, continues to this day. Well, that ends now as found I the following news item on page 14 in the ‘San Bernardino Sun,’ dated October 9, 1947:

“EUREKA, Oct. 8 (UP) — William Keating, 64, veteran Humboldt millman was killed today by a log which rolled from the mill landing at the Klamath cedar mill.”

With that information I learned he was born October 10, 1882 at Elk River in Humboldt County, California. By finding this out, I also learned Mrs. Keating’s real middle-name, Ella. I’d come to believe she didn’t have one as everything I’ve ever read about her listed her maiden name of Morrison in that place.

Ironically, in November 1947, the same paper reported the barbiturate overdose death and suicide of Dr. William E. Keating. The fact that the paper reported his age as 28 and that, “The young physician was vacationing at Alpine resort with his wife, Dorothy, when he disappeared,” told me this was not the Keating I’d been searching for all these years.

Mystery solved.


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