The Decline of Vishnu

Another tragedy occurred in the early 1900s. The man who ran the merry-go-round, and supervised the children who rode upon it, got caught up in the gears of the machine and was crushed to death. After that the merry-go-round ran no more.

During the winter months, the road to the hotel was barely passable, making access nearly impossible. The hotel was also now under bad management.

In 1896, Darius' wife, Hattie, died from Bright's disease. The following year, Darius remarried for what would be the last time. This last marriage caused quite a stir in the community as Darius married his step-daughter, Maud Rush. After they were married, Darius and Maud moved to a farm north of Blandinsville. Darius and Maud had two children, a boy and a girl, but during her third childbirth, Maud and the infant died. Darius was now left with two small children to raise, so he hired Nellie Darrah to help with the children and household chores. The relationship between the two is somewhat uncertain, but in 1908 it is presumed that Nellie learned she was pregnant with Darius' child. According to the coroner's report Darius was concerned about Nellie because she had been gone for a couple days and he did not know where she was. On the morning of June 15, 1908, shortly after receiving a phone call, Darius shot himself in the head while his son was outside. Upon hearing the gunshot, Darius' son ran back to the house and found his father, who died soon after. Darius left a suicide note, which stated he wanted his children to live with a relative, Charles Irish. A subsequent article indicated that Nellie was in a Keokuk, Iowa, hospital, resulting from a criminal surgical procedure done by a doctor in LaHarpe, Illinois.

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