The Mysterious Death of Harold R. Carnahan

The headlines read “Tragic End” and “Dies on Way to Bar Exam” via the local newspapers after he was found with a bullet in his head.


Harold R. Carnahan hanging out somewhere back in the day.

They said it was a .22 caliber revolver and a “target pistol which he had owned for years…” which did him in.

That’s how it ended for Harold R. Carnahan, a 24-year old aspiring legal practitioner bound for Columbus to take the Ohio bar exam.

Was it an accident? Was it intentional? Maybe it was neither, or maybe it was every bit of all of those things.

It was a Wednesday in 1929 at the family home on 15th Street NW in Canton. He was due to leave in 45 minutes when his body was discovered at 9:45 p.m.

Harold’s father, A. Roy, found his youngest son with what was declared to be an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The news reports made mention that Harold had spent the evening downstairs with family, but that nobody heard the gunshot.

It was written that “packing his grips preparatory to leaving…” and that “packing his grip preparatory to taking the train…” is what led to the accident.

But will we ever really know what happened to Harold R. Carnahan?



  1. The photo states states “hanging out somewhere back in the day” that is actually in front of his home. Which has been my family home since 1978. I’m interested know which room he passed in, I have had my room in all of the bedrooms over the years.

    1. I never even considered that it could’ve been in front of the house. It’s been interesting going through old details of ancestors. Appreciate the comment. All the best to you.

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