Circa 1896. “Mercer, Washington baseball.” George Barclay “Win” Mercer (1874-1903). Glass negative from the C.M. Bell portrait studio. View full size.
MERCER’S TRAGIC END
Ball Player, 28, Takes Own Life in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 13 — Winnie D. Mercer, a pitcher for the American baseball team, registered at the Occidental Hotel last evening and was found asphyxiated in his room to-day. Mercer was registered under the name of George Murray and gave his residence as Philadelphia. The watchman of the hotel in making his rounds detected the odor of gas coming from Mercer’s room, and, failing to receive a response to his knocking, broke down the door. Clad in his night clothes and lying in the bed with his coat and vest covering his head, Mercer was found. From the gas jet in the center of the room was suspended a rubber tube, and the end of this Mercer had placed in his mouth, after turning the gas full on. Mercer’s identity was established by papers found among his effects, one of which read: “Tell Mr. Van Horn, of the Langham Hotel, that Winnie Mercer has taken his life.” He also left letters, one to his mother and another to a young lady of East Liverpool, Ohio, expressing regret over his deed and bidding them fond farewells. He left a statement of his financial accounts addressed to Tip O’Neill, and advised his friends to avoid games of chance and women.
— Washington Post, January 14, 1903.
During the week of July 21-27, 1921, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone camped at a site about six miles east of Hancock in Washington County, Maryland. During the weekend, President Warren G. Harding joined the “vagabonds” — the name the wealthy industrialists gave themselves when they camped together. The 200-acre farm where they made camp was located about one mile north of the National Turnpike along Licking Creek. Today, the campsite lies inside Camp Harding County Park. A plaque memorializes the gathering of these famous campers.
— Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources
July 1921. “Warren Harding at Firestone camp.” The president with industrialist Harvey Firestone and the inventor Thomas Edison (napping). Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.