regarding the death of Hugh S. Nesbitt,
of Nesbitt Fruit Products, Inc.
Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1943, Front Page
the Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1943, Page 2.
Ends Life of Sportsman Hugh S. Nesbitt
S. Nesbitt, Beverly Hills racing stable owner and president of a soda fountain
supply house, died in a St. Louis hospital yesterday after a fight in a
Police said hotel employees informed them the fight began Wednesday night
when Nesbitt took a glass of liquor from another man' s table and drank
it. After a brief tussle between the two men, Nesbitt left the hotel
night club, but the fight was resumed in the hotel lobby.
Held in Case
Nesbitt was knocked to the floor, stiking his head, and died without regaining
Police arrested Bernard Oonk, 38, Granite City (Ill.) tavern operator,
who said Nesbitt struck him without provocation while he was dining with
Mrs. Oonk. He said he had never seen Nesbitt before he came up to
his table and picked up a drink.
After he asked the sportsman to put the drink down, Oonk said, Nesbitt
did so but returned in a few minutes and struck him in the face.
He later knocked Nesbitt down in the lobby and left, Oonk continued in
his story to police. Oonk is held on suspicion of manslaughter.
Dr. George Bendleman, who attended Nesbitt, said he died of intercranial
hemorrhage. An inquest will be conducted today.
Nesbitt, 46, arrived in St. Louis Sunday to attend the convention of the
National Association of Carbonated Bottlers. He was president of
Nesbitt Fruit Products, Inc., which he founded in 1924, and was a delegate-at-large
Turn to Page A, Column 6
from First Page
the National Association of Manufacturers of Fruit and Flavoring Syrups.
Best known in racing cricles as the owner of Staretor, which ran second
to Whirlaway in the 1941 Kentucky Derby, Nesbitt became interested in breeding
about three years ago. He maintained a stock farm at Perris and his
string of race horses included Copperman, Messari and a half dozen others.
He lived at 624 S. Palm Drive, Beverly Hills, and was a member of Al Malaikah
Shrine Temple and the Los Angeles Athletic, Jonathan and Detroit Athletic
Clubs. In 1933-38 he served as sales manager and vice-president of
the Goebel Brewing Co. in Detroit.
He leaves two children, Mrs. William B. Butler, Richmond, Va., and Charles
Clippert Nesbitt, with the Coast Guard at Cambria Pines, and a sister,
Mrs Margaret Kelso, Chicago.
Here to Enter Album
Coroner's jurors in St. Louis yesterday retuned a verdict of excusable
homicide in the death of Hugh Nesbitt, 46, Beverly Hills racing stable
owner and soda fountain supply house president.
Bernard C. Oonk, Granite City (Ill.) tavern operator who surrendered
to police and admitted a fight with Nesbitt, did not testify at the inquest
and was released at its conclusion.
Witnesses testifed Nesbitt was under the influence of liquor when he entered
the Jefferson Hotel dining room just before midnight Wednesday and bothered
diners. Oonk, struck by the sportsman while sitting at his own table,
followed Nesbitt into the lobby and knocked him down. testimony indicated.
An autoposy showed a brain hemorrahage resulting from skull fracture caused
his death Thursday.
Nesbitt, founder-president of the Nesbitt Fruit Products, Inc., was in
St. Louis atending a convention of the American Bottlers of Carbonated
This page is
maintained by Tom Scott, grandson of B.R. Murphy, President of Nesbitt
Fruit Products Company from 1943 to 1959.
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