News stories regarding the death of Hugh S. Nesbitt, 
Founder of Nesbitt Fruit Products, Inc.

From the Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1943, Front Page

Fight Ends Life of Sportsman Hugh S. Nesbitt
   Hugh 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 hotel.
   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.

Man Held in Case

   Nesbitt was knocked to the floor, stiking his head, and died without regaining consciousness.
   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.

Inquest Today

   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
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of the National Association of Manufacturers of Fruit and Flavoring Syrups.

Owned Derby Horse
   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.

From the Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1943, Page 2.
Nesbitt Death
Held Excusable

  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 Beverages. 

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This page is maintained by Tom Scott, grandson of B.R. Murphy, President of Nesbitt Fruit Products Company from 1943 to 1959. 

Mail your comments to: tom@nesbittsorange.com10:26 PM 7/14/2006