The brothers stormed down to the newspaper office

I finally found evidence of a story my grandmother told me. When she told me how her grandfather Joseph Funston died, she said that the newspaper reported it as a suicide and that his sons were so incensed by this false reporting that they stormed down to the newspaper office to demand a retraction.
All of the newspaper articles I have found up until now never mentioned one way or another whether his death was an accident or suicide. Today I found a small item on the bottom of page 16 of the January 1, 1921 Night Extra issue of the Evening Public Ledger:

Article that reports the death of Joseph Funston as a suicide.

Joseph Funston, sixty years old, 2089 East Somerset street, was found dead in his room, early today. Gas was flowing from an open jet, with the door and windows tightly closed. Police say it is a case of suicide. In one of the pockets of Funston’s coat, the police found more than $50.

It’s worth noting that the death certificate differs in both the cause of death and his age:

Age: 70 years 1 month 3 days.
Cause of death: … Gas Poisoning probably accidental

We’ll never know the true story of what happened that New Year’s Eve night. Despite the response of my grandmother’s uncles it could very well have been a suicide, or perhaps after a little too much celebration he accidentally left the gas jet on. Whatever the case, I am wondering why he had $50 in his pocket, which is about $665 in today’s dollars, and more than I would expect my elderly boxmaker great-grandfather to be carrying around.

Citation for this post:
Conrad, Alexander, "The brothers stormed down to the newspaper office," Conrad-Todd-Garrison-Carman genealogy, News about dead people, 9 December 2018 (https://www.ctgcgenealogy.com/2018/12/09/the-brothers-stormed-down-to-the-newspaper-office/ : accessed 22 September 2020)
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