From Kook Science
Arthur Fible Ward (April 28, 1874 - August 3, 1896) was a labourer and mechanical tinker who, it was reported in California newspapers in August 1896, had committed suicide while in a temporary state of insanity brought on in relation to his working on a perpetual motion machine.
- "Tired of His Search", Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, CA): 2, 4 Aug. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/80585684/, "BAKERSFIELD, Cal., Aug. 3. — Arthur Ward, a laboring man, about 21 years old, fatally shot himself with a 32-caliber pistol this afternoon while temporarily insane. No cause is assigned for the act, except that he was temporarily insane over a perpetual motion machine he had been working on for several years. His father lives in Berenda, Merced county, and his brother, J. C. Ward, is the cashier in a Modesto bank."
- "Suicide at Bakersfield.", Stanislaus County Weekly News (Modesto, CA): 3, 7 Aug. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/694520414/, "On Monday evening last at Bakersfield, Arthur Ward, son of J. F. Ward of Madera, shot himself in the forehead with suicidal intent. The young man had a mechanical turn of mind and for some time past believed that he had solved the principle of perpetual motion. He gave the matter so much thought that his mind became unbalanced and the shot was fired while under an insane delusion. The young man lived in an unconscious condition for 24 hours when death insued. Deceased was aged 22 years and he was a native of California. The remains were brought to Modesto Wednesday morning and the internment took place in the Ward plot at the cemetery, Rev. J. M. Monroe officiating."