Friday September 27, 1957

City's Favorite Doctor is laid to rest

With bag pipes playing, Blanchard Springs laid to rest it’s favorite Scotsman today.  Funeral services were held for Dr. Ian McNeal who passed away 8 days ago.  Dr. McNeal moved to Blanchard Springs in 1932 and was one of the town’s most prominent citizens.  During his 55 years here he was married 7 times to 6 different local women.  McNeal was quoted as saying, “It’s hard to call it seven times since it only took Shirley and me four hours to remember why we got divorced the first time.”

When asked, local attorney and family friend James Shyster (of Shyster, Cheatum, and Gaines) said that the weeklong delay was due to Dr. McNeal’s widow.  Mrs. Ann N. Smith-McNeal is contesting the late doctor's will.  

Known for being tight with a dollar, Dr. McNeal only left his wife the deed for his mine.  While the Gold Digger Mine is worth a large sum of money, it was nowhere near the amount that the Widow Smith-McNeal feels that she is due.  

More questions were raised when the good doctor’s grave was to be dug to the dimensions of 15 feet wide, 10 feet long and 6 feet deep as specified in the will.  Mr. Shyster said that it had been planned that way for some time and had never been a problem until now.  “Doc told me when he filed his will several years ago that ‘Regardless of popular opinion, I am taking it with me’.  I have made every attempt to take care of his wishes.  I have even closed his bank accounts as asked and included the money with the other items that are to be buried with him.”

When asked if he felt that the grave might be robbed for such a large sum of money Mr. Shyster replied, “I thought of that and I wrote Doc a personal check for the amount and placed it in the breast pocket of his suit.  That should keep someone from digging him up and stealing his fortune.” 

Neither Mr. Shyster nor the Widow Smith-McNeal was available for comment following today’s services.  The Widow took the evening westbound train after the court hearing and according to his office, Mr. Shyster is in Las Vegas and will be flying from there to the Cayman Islands on business.


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