Further investigation turned up this article from the San Francisco Call newspaper of 21 February 1893.
|Accessed via California Digital Newspaper Collection|
The last known residence in Kansas for "my" David Ives was Burr Oak, Jewell Co., Kansas, where he was living next to his father, Allen Ives. One newspaper account shows the letter being from Kansas, one from Iowa. But the detail, "Burr Oak" is too specific to ignore.
I believe that this makes a solid case for the date and circumstances of David Ives' death being much different than what was believed.