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Poweshiek County, Iowa News Articles

Horrible Murder in Poweshiek County Iowa

Last Friday week, two California emigrants, with a wagon and span of horses, stopped for the night at the residence of a farmer named Monath, five miles east, of Brooklyn; Poweshiek county. The travellers stated that they were brothers from Wisconsin. It soon became apparent that they were far from being as friendly with each other as members of the same family should be. The younger., a youth of about 18 years of age, showed Mr. Monath several bruises on his throat inflicted daring a severe choking received at the hands of the elder brother. On Saturday morning they started on their journey West, but not without quarreling before they went. Mr. M., however, saw no more, of them. Last Thursday a woman residing a short distance west of Mr. Monath, being on a. search for a cow in a tract of timber about half a mile from the residence of Mr. M., was attracted to a thicket by a curiosity to know the cause of a strong smell as of decaying animal matter.

On examination she found the headless body of a man exposed to view. The neighbors were summoned, and while some went for the Coroner, and others for a coffin, two or three, sat down on a log in sight of the body, but at some distance off, to avoid the smell. The attention of one was soon drawn to some flies gathered around a mass of leaves, and after examimng closerly and removing the surface, he found a human head placed erect, the features uninjured and the life expression of countenance still retained.

This Mr. Monath recognized as that of the younger of the two California emigrant that had stayed at his house nearly a week before.

Further investigation revealed the fact that on the Saturday previous to the discovery the elder of the two travelers had driven into Brooklyn alone; had there hitched up his horses; stated that he had forgotten a hatchet at the place where he had camped the night before; hired a pony on which to ride back; returned shortly afterwards; threw a bundle, into the wagon, and drove on. The bundle is supposed to have contained the boots and coat of the deceased. The supposed murderer was afterwards seen at Grinnell still going west. The Sheriff of Poweshiek county accompanied by a man who can identify the murderer, started in pursuit on Saturday last, and will, it is to be earnestly hoped, succeed in finding him and bringing him to justice. The horrible event has created intense excitement in Poweshiek county and vicinity.

Date: 1863-05-29; Paper: Wisconsin Daily Patriot
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Indian Disturbances

We have just been informed by a gentleman from the west that a body of Indians, to the number of fourteen hundred warriors belonging to eight different tribes, principally Sacs and Foxes, havo left their homes on the Missouri, and came over into this state and settled down in Poweshiek county.

The gentleman says that they have become very troublesome and mischievous, and were killing ail the cattle and hogs belonging to the whites; and they had even gone so far as to threaten the lives of some of the settlers if they did not leave the country in a specified time. He says further, that most of them had left their farms and moved to other parts of the State.—Iowa Cap. Repub.

Date: 1848-08-08; Paper: Republican Farmer - Submitted by Bill and Barb Z.

Political Jottings

A letter from Poweshiek county, Iowa, to the Boston Post, announces that *' abolition is at a low ebb " in that county, and that there is but little excitement. "There is nothing," says the writer, ** to kick against." True enough, there isn't. This state census of Iowa, taken last year, shows the population of Poweshiek county to have been but six hundred and fifteen men, women and children and this population distributed over an area of 576 square miles. What a "crumb of comfort" that was lor the Post, to be sure. Eiouw !

Date: 1856-08-02; Paper: Lowell Daily Citizen and News - Submitted by Bill and Barb Z.

Rowe in Mexico. Defaulting Treasurer Rowe of Poweshiek County, La., under Arrest Chicago, July 23.—Chester W. Rowe, the defaulting cashier of Poweshiek county, la., is under arrest in the City of Mexico, and a large part of the $30,000 which he made away with has been attached by Pinkerton operatives and will likely be returned to the county from which it was taken, Richard Rowe, brother of the absconder, is also under arrest as an accomplice. Rowe disappeared April 20, and since that time the most thorough search has failed to locate him. Several times the officers thought they had a clue, but investigation has proved them of no value. Rowe and his brother at the time of the arrest were conducting a saloon in the City of Mexico, and, it is said, were making money fast. Has Become a Mexican It is somewhat doubtful whether either of the brothers can be taken back to Iowa for trial. Requisition papers were honored by the state department at Washington and forwarded to Mexico as fast as possible.

They were locked up, but when it came to extraditing them the detective found himself blocked. Under the Mexican law a foreigner may go there, renounce all allegiance to the country from whence he came, become a Mexican citizen and thus avoid extradition. Rowe had taken advantage of this law, although he had only been in the City of Mexico about three weeks. As a result, there is likely to be a hot legal cantest in which the United States government will probably play a prominent part.

Date: 1895-07-23; Paper: Aberdeen Daily News
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Richard Rowe

Rowe Is Brought Back.

Grinnell, Nov. 14 - Special: Detective Force arrived from Mexico this morning with Richard Rowe, indicted in September on the charge of complicity in Chester Rowe’s embezzlement of $38,000 last April, when treasurer of this county. He was arrested July 19, but extradition was granted by the Mexican government only last week.

[Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, IA, pub. Friday, November 15, 1895; submitted by cddd]

Richard Rowe killed

Atchison, Kan., July 27. Richard Rowe, 44 years of age, a railroad switchman, was killed in the Missouri Pacific yards here last night. In 1894 he was accused with his brother Chester, treasurer of Poweshiek county, la., of stealing $20,000 from the company. They were arrested in Mexico and Chester served a term in the penitentiary.

Date: 1901-07-28; Paper: Grand Forks Herald
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Mrs. Mossman Was Petrified

In June, 1884, Mrs. Abigail Mossman was interred at the Hazelwood cemetery Poweshiek county, Ia. Not long since relatives determined to remove the remains to another cemetery. The workmen engaged to perform the job found the coffin filled to overflowing with red colored mineral water. This was drained off, whereupon it was found that the corpse, with the exception of the fingers and toes, was perfectly petrified. The hair was perfectly natural, as was also a bonquet of roses that lay on her breast After a thorough examination by relatives and friends the coffin was again closed and covered in.—St. Louis Republic.

Date: 1893-03-18; Paper: Idaho Statesman
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Remarkable Discovery of a Murderer

Last May the headless trunk of a man was found in a forest inPoweshiek County, Iowa, and subseqently the head was discovered under a mass of leaves. All efforts to secure the arrest of the murderer or even obtain an identification of the murdered man proved futile.

Dr. Conway, of Brooklyn, took charge of the head of the murdered man and carefully preserving it in spirits, kept it in readiness for future, developments. At length a chain of circumstantial evidence seemed to point to a young man named Kirk Vincent as the murderer, and last Friday week he was arrested at his home, near Cambridge, Illinois, and on that and the following day underwent a legal examination.

Dr. Conway was in attendance, and in the crowded court room opened a tin pail, the top of which was covered with oil cloth closely tied down, and to the astonishment and horror of the beholders exhibited a human head, the perfect features of which were at once and positively identified, by hundreds of persons, as the countenance of Claiborne Showers, a former comrade and fellow traveler of the accused, who had mysteriously disappeared about the time of the murder. Vincent was held to bail to await a requisition on Governor Oglesby from Governor Stone.

Date: 1866-07-03; Paper: Albany Evening Journal
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer


Masked Murderers. An Inoffensive Colored Man and His Wife Shot by Cowardly Mississippi Ruffians

Des Moines, Iowa, Deo. 21.-—There is great excitement In Montezuma, Poweshiek County, over the discovery of a brutal murder committed by two colored people, A. J. Brown and Chloe Robinson, about four miles from that place. The victim was a little boy 6 years old, grandson of Brown, who had been staying with them, Wednesday night the boy died, and the old man reported In town that he died from an unknown cause; but the suspicions of neighbors were aroused, and they investigated, and found that he had been flogged to death. A coroner's jury was summoned, and it has taken a large amount of testimony showing that the child had been treated with inhuman cruelties by both of the guilty wretches. The testimony shows that on the night be died the woman had him suspended by the heels and beat him with a rope for thirty miutes, and subsequently the man Brown suspended him in like manner and wore out half a dozen switches in beating him, and then washed his wounds with salt and water.

The child's offenses were trivial in each instance. The man and woman were arrested and lodged in jail at Montezuma, public Indignation runs high, and talk of Iynching is freely heard.

Date: 1886-12-25; Paper: Inter Ocean
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Miles Satchel arrested

Storm Lake. Iowa, March 9 J. H Milman, Sheriff of Poweshiek County arrested Miles Satchel near here today for the seduction of Mary Lane of Grinnell.

Date: 1881-03-10; Paper: Daily Inter Ocean
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer

Attempted Suicide

Young Woman at Grinnell Takes Ether and Chloroform

Grinnell, Iowa. May l9—Special: An attempt at suicide was made here today by a woman who gives the name of Miss Minnie Jacobs, and who was stopping at the Manitou house. The woman complained of being ill and purchased ether at one drug store and chloroform at another. She took both of these and when, discovered the deadly work of tbe drugs was almost completed. The fortunate presence of a physician revived her, though she is still in a critical condition. No explanation of the attempt at self murder is known.

Date: 1900-05-20; Paper: Sioux City Journal
Submitted by Barb Ziegenmeyer


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