Crime, Criminals and Victims
Frank Amidon [AMIDON]
[Source: Little Falls Transcript (MN) April 10, 1885, page 3; submitted by Robin Line]
Sheriff Connelly of Dakota county arrested Frank Amidon at Cannon Falls on a charge of forgery. Two years ago chief of Police Anderson arrested Amidon and locked him up in his office, leaving him with handcuffs on. Returning in a few moments he found his prisoner gone, having escaped through a window.
EDWARD ANDERSON MURDERD NIECE [ANDERSON]
SAVED THE HANGMAN A JOB.
Hastings, Minn., Oct. 9.-Dakota county is saved the trouble of hanging Edward Anderson, who murdered his niece, the 12 year old daughter of Sever Sjordal of Eureka, on July 19 last by cutting her throat from ear to ear with a razor, for the culprit has committed suicide in jail by strangling himself with a piece of twine tied to a crossbar. He pleaded guilty when arrested and there was strong feeling at Farmington, and threats of lynching were made.
[Source: Kalamazoo Gazette (MI) Wednesday, October 9, 1895.]
EDWARD ANDERSON, who was to have been hanged at Hastings, Minn., for murder, cheated the gallows by strangling himself.
[Source: The Cape Girardeau Democrat (MO) Oct. 19, 1895]
GEORGE ARNOLD (Murder Victim) [ARNOLD, Victim]
The Dakota County Murder
We re-publish on our first page our hastily prepared comments on the McCue trial of last week, for the reason that we could not supply one half the extra copies for which we received orders. These orders can be filled the present issue.
In the present connection we will say, what we neglected to say in our former issue, that much of the credit due for the conviction of the murderous villain should be awarded to the professional skill and boldness of T. R. Huddleston, the district attorney of Dakota County. Belonging to the same political party with the murderers, but a man of different impulses, Mr. Huddleston has faced every intimidation, and performed his duty and has succeeded in bringing one of these miserable offenders to justice. To do this, he has encountered attempts at assassination by the hands of men who sympathized with the murder of George Arnold. Mr. Huddleston is a young man; but in the recent criminal cause before our court, he proved himself equal to the best legal ability of our state. We predict for our young friend a brilliant career, and shall be disappointed if he does not soon rank with our first legal stars. In saying this of Mr. Huddleston, who was the leading counsel in the case, we do not wish to be understood as detracting anything from the valuable services of his assistant, Messrs. Seagrave Smith, of Hastings, and L. R. Cornman, of this city, each of whom rendered valuable assistance.-Stillwater Messenger.
[ The Hastings Conserver, Hastings, Minnesota, Tuesday, December 12, 1865.]
HELD ON MURDER CHARGE [CHADIMA]
Constable at Inver Grove, Minn., Under Arrest.
Hastings, Minn., Sept. 17.-Constable Joseph Chadima is under arrest at Hastings for the murder of Charles Helm, whose body was found on the Great Western tracks at Inver Grove some ten days ago.
The coroner's jury which investigated the death of Helm came to the conclusion that he was beaten into insensibility by the constable and left on the Great Western tracks, and there met his death under the wheels of the engine. The charge is murder in the second degree.
Chadima testified at the inquest last Friday that he and Helm had some words in a saloon at Inver Grove, but denied any subsequent quarrel.
[Source: Jamestown Weekly Alert (Jamestown, ND) September 24, 1903.]
COUNTERFEITERS IN DAKOTA COUNTY. [COUNTERFEITERS]
Special to The Journal.
Rosemount, Minn., July 27.-United States Marshal Henry has arrested a man of sixty-nine, who has been counterfeiting silver dollars. He was found with $40 of unfinished silver dollars in his possession. He gave the name of Sam Sharp. He has been about this village for the past three days and was attended by two confederates.
[Source: Minneapolis Journal (Minneapolis, MN) Monday, July 27, 1896.]
SON SAYS FATHER USED A PITCHFORK [CUNNINGHAM]
Broken arm Results From Heated Domestic Argument.
Michael Cunningham, a farmer of Eagan township, was arrested yesterday on a charge of assault and battery preferred by his son, twenty years of age, who says his father struck him with a pitchfork. The younger Cunningham told the police of South St. Paul that he and his father had an argument and that his father broke his left arm and severely bruised his hand with the pitchfork. Chief of Police McCormick arrested Michael Cunningham, who will have a hearing in South St. Paul this morning.
[Source: The Saint Paul Globe (MN) September 30, 1904]
A SPUNKY WIFE [DAVIS]
HASTINGS, Minn., Feb. 11.-John C. Davis was sentenced to 21 years in state prison for horse stealing. His wife tried to batter down the door of the jail to release him.
[Source: Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, ND) Thursday, February 12, 1885.]
INSANITY PLEA AQUITS MAN OF MURDER CHARGE [GIBBONS]
By the Associated Press
Hastings, Minn., Jan. 5. - Patrick Gibbons, the South St. Paul coemmission [sic.] man, who last May shot and killed Father E. J. Walsh and shortly afterward killed his wife, was today acquitted of murdering the priest, by the jury which has been trying him on the grounds of insanity.
It is probably that Gibbons will not be tried on a charge of murdering his wife, but that he will be confined in an insane asylum at St. Peter.
[Source: Aberdeen American (SD) Jan. 6, 1911.]
THE MURDER OF JOHN HALDEN [HALDEN]
Manslaughter. - On Sunday, 23d inst, an outrage was committed, one brother shooting the other. They were out drinking together until about half past eight when John Halden, the deceased, came home somewhat under the influence of liquor, at half past ten, Chas. Halden, the murderer, came like his brother. He nevertheless seemed very pleasant, but his wife being a little vexed at his coming home at so late an hour and intoxicated, when she commenced scolding him which he replied to in a very rough manner. The deceased said to his brother that it was pretty rough usage and that he would not stand and see a woman abused in such a way, when a quarrel commenced between them. Which clinched first is unknown, but they managed to get to the bedroom in which the pistol was. Charley grasped it and said he would shoot him. The deceased said he was a rebel soldier and that he could not be conquered, said he had been shot at more times than he had fingers and toes, then telling him to shoot he didn't care. The first shot missed, when his brother (the deceased) told him to shoot again as he couldn't hit him. No sooner than said, a shot struck him at the mouth going up into the brain, striking the skull it turned and went into the brain again. The shooting commenced at eleven o'clock or thereabout, the deceased living until ten minutes past five yesterday morning.
The coroner held an inquest over the body of the deceased yesterday. The jury decided that the deceased came to his death by Charles Halden shooting him.
[Hastings Conserver (Minnesota) Tuesday, July 25, 1865.]
HOLD MINNESOTA BANK CASHIER HERE ON THEFT CHARGE. [HAMMER]
Horald Hammer, 29, cashier of the Mendota, Minn., state bank was arrested in Omaha Tuesday and is held for Minnesota authorities as a fugitive from justice on a charge of grand larceny. The associated Press says he disappeared June 30 when authorities reported shortages discovered in his accounts which may exceed two thousand dollars.
Following his disappearance, investigators discovered a dummy set of books in his trunk, and according to a bank examiner's report, Hammer gave accurate statements to depositors and made false entries in the bank's ledger.
Letters from a girl in Omaha are said to have led to his arrest. Detectives Green and lynch located him at a local hotel and picked him up soon afterward on the street.
[Source: Omaha World Herald (NE) Wednesday, July 17, 1935.]
Ernest Hoffman [HOFFMAN]
Sheriff Hyland took Ernest Hoffman to the state's prison from Hastings, to serve a two years' sentence for the alleged larceny of $320 from Mathias Klein of New Trier.
[Source: New Ulm Review (MN) July 2, 1890.]
MRS. HOLMES, ALLEGED MURDER A WRECK. [HOLMES]
IN HIS OWN BLOOD.
A Farmer Murdered and His Wife Charged With the Crime.
HASTINGS, Minn., Sept. 3.-Samuel Holmes, a well-to-do farmer living near Farmington, this county, was murdered yesterday. His wife, who is now in jail here, is charged with the deed. Yesterday Charles Haines, a neighbor, was passing the Holmes homestead when he saw Mrs. Holmes standing on the porch screaming. She said her husband had been murdered. Haines found the body of Holmes lying on the floor in a pool of blood. It is said Mrs. Holmes had quarreled with her husband and frequently threatened his life. Holmes was 65 years old and his wife twenty year his junior.
[Source: Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) Wednesday, September 4, 1889.]
- - 1894 - - ATTEMPTED LYNCHING IN MINNESOTA [IVAN]
Hastings, Minn., July 12.-A mob of 200 men attempted yesterday to lynch the murderer of Policeman Jacobson, but were frustrated by the sheriff. Officer Jacobson was killed by a burglar whom he was trying to arrest, and who refused to give his name.
[Source: New York Tribune (New York, NY) Friday, July 13, 1894]
JOHN IVAN INDICTED FOR MURDER OF ALBERT JACOBSON
Sunday, August 12.
The grand jury at Hastings indicted John Ivan for murder in the first degree for the killing of Policeman Albert Jacobson.
[Broad Axe - St. Paul, Minnesota, Thursday, August 16, 1894]
IVAN TRIED FOR MURDER
Hastings, Minn., Sept. 14.-John Ivan, indicted for the murder of Policeman Albert Jackson [sic.] on July 10, is now on trial, Judge F. M. Crosby presiding.
[Source: Grand Forks Daily Herald (ND) Saturday, September 15, 1894]
IVAN MUST HANG
Slayer of Policeman Jacobson Is Found Guilty of Murder.
Hastings, Minn., Sept. 15.-The jury in the case of John Ivan for the killing of Policeman Albert Jacobson on the evening of July 10 last, returned a verdict after being out four hours and a half, finding the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree.
[Source: Grand Forks Daily Herald (ND) Sunday, September 16, 1894]
- - 1895 - - PARDON MEETS APPROVAL.
Hastings, Minn., March 28.-The action of Governor Clough in commuting the sentence of John Ivan, who shot Policeman Albert Jacobson on July 10 last, to imprisonment for life, meets with the approval of a very large majority of our citizens. The commutation was brought about principally throuth the efforts of the prisoner's counsel, who, with other prominent citizens, labored in his behalf.
[Source: Aberdeen Daily News (SD) Thursday, March 28, 1895.]
- - 1902 - - Charles J. McCarthy [McCARTHY]
Charles J. McCarthy, an undertaker, confessed in police court yesterday that he had violated the health ordinance by removing the body of Anthony Garvey from the residence at 326 Smith avenue, and transporting it to Rosemount for burial. Garvey died of diphtheria. Sentence was suspended.
[The Saint Paul Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 12, 1902.]
FREE LOVERS UNDER ARREST. [MILLER & STRICKLAND]
Special Telegram to The Inter-Ocean.
HASTINGS, Minn., June 27.-Leo Miller and Mattie Strickland, the noted free-lovers of St. Johns, Mich., are under arrest on a warrant issued by the Grand Jury, now in session in this city, for "lewd and lascivious cohabitation" without a marriage license.
[Source: Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL) Wednesday, June 28, 1876.]
[Source: Daily Albany Argus (Albany, NY) Thursday, July 6, 1876.]
Leo Miller and Mattie Strickland, of free love fame, have been arrested at Castle Rock, on indictments found by the grand jury now in session at Hastings, Minn. The woman, being in a rather delicate state of health, has been left at her house; the main is in jail.
A. Murrell [MURRELL]
A. Murrell, charged with murdering his wife, at Hastings, is again free. The grand jury failed to indict him. His wife was formerly Mrs. Ellen Holmes, who killed her first husband about three years ago.
[Source: New Ulm Review (MN) June 15, 1892; submitted by Robin Line]
MARY NELSON KILLED JOHN O'SHAUGHNESSY [NELSON]
TRAGEDY IN A CHURCH.
ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 16, 1884. In Dakota county, Mary Nelson had John O'Shaughnessy arrested last fall on the charge of being the father of her child, and bound over to the winter term of the district court, the case being set for this week. Sunday the parties were at church, and as they were about ready to start for home, the girl went up behind O'Shaughnessy and fired three shots, one entering at the side through the muscles, the others penetrating the skin and following around the body. A physician extracted one ball, but the man died last night. The girl has been arrested.
[Boston Herald (Massachusetts) Wednesday, December 17, 1884.]
MARY NILAN MISVILLE MURDER TRIAL.
St. Paul, Jan. 22.-A Dispatch special from Hastings, Minn., says the grand jury found an indictment against Mary Nilan Misville, who shot her traducer, O'Shaunessey. The trial begins next week.
[Source: Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, ND) Friday, January 23, 1885.]
FAILED TO INDICT THEM. [O'BRIEN]
Hastings, Minn., Aug. 13.-No indictments were returned against Hugh O'Brien on the charge of burning a bridge on the Chicago Great Western road at Inver Grove, and Frank Keegan and John McDonald for assaulting Conductor G. F. O'Brien on the Milwaukee road at Mendota, on July 27.
[Source: Aberdeen Daily News (SD) Monday, August 13, 1894.]
- - 1932 - - 10 YEARS FOR HOLDUP [OLIVER]
Hastings, Minn., March 3.-(AP)-H. L. Oliver, 31, Fort Snelling army private was sentenced to a ten year maximum prison term today after admitting the $1,000 robbery of a Mendota, Minn., bank a month ago. He said he sought funds for medical attention.
[Source: Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Friday, March 4, 1932.]
MATHIAS KLEIN MURDERED [OTTO]
GUN USED TO SETTLE BILL
Murder at Hastings Over Beer Purchase.
Man Imagines That Saloon Keeper Did Not Give Back Correct Change and Kills Him.
Special to News Tribune.
HASTINGS, Minn., June 10. - A tragedy took place in New Frier [sic.] this county, last evening, resulting in the death of Mathias Klein, a well known hotel keeper of that place. It appears that John Holzemer of Vermillion and Gebhard Otto of New Frier went in Klein's saloon and drank beer.
The beer was ordered by Holzemer and, although receiving back the right change, he imagined that he did not. Otto demanded of Klein that he return more money and struck him with a beer glass.
Otto then left the place and shortly after returned saying: "I'll settle with you now," and shot Klein with a revolver in the region of the heart. Klein lived only 15 minutes.
Otto was arrested and brought to this city today and placed in the county jail. Coroner A. F. Johnson went out to hold an inquest. The grand jury will be re-convened on the 16th inst. to take action in the matter.
Otto is a stonemason and a resident of New Frier. Klein leaves a wife and children. The affair is a deplorable one and has created a profound sensation in this city, where both men are well known. Klein's ages is 35 years and Otto's 32. [ages are unclear]
[Source: Duluth News-Tribune (MN) June 11, 1898.]
GEBHARD OTTO CONVICTED OF MURDER.
Gebhard Otto, tried at Hastings, Minn., for killing Mathias Klein, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to the penitentiary.
[Source: New Ulm Review (New Ulm, MN) December 7, 1898.]
- - - JURY DECISION
The jury in the case of Gebbhard Otto for the killing of Mathias Klein, the well known hotel keeper of New Trier, returned a verdict of manslaughter in the first degree, after being out five hours.
[Source: Worthington Advance (MN) Dec. 15, 1898.]
- - - OUT ON PAROLE.
HASTINGS, Minn., Jan. 3. - (Special.) - Gebhard Otto, the murderer of Mathias Klein, of New Brier, [sic.] sentenced to the state prison on the reformatory plan some two years ago, has been released from that institution on parole.
[Source: The Saint Paul Globe (MN) Jan. 4, 1900.]
- - - WHITTIER GOT AFTER HIM
HASTINGS, Minn., Sept. 5. - (Special.) - Gebhard Otto, of New Trier, was taken back to the state prison at Stillwater this afternoon by State Agent F. A. Whittier, having broken his parole by becoming intoxicated. He was sentenced in 1899 on the reformatory plan for the murder of Mathias Klein, the well known hotelkeeper of the above named town, and paroled last January.
[Source: The Saint Paul Globe (MN) Sept. 6, 1900.]
Charles Quinn [Quinn]
Charles Quinn, who is wanted at Egantown, Dakota county, on a charge of stealing $70, was arrested yesterday afternoon by Patrolman Dellosso at the Seven corners. Quinn was taken back for trial by a constable last night.
[Source: The Saint Paul Globe (MN) July 23, 1893; transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman]
HELD UP THE OPERATOR. [ROBBERY]
Hastings, Minn., Feb. 2.-A highwayman entered the depot at Newport about 3:30 a. m. and covered the operator with a revolver, making him turn over the cash, some $7, a gold watch and chain and a revolver.
[Source: Bismarck Tribune (ND) Friday, February 2, 1894.]
- - 1896 - - COUNTERFEITING. [SAM SHORT]
A man giving the name of Sam Short was arrested in Rosemount, Minn., on the charge of counterfeiting.
[Source: The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD) July 28, 1896]
SMITH ALLEGED MURDERER [SMITH]
St. Paul, Oct. 6.-A man supposed to be John Smith, who, it is alleged, killed Sheriff H. O. Harris of St. Croix county, Wis., three months ago and wanted in Montana for murder, has been captured and is confined temporarily in the insane hospital at Mendota, Minn. He is a physical wreck from exposure.
[Source: Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, UT) Thursday, October 6, 1904.]
IT WAS MURDER. (John D. Smith, Victim)
A Coroners Jury Sustains The "Globe" Theory
The Fate of John D. Smith - His Departure from St. Paul in a Sober Condition - His Trouble with a Man Named Hayes, and Hayes' Threats - Finding the Body - Certainty that it was not an Accident.
The readers of the GLOBE will remember that on the 25th of March, John D. Smith, of Inver Grove, Dakota county, was found dead on the river road about a mile outside the city limits or two miles and a half from Bridge square. A GLOBE reporter at the time made a thorough investigation of the circumstances and gave them to the public under the heading, "Was it a Murder?" It will be remembered that the facts published in the GLOBE of the 26th, indicated that deceased came to his end by foul means. The coroner at the time, however, did not deem it necessary to hold an inquest, and the deceased was accordingly buried. The facts elicited and published by the GLOBE caused much comment, and many persons were dissatisfied, especially the widow and Dr. Barton. Since the time of the death the GLOBE evidence has been the theme of the neighborhood, and rumor has been busy, and the name of at least one man has been connected with the fatal event. These rumors culminated in the coroner of Dakota county determining upon an inquest, and summons were issued for witnesses and a jury for 9 o'clock yesterday morning, to meet at Mr. Frank Crawshaw's, whose house is on the line between Inver Grove and West St. Paul townships, seven miles from the city. At 9 o'clock a GLOBE reporter was on the spot, but it was some few minutes after ten before the coroner, accompanied by the deputy sheriff and county attorney, made his appearance. The following jury was sworn: A. J. Gillett, L. C. McKnight, John Silk, H. C. Barton, T. Heinbach, and J. A. WHittemore. The coroner and the jury, deputy sheriff, county attorney, and Dr. Barton, of Inver Grove, then proceded to the burial ground, which lies about forty rods back of F. Crawshaw's residence. The body was exhumed, and found to be in a good state of preservation. An external examination showed a jagged cut in the center of the right ear, extending its whole length. The skin at the back of, under and below the ear, and for three inches down the neck was puffed and discolored. Dr. Barton opened the skull and took out the brain. There was no fracture of the skull, but considerable blood between the lobes of the brain and at the base. The membrane being removed, the right lobe of the brain was found discolored, especially the right small brain. An incision being made in the right lobe, the smaller blood-vessels were found to be somewhat gorged. After the post mortem examination the jury returned to the house of Mr. Crawshaw, and the inquiry commenced. The first witness called was
Catharine Burch sworn: Said she resides in the Sixth ward, St. Paul; knew the late John Smith; saw him at - oy house on the day of his death; he was then perfectly sober; took his glass of beer, paid for it and left. He was there only five minutes.
JOHN M. BURCH.
John M. Burch sworn, said he resides in West St. Paul, (Sixth ward), knew the late John Smith of Inver Grove, saw him the day he met with his death at my place; am a saloon keeper; saw him at my saloon; saw him coming, and in order to avoid his calling I met him outside, bowed to him and went on to the postoffice; thought if I was not at home he would not stop; I stopped at the post office about 15 minutes and went back home; there were two policemen ahead of me; as I neared my home saw Smith come out and go towards his team in front of my house; I stepped back a little bit, so that he should not see me, for I wanted him to go; the policeman ahead of me called out, "Hallo Smith, you got your team out here again in the cold?" He said "Yes, and I'm just going home." He started off immediately. From his appearance he seemed more sober than usual. Don't know anything about the accident; but the hired girl said she saw a man jump up behind and hold on to the wagon. Her name is Ida Bonath. She told me this after we heard of the accident. The girl saw this form a chamber window; the man got on at the turn of the road, and held on by the two standards. Know nothing else. It was about 7:15 P. M. when I saw him leave.
JOHN HERMANN SCHUMANN
John Hermann Schumann knew John D. Smith; saw him last about 7 o'clock on the day of his death, at my shop in the Sixth ward, St. Paul; he wanted 50 cents' worth of beef; gave him his beef; he gave me a dollar, I gave him the change. Heard a man say that a man named Hayes threatened to kill him, Smith, if he did not pay him what he owed for chopping and grubbing. Smith looked sober when I saw him - more sober than I had ever seen him. He was what I call sober when he got on his wagon and left my store. Joel Strong told me Hayes threatened to kill Smith. I know Hayes; he was in town at the time Smith was killed. I told Hayes of Smith's death. Hayes said the son of a - - - ought to be dead long ago for the good of his family. He then went down to Heimbach's saloon. I said to him, you will now have to lose your wages. He said he did not think he should, for Heimbach was Smith's surety. Have not seen Hayes since.
MRS. BURCH RECALLED.
Mrs. Burch recalled, said she knew Hayes; he was boarding at her house two days before the death of Smith; he left the next morning or evening. He went over to Heimbach's with Smith the day Smith was killed, and when he came back he said it was all right; Heimbach was going security for the money Smith owed him; it was all settled. I have known John Hayes nine or ten years. The night Smith died Hayes left after supper between six and seven; he came back before we went to bed; we go to bed about ten o'clock. Hayes had been drinking that night, but not more than usual.
JOHN BURCH RECALLED.
John Burch recalled said, Hayes and I got supper together on the night in question, Hayes got up and went out; I went out to the post office, then went with the postmaster to Heimbach's and got a glass of beer, when he came in and saw Hayes sitting; he had a glass of beer with us; I went out; Hayes staid there; not half an hour after I got home Hayes got home; he did not leave again that night, but we all went to bed early. Hayes left a day or two after and went to Pine City chopping for Mr. Bercher. A month before Smith came in my place and asked Hayes to drink; he refused, and asked Smith to pay what he owed him; Smith said he had arranged for Heimbach to settle with him; they both went over to Heimbach's and came back and said it was all arranged; Hayes might have said it was a good thing for the family and the team that Smith was dead. Smith owed Hayes $10.
JOHN BENNARD SCHUMANN.
John Bennard Schumann sworn, said he lives in St. Paul, knew John D. Smith nine or ten years; saw him last on the evening before his death, between 4 and 5 o'clock; he bought an ox yoke of me, paid me the money and started. He appeared to have about $10 in silver in a buck-skin purse, and about $5 he took out of his pocket in change; seemed to be sober when I saw him. Heard Strong say that J. Hayes had threatened to kill Smith, about a week before, if he did not pay what he owed. Hayes was a quarrelsome, crabby man when he was drunk, and would want to fight anybody he met. Saw Hayes the day Smith was killed; he was drunk, and staggered when he passed.
Is he quarrelsome when sober?
I never saw him any other way but drunk.
G. Heimbach, sworn, said: I keep a saloon in St. Paul (Sixth ward). Knew John D. Smith; knew him five years; saw him the day he was killed; he came into the saloon; said he was in a hurry; took a schnit of beer each; he gave me 10 cents; he went out and came in again in about ten minutes, took another schnit, said good night, and left for home; it was about 7 o'clock. Don't recollect Hayes being in my saloon that night. If Hayes was there when Smith came they would have quarreled, for they always did when they came together. Burch came in after Smith went out. Hayes came in next morning about eight o'clock and said, "Godfred, we are paid now, Smith's found dead, we'd better go down and have an attachment on his wood;" Smith owed me money that he borrowed; lately Smith and Hayes would quarrel when they met; Hayes owed me money; he was quarrelsome when tight; always ready to fight; he used always to say where he was going when he left Burch's but when he left the day after Smith's death, he went away and did not say anything; don't know where he is now.
Cornelia Smith sworn, said: Am the widow of the late John D. Smith; remember the 25th of March; my husband left home about 8 o'clock to go to town; said shall try and collect some money to buy seed; I got supper at 8 o'clock; waited til 9 for him to come home; then ate supper; reset the table for him, and sat up for him; about 12 o'clock heard the team coming; made tea, and then went for the stable; it was dark; could not see the team, but could hear it; it had stopped in front of the granary door; before getting to the team it started; thought it strange; I went and found no one with the team; it stopped at the stable door; I looked in the wagon; all was in perfect order, but no one there; the lines were over the bolster and wound once round the stake; tied up the team and called my nephew; we both went to the stable; he unhitched the horses; it was raining a little; took some of the things off the wagon; could see where he had sat; the blanket seemed warm; the sack of flour, his coat and blanket we removed and started to find him; went half a mile, and turned back to a neighbor - Mr. Anderson, and asked him to go to find my husband; he harnessed the horses and started; never knew the team to come home without him before. About 8 o'clock in the morning saw the boy coming; met him; said he had found his uncle. I asked if he was alive; he said no. Here the witness completely broke down, and it was some time before she could recover. She noticed the wound on his ear; there was blood on his face. A I put my arm over his neck and my face to his the impression was that he had not been dead long. My house is 10 miles from St. Paul. My impression was and is that he had been murdered. My first thought was of Hayes; I had heard my husband say that he had threatened his life - it was in the fore part of the winter; Hayes had worked for us. My husband spoke of Hayes' threat more than once. There were in the wagon one sack of bran, two of oats, one of flour, and two sacks with groceries in; there was a spot of blood on one sack of oats, and spatters of blood on the same sack. (Witness described the position of the sacks, showing deceased fell back on the sack of oats where the blood was.) There was blood on the sack and on the spokes of the back wheel.
The sack was produced, showing a big splotch of blood on the center of the sack and several small spots around it.
Witness - The blood could not have come from contact with the wheel; there was one spot of blood on the collar of his coat (produced) his clothing was not torn nor rubbed by a wheel; no mark of a wheel on him anywhere. Before he left home a man paid him $10 out of a debt of $20 that he owed him. Witness described what was found on the body. In his pants was a silver quarter and two knives; in his vest, three cigars; in his coat pocket a packet of smoking tobacco and a bag of chewing tobacco, his purse in one vest pocket with a dollar in paper currency.
One of the jury asked witness to state what she knew of Hayes. She said he left in April, a year ago; had no trouble with him while working; left and went to Croft's to work; Smith measured the wood Hayes had chopped; Hayes was dissatisfied with the measurement; there was dissatisfaction also about board. When my husband told me of the threats made by Hayes, I told him I did not like his going alone to St. Paul. He said, "Don't give yourself any trouble, Hayes has gone to the pineries." He (my husband) was in town the Saturday before, and when he came home, I asked if Hayes was back. He said yes, and he was very drunk.
Wallace Smith sworn, said: Am a nephew of deceased; live in his house; was with Mr. Anderson when the body was found; the body lay about four feet off the road; was lying on the back, full out straight; his arms by his side; he was dead; we picked him up and put him in the wagon and took him home; there were marks to show he had been drawn out of the road, and tracks showed a team had passed, turning out of the road; that team had turned off on another road near Mr. Wallis house; there were a good many foot racks round the body; my uncle's team would not run away; it appeared to me that he had been murdered there.
Peter Anderson sworn, corroborated last witness, and added that he saw a light in one of the shanties when he found the body; went back to the shanty before touching the body; called at the shanty and asked the man to help us; Mr. Smith is dead. "Dead!" he said, "I saw him yesterday noon go by with a load of wood," asked him if he heard a noise; he said no; he was up to 11 o'clock and his wife to 12 o'clock, but hear no noise nor a team go past; he helped us put the body in the wagon.
A. D. COLE.
A. D. Cole being sworn said: About 8:30 on 26th of March I was sent for to go to Mr. Smith's house as he was brought home dead; went and saw him covered up in the wagon; saw blood on the side of his face; saw the cut in the ear; appeared as if cut with a stone thrown or held in the hand; did not think it was a heavy blow, the flesh was black all around the ear; helped to undress and lay him out; saw no other wound on him.
F. M. LIBBY.
F. M. Libby being sworn said he got up that morning at 3 o'clock to go to Minneapolis; at about 4:15 came up with Anderson who told me he had found J. D. Smith; I got out and saw him lying in the wagon; noticed his wound; thought he had been shot; saw the marks in the road spoken of by the last witness.
DR. P. BARTON.
Dr. P. Barton sworn, said: I reside in the town of Inver Grove. Have known J. D. Smith about 23 years. Saw his remains on the morning of the 26th, at my place, and made an examination of a wound of the internal part of the external ear (the length of the internal) 3/4 of an inch through the substance of the ear, apparently made by something of medium sharpness. The cut was not clean to the bone. The wound was the longest way of the ear. Made another examination on the 28th. To-day I have made a critical examination of the head by removing the brain, which was in a good degree of preservation. There was a decided redness or congestion of the right lobe of the brain corresponding to the injured ear. This conjection evidently resulted from the blow or force that made the wound. I have no doubt of it being the direct and immediate cause of death. The wound could not have been caused by the wheels, or by any accident. Am a physician of 27 years standing.
After the testimony was all in the jury retired for about five minutes and returned with a verdict that deceased came to his death from a blow on the head inflicted with some blunt instrument by some person or persons unknown.
A talk with jurymen and others after the inquest, showed that the popular belief is that when Smith started for home, a man - some say the suspicioned man, jumped on his wagon, as seen by Burch's girl, Ida, rode a little distance down the road, struck the blow and then jumped off; that deceased was knocked insensible by the blow and fell back upon the sacks as indicated by the blood; that he lay there stunned or dead till the team came to the place where the body was found, which was at the foot of a slight hill where the road was rough, when the jolting caused the body to roll off. It should have been stated that the blow was made at right angles to the head, neither upward nor downward. There was not one person at the inquest who did not feel fully convinced that Smith was foully murdered, and there was great unanimity in regard to the supposed murderer. It is needless to add that no other newspaper but the GLOBE was represented at the inquest.
[Source: Daily Globe (St. Paul, MN) April 26, 1878.]
LEWIS SOMMERS SHOT MARY DELTZEN [SOMMERS]
At Hastings, Minn., Lewis Sommers last night shot and killed Mary Deltzen because she refused to marry him, the murderer escaped.
[Source: San Diego Union (CA) Monday, February 17, 1890.]
IMPRISONMENT FOR LIFE.
HASTINGS, MINN., December 27.-Judge Murdock to-day sentenced Louis Sommers, indicted for murder in the first degree for the killing of Mary A. Dietzen on February 28 last, to the State Prison for life. The prisoner changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. The cause of the crime was jealously.
[Source: Cincinnati Commercial Tribune (OH) Sunday, December 28, 1890.]
EMANUEL STAPF, VICTIM [STAPF]
Emanuel Stapf, of Castle Rock, Dakota county, was induced, the other day, by a couple of smooth-tongued, seductive chaps, to sign notes to the amount of $150, who pretended to be agents for light draft plows. He will probably be soon called upon to pay the notes in the hands of an innocent holder, and will find that he has been swindled to that amount. Intelligent farmers who take and read the papers ought to escape all such swindlers.
[Source: The Saint Paul Globe (MN) January 5, 1880]
ANOTHER CITY TREASURER SHORT [STOPF]
Hastings, Minn., June 22.-Mayor Fitch, of South St. Paul, late this evening, ordered the arrest of J. H. Stopf, city treasurer of that town, on the charge of embezzlement. The city recorder had been going over Stopf's books and had discovered that he was short about $13,000, Stopf admits the shortage, but says his bondsmen will fix up matters next week. He says he lost the money during the hard times in bad investments. [according to the State newspaper in Columbia South Carolina, June 23, 1895 Stopf's losses were felt in live stock, a grocery house and a manufacturing enterprise]
[Source: Evansville Courier and Press (IN) Sunday, June 23, 1895.]
STAPF OUT ON BAIL.
Special to The Journal.
Hastings, Minn., July 6.-Gustav W. Stapf, the defaulting city treasurer of South St. Paul, will be given a hearing before Justice J. R. Stevenson, of that city, on the 13th inst., at 10 a. m., the defendant being admitted to bail in the sum of $5,000.
[Source: Minneapolis Journal (MN) Saturday, July 6, 1895.]
- - 1879 - - Tramps [TRAMPS]
Nine tramps were in jail in Hastings last week.
[Daily Globe, Saint Paul, Minnesota, March 29, 1879.]
Crime articles transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman unless otherwise indicated.