History of St. Joseph County, Indiana. Chapter XVI
Published by Chas. C. Chapman & Co., Chicago, 1880.
DARK DEEDS.-CHARLES EAGER.-ALEXANDER WILSON.-THOMAS BOUCHER.-
ORANGE G. STAGE.-JOHN SCHULKOSKI.-JONATHAN HICKMAN.-JOHN SULLIVAN.-
MURDER OF EPHRAIM DICE.-ST. JOSEPH RIVER AND ITS VICTIMS.-FOUR YOUNG
PEOPLE DROWNED.-MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF HENRY F. PORTER.-HENRY
SHERMAN.-FOUND A WATERY GRAVE.-KATY FLECK'S TRAGIC DEATH.-MYSTERIOUS
DISAPPEARANCE OF J.C. MARVIN.-DEATH IN THE RIVER.-DROWNING OF
JACOB BAUER.-STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE.-JOHN SCHUMAN.-WHISKY DID IT.-
Since the day that Cain slew his brother Abel, murder has been
rife in the land, and it can hardly be expected that a county the
size of St. Joseph could have an existence of fifty years without
having its soil stained with the blood of a human being. Made up
of representatives of nearly every nation, having inherited the
prejudices and imbibed the hatred so common among different
nationalities, and spurred on by the demon drink, it is a wonder the
record is not darker and crime has not prevailed to a greater extent.
Thirty-eight years had passed from the time Pierre Navarre
made here his home before the murderous hand was raised. The
first case was that of
indicted October 7, 1858, for the murder of Charles Kelley, at
Mishawaka. Kelley and several companions from South Bend
went to Mishawaka, and while intoxicated got into a difficulty,
which resulted in his being stabbed in the heart by Eager. On
trial the evidence seemed conclusive that the murder was done in
self-defense, and the accused was acquitted. W. G. George and
John F. Miller appeared for the defense. The same defendant was
afterward convicted of manslaughter in Allen county and sentenced
to eight years in the penitentiary.
On Friday, Aug. 3, 1860, Alexander Wilson murdered, in cold
blood, Samuel Pierson, near the residence of Mr. Lamadee, in
Greene township. They were both residents of that township. Some
years prior to this sad occurrence, Wilson married the daughter of
Mr. Pierson, but owing to his almost habitual brutal treatment she
had left him, and in the Spring of 1860 she obtained a divorce from
him. Wilson had since that time made repeated threats to kill
both her and her father and other members of the family. On the
day of the murder, with her father, she went to the residence of
Mr. Lamadee in a wagon, Wilson following with a shot-gun. As
Mr. Pierson got out of the wagon and was hitching his horses,
Wilson came up and struck him repeatedly with the barrel of his
rifle, breaking his arm, breaking and smashing his skull horribly,
and knocking him senseless beneath his horse's feet. Before the
alarm could be raised and assistance secured, Wilson made his
escape into the woods. Mr. Pierson, all the time senseless and
without motion, lingered until the next day, when he expired.
Wilson was always considered a bad man and a reckless and dangerous
character, and so excited and incensed were the citizens that
if he had been caught at the time he would have been lynched. A
reward of $200 was offered for his capture by the Sheriff of the
county, and he was afterward arrested and returned to Indiana for
trial. A change of venue being taken to La Porte county, he was
there tried, convicted and sentenced to six years' imprisonment in
the penitentiary at Michigan City. He was, however, pardoned by
the Governor long before the expiration of his term. Wilson was
defended by W. G. George and A. Anderson.
At the October term, 1865, of the Circuit Court, Thomas
Boucher was indicted by the Grand Jury, for the murder of Alexander
Laudemun. Thomas Boucher was a Virginian by birth, and
at the time of the affair was a resident of Chicago, but temporarily
working at Notre Dame. The killing occurred in the fourth ward
of South Bend, and was claimed to have been accidental. He was
brought to trial at the April term, 1866, of the Circuit Court,
found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the
penitentiary. He was ably defended by W. G. George and A.
Anderson. After the expiration of one year he was liberated by
ORANGE G. STAGE.
This man was charged with the murder of Charles Tibbetts in a
saloon, where the opera house now stands, in the city of South
Bend. The weapon used in taking life was a large dirk knife.
Stage was indicted at the October term, 1870, of the Circuit Court.
A change of venue was taken to Marshall county, where he was
placed on trial, being defended by W.G. George, C.H. Reeves
and James Davis. The plea of the defense was that Tibbetts was
killed by Stage in self-defense. The reputation of Tibbetts as a dangerous
and quarrelsome man materially aided this defense, and
Stage was acquitted.
Frank Treanofski, Martin Sass, Max Strafe, Joseph Pinkowiski
and John Schulkoski were out hunting on the 27th of November,
1873, and returned about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and at the
invitation of one Kitkoski, went to his house to get some whisky,
but when they arrived there they found there was none in the
house, so they made up a purse of a dollar and sent for some alcohol,
which they diluted with water. Under the influence of their
potations they became merry and went to dancing, which they kept
up until about 10 o'clock, when they commenced quarreling.
Kitkoski attempted to put Treanofski out of his house, in which
he was assisted by Schulkoski, who in the melee drew a knife and
attempted to stab Treanofski, cutting through his vest and shirt,
but not wounding him. They finally suceeded in getting them
out of the door, but they did not immediately go away; they stood
on the porch while Sass was putting on his gloves. While
in the act of doing so, Schulkoski shot at them out of the
window, the load passing in front of Treanofski's face and striking
Sass in the left side of the face, destroying the left eye and carrying
away nearly all the lower part of the nose, and killing him
instantly. Schulkoski was arrested, and on the 26th of December
was arraigned for trial. Conviction followed and he was sentenced
to 21 years in the penitentiary.
On Tuesday morning, July 16, 1874, the people living about
three miles north of New Carlisle were surprised to find the log
cabin in which a Polander by the name of Thomas Cihanski,
better known by the nickname of "Tommy Polander," lived with
his wife, to be burned to the ground. On closer investigation
they were horrified to find the remains of two human beings in
the ashes, which proved to be those of the Polander and his wife.
The sight was a most horrible one. The legs and arms were almost
wholly consumed, the bodies with their shriveled intestines and the
open skulls, showing the brains within baked to a cake, being the
only parts which were not charred to cinders. At first it was
thought they had been burned to death, but closer examination
showed a foul double murder had been committed. The remains
of the man were still recognizable, and on inspection it was
revealed that the back part of his skull had been crushed in. The
body of the woman was so badly charred, that whatever marks of
violence may have been on her person were undiscoverable. Locks
of hair and clotted blood were found on the grass near the ruins of
the house, seeming to indicate that a terrible struggle had
taken place between her and her murderer outside of the house.
A bloody nightcap was also picked up near by.
The remains of both parties were found close to where they were
known to sleep, showing that the woman's body must have been
carried in and thrown on or near the bed to convey the impression
that both came to their deaths while slumbering, by accidental
burning of the house. The house was built of logs in a partial
clearing made by Cihanski, on land belonging to James Swank.
The report that there was a considerable sum of money in the
house, supposed to have been the motive of the killing, was positively
confirmed by the evidence brought out at the inquest, the
brother-in-law testifying that Cihanski had about $600 in a belt
which he carried around his waist. He had been repeatedly urged
to put this in a bank, but would not.
Sheriff Turnock, who was present at the inquest, had his suspicions
aroused by the actions of two young men, James Bennett and Jonathan Hickman.
They were arrested, but no evidence being found against them, they were
discharged. The Sheriff kept track of them, however, and becoming more
and more convinced of their being implicated, organized a party, and
going to the residence of their parents, a few days after the murder,
arrested them and confined them in the county jail, where they remained
until the December term of the Circuit Court, when they were placed on
trial, Judge Stanfield presiding.
After hearing the evidence of a number of witnesses, James
Bennett, one of the parties indicted, was placed on the stand and
turned State's evidence, narrating every particular of the horrible
deed. Upon his evidence as well as by circumstantial evidence by
other witnesses, Hickman was found guilty and sentenced to the
penitentiary for life.
The prosecution of the case was conducted by O.S. Witherill and
Lucius Hubbard, the defense by Major Plympton and Judge Hagerty.
On Saturday evening, March 18, 1876, a little after six o'clock.
John Sullivan appeared at the county jail and asked to be locked
in, stating as his reason that he had stabbed William Quinlan in
front of a saloon on South street opposite the Lake Shore depot.
It would appear from evidence given in the case, Quinlan and a
man named Harrington had been having some trouble about a woman.
Harrington had cast some aspersions upon tbe character
of a woman in whom Quinlan was interested, and the latter, when
intoxicated, went to a house where Harrington was stopping and
demanded satistaction. It is said that Harrington and others took
advantage of Quinlan's partial helpless condition and gave him a
severe beating. Out of this grew the difficulty which ended in the
death of a human being. The parties met in the saloon of Thomas
Krick, near the Lake Shore depot, and after partaking of a quantity
of villainous whisky, the old difficulty was renewed and they
proposed to fight it out. Some feeble protest was made against the
fight, but the general voice of the crowd was in favor of it, fisticuffs
being recognized as the only true way of settling misunderstandings,
particularly if it happened to be an old grudge. Krick
objected to fighting in the saloon, and as the crowd wanted more
elbow room, all moved outside, Quinlan and Harrington clinching
and falling as they cleared the door. They then had two or three
rounds, breathing a moment between each, when Sullivan, a cousin
of Harrington, who had been standing with an open knife in his
hand, gave Quinlan a slash in the bowels, driving the blade in its
full length. Quinlan did not at first realize that he was cut, but
continued fighting. The blood streamed from the wound, however,
and he soon got faint. He leaned for support against a building,
and with an exclamation that he was stabbed, staggered a few steps
and fell. He was taken into the saloon and physicians summoned.
Soon after he was removed to the residence of his parents, where
about six o'clock the next morning he died.
On Wednesday, May 31, Sullivan was arraigned for trial, the
evidence being substantially as narrated. After hearing the evidence
and the counsels for the prosecution and defense, the jury
retired, and in a few minutes returned with a verdict of eleven years
in the penitentiary.
MURDER OF EPHRAIM DICE.
On Friday night, Aug. 20, 1880, Benjamin and Ephraim Dice,
had some trouble with Charles Perkins and Maennerchor Wall**, in South Bend.
The parties met again on Monday afternoon following at J.K. Seltzer's saloon, No. 117
Michigan street, where the trouble was renewed. Ephraim and Ben Dice were sitting in the
saloon when Perkins and Pfaffenbach entered. Perkins and Ben Dice
renewed their quarrel and engaged in a sort of a wrestling fight, which
Pfaffenbach interrupted by striking Dice. The latter then turned his
attention to Pfaffenbach and knocked him down, when he gave up whipped.
A short time afterward the two brothers met the other crowd in front
of Hughes' saloon, where talk of a fight was entered into,
Pfaffenbach, making a demonstration toward Ben Dice. The
Dice boys saw that they were greatly outnumbered and didn't care
to fight. Meantime George Keck, who like most of the others,
was partially under the influence of liquor, was anxious to get
at Ben Dice, and finally did break away from a
couple of his friends who were holding him and struck Ben Dice.
Ben was knocked down and partly stunned by two or three blows
rained in upon him as he fell, and did not fully recover consciousness
until informed that his brother was killed. When Ephraim
Dice saw his brother beset by so many, he naturally went to his aid,
and thus through his brother's troubles came to his own death.
Name as shown in book; possibly refers to the "Pfaffenbach" mentioned below, and
throughout the rest of this particular text. Also, in one case he is listed
as "Andrew Pfaffenbach" and in another case, "Martin Pfaffenbach".)
He was immediately engaged by two or three of the crowd and
quickly knocked down with what is supposed to have been a pair of
metal knuckles on a slung-shot. He fell head foremost against a
box and then rolled down upon the sidewalk, from whence he was
kicked into the gutter. As he struck in the gutter his hands went
up like the last grasp of a man for receding life. The next moment
he partially raised himself on his elbow and was picked up
and carried into Snyder's drug store, close by, where within ten
minutes he breathed his last, without having uttered a word or
recognized a friend. A large crowd immediately gathered, and
when the injured man was pronounced dead, people began to look
around for his assailants, but during the excitement of the moment
they had taken to their heels and made their escape. The police
were scattered over the city, but were soon summoned, and as soon
as they could get any information, began to work, resulting in the
arrest of Michael Lynch, Charles Kelley, Martin Pfaffenbach,
Charles Perkins, Daniel Casey, Patrick Touhey, Geo. Briner, and
a number of young men who witnessed the fight.
On being pronounced dead by the attending physicians, Drs.
Partridge and Myers, the remains of the unfortunate young man
were removed to Liphart's undertaking rooms on the opposite side
of the street, where Coroner Miller viewed them, and assisted by
Dr. Flory, made a postmortem examination, which resulted in the
discovery that in addition to a bruise and cut over the left eye, presenting
the appearance of having been made with a hard, blunt
instrument, his neck was dislocated close to the base of the skull.
The physicians satisfied themselves of this fact by making an incision
in the back of the neck, by which means the dislocation
could be plainly felt. The dislocation was caused, the doctors say,
by the fall into the gutter, but it might have resulted from one of
several kicks that forced him from the sidewalk.
The parties arrested were taken before Justice Harbaugh, and
after an examination lasting two days, Charles Kelley and Andrew Pfaffenbach
were held to bail in the sum of $2,000 each. The others arrested at the time
A few days after the examination, Pfaffenbach was taken before
Judge Noyes, on a writ of habeus corpus, for examination, with
the intent of having bail reduced. Atter hearing the testimony,
the Judge remanded him to jail without bail.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER AND ITS VICTIMS.
As one looks upon the St. Joseph river, with its clear, sparkling
water hastening on toward the lake, it is with no dark, foreboding
thoughts, but with heart-felt thanks to the Giver of all good and
perfect gifts for placing at our feet another evidence of his wisdom
and his power. Here in this beautiful stream is seen a power,
which, if controlled by man, may be the means of giving life to
many by converting the golden grain into an article of food; mills
and manufactories may flourish upon its banks; vessels may ride
upon its water; but no thoughts of death obtrude upon the mind;
the grim monster that waits upon all surely cannot be lurking here;
and yet the pen of the historian is compelled to write of many sad
endings of life in these pure waters. Here is witnessed a youth,
playing in the water, with no thought of death before him; peace
and joy reign in his heart; but as he playfully splashes the water
upon his companion he gets beyond his depth, goes down, and a
life is lost! A beautiful maiden, fair as the sunshine, outwardly
giving no evidence of a clouded life, plunges into the river and is
rescued a corpse. Here is one whose mind has been deranged by
misfortunes that crowded thick and fast upon him; a small ray of
light pierces his mind; he realizes that he is a burden to those he
loves; he goes down to the river bank in the dark hours of the
night, lays down in the water, where he imagines all trouble will
end; his body is found and laid away to rest. None but an all-wise
God can know the thoughts of those who have met death by their
own hands. The veil of charity must be thrown over all by those
who are living.
FOUR YOUNG PEOPLE DROWNED.
On Tuesday evening, June 2, 1868, at about half-past six o'clock,
Eugene Seixas and Charles Walterhouse, accompanied by Miss
Adele Seixas and Miss Molly C. Miller, started boat-riding, with
the intention of going a short distance up the river from South
Bend. Launching the boat near the headgates of the west race,
very close to which runs the elbow of the dam, it is supposed that
before the young men got hold of the oars or were conscious of the
danger, the boat was drawn into the swift current and carried over
the falls. Two men on the bank of the river saw the boat go, and
stated that it went over sideways, all the parties being in it until it
capsized just on the edge of the dam. There was nobody near
enough to render them any assistance, the workmen having all left
the shops, consequently all were lost. The body of Miss Miller
was found the same evening, fifteen minutes after the accident happened,
near the bridge. That of Charles Waterhouse (Transcriber's Note: Name
rendered as "Waterhouse" here, versus "Walterhouse" above.) was found the
next morning at six o'clock; the body of Eugene Seixas, about
nine o'clock, and Adele about noon, near a large sycamore tree
beyond the foot of the east race, and a quarter of a mile from where
the disaster occurred. The young folks were well known in the
city of South Bend, and their terrible death cast a gloom over the
MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF HENRY F. PORTER.
Henry F. Porter was the superintendent of the Carriage Works
of Studebaker Brothers' Manufacturing Company. Sometime in
the month of January 1878, he resigned his position for the purpose
of accepting a position in Philadelphia: so he stated. A farewell
supper was given him on the night of the 31st of January, on
which occasion he was presented with a fine gold watch by the
Studebaker Brothers, valued at $300. Mr. Porter was a very talented
man, and a writer of merit. He was at one time connected
with the Carriage Journal, and a regular contributor to other trade
journals. On the evening of the 5th of February, Mr. Porter
suddenly disappeared from the city. Fears were entertained that he
had committed suicide by drowning in the St. Joseph river, but the
facts in the case were not fully known until the evening of March 8,
when his body was accidentally discovered by a party of fishermen.
They were drifting down stream with a torch-light in the bow of
their boat, engaged in spearing fish, and had reached a point about
a mile and a half below the city of South Bend, when a white object
on the surface of the water, near the shore, attracted their attention.
They immediately turned the boat into shore, and on reaching the object,
discovered it to be the lifeless body of a human being, resting on its face,
with the back protruding white and ghastly from the water, and the arms
disposed close to the sides. Believing they had no authority to remove
the body, the men secured it in the position it occupied when discovered, by
thrusting their spears into the river bottom in such a way that the current
could not carry it down stream and necessitate further search for it.
The alarm was given the next morning, and the body taken
from the water. Its condition was terrible to contemplate. It was
stark naked with the exception of a stocking on the right foot, and
a shoe and stocking with a piece of his red flannel drawers clinging
about the left ankle and foot. The face was considerably disfigured,
though but little swelled, and the thin hair of his head was
full of the sweepings of the river and looked much darker
natural color on that account. The body was not bloated in the
least. The naked condition of the body was a general surprise, and
created a new mystery in the premises, as when he disappeared, he
wore a full suit of clothes and an extra heavy overcoat. The whereabouts
of these articles was a question. Whether they were taken off by the
drowned man, or whether torn off by the hidden powers of the river
will remain a secret until all mysteries are exposed.
But the remains were fully identified as being those of the missing
Henry F. Porter. They were placed in a metallic casket and forwarded
to Philadelphia for interment.
On Sunday afternoon, June 8, 1879, W.R. McCracken, of South
Bend, was rowing up the river in a small boat, and when about
half way between that place and Mishawaka, he discovered an
object in the water which at first sight resembled a valise, but
upon closer examination, proved to be the skirts of a coat floating
over the shoulders of a man's body. The body was lying upon its
face and was lodged upon a snag. Mr. McCracken immediately
turned his boat about and floated down stream a short distance
where he found three men fishing. To them he disclosed his startling
discovery, and the entire party repaired to the spot where the
body was still held by the obstructions in the water. The men
hauled it on the shore with some difficulty. The face was black,
the limbs stiff, and it had the appearance of being in the water for
some time. The coroner was notified and an inquest held over the
remains, which were recognized as those of Henry Sherman, of
Mishawaka. Mr. Sherman had been of unsound mind for about
four years, and to end his troubles, threw himself into the St. Joseph
river, and added one more to its long list of victims.
FOUND A WATERY GRAVE.
Joseph S. Kenyon and Ellet W. St. John went swimming in
the river near South Bend, Sunday, Aug. 3, 1879, and their two
sons, Johnny Kenyon, aged 13, and Henry St. John, aged 12,
went in with them. The two men, after bathing awhile swam
across the river, leaving the two boys to bathe where they then
were. At this point the water was quite shallow some distance
from the shore, then it deepened suddenly at a clayey hank. Henry
St. John was the only one of the boys who could swim. While the
fathers were across the river, the two boys were playing in the
water, walking backward and splashing the water over each other.
Suddenly Johnny slipped on the clayey bottom and into the
water over his head. Henry, who was with him, made an
attempt to save him, but was so much smaller that when
he grappled Johnny, both went down. John Marble was on the
bank watching the swimmers, and although lame, he plunged in
when he saw the danger, with his clothes on. He reached Henry
first and started him toward the shore and he got safely on the
bank. He then turned his attention to Johnny, but the moment
he seized him, Johnny grabbed him by the throat with vice-like
grip and choked Mr. Marble so that he was nearly drowning himself,
and was obliged to throw him off and catch him by another
part of his body. When he attempted to do this, Johnny was out
of reach, and Mr. Marble was himself so exhausted he could
scarcely get to shore. The alarm was then raised, and the two
fathers swam across as rapidly as they could and began the search
for Johnny's body. As soon as they found it, every effort was made
to resuscitate the boy, but in vain, although they did not cease
trying for over an hour.
KATY FLECK'S TRAGIC DEATH.
About the first of April, 1876, the wife of Charles Schaeffer, of
South Bend, died, leaving an infant child about four months old.
A sister of the deceased, Miss Kate Fleck, then came to keep house
for Mr. Schaeffer, and attend to the motherless one, receiving as
compensation the sum of $2 per week. On Wednesday, July 5,
she demanded an increase of wages to $2.50 per week. Mr. Schaeffer
told her he could not afford it, and if she was not satisfied
with what he was paying her, he would have to hire someone else.
The following morning Schaeffer arose at an early hour, went down
to his shop and returned to the house at his usual breakfast hour.
Instead of finding the meal prepared, he found a note from Kate as
follows: "Charley: Hunt me and your baby on the other side of
the railroad bridge in the river." Search was at once instituted,
but no trace could be found of the bodies, and it was thought the
letter was an idle threat, a mere blind, and that she had gone elsewhere,
probably to her father's house, near Plymouth.
On Friday evening the dead body of Kate was seen going over
the dam, the arms nearly encircling the head, and the hands above
as if fighting the water - the position in which the arms of most
people drowned are found. The river was high and the current
swift, and the body floated rapidly down stream after emerging
from the seething waters under the dam. It kept the middle of
the river and passed the iron bridge before a boat could be secured
to follow it. Two men finally brought the body to the shore about
20 rods below the Singer factory.
The action of the current in forcing the body against obstacles
had bruised the face and head somewhat, and torn and displaced
the clothing so that below the waist the body was bare. The face
was discolored slightly from being so long in the water, but otherwise
the body presented a very natural appearance.
On the Sunday following, the dead body of the baby was seen
floating down the river, and was taken from the water by Theodore
Chaudoni. The body was bloated and badly discolored. The
legs were spread out and bent at the knees, with the knees
drawn up toward the shoulders. Around the waist was tied
a scarf; the ends of which had been made into a loop, which
evidently Kate had put around her neck to keep the child by her,
that their bodies might be found together. Certain discolored marks
around Katy's neck were thus accounted for.
MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF J.C. MARVIN.
On the 25th day of March, 1870, J.C. Marvin, engineer in the
lower shops of Studebaker Brothers' Manufacturing Company, disappeared.
On the evening of the day mentioned, he parted with
some of his associates on the street, telling them he must go to his
room. He boarded at 167 Michigan street. Reaching there, he
got out his old letters, and spent an hour or two looking over them,
after which he burned them. He then placed his watch and keys
upon the table and left the house. About ten o'clock he called at
Rupp's drug store for chloroform, as he had often been in the
habit of doing, using it to relieve neuralgic pains from which he
at times suffered so severely as to render him temporarily insane.
After applying the chloroform, he conversed with the clerk a short
time, and then started, as the clerk supposed, for his boarding
house. This was the last seen of him by any of his acquaintances.
Not making his appearance next day, and his manner of leaving
his boarding house exciting considerable surprise, search was made
for him He had been in the habit of visiting at a house near the
bank of the river, in the north part of the city, and on examining
the bank there, footprints, supposed to be his, were discovered
near the water's edge. On Sunday, March 27, a large force turned
out and dragged the river, but no traces of the missing man were
On Tuesday, the 29th, a gentleman from Niles, while driving
across the river at Bertrand, discovered the dead body of a man
floating in the river. Giving the alarm, a boat was procured and
the body secured, but not until it had floated some distance below
the town. The body was dressed in a full suit of clothes, and had
on, in addition, an overcoat. The right arm was fastened to the
man's side by a rope passed around the wrist two or three times,
and then tied around the waist. A letter was found in one of the
pockets addressed to J.C. Marvin, and believing it to be the body
of the missing engineer, a messenger was dispatched to South
Bend, and from the description he gave of the clothing, no doubt.
whatever remained of its being any other than the body of Marvin.
Sheriff Glover, Mr Rupp and Mr. Marks went to Bertrand
and brought the body to South Bend, where it was recognized by
his associates. An inquest was held, the Coroner's jury holding
that he came to his death by drowning in the St. Joseph river, and
that the drowning was the result of his own act for the purpose of
Before the war, Mr. Marvin was a banker in New York. At the
breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted and served in a three
months' regiment, and afterward went to Iowa, where he assisted
in raising a company and was made Captain. He received several
promotions and was a Brevet Brigadier-General at the close of the
DEATH IN THE RIVER.
About six o'clock Tuesday morning, Dec. 13, 1870, two
employees of the Union Cabinet Manufactory, while going to their
work, were hailed near the Peninsular railway bridge by a man in
his shirt sleeves and bare-headed, standing on the bridge, who
requested them to take his coat and hat to Bartlett & Orvis'
grocery, and he pointed to those articles, which were hanging on
Mr. Huey's fence, just across the street from the bridge. The man
acted rather strangely, and having suspicion that he was bent on
self-destruction, they started toward him with the intention of
preventing him jumping in the river, but he motioned them back,
saying he was bound to go down, and almost before they could realize
it, he leaped from the bridge into the river and immediately sunk.
He struck the water at full length, and as the distance from the top
of the bridge to the surface of the water is between 40 and 50 feet, the
severe shock must have stunned him into insensibility. The men
then took the clothes down and left them at the grocery store of
Russ & Co., the only place then open, and gave the alarm. Shortly
after a clerk of Bartlett & Orvis recognized the clothes as belonging to
R.A. Orvis, the junior member of the firm. No cause could
be assigned for the rash act by friends of the deceased except that
he had become temporarily insane. He had for some time been
suffering from dyspepsia, and arose that morning about half past
four o'clock and told his brother Willard, with whom he slept, that
he was going out and would return shortly, and that was the last
any of his friends saw of him. He had but lately come to South
Bend from Baraboo, Wisconsin. The body of the unfortunate
man was found on Thursday afternoon following his self-destruction.
DROWNING OF JACOB BAUER.
About half past two o'clock, Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 20, 1872,
Jacob Bauer was drowned in the river a few rods above the Peninsular
railroad bridge. The drowned man, who was employed on the race,
assisting in the construction of the water works, had been
laboring in the forenoon as usual but feeling rather poorly at noon,
concluded to rest the remainder of the day. Shortly, after dinner,
John Miller and John Wanderlich invited him to join them in a
ride on the river, to which he unfortunately consented. Near the
spot where the casualty took place, Bauer arose to change his position
in the boat, his balance was lost, and in a moment the craft
was bottom upward, and the three men were struggling in the
water, Miller, who could swim a little, reaching the shore by his
own exertions. Wanderlich climbed upon the overturned boat;
but Bauer, unable to swim, with not so much as a straw to meet
his random dying clutches, again and again coming to the surface,
finally sank almost within reach of the shore, in less than seven
feet of water. His body was recovered soon after, a Coroner's
inquest held and a verdict rendered in accordance with the foregoing
Johanna Sharinghausen, who had lived with the family of A.G.
Cushing in the capacity of housemaid about three years, very
unaccountably disappeared some time during the night of Aug. l5,
1872. She retired to her room at the customary hour, after making
some trifling inquiries of Mrs. Cushing regarding culinary matters.
Her last words were comments on the beauty of the evening.
Her absence was first noted about six o'clock the next morning. It
is presumed she made her exit through the kitchen window, as that
avenue was the only one in the house unfastened. Her mother and
sisters were immediately notified of her absence, but they were
utterly at a loss to account for her strange act. The presumption
was strong that she must have been attacked with insanity, as
nothing in reason could have actuated her to take such a course.
She attended church and prayer-meeting with great regularity, and
was exemplary in all her walks of life. The river, near both banks,
was dragged between South Bend and Niles, and the west race also
was searched. On Wednesday afternoon, following her disappearance,
some tinners who were at work at St. Mary's, discovered a
body floating in the river near the bank. It was secured, and
although distorted almost beyond the semblance of humanity, it
was recognized as the body of the poor unfortunate girl.
On Monday afternoon, June 8, 1874, John Schuman, a young
German, attempted to cross the river by walking on the apron of
the dam. When about mid way, where a small stream of water
pours over the dam, by some means he lost his foothold on the
slippery planks of the apron, and was immediately whirled into
the boiling, seething, eddying waters below. He immediately sank
out of sight and did not rise to the surface again. His disappearance
was noticed by some persons, and in a few minutes several
parties, good swimmers, commenced diving to recover his body.
They continued their diving at intervals for two days, their efforts
being rewarded on Wednesday afternoon by discovering the body
at a depth of twenty-two feet, fast by the arm to some logs. They
could not release the body from its imprisonment that evening, and
when preparing to make another effort the next morning, it had by
some means become detached from its hold, and was floating on the
surface. The necessary steps were immediately taken to rescue it,
and by the time a boat went out, the body had floated further down
the stream and was picked up opposite the Eagle Works. A legal
inquest was held and a verdict rendered in accordance with the foregoing
WHISKY DID IT.
Three Germans, working in the shops of the Studebaker Brothers'
Manufacturing Company, having been paid off a few days previously,
took a holiday on Thursday, June 11, 1874, and celebrated
the event by imbibing large quantities of whisky during the forenoon.
About twelve o'clock they found themselves on the river
bank, a short distance above the Jefferson street bridge, in South
Bend. The subject of swimming was discussed, and one of the
party, Albert Neuman, declared his ability to swim across the
river at that point. To make good his word, he plunged into the
river with coat and boots on, and was making fine progress as far
as the middle of the stream, where he struck the rapid current.
This was too much for him, loaded down with clothing and alcohol
as he was, and he commenced being carried down the stream, losing
every moment more control of his actions. He managed to grasp
a piece of timber connected with the ice-breaker
of one of the piers of the bridge, and here for a few moments he
made a determined effort to support himself. His perilous position
was observed from the shore, and he was called to hold on to the
support until a boat could be brought to the rescue, but being too
weak, or losing control of his sense of self-preservation, long before
assistance could reach him, he sank under the waters. His body
was recovered in fifteen minutes after sinking, and although every
means were taken to resuscitate him, yet they were unavailing; the
spirit had left the mortal tenement and was then in the presence
of its Maker.
James H. Fleming, an employee of the Register office,
in company with Samuel Carney. of South Bend, on Saturday, June 20, 1874,
visited Lumley Lewis, Superintendent of the county poorhouse and farm, with
whose family he was acquainted. About seven o'clock, the party went to the
river, about midway between South Bend and Mishawaka - Lewis, Fleming and a
boy named VanAmburg, for the purpose of bathing, and Carney, of looking on.
After being in the water some minutes, Lewis and Fleming swam out to a sand
bar, about midway of the stream. Lewis warned his friend that
if he was not a good swimmer he had better not follow him, but return to the
shore, by the way he came, as the water was much deeper and the passage more
dangerous. Lewis began the passage, Fleming following, saying "I am coming,
Jim." In a few moments, Lewis noticed a peculiar sound in the direction of
Fleming, and looking back, saw him showing signs of strangulation,
and struggling in the water, evidently unable to support himself on
its surface. He immediately returned, and before reaching the spot,
saw his friend sink. He saw him rising again some distance down
stream and he dived toward the spot, but the drowning man had
already been carried out of his reach by the current. He swam to
the shore, and hastening along the bank opposite where he saw the
bubbles rise, he plunged in again and swam to the spot, but Fleming
never came to the surface again, being taken with sudden cramps, as
is supposed, which deprived him of all power to help himself.
Very much exhausted by his exertions in the water, and darkness
rapidly coming on, Lewis was unable to make any further search
for the missing body. Intelligence of the sad affair was at once sent
to South Bend, and the next morning the proprietor of the Register,
Mr. Lewis, Mr. Carney, Thomas Cottrell, John Beurva, William
Gantz and Charles Brickel commenced the search. After nearly
two hours diving and watching the river bottom, just as the search
at that point was about being given up, and Cottrell was dressing,
Gantz, rowing over the spot where the last signs of the sinking body
had appeared on the water, discovered the body lying prone on the
sand within a few feet of where it sank. Cottrell dived down and
brought him to the surface, nearly meeting with an accident, which
would have been unfortunate, had he not been a good swinimer, for
as he came to the surface with the body in his arms, mistaking the
depth of the water, he undertook to touch bottom, and, weighed
down with the additional load, he sank under the water. With the
assistance of Beurva in the boat, who caught Fleming by the hair,
Cottrell came to the surface again, still maintaining his hold, and
brought him to the shore. A coroner's inquest was held and a
verdict rendered in accordance with the facts as given. The body
of the unfortunate man was sent to his parents at Gettysburg,
Mr. Fleming's age was 26 years. He was born in Baltimore,
Maryland, where he spent the earlier years of his life. For nearly
two years he served his country in the Seventeenth Pennsylvania
Cavalry, participating in a number of engagements and receiving an
honorable discharge at the end of the war. Some years before coming
to South Bend, he connected himself with the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and on arriving here, he was received by the
First Church, of that denomination, in full membership. He was
also a member in good standing of a Baltimore lodge of Odd Fellows,
the Grand Army of the Republic, of Gettysburg, and Good
Templars, of South Bend.
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