Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our Murderers.

Little Murders
(From Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 6, 1875)


Eleven Men Awaiting Trial for Homicide in Allen County.

The Recent Record of Bloody Crimes in this Vicinity.

 Some of Whose perpetrators Were Never Apprehended.

Brief Account of the Terrible Deeds to be Avenged.

During the past few months Fort Wayne and Allen county have gained an unenviable reputation abroad by reason of the number of murders and other deeds of violence and lawlessness which have been committed within its limits during that time. The result is seen in the fact that we how have in this county the alarming number of eleven men awaiting trial for murder in some of its degrees. In addition to the crimes for which these men have been arrested, three probable murders have been committed within little over a year, of which no clue to the perpetrators was ever obtained—we refer to the cases of Andrew Tiernan, David Boesch and James W. Chaney.

The circumstances of these three mysterious cases were fully reported in the Sentinel at the time of their occurrence and it is only necessary to briefly refer to them now.


it will be remembered, was found in the canal at the east end of Main street in the summer of 1874, with a deep gash upon the head and other wounds on the body. The circumstances indicated that Tiernan’s death was not accidental, but the result of violence. A thorough investigation of the case, however, failed to reveal the perpetrators of the deed, and as there was a bare possibility that Tiernan’s death was accidental, the matter was abandoned, and the veil of mystery which surrounded Tiernan’s sudden taking off has never vanished.


a young carpet weaver, disappeared suddenly on the night of the 1st of last August, and has never been seen or heard of since. Facts which have come to light since that time, however and which have been fully chronicled in the Sentinel, point strongly to the theory of murder for purposes of robbery, but all attempts to gain any clue which souled justify suspicious of any particular person have proved fruitless.


In the case of Chaney, however , whose body was found, in a rotten condition, in the St. Mary’s River, near Beaver’s mill, there has never been any room for doubting the verdict of the coroner’s jury, that the old man was found murdered by some person or persons, for the purpose of robbery. Suspicion pointed to Henry Brown, a well known desperado, as the man who killed Chaney, and the fact that Brown, immediately after left this part of the country tends to confirm that suspicion. In this matter the authorities displayed a masterly inactivity which deserved condemnation, and which indicated that life is held very cheaply in Allen county. If a reasonable reward had been offered, sufficient to have enlisted the services of a first class detective, there is little doubt that the murder of James Cheney, whoever he may be, could have been apprehended and brought to justice.

In this article, however, we have mainly to do with the persons who waiting trial for the crime of homicide.  Their names and the crimes for which they have been indicted are as follows: Joseph Wall (colored), murder in the first degree; Charles Krout, murder in the first degree; Gabriel Fair, John Dollarheit, Emsley Dollarheit, Josiah Roberts, G. W. Emery and Elias Hoover, murder in the second degree; Henry Krout and David Brundige, manslaughter.


leads the list, his crime being the most desperate and unprovoked of any. His trial will begin next Monday in the criminal court, and its result is looked for by the public with the most intense interest. He is a negro about sixty years of age, and the victim of his wrath was a white man, named Kronkheit. The bloody deed was committed on the night of the 1st of last July in a small house in White’s fourth addition. A trifling dispute arose between Wall, who occupied the first floor of the house, and the deceased, who lived on the second floor. The dispute was terminated by Wall, who armed cap-a-pie,  went up stairs to Krohkhite’s apartment and after felling him with a piece of stove wood literally hacked him to pieces with a large knife, inflicting seven bad wounds, from the effects of which Kronkheit died at the Hospital in two or three days. Wall was at once arrested and confined in jail, where he has remained ever since, having been indicted by the grand jury at its July term, for murder in the first degree. He will be defended by Stratton & Stratton, who it is understood will set up a plea of religious insanity.


who is also indicted for murder in the first degree, stabbed and killed a young man named Carey Hicks in a drunken row during September last. The parties had been engaged in belling a newly married couple several miles north of this city, when trouble arouse between them. Krout stabbed Hicks, who died almost instantly. When told what he had done he replied that he did not care a G—d d—n. The date of his trial has not been fixed, but it will take place in a few weeks. Krout was arrested on the morning after the murder and has remained in jail ever since that time.


who was indicted by the grand jury this week, for murder in the second degree, had a dispute on the 11th of last month with a neighboring framer, in Eel River township, named Robert Dolin, when he picked up a large club and dealt Dolin a terrific blow in the head, from the effects of which the latter died on the next day. Fair surrendered ot the Sheriff, but was released immediately on bail, and attended the funeral of his victim.


on the 28th of last month, in which Albert Cronkheit, captain of the canal boat “Shamrock,” and a cousin of Wall’s victim, was shot and instantly killed is of  course fresh in the recollection of our readers. Six men were indicted this week for murder in the second degree—John Dollerheit, Elias Hoover, Josiah Roberts, Emsley Dollarbeit, Isam Dollarheit, and G. W. Emery—the first three of whom are now out on bail.


is awaiting trial for manslaughter, having been indicted as an accessary in his brother, Chas. Krout, in the killing of Carey Hicks, referred to above. He is out on $3,000 bail.


is awaiting trial for manslaughter, the charge being that of killing Archibald McDonald in 1874. Brundige had one trial, and was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary. Judge Brackehridge granted him a second trial, which will soon take place. Brundige is out on $5,000 bail.

It must be confessed that this resume, brief and imperfect as it is, constitutes


for a city and county of this size to make in such a short time. The trials of the various defendants above referred to will take place as soon as possible, and their final issue will be looked for with intense interest.

Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 6, 1875


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