Durward B. Powell 1904-1909
Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 8/16/2019 at 18:12:18
Durward Belmont Powell
(April 24, 1904 - January 4, 1909)
Fort Dodge Messenger, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Mon. Jan 18, 1909,p.8
County Attorney Tells the Story
F. F. Hunter of Rockwell City, one of the first to visit Powell Farm
Recounts Tragic Scene; Tells of the Woman’s Deed, Her Subsequent Action, The Condition of Life at the Powell Farm and the Trouble that Caused the Crime
County Attorney, F. F. Hunter, of Rockwell City is in Fort Dodge today and tells of the Powell tragedy at Rockwell City, from an intimate knowledge of the case, rectifying certain erroneous rumors that have gone abroad and adding many interesting points to the story as it has reached Fort Dodge.
Mr. Hunter with the sheriff and one other was the first to arrive on the scene following the tragedy wit the exception of Dr. Humphrey of Lake City. They found the two children, who are now dead lying flat on the floor of the sitting room and the mother on a sofa in the same room where she had been when she shot herself, where she lay through the whole investigation which follows; never speaking or paying the slightest attention to the moans of her children or the operations in the room.
The second child was dead and lay on the floor just where she had shot him. The youngest child lay on the floor also, but the oldest child who said she shot him in the bedroom, holding him over a box while she committed her crime, had jumped up as soon as she released him and had run out of doors sounding the alarm.
Held Them On the Floor
According to the boy who survives, the mother took each of the two younger children and held them flat on the floor of the sitting room while she fired the cumbersome 22 savage rifle at them. The testimony seems to be corroborated by the fact that bullet holes were found in the floor, directly underneath where the children lay, the lead passing through their bodies and on into the floor of the room.
The indifference of Mrs. Powell just after her dreadful deed seemed to strike some as evidence of her sanity and others of her insanity. She never murmured “why did I do it?”nor did she show any concern as to whether the living children died or not. Very little could be gathered by the horror stricken people about her, and all that she would say that she and her husband could not get along, that she couldn’t leave him, and that she thought it was best for them all to die.
Has Changed Now
She has changed now, however; and wants to get well to do what she can as reparation to her loved one. She has been told that the law must take its course and realizes fully what is before her.
“Her brother, a fine, manly fellow” said Attorney Hunter, “told me that he had acquainted her with the course the law must take.” “As I see it, she is punished and suffering in her own mind for the deed she has done, but the law does not consider that sufficient and she realizes that is true,” said her brother.
Her Sanity Question
Although she has appeared sane at all times and has even been conscious through the entire ordeal, friends and dear ones fear for her sanity under the strain.
[Durward's mother, Nellie Belle (Kiler) Powell,
June 1882 - April 17, 1953, survived. She was tried and convicted and lived at the Eau Claire County Poor Farm and Asylum in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin and was buried on the cemetery there in 1953.]
Calhoun Obituaries maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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