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Dr. William F. Swisher Murdered


Posted By: Karen Brewer (email)
Date: 5/27/2016 at 10:18:28

June 25, 1898, Page 4

Dr. W. E. Swisher a leading physician of Woodburn, was foully murdered on the streets of that village on Thursday night at 10 o'clock. No one knows who did the dastardly deed, and the coroners inquest brought a verdict that deceased came to his death by a gunshot wound inflicted by an unknown person or persons. Whoever did the shooting was so close to the Doctor that the powder flash burned his clothing. The ball entered the left breast just below the nipple, and death was almost instantaneous. The shooting occurred near the Doctor's office, when he was on his way home for the night, and whoever fired the shot made haste to get out of town, of under cover, and there is not yet the slightest clue. The coroner and the sheriff were on the ground in a few hours after the deed was committed, and means have been employed to discover the murderer if it is possible. Dr. Swisher was a single man and during the evening had made a social call on a lady friend, after which he had been called out professionally. He had returned to his office and was on his way to the house of his parents with whom he boarded when killed.

The Osceola Democrat, Osceola, Iowa
June 30, 1898, Page 8



Dr. E. F. Swisher, of Woodburn, Shot by
an Unknown Assassin.

CRESTON, June 26,-Dr. W. F. Swisher, a prominent physician of Woodburn, was shot and instantly killed by an unknown assassin at 10 p. m. The bullet crashed through Swisher's heart and death was instantaneous. Swisher left his office about 10 o'clock and started home. Less than half a block away he encountered the unknown murderer. Dr. E. P. Lawrence, who was sitting in his yard a short distance away, was the only witness. He went to Swisher's assistance at once, but life was extinct before he arrived. The cause for the crime is hard to determine, but it is attributed to enemies which the doctor is known to have had. Five years ago he came to Woodburn from West Virginia. He had serious trouble there, it is alleged, which prompted his removal westward. The only clew that has developed was the presence of a stranger in Woodburn about dusk on the night of the murder. He kept himself isolated from company. The fact that the stranger hitched his horse west of the town and also that the murderer ran in that direction, created the impression that the stranger committed the crime. He rode wildly past a camp of movers. A pose was immediately organized and the surrounding county searched, but the murderer escaped. A theory is that one of the doctor's eastern enemies pursued him to his western home for revenge. Swisher was 32 years old and a widower. The murder created intense excitement. There is considerable mystery surrounding it, with little probability of it being cleared.


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