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The Murder of Albert Rapp, 1921


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 3/26/2014 at 16:16:51

Postville Herald, Thursday, 4 August 1921. From the Elkader Register, undated.

A. P. Schmidt, alleged murderer of Albert Rapp, is being held in the jail here without bail, says the Elkader Register, having been bro't to the county jail last Thursday morning after the death of his victim, and according to County Attorney W. L. Eichendorf he will have to answer to the charge of first degree murder.

Both Schmidt and Rapp were residents of North Buena Vista, the scene of the alleged murder. Details of the altercation were hard to gather at first and County Attorney Eichendorf called in the assistance of Attorney W. W. Davidson, who has assisted in the case since last Thursday. Their investigations have developed that two weeks ago last Tuesday Albert Rapp and Frank Kinicker started to dig a cistern for Schmidt. It is alleged that during the digging of the cistern all three imbibed to freely of moonshine and that the work progressed too slowly to suit Schmidt. A week ago last Saturday Schmidt wanted to finish the cement work on the cistern to avoid a cave-in, but Rapp and Kinnicker decided to knock off work about 11:00 a.m.

At the Roe pool hall Rapp asked Schmidt for the pay due him and the two had words. It was at this time, it is alleged, that Schmidt made the first threat on that day against the life of Rapp. Later in the afternoon, witnesses have stated, that Rapp and Kinnicker were sitting in front of the Schmidt home and it was on this spot that the alleged crime was committed. From the investigation it has developed that Schmidt came to the front door of his house and said, "Boy's, it's time to get off my ranch" and followed this immediately with a blow on the top of Rapp's head. Schmidt then jumped over Rapp, and ran to the rear of his home followed by Rapp, who, however, was forced to give up the chase because of the loss of blood. Rapp then went to the Roe pool hall, where Mrs. Roe and others assisted in stopping the blood flow, using three large sugar sacks for this purpose. It is claimed that a stove poker was used to strike the fatal blow, which caused a wicked gash in blood poisoning set in. Rapp lived until Wednesday evening.

Authorities were notified as soon as complications had set in of the incident and went immediately to Buena Vista Wednesday, when they placed Schmidt under arrest and took him to Elkader pending a thorough investigation of the case.

Attorneys Eichendorf and Davidson have been busy since last Tuesday, both in Buena Vista and Dubuque, collecting evidence in the form of affidavits from witnesses from which they are going to base their charge of first degree murder. They will produce witnesses to prove that Schmidt not only was armed with a butcher knife on the day of the assault, but that he also had a large jack knife, which he opened when he and Rapp had had words over wages earlier in the day.

Fifteen years ago, it appears from the prosecutor's investigations, Schmidt worked for Rapp in North Buena Vista. The men quarreled and there had been a fight in which Schmidt had been badly worsted. The state will prove, says the prosecutor, that Schmidt at that time declared his intention to "get" Rapp, and that he has uttered the same sentiments many times since.

The prosecution has further evidence in the form of an affidavit that Schmidt made the statement after the blow had been struck that he had intended to kill Rapp.

The case is of considerable interest throughout the entire county due to the fact that it is the first murder case in the county in several years.

No definite date has yet been set when Schmidt will be arraigned before a justice of the peace for the preliminary hearing, but it is planned by the prosecution to arraign him on a charge of murder before Judge Taylor when he sits here on August 5th.

_____ _____

Postville Herald, Thursday, 29 December 1921.

The jury in the case of A. P. Schmidt of Buena Vista, charged with the murder of Albert Rapp, after thirteen hours of deliberation, brought in a verdict of manslaughter and Judge Taylor has taken 30 days time in which to pronounce sentence.

_____ _____ _____ _____

**Contributors notes:
-Other than the initial reports of this incident there was little newspaper coverage. Interested researchers should check the Elkader Register newspaper and Clayton Co. courthouse.
-Several other newspaper articles reporting on this incident further identify A. P. Schmidt as Anton P. Schmidt.
-The 1880 Federal Census of Jefferson Twp., Clayton Co., Iowa shows a Anton Phillip Schmidt, Age 4, Born Iowa, A son of Bernard and Walburga Schmidt. Anton had a brother named
Bernard Schmidt, age 10, and another brother named Bernard F. Schmidt who was age 1.
-The 1920 Federal Census of Buena Vista, Clayton Co., Iowa, shows a Anton Schmidt, age 42, living in the household of a brother, Joseph L. Schmidt.
-The Iowa Gravestone Photo Project (IGPP) shows Bernard F. Schmidt 1878 - 1954, Cecilia Schmidt 1892 - 1935, and Joseph Schmidt 1884 - 1980, all buried in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Clayton Co.
-The IGGP and FindAGrave show a Albert Rapp 1865 - 1921 as buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery in Dubuque, Dubuque Co.

Submitter is not related & has no additional information


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