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Schmidt kills Sherdon at County Poor Farm - 1891


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 1/26/2022 at 20:59:13

Murder at the County Poor Farm.

For the second time during its existence the county poor farm has been the scene of a murder. This time the crime was committed by one of the incurable insane, his victim being another inmate of the asylum.

On Monday afternoon Supt. Hulverson of asylum took the male inmates to their recreation ground outside the building, and then went about his work. About four o'clock he noticed Martin Sherdon stretched out in one corner of the yard with a piece of board over his face, apparently asleep. As the ground was damp Mr. Hulverson went over to arouse the sleeping man, but on reaching him was horrified to find him dead. He had been struck on the head with the board laying over his face, a piece of plank about 18 inches long, 6 inches wide and three inches thick. Mr. Hulverson immediately placed his charges in their cells, and notified Supervisor Rogers at Elkader and Coroner Kriebs.

An inquest was held on Tuesday, and August Schmidt admitted that he had struck Sherdon over the head with the board. He stated that he and Sherdon had a quarrel Sunday, in which Schmidt got a black eye, and on Monday he found Sherdon asleep in the yard and struck him with the board to pay him back for the work of Sunday.

The coroner's jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above facts and fully exonerated Supt. Hulverson from any blame in the matter.

Martin Sherdon, the deceased, formerly lived in this vicinity, but had been an inmate of the county asylum for insane eleven years. The murderer was a former resident of Garnavillo township, but had been at the asylum for eight years. Both were considered harmless, and up to this time had been the very best of friends, seemingly enjoying each other's company.

Elkader Register, Thur., 25 June 1891.

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