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Wait, James S. died April 1919

WAIT, BRIGGS, THURN, SMITH

Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 3/8/2014 at 17:24:03

The Arlington News, 8 May 1919. From the Argo Gazette, undated.

James Wait of Edgewood, who was shot by an unknown man on April 9, died a few days ago. The shooting of Mr. Wait has had a decided bearing on the criminal trial of the Briggs brothers of Clayton County, who were to have been tried In West Union at the present term of court on a charge of arson, after having been acquainted here in February on a trial for conspiracy to defraud. George Briggs, the elder of the two brothers, was charged with murder on account of the Wait shooting, and his preliminary hearing was to have taken place at Elkader on Thursday. E. H. Estey and court reporter W. K. Alkire went over from here to Elkader at that time, Mr. Estey being one of Mr. Briggs attorneys, but the attorneys for the prosecution got the preliminary trial continued on the ground that Mr. Wait's physician would not left the lawyers talk to Mr. Wait and get his testimony. Mr. Wait was Secretary of the Farmer's Mutual Insurance Company in which the Briggs brothers carried their insurance at the time of their fire, and was one of the witnesses against them at the trial here in February. Meanwhile, the injection of this new element into the Briggs case has caused the trial of the Briggs brothers on the arson charge to be continued until the next term of court in Fayette County, this County having gotten the case from Clayton on a change of venue. Argo Gazette.

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NOTE:

1900 federal census, Lodomillo Township, Clayton County, Iowa.

James S. Wait, Head, Born 1865, 35, Born Iowa father born Indiana, mother born Wisconsin.

Lucy Wait, wife, born 1873, 26, Born Iowa, father and mother born England.

Grace Wait, daughter, born 1894, 6, born Iowa, parents born Iowa.

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1910 federal census, Lodomillo Township, Clayton County, Iowa.

James S. Wait, head, 45, married 16 years, born Iowa, parents born Indiana.

Lucy M. Wait, wife, 36, married 16 years, born Iowa, parents born England.

Grace M. Wait, daughter, 16, born Iowa, parents born Iowa.

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FindAGrave.Com shows gravestone photographs and some other information for:

James S. Wait 1865 - 1919.
Lucy M. Smith Wait 1873 - 1957.
Grace M. Wait Thurn 1894 - 1965.

These burials are in Edgewood Cemetery, Delaware Co., Iowa. Edgewood straddles the Clayton and Delaware County borders.

George R. Briggs was acquitted of the murder of James S. Wait, and of the arson and conspiracy to defraud his insurance company resulting from a fire that totally destroyed his home. James R. Briggs was the brother who was initially charged with the arson and conspiracy to defraud the insurance company along with George R. Briggs.

To my knowledge no one was ever convicted of the murder of Mr. Wait. The whole affair created a sensation across the state and can be read about in many of the newspapers of the time in Iowa. For a compilation of some of these news articles follow the link below.

Submitter is not related.

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Compiled news articles about the Wait murder

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