Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, December 24, 1903

'Mrs. Charles Woodard's Sudden Death is Being Investigated --
Was She Poisoned?'

The sudden death of MRS. CHARLES WOODARD on Tuesday of last week, a short mention of which was made in last week's paper, has caused a vast amount of talk, many wild rumors and an investigation by Coroner Layton, the result of which has not yet been made public. The Reporter does not desire to express an opinion in this case until the result of the coroner's investigation is made public, and we will simply give the facts in the case as we learn them.

MRS. WOODARD was the wife of CHARLES WOODARD, a farmer living three miles northwest of Decatur, and on Tuesday of last week she expressed a desire to go and visit with her parents, MR. and MRS. WM. KIRKPATRICK, who live near Grand River. MR. WOODARD hitched up his team to the spring wagon and started with her for the KIRKPATRICK farm. Before reaching there MRS. WOODARD was taken sick with convulsions, and MR. WOODARD says that after it passed off she expressed a wish to continue on to her mother's although he wanted her to stop on the way. They continued on their journey and MRS. WOODARD was very sick when she reached the house, and Dr. Robinson, of Grand River, was telephoned for soon after they arrived. The woman died just as Dr. Robinson reached the house some thirty or forty minutes after the WOODARDS arrived at the farm. Dr. Robinson stated immediately upon seeing the woman that she had died from strychnine poison. This report soon spread over the neighborhood and there was considerable talk about the case, which ended in sending word to coroner Layton asking him to hold an inquest.

Coroner Layton, accompanied by Drs. A. Brown, of Leon, and B.L. Eiker, of Decatur held a post mortem and inquest on Wednesday, a jury composed of W. Wadsworth, Harrison Brown and Grant Young being sworn. The physicians made a post mortem and stated they found nothing to cause the woman's death, but did not examine the stomach, it being removed and preserved to be sent to Des Moines for analysis to determine whether she died from poison or not, the stomach being taken to Des Moines Thursday by Drs. Layton and Brown, and delivered to Dr. Kennedy, of Drake University. The coroner says no report of analysis has been received, but the Des Moines papers state that there was poison found in the stomach. The inquest was not concluded, being simply adjourned until the result of the chemical analysis became known, and therefore the testimony of the witnesses before the coroner's jury cannot be secured until the inquest is finished and filed.

There have been many wild stories floating around in connection with the case, it being claimed that MR WOODARD had recently had his wife's life insured in his favor. But this is denied, for while the application was made for the insurance, when the policy came it was only for $2,000 instead of $4,000, and MRS. WOODARD refused to accept it and the premium was never paid on it, so that it would not be in force. It is also claimed that MR. WOODARD secured some medicine for his wife at Decatur a day or two before her death, and that she was given a part of the medicine on the road to her father's, but Dr. Eiker says the medicine he gave was simply a tonic for neuralgia, and MR. WOODARD says she took no medicine while on her way, to his knowledge.

Should the chemist at Des Moines find poison in the woman's stomach, there would still be question as to how it got there. Whether it was given to her as some claim by her husband, whether she took it herself with suicidal intent or by accident, time alone can determine. As in many cases while at first there are many suspicious circumstances which may cause MR. WOODARD trouble to explain, at the proper time it may be easy to explain everything away and clear his name of every breath of suspicion. MR. WOODARD is now in Leon awaiting the result of the inquest and has retained Hoffman & Jackson and V.R. McGinnis to represent him.

Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, January 14, 1904

'Charles Woodard Indicted for Murder in First Degree'

Judge Miller returned to Leon Monday to finish up the business at this term of court and gave the Grand Jury an opportunity to make its report, and adjourned court for this term yesterday evening.

The Grand Jury were in session just one week, finishing their labors yesterday morning and were discharged for the term. They returned but the two indictments and both of these are for murder, in the first degree, one being against CHARLES WOODARD who is accused of killing his wife on December 15th by giving her strychnine, . . .

CHARLES WOODARD, the other indicted man, had been at liberty on a bond of $10,000 and as soon as the indictment was returned by the Grand Jury, he surrendered himself to Sheriff Wallace. He appeared by his attorneys, C.W. Hoffman and V.R. McGinnis, and waived arraignment, entering a plea of "Not Guilty." His attorneys immediately filed a motion that he be admitted to bail. The law providing that where the presumption of guilt is not too great it is in the discretion of the court whether the defendant shall be admitted to bail. After examining the evidence before the Grand Jury, Judge Miller decided to admit MR. WOODARD to bail in the sum of $20,000, which he gave without leaving the court room, his father, WM. WOODARD, signing the bond and the defendant was released from custody.

Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
January 19, 1904

'Woodard Murder Trial'

The case against CHAS. WOODARD on trial for murder in the first degree for the alleged poisoning of his wife on Dec. 15, 1903, which was commenced on Monday of last week, is still in progress and will not be submitted to the jury until some time Thursday. The evidence was closed on Tuesday evening just before 6 o'clock, over one hundred witnesses having testified during the long trial. The case not yet being submitted to the jury, this paper makes no attempt to express an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. We publish a complete synopsis of the testimony of every witness who has testified in the case, and leave our readers to make their own conclusions.

The trial has been a long and tedious one, the court room being packed at every session. Judge Evans, who is presiding at the trial, has made a favorable impression with both the attorneys and the public. It is his first term of court since being elected Judge and he certainly stepped into a hard and complicated case to commence his judicial career. To a disinterested person it is evident that he has endeavored to preside at the trial with absolute fairness to both the State and the defendant. He is very courteous to both the bar and the public and has made a decidedly favorable impression and we believe he will make one of the best judges who ever sat on the bench in this district.

When court was opened Wednesday morning, County Attorney W.B. Kelley made the opening argument to the jury. It was Mr. Kelley's maiden speech to a jury in a criminal case, yet he acquitted himself in a highly creditable manner and made a favorable impression on those who heard him, carefully resuming the evidence to prove the defendant's guilt and arguing that the testimony for defendant was not such as should acquit him. Mr. Kelley closed his argument at ten minutes before 2 o'clock.

He was followed by V.R. McGinnis, who commenced for the defense at once, and was still addressing the jury at the time The Reporter went to press.

Mr. McGinnis will be followed Thursday morning by C.W. Hoffman for the defense and George W. Baker will make the closing argument for the State. At this time it looks as if the case would not go to the jury before Friday.

The following is the testimony in the case since The Reporter was issued last Wednesday evening:

Court was called promptly at 9 o'clock Thursday morning, the jury being called and all responding.

DR. H.R. LAYTON was the first witness called to the stand and testified he was a practicing physician of Leon and in 1903 held the office of County Coroner, and held an inquest on the body of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD on Dec. 16th, 1903. At the inquest CHARLES WOODARD was present and testified, as well as questioned several of the witnesses.

CLYDE COOPER who was on the stand the day before was recalled for further examination and testified to hearing a conversation between CHAS. WOODARD and Mrs. Kirkpatrick in which he said she had been taking medicine and before they started from home that morning he told her to bring her medicine along. At the inquest heard CHARLES WOODARD say he made application for $4,000 on both himself and wife but when the policies came they would only issue $2,000 on his wife. That his policy was payable to his wife and hers was payable to him. He said his wife wanted to go to her mother's the day before and he told her to wait till next day and he would bring her. This he told to Mrs. Kirkpatrick but at the inquest he swore he did not hear anything about her coming until that morning. WOODARD testified that Dr. Robinson told him to bring the bottle of her medicine which she had been taking, and when he went back home after the children he took the only bottle he could find, but that he dropped it on the porch and broke it, and later said he dropped it near the woodpile. When asked about the pieces he said they were so small that he could not find them.

GEORGE KIRKPATRICK, a brother of MRS. CHARLES WOODARD, residing in Richland Township testified to being present when his sister died, and was at the house when they arrived there, about 12 o'clock. Before they arrived Mrs. Jane Brown had phoned us about her being sick. He described her appearance, saying she could not use her limbs and was very pale, had spasms after getting in the house. She died in twenty or twenty-five minutes. She wanted water and said something about Dr. and I phoned for Dr. Robinson. Heard CHARLES WOODARD say she had got some medicine from Dr. Eiker for neuralgia. Said he would like to have the funeral the next day at 10 o'clock. It was some of the neighbors who first suggested having an inquest and WOODARD said he didn't think there was any use. That he didn't care for an examination but there should be no cutting done. I lived with CHARLES WOODARD the first season after they were married. They had some quarrels, but I didn't think they amounted to very much.

DR. J.W. ROBINSON, a practicing physician at Grand River, testified to being called to the Kirkpatrick home to see MRS. WOODARD on Dec. 15, 1903. When I entered the room saw she was having a spasm. Examined her heart and found it was irregular. Asked WOODARD what his wife had been taking and he first said nothing to his knowledge and afterward said he believed she had been taking some quinine. I prepared some medicine but saw that she was too far gone. At this time WOODARD was holding her up and I told him she was dying and for him to lay her down. He said she would come out of it all right and continued to hold her up for probably half a minute when I told him she was dead. My first impression on seeing the woman was that she was probably pregnant and had taken something to produce an abortion. That she was suffering from poison of some kind. After returning to my office and thinking the matter over concluded she died from poison. On cross examination the witness said he had waited on MRS. WOODARD in 1900 when she was suffering an abortion. On redirect examination said he was present at post mortem, and found kidneys in good condition, found womb normal, no recent abortion, heart and liver both normal, as well as all organs of the body. Both ends of the stomach were tied and after its removal it was turned over to the Coroner. The witness was examined at considerable length regarding technical questions and conditions both as to what could have caused MRS. WOODARD's death and as to conditions which they found at the post mortem examination.

GEORGE KIRKPATRICK recalled. Said he heard CHARLES WOODARD say MRS. WOODARD had a bottle of medicine and he gave her a dose and in the scuffle down near Bud Brown's it was broken. I went down there with Well Wadsworth and Fred Vanlear and looked for the pieces of the bottle but could not find them.

ALFRED KIRKPATRICK, a brother of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD testified he was at home the day his sister died. They arrived at the house between 11 and 12 o'clock. Assisted his brother George in carrying her into the house. She appeared stiff. Described her appearance and actions in similar language as described by George Kirkpatrick. Heard CHAS. WOODARD say he had brought a bottle of medicine along and in a scuffle with his wife east of Bud Brown's the bottle was broken. He also said when he went after the children he got the bottle of medicine which his wife had been taking and dropped and broke it between the house and woodshed. When asked about the pieces he said he didn't think they could find anything for they were too small. In the talk about holding an inquest, CHARLES WOODARD said he didn't want to have in inquest for he wouldn't want her cut open. That they would have to go over his frame before they could cut her open. WOODARD knew witness' father would be in Mt. Ayr that day to be examined for an increase of pension. On cross examination said CHARLES WOODARD did not say he would not drive him to Mt. Ayr as it was too cold but did say he would go with him.

MRS. MARTHA FOLAND testified to being at the Kirkpatrick home the day MRS. WOODARD died. Arrived there between 12 and 1 o'clock and helped dress her. Her right arm was drawn under her, her right leg drawn, body was stiff and jaw dropped. Heard CHAS. WOODARD say he told his wife to take her medicine with her for fear she might have a spell of neuralgia. Said he got it from Dr. Eiker the day before. That he then held a policy for $2,000 on his wife's life payable to him and $4,000 on his life in his wife's favor. Knew MRS. WOODARD all her life and she was always of a bright and cheerful disposition.

MRS. ELIZABETH YOUNG, a resident of Richland Township testified to being at the Kirkpatrick home the day MRS. WOODARD died and helped lay her out. It was an awful stiff and rigid corpse. Heard CHAS. WOODARD tell Well Wadsworth the first he noticed wrong with his wife was after they crossed the Crees ford and he spoke to her. She was shivering and after getting near Bud Brown's he got out a bottle of medicine and gave her a dose and in the scuffle the bottle was broken. That when they got to Brown's after meeting Vanlear that his wife said that she wanted to go on home so he drove on. Heard him object to holding an inquest because it would cost $75 and he could not afford it. Saw him laughing and joking with people who were at the house that night.

The noon hour having arrived when the witness was excused, court adjourned until 2 o'clock.

Court back in session; witnesses (continued):

MRS. ELIZABETH YOUNG being recalled for further cross-examination was asked in regard to her testimony regarding the conversation of CHARLES WOODARD and Well Wadsworth about the breaking of the bottle of medicine given at the coroner's inquest, said her recollection at that time was probably better than it was now.

DR. B.L. EIKER, a practicing physician of Decatur City testified to furnishing a bottle of medicine to CHARLES WOODARD on December 14, 1903. He asked for medicine for his wife, told me how she was complaining. I put up a four ounce vial syrup of hypophosphites and elexir of cascara segrada. He said she complained of a pain in her side, neuralgia he thought, and was constipated. It contained among other ingredients one-sixteenth grain of strychnine to each fluid ounce. There were three-sixteenth grain in the full bottle. A fatal dose of strychnine is from one to two grains. I got the medicine at Bear's drug store in Decatur City. I was present at the post mortem examination of MRS. WOODARD's body, the other doctors being Dr. Robinson of Grand River and Dr. Brown of Leon. Told what was done, how the body was open and the organs were examined, found the heart to be normal; also the liver, kidneys, womb all appearing to be normal, no indications of any recent abortion. Saw nothing unusual in any of her organs. No indications of any pregnancy. Stomach was taken out after being tied at both its openings, placed it in a fruit jar, sealed it and turned it over to Coroner Layton. On cross-examination said we did not examine the inside of the womb or the fallopian tubes. Did not examine the brain or spinal chord. Convulsions may exist in cerrebro spinal menengitis, hydrophobia and other diseases at times. During his examination considerable amusement was created at the expense of Attorney Hoffman who was trying to ask about a disease which he could neither pronounce or spell. In the stomach we found a hard substance which was cut out resembling a gum drop, which was placed in the jar with the stomach. I had previously prescribed some black pills for MRS. WOODARD which contained one-sixtieth of a grain of strychnine. Some time after MRS. WOODARD's death I went to the drug store and had the druggist set the bottle away at the request of the County Attorney. It contained at that time six to ten ounces. I never prescribed or gave MRS. WOODARD any other medicine containing strychnine aside from those I have described. I know of no authority which tells of any case where one-fourth grain of strychnine has caused the death of an adult. He told at considerable length the time it takes strychnine in various forms to take effect, varying from a few minutes to three hours, and in discussing technical questions.

DR. A. BROWN, a practicing physician of Letts, Iowa, formerly of Leon, testified he had practiced 23 years and had considerable experience in holding post mortems. That he assisted at the post mortem on MRS. CHARLES WOODARD, examined kidneys and found them in normal condition; the liver in healthy condition; the womb normal; not pregnant. There had not been a recent abortion. There was no indication of any pus in the fallopian tubes. The stomach was tied and removed and placed in a jar and delivered it to Coroner. There was a hard substance in the stomach which we took out and found it to be a piece of meat or gristle and it was placed in the jar with the stomach. The next day Dr. Layton and I took the stomach to Des Moines and turned it over to Dr. Kenney at Drake University. When the stomach was opened there were several other pieces of similar gristle found in the stomach. Like the other expert witnesses considerable time was spent in cross examination, as to technical terms, etc., which was all Greek to the most of the people in the court room.

DR. H.R. LAYTON again called, said he held a Coroner's inquest on the body of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD on December 16, 1903. At the inquest he heard CHARLIE WOODARD testify that his wife had been taking medicine. He first said he brought it from home with him and then said he didn't bring it. That when he went back to the house that evening he got the bottle and wrapped it in some of the children's clothes and that it slipped out and fell on the ground between the house and woodpile. The witness with Dr. Brown, Lute Brown and one or two others made a thorough search all around WOODARD's home that evening but could find no pieces of the bottle or indications of where it had been broken. At the inquest when he asked WOODARD about the breaking of the bottle he said it broke into small pieces, even to the neck, and when he asked him if the label broke too he said he guessed not. Defendant at the inquest appeared unconcerned in regard to the death of his wife. Dr. Layton told of the removing of the stomach at the post mortem, that it was placed in a fruit jar and he brought it with him to Leon where it was kept at his office until the next day when it was taken to Des Moines and delivered to Prof. Kenney, of Drake University, for analysis and was present when it was cut open. It contained some semi-solid food and several pieces of gristle or meat which were similar to the piece which was removed from the stomach at the post mortem. Did not know where the fruit jar came from in which the stomach was placed when first removed, but it was washed out clean.

DR. B.L. EIKER, recalled, said the medicine he furnished CHARLEY WOODARD was a dark brown. Thought it would have colored the snow if it had been spilled.

DR. C.M. KENNEY, who made the analysis of the stomach and contents, was then called to the stand. He testified he was 36 years old, held the position of Professor of Chemistry at Drake University, Des Moines, and was also chemist for the State Board of Health. Had been practicing chemistry for more than fifteen years and had spent twelve years in study at Yale College, the University of Chicago and Drake University. At Yale he had studied poisons under Dr. Chittenden. That the stomach of MRS. CHARLES WOODARD was brought to him for analysis on December 17, 1903, by Drs. Layton and Brown in a sealed glass jar. Upon examination he found the stomach perfectly normal and contained about a pint of material, there were some pieces of undigested meat and gristle, the balance being partially digested food. In the jar with the stomach there was a piece of gristle which was the same as other pieces in the stomach. Upon making a chemical analysis he found strychnine in the walls of the stomach and also in the contents of the stomach. He described in detail the method used in making the analysis, telling of the acids and other tests and processes used to extract the strychnine as well as the tests to prove that it was strychnine. That he found five-tenths of a grain of strychnine in the stomach and three-tenths of a grain in the walls of the stomach, making a total of four-fifths of a grain. If she died from poison by strychnine there would be more of the poison which had passed into the blood and other parts of the body which the analysis of the stomach would not show. The usual fatal dose of strychnine is one grain. One of the tests which he used to prove that it was strychnine was to take a small particle of the drug, found in the stomach and place it under the skin of a live frog and in a few minutes the effects of the poison was manifested by convulsions just as they appear in cases of strychnine poisoning.

The hour of adjourning court for the day arrived before Prof. Kenney's direct examination was concluded, court adjourning until 9 o'clock Friday morning.

When court was called Friday morning the examination of Prof. Kenney was resumed.

He testified that he personally made the analysis and everything connected with it was kept under lock and key. There were a number of persons who tried to find out the result of the analysis including newspaper reporters, attorneys for the defendant, the president of the insurance company which issued the policy to WOODARD and several other parties. He exhibited a part of the strychnine taken from the stomach. About one grain of strychnine is considered a sure fatal dose. Strychnine retains its strength indefinitely. It is intensely bitter to the taste.

On cross examination said he made his first report to county attorney Olsen in three or four days after making the analysis, and a second or final report to him in two or three weeks later. The attorneys for defendant asked that this report be produced and asked that ex-County Attorney A.P. Olsen, County Attorney W.B. Kelley and Geo. W. Baker be sworn to assist in locating it, and the witness Kenney was excused during this examination.

A.P. OLSEN testified he had some letters from Kenney at his office. That he received a letter or report from Kenney on December 6, 1904, and turned it over to W.B. Kelley County Attorney.

W.B. KELLEY, County Attorney testified he had no papers in his office, but had a copy of a part of a letter which was copied for him by Olsen's stenographer. This was two or three days before taking his office. Have seen the original but don't know where it is.

On motion of defendant's attorneys the court ordered the attorneys to produce said letters or reports from Kenney by the opening of court at the afternoon session, and Prof. Kenney was excused until that time.

DR. H.R. LAYTON testified that if strychnine was placed in a bottle of medicine such as prescribed by Dr. Eiker it would be dissolved and if taken into a human stomach would be absorbed into the system. It would take from ten to thirty minutes to take effect. First symptoms would be nervousness, then spasms, arms and legs be extended or drawn up. To a hypothetical question describing the actions of a woman similar to those of MRS. WOODARD, as described by the witness and that four-fifths of a grain of strychnine was found in her stomach, would say that the woman died from strychnine poison.

PROF. C.M. KENNEY testified that strychnine would probably dissolve in medicine such as Dr. Eiker prescribed in about fifteen or twenty minutes.

MRS. JANE BROWN, residing in Richland Township testified she is the wife of Bud Brown, and saw CHARLES WOODARD pass their house the day MRS. WOODARD died. He did not stop. Saw a man with a load of wood pass shortly before. Fred Vanlar came into our house just after WOODARD passed.

H.H. BROWN, a resident of Richland Township testified he lives a mile north of Kirkpatrick's. Was at Kirkpatrick's house the night that MRS. WOODARD died and had a conversation with CHARLES WOODARD out in the yard in which he told me his wife appeared better and more cheerful that morning than he had ever seen her. They started to go to her father's home. The first he noticed anything wrong was just as they crossed the river and he noticed her jerking and he asked her if she was cold and she said no, she was afraid one of the horses would get under the ice in crossing the river. He drove on at a pretty good lick and after he drove around Harger she took a bad spell and he thought he would give her a dose of the medicine he had brought from home for neuralgia. He started on and she said to hold them up she couldn't stand it and he slowed up to a slow walk until he got past the Madraz place to the underground crossing. Then she said to drive up she was feeling better and he drove fast until she took another bad spell where he met Vanlear and in giving her a dose of the medicine he broke the bottle in the buggy. That when he reached Bud Brown's she spoke up in a strong voice and told him to drive on and he drove as fast as he could until he reached the Kirkpatrick home. Heard him say that they were talking of having an inquest. That he didn't see any use of it, but they could have an inquest but there couldn't be any cutting done. Asked me about seeing about getting the grave dug and wanted me to see about Joe Edwards preaching the funeral. Said he wanted the funeral by 10 or 11 o'clock the next day. That he wanted to bury her as soon as possible. Heard him swearing that evening and laughed. did not see him shed any tears. Soon after he told me about breaking the bottle in the buggy I took a lantern and examined the buggy thoroughly but could find no pieces or trace of any bottle. Saw a small scratch or mark on MRS. WOODARD's neck after she was dead.

ARTHUR FOLAND, residing in Richland Township, testified to being at the Kirkpatrick house the night MRS. WOODARD died. Heard CHAS. WOODARD talking to Harrison Brown on the west side of the house that night. WOODARD was telling about his trip up there. Heard him say that it was after they crossed the Crees ford she had her first bad spell. That he broke the bottle of neuralgia medicine. Heard him talking about the funeral. Was only present a few minutes.

MRS. ELIZA VANDERPOOL, a resident of Richland Township for 40 years, testified she is a sister of Mrs. Kirkpatrick, and was at the house the day MRS. WOODARD died. Saw the corpse and noticed a mark on the left jaw or neck which looked like a scratch wider than a pin scratch. It looked like a finger scratch. Heard CHARLES WOODARD say he wanted her buried the next day. Mrs. Hendricks showed the scratch to me.

When court opened at 2 o'clock, the first witness called was DR. J.W. ROBINSON, who testified he drove from Grand River, a distance of over two miles, to the Kirkpatrick home in response to a phone call to see MRS. WOODARD and she died in less than five minutes after he arrived there. It was near 1 o'clock when she died.

A.P. OLSEN testified he never showed any letters from Prof. Kenney to the attorneys for defendant, and that he gave some days ago a letter to County Attorney Kelley and told him that was all the letter he had touching the case. Denied that he told Baker that unless the State employed him he would assist the defense. Witness produced letters received from Kenney.

FRED VANLAR, again went on the stand and testified that when he first saw WOODARD, he was sitting in the buggy looking back. His horses were hot and sweating.

R.G. YOUNG, residing in Richland Township testified to hearing CHARLES WOODARD say he had insurance on his wife and $4,000 on himself, that he applied for $4,000 on his wife but the policy only came for $2,000. Heard him testify at the inquest that he broke the bottle of medicine at the end of the walk near the woodhouse. He said he had told parties that he had broke the bottle down by Brown's and that he would fix that up. Didn't hear him make any claim that the insurance policies were void.

WELL WADSWORTH, a resident of Richland Township, testified to being at the Kirkpatrick home the day MRS. WOODARD died. Had a conversation with CHARLES WOODARD that night in which he said his wife had been in good health that morning, but had been taking medicine for neuralgia and kidney trouble. That she brought her medicine along and when she had one of her spells she broke the bottle. The first thing he noticed wrong with his wife was at the Crees ford, he drove on and when near Fred Vanlear to help him wrap her up, and then drove on home. Heard him testify at the inquest that Dr. Robinson had asked him about the medicine so when he went home he thought he would bring it up and show it to him but dropped it at the end of the walk and broke it. When asked if he had not told the witness and others that the bottle was broken when she had a spell near Brown's he dropped his head and said, "If I said that I'll fix it up somehow" and appeared to be considerably frustrated. When the doctors came to hold the inquest WOODARD seemed to be nervous and wanted to hear all the conversation. I went down to where he claimed to have broken the bottle by Brown's and made a search, but did not find anything.

E.A. HENDRICKS, a resident of Richland Township, testified he was at the Kirkpatrick home the evening MRS. WOODARD died and did not notice anything unusual in CHARLES WOODARD's appearance. Heard him joking and laughing, and said his wife was in good spirits tht morning and was bright as a dollar until after they crossed the Crees ford. That he drove on until near the Madraz place when she complained of a pain in her heart and told him not to drive so fast and he slowed the horses down and stopped them. That after he stopped she said to go ahead and take her home. At another time I heard him say he drove on to McKee's and at another time said he stopped near Bud Brown's. I went with defendant to Grand River to get a casket, and then went to Covington & Armstrong's store to get an underskirt for his dead wife and he picked out the cheapest one he could get, 60 cents, and growled about that because he thought he ought to get it for 50 cents. On the way back he complained about the casket costing so much, that if he could have cut it in two and got it for $20 he would have done so. That he would give her a decent burial for she couldn't help it. That he had intended getting her a $300 or $400 monument for her out of the insurance money, but supposed he would have to keep the money to fight the Kirks, for they were going to put up a fight against him. Heard him say there was no use of having an inquest, but if they had one they would have to crawl his frame before they did any cutting.

DR. B.L. EIKER, was again called and said the medicine he prescribed for CHARLES WOODARD was in a two ounce bottle and for his wife was in a four ounce bottle. The smaller bottle contained a pink colored medicine. I have since seen what I think was the small bottle I gave to CHARLES WOODARD at the home of Lew Green. Punch Wells and a man I don't know had the bottle. They stopped at the house and asked me if that was the bottle I fixed up for MRS. WOODARD and I said it was not. This was the same evening of the post mortem. Don't know what became of that bottle.

GEORGE KIRKPATRICK was called to testify his sister was married to CHARLES WOODARD in April, 1899.

PROF. KENNEY recalled for further cross-examination was questioned at length by attorneys for defendant as to where he attended school, secured his degrees and what they constituted, then for more than two hours technical questions as to the process used in making the analysis of the stomach and tests to determine the poison found were followed point by point from start to conclusion and occupied the entire time until court adjourned at 5:35.

When court was called Saturday morning, the examination of Prof. Kenney was resumed -- The State introducing as exhibits the samples of strychnine taken from the stomach of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD. The defense introduced the record book of the witness showing the result of the analysis in which the record originally appeared as the stomach of MRS. CHARLES GRAHAM, but the witness explained this by saying the record as to name was made from memory which was incorrect but the main entry showed it was the identical stomach received from Drs. Layton and Brown on Dec. 17, 1903, and in connection with his testimony several letters from the witness to County Attorney Olsen were read.

E.W. TOWNSEND, testified he received a telegram from the Insurance Company on Dec. 16, 1903, and in reply he wrote them a letter saying the policies had been delivered to MR. WOODARD some time before, that the Coroner's jury had found nothing but had sent the stomach away for examination.

DR. A. BROWN testified he never took the stomach of any woman named Graham to Dr. Kenney, the stomach of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD being the only one he ever took there. To a hypothetical question describing the symptoms of MRS. WOODARD before her death and the result of the chemical analysis showing four-fifths of a grain of strychnine in the stomach, would say the person died from strychnine poison.

E.A. HENDRICKS, recalled, testified he only recollects of one conversation with CHARLES WOODARD about life insurance. Didn't recollect of hearing any conversation on this subject at the bank of Grand River between CHARLES WOODARD and Hoyle Gilreath.

DR. B.L. EIKER, recalled, testified Punch Wells and another party showed him a second bottle beside the pink one the day he was at Green's house. They informed me where they got the bottle. Think it was a bottle of liniment. It was not the bottle of medicine which I furnished CHARLES WOODARD for his wife. They did not show me the neck or label of another bottle or say they had any other.

DR. H.R. LAYTON, again testified he did not examine the clothes of MRS. WOODARD or look for any letter written by her. Never took a stomach taken from the body of a Mrs. Graham to Prof. Kenney or anyone else. The only stomach I ever delivered to Kenney was that of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD. I instructed him to make his report to County Attorney Olsen. The evening we searched for the broken bottle at the home of CHARLES WOODARD I saw a man named Wells and Frank Hendricks there. They came just after we did.

DR. B.L. EIKER, recalled, said he furnished CHAS. WOODARD about 15 pills for his wife probably six months before her death.

H.A. WELLS, a resident of Decatur Township, testified he was at CHAS. WOODARD's house the evening of the inquest. Luke Brown, Frank Hendricks, Drs. Brown and Layton were there. We searched all around where he said he broke the bottle and we did not find any bottle or pieces of bottles. Luke Brown went into the house and took two bottles of medicine from the clock shelf. We stopped that evening at Green's house and showed them to Dr. Eiker. The last time I saw the bottles Luke Brown had them. Saw him yesterday in Leon coming down from Cal Hoffman's office and he said he was going home as they had excused him. Saw a piece of an old cook stove there in the yard, looked for a piece of the bottle there but could not find any.

GEORGE KIRKPATRICK testified he saw Luke Brown break the two bottles he found at WOODARD's against a fence post near Sanford Foland's. I told Olsen and Baker about the bottles being broken. They did not tell me not to say anything about it.

FRANK HENDRICKS, residing in Richland Township, a cousin of MRS. CHAS WOODARD, testified to going to the home of CHARLES WOODARD on the evening of the inquest and to making a search of the premises to find where the bottle he claimed to have broken fell, but could find no pieces. I went into the house with Luke Brown and he found two bottles of medicine on the clock shelf which he took. Luke Brown had them the last time I saw them.

At ten minutes before 12 o'clock the State announced their case in chief closed and court adjourned until 2 o'clock.

When court was called at 2 o'clock a number of the defendant's witnesses were sworn. The first witness was

MRS. ISAAC FISHER of Decatur City; who testified MRS. CHARLES WOODARD was at her home the day before she died to get some sewing done. She said she had been wanting to put out strychnine to kill the rats but MR. WOODARD did not want to, as they might get into the well. That she believed she would put out strychnine. Said she had neuralgia in her breast and was going to Dr. Eiker's office.

MRS. MARION WOODARD of Leon, the wife of a brother of the defendant, testified MRS. CHARLES WOODARD was at our house on October 19, 1903. At that time she said they were troubled with rats and she wanted CHARLEY to put out strychnine but he objected for fear they would get into the well. She complained of her back and had been suffering from neuralgia. Got some pills and tonic of Dr. Eiker and it did her more good than anything she ever took.

MRS. ADDIE WELLS, residing in Decatur Township, testified MRS. CHAS. WOODARD visited at her home two or three times a week. I was at her home in June, 1903, when she was sick, suffering from an abortion. A few weeks before her death MRS. WOODARD said she was pregnant, and wanted to go to the World's Fair and didn't want a child. That she would die first. She said she had committed five abortions on herself and I told her it would kill her, and she said she didn't care if it did. We live on one of WM. WOODARD's farms.

MRS. RENNA RICHARDS, of Mt. Moriah, Mo., who formerly lived near the home of CHARLES WOODARD, testified to knowing MRS. WOODARD and that in June, 1903, she was sick, suffering from an abortion, and told me that was the fourth time. Said she would rather die than have a child. About two weeks before her death she said she was pregnant and would take all the medicine she could get before she would have a child. At the time of this conversation the witness said they lived on WM. WOODARD's farm.

S.E. RICHARDSON, husband of the previous witness, testified to being at the WOODARD home the Sunday or Sunday week before MRS. WOODARD died, and she was talking about rats and showed me an ounce bottle containing what she said was strychnine and was going to put it out for rats, but not to tell CHARLIE for he objected to it. Said she got it when she went up to her mother's.

JOHN TILLOT, residing in Decatur Township, testified he saw MRS. CHAS. WOODARD at Euritt's store in Decatur City the day before she died in which she said, before I ever heard of her raising a child her toes would be turned up.

DR. B.L. EIKER, testified to waiting on MRS. CHAS. WOODARD in June, 1903, when she was suffering from a miscarriage. She said she did nothing intentional to bring it on.

Before answering this question Dr. Eiker refused to answer unless the court ordered him to, and Judge Evans ordered him to answer the question.

DR. D.R. SPRINGSTEEN, of Decatur City, testified he was called to visit MRS. CHARLES WOODARD on May 21, 1901, and found she had had an abortion.

C.B. TOWNSEND testified he solicited CHARLES WOODARD to take out insurance. His first application was conditional on his father approving it. It was for $4,000 on himself and was returned to him. It was payable to his wife and three children. This was in October 1903. At his home I secured an application for $4,000 each for WOODARD and his wife, payable to each other. She objected to him taking insurance payable to his children, wanted it payable to herself. He gave his note for the premium on both applications.

HOYLE GILREATH, residing at Lake Andes, S.D., a former banker of Grand River and a son-in-law of Marion Woodard, was called for the purpose of impeaching the testimony of E.A. Hendricks as to an alleged conversation in the bank of Grand River about the insurance, but on objection of the State his testimony was not allowed to go in as Hendricks had testified he did not hear the conversation which was between WOODARD and Gilreath.

At 4:15 o'clock court adjourned until Monday morning at 9 o'clock as the defense were not ready to introduce their expert medical testimony.

Monday morning the trial of the case was resumed, the first witness being

DR. C.H. HUFFMAN, of Des Moines, a physician, chemist, toxicologist and bacteriologist. Am city bacteriologist of the city of Des Moines. Attended the University of Hiedleburg, Germany, from l885 to l888, spent several years in the hospitals, attended the University of Munich in 1891. Came to America in l893 and engaged in laboratory work in St. Paul, also worked at government work in connection with the University of Minnesota. Have held the position of State bacteriologist under the State Board of Control, and was connected with Drake University for a year and a half. Regarding his employment by State Board of Control he stated he was committed as a patient to the State Insane Hospital at Mt. Pleasant and in three weeks after being admitted was placed on the State's payroll at $l25 per month. He described how a post mortem should be conducted at considerable length, and going into all the details of an examination of each organ of the body. Described the disease tetanus. Any slight injury may cause it. Not always accompanied by lock-jaw. Caused contraction of the muscles or spasms. Strychnine is an organic poison. If a stomach was removed and placed in a vessel without a preserving liquid it will digest itself or decompose, commencing in about six hours. It has been found that in such cases ptomaine poison may result which in certain instances might appear to be similar to strychnine. Strychnine is so bitter that one part in seven hundred thousand parts of water can be distinctly tasted. The witness examined the record book of Prof. Kenney and stated it showed 29 tests beside the crystals examined under microscope and in burning and melting. Explained the label on a bottle of strychnine brought into court by Prof Kenney contains one-third of a grain. That on the watch crystal the commission appointed to weigh it found fifteen hundredths of a grain of strychnine. Said that deducting the amount shown in court and left on the slides by Prof. Kenney, there would be left thirty-five hundredths of a grain to make the chemical tests. The witness said he could not make the test alleged to have been made with this amount. Thought if a person had two to four abortions it might affect the health and mind. To a hypothetical question describing the symptoms of MRS. WOODARD the day of her death as was claimed by the defense, he stated the symptoms were not typical of strychnine poisoning. That uremia, tetanus or a hemorrhage of the brain might produce such symptoms. That the fact that after death her jaw dropped did not indicate she died from strychnine poisoning. That the dropping of the jaw is caused simply by the relaxation of the muscles. The witness described the symptoms of strychnine poisoning, which are first manifested by an uneasiness, slight twitching of the muscles, followed by spasms which last a minute or more and after each spasm there is a complete relaxation of the muscles. The patient generally froths at the mouth and bites the tongue. On cross examination he said tetanus usually first manifested itself in the muscles of the jaw. In strychnine poisoning the hands and limbs are first affected in the twitching and the patient calls for water. To a hypothetical question describing a woman whom three reputable physicians examined and found her heart, liver, kidneys and other organs in normal condition who started from home and drove nine miles, was attacked first by slight twitching and jerking then went into spasms and after arriving home had spasms at intervals of five minutes, called for water, but didn't drink, complained of her arms and legs, spasms continued for an hour or an hour and a half, dying in one of these spasms. After dying her jaw dropped and parties who dressed the corpse stated she was a very rigid corpse, a post mortem was held, the stomach sent to the State chemist who found four-fifths of a grain of strychnine in the stomach, would say that if the poison was in her stomach prior to her death that she died from strychnine poisoning.

DR. G.A. STILL, of Des Moines, 25 years of age, lecturer on surgery at Still College, a graduate of medicine and surgery at Northwestern School of Medicine, Chicago, and also studied chemistry four years at Drake University, testified he had had considerable experience in holding post mortems, and was assistant city bacteriologist of the city of Des Moines under Dr. C.H. Huffman. He described in detail the method in which a post mortem is correctly made. Strychnine is an organic poison. Ptomaine is also organic poison. He described the symptoms of strychnine poison in animals and persons. The witness examined the record book of Dr. Kenney and said it showed 29 tests which he had made of the strychnine extracted from the stomach of MRS. WOODARD. Don't think it would be possible to make these tests from thirty-five hundredths of a grain of strychnine. In answer to the same hypothetical question propounded in direct examination to Dr. Hoffman he said he would not consider the symptoms described as positive evidence of strychnine poisoning. That the indications of such a death might be probable. That the death might be caused from a great many diseases, such as kidney disease or the spinal cord. It is possible it might be tetanus, which arises from a pin scratch or any small injury.

At the conclusion of the examination in chief of Dr. Still court adjourned until 2 o'clock.

Court was called promptly at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon and

DR. C.H. HUFFMAN, was recalled and said he analyzed a sample of the hypophosphites which was sent to him by W.S. Bear, of Decatur. In the half ounce sample I found one thirty-five hundredths of a grain of strychnine, which would make about one seventeen hundredth to the ounce. He testified that strychnine took effect in from five minutes to three hours, depending on the condition of the stomach and the amount of food it contained. If four-fifths of a grain of strychnine was found in a stomach and the person died there would have been more of the drug which had been absorbed into the system.

DR. G.A. STILL, then resumed his testimony, saying strychnine would take effect in from a few minutes to some hours, depending on conditions. If taken under ordinary conditions in a bottle of medicine, it would take effect in from fifteen to thirty minutes.

C.C. BECK, ex-Sheriff of Decatur County, residing in Decatur Township, testified he is acquainted with Rebecca Green and that her general moral reputation is bad. Also with her mother, Nancy Green, and that her reputation is bad.

ABE WELLS, residing in Decatur Township, testified that the moral reputation of Mrs. Nancy Green and her daughter Rebecca were both bad.

LINK WOODARD, residing in Decatur Township, no relation to the defendant, testified that the moral reputation of Mrs. Nancy Green and her daughter Rebecca were both bad.

JOHN MCKEE, residing in Richland Township, testified that he examined a gap in the fence near the willows east of his home the day after MRS. WOODARD died and also the gate on the south side of the road and could find no tracks at either place showing that anyone had driven in, and searched for a bottle but found none.

DR. O.W. FOXWORTHY, a practicing physician of Leon, testified he had very little experience in cases of strychnine poison in human beings. To the same hypothetical question propounded to the other physicians by the attorneys for the defendant, said he would not consider the symptoms as stated as positive strychnine poisoning, and there was a possiblity that they could be from other causes. On cross examination he said when strychnine is found in a person's stomach and it was not placed there after death, would think that strychnine caused the death. To the State's hypothetical question describing MRS. WOODARD's symptoms and death and the fact that the post mortem examination showed her in normal health, and the fact that four-fifths of a grain of strychnine was found in her stomach, he replied that it indicated strychnine poisoning.

MRS. MARION WOODARD, testified she assisted in dressing the body of MRS. CHARLES WOODARD for burial and saw no mark of any kind on her neck or jaw.

WARREN WOODARD, the 16 year old son of the defendant, testified he remembered his step-mother going to the Hewlitt home in August, 1902, after a dispute with his little brother and that his father was not at home that day and did not come home until after she came back. When Hewlitt came over father was at the barn. Never knew of my father locking up the provisions, taking us children away and leaving his wife there alone. My father sold his sorrel horse Tony, just after Greenland's barn burned at Grand River. The day MRS. WOODARD died we children went to school, and father was at home when we got back. We had about 200 chickens and I fed them that night and the next morning. There was a piece of iron from a separator right there in which we watered them. The cat MRS. WOODARD took with her was a pet one. The night she died I saw my father come out of the house with a bundle and a bottle dropped out and broke on the iron we watered the chickens in. On cross examination he said his father left the neck of the bottle there until the next day when he came back and picked it up. Don't know what became of the label. He didn't pick it up that night or the next day when he picked up the neck. I testified before the Grand Jury that father picked the neck up that night and put it in his overcoat pocket. I also said the medicine colored the ground. It was the evening after MRS. WOODARD was buried that father picked up the neck of the bottle.

ADDIE WOODARD, the 15 year old daughter of the defendant, testified to knowing Orville Harger and she never had any trouble with her step-mother about a pair of scissors. Never saw my father strike his wife, kick her or swear at her. Father never locked up the provisions in the smoke house and took us children away and left mother there. The day before mother died I accompanied them to Decatur City. Mamma went for some medicine. Was at school the day she died, with my brothers. That evening father got a bottle of medicine from the clock shelf and wrapped it up in a bundle of clothes and we started to go. I was in the buggy and saw the bottle fall out of the bundle and break on an iron chicken trough. Father said he had broke the bottle of medicine. After the funeral when we came home father picked up the neck of the bottle. The cat mother took with her that day was a pet one, which she fed all the time. At the home of MRS. KIRKPATRICK I saw her take some capsules from the pocket of the coat which had been worn by mamma. On cross examination she said that after she was in the buggy her father went back in the house after the clothes. Denied that she testified before the Grand Jury that she didn't see the bottle break, that it was dark and father and brother told her. No one except MRS. KIRKPATRICK and myself were present when she took the capsules out of the cloak pocket. I did not eat any of the candy and did not see MRS. KIRKPATRICK eat any of it.

When the witness was excused court adjourned until 9 o'clock Tuesday morning.

Promptly at 9 o'clock Tuesday morning the hearing of the testimony was resumed, the first witness being

CHARLES WOODARD, the defendant, who testified that he had resided in Decatur County since 1867. Was married to ELIZA KIRKPATRICK on April 16, 1899. Moved to his present farm in 1901. Did not reside near Dick Hewlitt in 1902. On the day Hewlitt testified to having a conversation with me, I had been to the timber and got a load of wood. Upon returning home my boy told me of some trouble between the children and my wife. Went to the barn and Hewlitt came there and asked me what kind of trouble my wife and the children had been having and I told him WARREN said there had been a slapping match but I didn't know anything about it. Regarding the testimony of Hugh Treanor about my showing him some medicine in a vial, I told him it was corrosive sublimate, and as poison as strychnine. I had the corrosive sublimate to doctor a fistula on one of my horses. At that time I had no strychnine in my possession and did not show him any. I never told Mrs. Treaner I kept strychnine in the clock, or that I kept it in my trunk. Never mentioned strychnine in her presence in my life. The last time I ever had any strychnine in my possession was ten or twelve years ago and I never saw any since that time. Denied that he ever had any quarrel with his wife in the presence of Orville Harger and never struck her or kicked her in the presence of any person. Never saw my wife take a pair of scissors from my girl. Never locked up provisions or meat in the smoke house or kept any flour in it. I sold the sorrel horse which Harger said he rode to Decatur, in 1901 to Frank Greenland and Dick Pray. Remember of Rebecca Green and Laura Ladd being at my home, but I never struck my wife or kicked her while they were there or had any trouble with her. He explained the alleged cut fingers of his wife by saying they were bruised and cut while helping him fix a new corn planter. Denied the testimony of Charles Mullen. Never told Nancy Green I had whipped my wife or was going to get a divorce, or that I kept strychnine in the house and was afraid she would poison the stock. Regarding his application for insurance, said he first applied for $4,000, a thousand each to my children and my wife, but my wife objected to it being in favor of the children as they would get the farm and she ought to have the insurance. She proposed that we each take out $4,000, payable to each other. We made application and I gave my note for the premiums. When the policies came there was only $2,000 on her and she said she wouldn't take any insurance unless she got $4,000, and we went and told Townsend we wouldn't take them. He said to hold them and he would try and get the other. Denied having any conversation with E.A. Hendricks about the insurance on his wife. Said he told Dr. Layton that they both made application for $4,000, but when hers came it was only for $2,000. He did not ask me whether we had accepted the policies or they were in force. My wife's health was poor in the fall of 1903. She suffered from an abortion in June of that year. Just before she had been up to her mother's and when she came home she was nervous and flustrated. That night she had a spasm in a light form. She objected to sending for a doctor and said to wait until morning. When the doctor came she had had an abortion before he got there. Dr. Eiker waited on her and she complained from that time on, of neuralgia and pains running to her heart. He left some black pills there, about a dozen, and later sent about the same number again. Before my wife died she claimed she was pregnant. She said she didn't like it and seemed worried over it. I asked her if that was what made her health bad and she didn't give me any definite answer. She would cry about it when talking to me. She said she never wanted to have a child and never intended to. On the day before she died, my wife and daughter accompanied me to Decatur City. She told me to tell Eiker how she felt and get her some medicine. Got the medicine at Bear's drug store. The witness related the journey to KIRKPATRICK's the day she died, leaving home about 9:30 or l0 o'clock in a spring wagon. She took a pet cat with her. On the way she asked me to hold the cat while she fixed her fascinator, taking her mittens off. I was busy watching the team and did not notice all she did. When S.Y. Harger was met and was walking beside us he asked her where she was taking the cat and she said to Jerusalem. He didn't know where that was and she said she was taking it to her mother. That was all the conversation he had with her, was talking with me the balance of the time. In crossing the river she got scared at the team. Soon after crossing the river she said she had an awful pain in her heart. I thought she was going to fall out and put my arm around her, but could not hold the team with one hand and told her to lean over against me. I drove at a fair gait from the river to the railroad crossing and did not stop any place on the way. When near McKee's she said she was feeling bad and asked me to slow up, which I did. When near the willows west of McKee's, 40 or 50 or 100 years, my wife threw herself in a stiff position. I hollowed to Beck and Crees but they did not stop. She made no noise. I remained there in the road with her 15 or 20 minutes until Vanlar came along. She was unconscious all the time and I was holding her as best I could and hold the team. Vanlar helped me put her back in the buggy. I asked him to go with me to Bud Brown's and help hold her. When we got there I asked her if she wanted to go in and get warm and she said no, to take her on home as quick as I could and I drove on to KIRKPATRICK's as fast as I could. Her brothers carried her into the house and put her on a chair. Her mother said she always wore her clothes too tight and that was what was the matter with her and we opened her dress and I unhooked her corset. She drank water twice and asked us to bend her arms and legs. We rubbed her. She said to send for a doctor. She did not froth at the mouth. I never drove off the road between my home and KIRKPATRICK's. After she died Dr. Robinson asked me what medicine she had been taking and I said what Dr. Eiker had given her and no other. About an hour after she died I drove home to get her underclothes and while there thought I would take the bottle of medicine up so they could find out what was the matter with her. The bottle was put in with the clothes and just as I carried them out to the buggy it slipped out and broke on a piece of iron. It was between 4 and 5 o'clock. When I returned home after the inquest I found the neck of a bottle near the iron and saved it, the neck being introduced as an exhibit. Denied telling Harrison Brown he gave his wife a dose and broke the bottle in the scuffle, as well as what he testified about the insurance. Did not tell Well Wadsworth my wife brought her medicine with her. Think I told him if she brought it she had lost it or it was in the buggy, or was broken. Couldn't swear positive that the bottle I broke was the one containing her medicine. Never told anyone the bottle was broke in a scuffle with her while I was giving her a dose or she was taking it. After the inquest my house was broken into and some bottles taken. Denied conversation with Hendricks about going to buy $400 monument. I never directly or indirectly administered or gave to my wife any strychnine or other poison which caused her death and if she died from poison I do not know where she got it. Never saw her have any poison. I did object to them cutting her open, but did not object to holding a legal inquest.

DR. H.R. LAYTON, testified he did not notice any scratch or mark on the jaw or neck. It might have been on the under side of the jaw which in the position of the body I could not see.

HOYLE GILREATH, testified there is no place on the road from the corner north of Crees ford where a team could get out of sight to the corner of the Madraz place, and no place where a team could leave the road.

Court adjourned until 2 o'clock. After the roll call of the jury when court was called at 2 o'clock the first witness was

W.S. CHANDLER, of Leon, who testified to making a special examination of the road north of the Crees ford to the Madraz place and there is only one place on the road where a man would be out of sight of a man on the railroad.

W.S. BEAR, the Decatur City druggist, testified he sent a sample of the medicine used by Dr. Eiker in filling the prescription for MRS. WOODARD to Dr. Hoffman at Des Moines.

T.M. STANLEY, a farmer residing in Decatur Township, testified to purchasing a sorrel horse named Tony three years ago, which was formerly owned by CHAS. WOODARD and kept him until about three weeks ago.

C.C. BECK, testified to knowing CHAS. WOODARD for 25 years and his reputation as a good, moral, law abiding citizen was good.

JOHN S. SHIELDS, of Decatur City, testified to knowing CHAS. WOODARD for 25 or 30 years, and his reputation as a peaceful, quiet, law abiding citizen was good.

GEORGE WOODMANSEE, of Grand River Township, said he had known CHAS. WOODARD for 30 years and that his general reputation as a peaceful, quiet, law abiding citizen was fairly good.

THOMAS SUTHERLIN, of Burrell Township, said he had known CHAS. WOODARD since 1898, when he accompanied a party to Alaska, but failed to qualify as to knowledge of his general reputation.

HENRY HENDRICKSON, of Grand River Township, said he had known CHAS. WOODARD 25 or 30 years, and that his reputation was good.

HAY SWISHER, of Decatur Township, said he knew Nancy Green and her daughter Rebecca and that their reputation for moral character was bad.

MRS. WM. WOODARD, mother of the defendant, testified she had visited his home quite often, and never heard a word of trouble between her son and his wife. He treated her as well as any man could. She frequently went to the field with him because she liked to.

At this time the defense announced their case closed.........


MRS. SARAH KIRKPATRICK, mother of MRS. CHAS. WOODARD, testified MRS. WOODARD never got any strychnine at our house in her life. The day of the funeral WOODARD called for her coat and ADDIE and I went upstairs after it. In the pocket of the coat there were three or four pieces of candy and ADDIE said mamma was bringing that to you. I handed her one piece and she ate it, and I put another piece in my mouth and ate it. There were no capsules or anything else in the pockets but a handkerchief.

J.M. EIKER, testified he was foreman of the Grand Jury which indicted CHAS. WOODARD. That ADDIE WOODARD testified before the Grand Jury regarding the breaking of the bottle, that it was dark and she didn't see it break, and that she knew nothing about the breaking of the bottle except what her father and brother told her.

JOHN ELLIOTT, of Franklin Township, who was also a member of the Grand Jury, testified to hearing ADDIE WOODARD testify before them, and said she didn't see the bottle break, that it was dark and that she knew nothing about the breaking of the bottle except what her father and brother told her. That she didn't see it fall but took their word for it.

MRS. LENA GITHENS, of Richland Township, testified that CHAS. WOODARD and wife were at their place on the Sunday before she died, and she did not appear to be sick; was laughing and talking and appeared in a good humor.

GEORGE KIRKPATRICK, testified he was at CHAS. WOODARD's house the week before MRS. WOODARD died and remained there two days. Saw his sister and she appeared to be in good health, doing her work. She did not complain of being sick. My sister never secured any strychnine at our house.

ALBERT KIRKPATRICK, testified that his sister never secured any strychnine at their house to his knowledge. Was down to see his sister a few days before she died and she was in good health. Did not hear her make any complaint.

DR. L. SCHOOLER, of Des Moines, a practicing physician of 30 years, on the staff of three hospitals in Des Moines, testified the lining of stomach does not digest after death.

JOHN LIGHTHILL, of Decatur Township, testified he has known CHARLES WOODARD since boyhood, and that the reputation of CHARLES WOODARD for truth and veracity is bad. His reputation for morality is bad.

BIRD STRONG, of Grand River Township, testified he had known John Tillot for ten years and his reputation for truth and veracity is bad.

J.M. EIKER, of Decatur Township has known CHARLES WOODARD for thirty years and his reputation for truthfulness is bad.

TIP BECK, of Grand River Township, testified to knowing CHARLES WOODARD for 20 or 30 years, but failed to qualify as to a knowledge of his reputation.

FRANK BURNETT, of Decatur Township, testified he has known CHARLES WOODARD since boyhood, and that his reputation for truth and veracity is bad.

JOHN BROWN, of Richland Township, said he had known CHARLES WOODARD for 12 to 15 years and that is reputation for truth and veracity is bad. His reputation for moral character is bad.

LINK WOODARD, of Decatur Township, living a half a mile from CHARLES WOODARD said his reputation for truth and veracity was partly good and partly bad.

G.C. SEARS, of Decatur Township, testified the reputation for truth and veracity and general morality of John Tillot is bad.


ABE WELLS, of Decatur Township, testified that CHARLES WOODARD's reputation for morality, truth and veracity was good.

C.C. BECK, testified that CHAS. WOODARD's reputation for trugh and veracity and morality was good.

T.M. STANLEY, of Decatur Township, testified that CHAS. WOODARD's reputation for morality is good.

HAY SWISHER, testified that CHAS. WOODARD's reputation for morality, truth and veracity was good.

HENRY HENDRICKSON, testified that CHAS. WOODARD's reputation for truth and veracity is good.

JOHN REUSS, of Decatur Township, testified CHARLES WOODARD's reputation for moral character is good.

C.R. RILEY, of Decatur City, testified that CHARLES WOODARD's reputation for truth and veracity is good.

At 10 minutes before 6 o'clock the case was closed so far as the evidence, and court adjourned until Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock when the arguments are to be commenced.

Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, January 26, 1903

'Woodard Murder Trial'

'The Jury in the Chas. Woodard Case Returns a Verdict of Guilty
and Fixes Punishment at Life Imprisonment'

Contrary to expectations the Jury in the CHARLES WOODARD case agreed on a verdict, and at a quarter past one o'clock Friday afternoon returned into Court with a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree and fixed his punishment at imprisonment in the penitentiary for life, after being out for fifteen and a half hours.

At the time The Reporter went to press last Wednesday afternoon, Attorney V.R. McGinnis was in the midst of his argument for the defense, having commenced talking at a few minutes before 2 o'clock. He had not finished at 6 o'clock and Judge Evans ordered a night session at which Mr. McGinnis resumed his argument and talked for an hour and a quarter making a total of five and a quarter hours which he used in presenting the case to the Jury. He made a masterful and powerful argument carefully examining the evidence and presenting the claims of the defense in a skillful manner. His argument was listened to with marked attention by both the Jury and the large audience which filled the court room. He is one of the best speakers in the State and seemed to put his whole soul into this case. At the conclusion of his address Court adjourned until Thursday morning at 9 o'clock.

The crowd in attendance when Court opened Thursday morning was still large enough to fill the court room although many of the witnesses in the case had returned home. Attorney C.W. Hoffman made the closing argument for the defense, commencing when Court opened in the morning and finished about 3 o'clock that afternoon. Mr. Hoffman went over the entire case, step by step, examining the testimony of each witness and endeavored to explain the testimony which appeared to be against his client, and insisted that there was absolutely no reliable evidence against his client, in fact no evidence whatever on which the Jury would be justified in finding him guilty of the crime charged. He refuted the statements made by County Attorney Kelley in the opening argument for the State, and claimed that much of the testimony which the State had introduced in this case was too flimsy on which to convict any man. He said he was satisfied in his own mind that CHARLES WOODARD never poisoned his wife and if she died from strychnine poison she either took it herself for the purpose of killing herself or else by accident. When he finished it was 3 o'clock.

He was followed by George W. Baker, who made the closing argument for the State. It had been expected that Mr. Baker would make the effort of his life in this case, and long before he commenced to speak it was impossible for any more people to get inside the court room, it being packed to suffocation and many were unable to get inside the door. Mr. Baker is a ready speaker and the large audience which was present seemed to spurn him to a supreme effort and he made one of the most earnest and powerful pleas, asking the Jury to find the defendant guilty, ever heard, in the court room of Decatur County. Mr. Baker talked rapidly and examined inch by inch the chain of circumstantial testimony which the State had woven about the defendant, and said that if there ever had been a case of cold blooded, premeditated murder this was one. That the defendant had tired of his wife, had insured her life and then made way with her by means of deadly poison. He closed his address with a dramatic plea that the Jury do the duty which they had sworn to perform and return a verdict of guilty as charged in the indictment and which had been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt by the testimony of the witnesses on behalf of the State. Mr. Baker closed at 9 o'clock Thursday night, having talked four and a half hours.

The instructions to the Jury were then read by Judge Evans, and as they are of much interest we publish them in full on page 3 of this issue. Judge Evans finished the charge to the Jury at 9:30 o'clock and the case was left in the hands of the Jury, the court room being cleared by order of Judge Evans as it was decided that the court room would be the best place for the Jury to spend the night.

When the Jury retired it was common talk that they would never agree on a verdict and that it would be a hung Jury, and this opinion was strengthened when Friday morning came and the Jury went to breakfast with no indication that they were going to agree on a verdict. They remained out all forenoon and as they were closely guarded in their room over the Farmers and Traders Bank by two bailiffs, there was no leak as to how they stood. About one o'clock Friday afternoon the word was passed around that the Jury had agreed on a verdict and soon an immense throng was hastening to the court room to be present when the verdict was read. It was a quarter after one o'clock when the Jury marched solemnly into the court room, and from their looks the audience at once divined that their verdict was one of guilt for the men looked pale and worn, indicating they had passed a sleepless night and that their conscience was sorely troubling them. To the question by Judge Evans asking if they had agreed on a verdict, the foreman, E.C. Hollister, answered that they had, and he was directed to hand it to Clerk Tharp to be read. There was a dramatic silence in the court room as Clerk Tharp opened the verdict and slowly read the verdict which meant so much to the defendant, which was as follows:

"We, the Jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree and fix his punishment at imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary."

The defendant was seated by the side of his attorneys and betrayed no emotion, never faltering from the stand he has taken from the first that he was not guilty.

The Jury was then polled and each Juror was asked if the verdict read was his verdict and each one answered in turn that it was. The attorneys for the defendant immediately gave notice that they would file a motion for a new trial and asked until ll o'clock Saturday morning to secure affidavits and make their motion, which time was granted by Judge Evans. They also asked that the defendant be permitted to remain at liberty under his $20,000 bond, but the Court held that under the law as soon as the Jury returned a verdict of guilty he could not remain at liberty under bond and ordered Sheriff Wallace to take charge of the defendant.

Saturday morning at 11 o'clock the motion for a new trial was submitted the motion alleging the usual statutory grounds that the verdict was contrary to the evidence, and that the Court had erred in his instruction to the Jury in giving certain instructions which had been objected to by the defendant and in refusing to give instructions asked for by him, as well as allowing certain testimony to be introduced by the State over defendant's objections and in refusing to allow other testimony to be introduced which would have aided to prove the innocence of the accused.

They also charged that one of the Jurors, C.E. Mills, was not qualified to sit as a Juror in the case, alleging that although he had stated when examined that he was in possession of all his faculties, that he was in fact hard of hearing and could not hear all of the evidence submitted. The Juror had been brought into Court and examined in regard to this matter, and still claimed that he was not hard of hearing while the defense introduced testimony and affidavits of several parties that they had known him for a number of years and that he was hard of hearing. His father and mother made affidavit that he was not hard of hearing and that they had never considered that he was. Another reason for asking for a new trial was that certain of the Jurors had been separated from the balance of the Jurors during the trial which was contrary to instructions of the Court, but it was shown that they had always been in charge of one of the Jury bailiffs and while they had gone to stores and barber shops it was always in the custody of a bailiff and that they had not been allowed to hold any conversation with any person except in the hearing of the bailiff. After the motion for a new trial had been submitted and fully argued by counsel for the defense, Judge Evans at 2 o'clock overruled the motion not having adjourned Court during the noon hour as he desired to return to his home at Corydon on the afternoon train, and after asking the defendant if he had anything to say as to why the Court should not render judgment on the verdict, to which MR. WOODARD replied: "I am innocent. I never administered any strychnine or any other kind of poison. I am absolutely innocent of the charge", proceeded to pronounce judgment as follows:

MR. WOODARD, you have been tried on the most serious crime known to our law. You have been tried by men of your own selection and by men from your own county, in which you have lived, as your testimony shows, something like 35 or 37 years. These Jurors were selected by your attorneys with the utmost care, and the evidence was submitted against you and on your behalf with as much care as it was possible to submit it. This Jury so far as the Court knows, was absolutely without prejudice, and had no other purpose than to do that which was right and in accordance with the law and evidence. You have been represented in this case by counsel whom I do not hesitate to say rendered to you the most faithful and vigorous service that could be rendered to you. In the experience of eighteen years practice of law, I do not remember of ever seeing a case more vigorously and more thoroughly than your case has been tried. These men, in season and out of season, have stood here battling for you and for your liberty. They have done everything so far as the Court knows and so far as the Court has been able to observe, that was possible to do in honor in your defense. You have been present during the trial and you have known and observed that these men have been more faithful to you than a brother. It is true that the State has presented its case vigorously; they have presented it well; and the county attorney and his able assistant in this matter have, so far as the Court knows, presented all the evidence and presented it in a way most effective and well, so that this struggle in behalf of your liberty has been a struggle in many respects of giants in the endeavor to determine the very truth of the matter at issue. The Court has tried, so far as human nature and finite knowledge and a not wide experience is concerned, to give you a fair and impartial trial. In the submission of evidence, if the Court erred he feels that he erred on your side. The Court, after looking over the evidence, has thought that in possibly one or two instances there was evidence introduced on your behalf that possibly ought not to have gone to the Jury, but the Court felt, in passing upon it, that if he erred at all he preferred to err in behalf of mercy, in behalf of the defendant. The Jury went out. They took their time. They did not go out under the heat and passion of a most logical and excellent speech, but they went out and took their time. They were out something like fifteen hours. If they had been raised up to any excitement by the argument of counsel, it had time to pass away. Now these twelve men, citizens of your county who have lived within a few miles of you -- probably none more than 20 or 25 miles from you -- have passed upon your case, and they have found you guilty. Under the law they have fixed your punishment as it was their duty to do and they have fixed that punishment at imprisonment for life in the Penitentiary of this State. There has never come to the speaker in his life of more than forty years a more painful duty than comes to him now. I would that you were not guilty of this crime, and if I believed that the evidence did not support the verdict, if I believed that as a fact, I certainly would set the verdict aside, but that matter was submitted to the Jury and they found against you, and the Court is not prepared to say that they did not find right. So there is only one thing left for the Court to do, and that is to pronounce the judgment as disclosed in the verdict of the Jury.

So, MR. WOODARD, it is the judgment and order of this Court that you be confined to the State Penitentiary at Ft. Madison for the term of your natural life, and that you pay the costs of this action.

The trial of CHARLES WOODARD has in several respects been a most remarkable one in the history of Decatur County, and has attracted Statewide attention. It was one of the hardest fought legal battles ever witnessed in our Courts and the trial occupied the entire time of the Court for two full weeks, making it the longest trial on record in this county. It is the only case in which the defendant was ever accused of murdering a person by poison, and it is the first time in the history of the county that a resident of this county has been convicted of murder in the first degree. The Reporter has never tried to pass judgment on the case. The facts as alleged were given to our readers, as well as the evidence submitted at the trial, and they were left to draw their own conclusions. The defendant has always maintained that he was absolutely innocent of any crime in connection with the death of his wife, and in this position he has been loyally supported by his aged father and mother, both past three score years and ten, who are among the most respected citizens of the county, his numerous relatives and warm friends, all of whom have stood by him and are strong in the belief that he is innocent of the terrible charge. Although found guilty by the Jury which tried him, the case will not be dropped but will be appealed at once to the Supreme Court, as the defendant's attorneys are very confident that the case will be reversed on account of errors in the rulings during the trial and in the Court's instructions to the Jury.

In all cases where the death of a person is caused by poison, the evidence against the accused must be purely circumstantial, and while it is true that in this case the evidence submitted to the Jury pointed strongly to his guilt, still with nothing but circumstantial evidence there is always a chance that circumstances may deceive and that the woman might have taken the poison herself and that her husband did not administer it to her. Yet a Jury of twelve good men have said that MR. WOODARD was guilty, although it is reported that on the first ballot the Jury stood six for acquittal and six for conviction, and their decision in the case must stand unless the case is reversed by the Supreme Court. MR. WOODARD if guilty has only received his just punishment, but if as he insists he is absolutely innocent he is certainly a sorely persecuted man. And in this connection it is well to remember that there have been cases which are well known in history, where men have been convicted of the crime of murder and in one or two instances have suffered the death penalty, when in after years their absolute innocence has been proven. Justice sometimes grinds slowly but it grinds surely, and the old saying that murder will out is a true one.


Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
February 9, 1905

SARAH C. KIRKPATRICK was yesterday appointed administratix of the estate of ELIZA J. WOODARD, giving bond in the sum of $200. The petition recites that the property of the estate consists of $100 and an insurance policy of $2,000 issued by the Burlington Mutual Life Association which the administratix claims as the mother and heir of said ELIZA J. WOODARD.

Decatur County Journal
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
March 16, 1905

SARAH C. KIRKPATRICK, administrator vs. Merchants' Life Association of Burlington. In her petition plaintiff claims that on November 5, 1903, ELIZA J. WOODARD was received into the association as a member thereof and so remained until her death. At that time, defendant delivered to her a certificate of membership whereby defendant agreed to insure the life of ELIZA J. WOODARD and in case of death, to pay her beneficiary $2,000. On the 15th of December, 1903, ELIZA J. WOODARD died, her death being brought about by poison administered by the beneficiary, CHARLES WOODARD. Subsequent to her death, CHAS. WOODARD obtained possession of the certificate and kept it until February 20, 1904. At that time defendant fraudulently procured possession of the certificate by conspiring with CHAS. WOODARD and held the same until the latter's trial, which was the first time the plaintiff ever saw the certificate, or had an opportunity to become familiar with its contents. Then petitioner asked defendant to furnish blank proofs of death, but defendant refused and disclaimed all liability on said certificate. For this reason, defendant waived proofs, but plaintiff furnished additional proofs of death.

CHARLES WOODARD was sentenced for poisoning his wife on January 21, 1905, and thereby forfeited all rights as a beneficiary or heir at law. At the death of ELIZA WOODARD, her father and mother were her sole heirs. Her father is dead and her mother has been appointed administrator of her estate. Plaintiff asks judgment against said insurance company for $2,000 and costs.

Marion F. Stookey and G.W. Baker for plaintiff.

Contributed by Nancee (McMurtrey) Siefert

The Lamoni Chronicle
Lamoni, Decatur County, Iowa
July 19, 1906

From the Des Moines Daily Capital, of July 14, we note that the supreme court has affirmed the decision of the lower court in the case of the State vs. Charles WOODARD in which Mr. Woodard was convicted of poisoning his wife.

Copied by Stacey McDowell Dietiker, April 24, 2003
Criminal and Court Cases and Legal History   ***    Decatur County IAGenWeb