The Lamoni Chronicle
July 12, 1906

A. C. Hart Suicides.

Lamoni people and former Graceland students will be pained to learn of the death, by suicide, of Mr. A. C. Hart at the Indian training school at Pipestone, Minnesota, on July 2. The following account of the affair is taken from the Minneapolis Journal of that date.

Alexander C. Hart, who attempted wholesale murder at Pipestone Indian training school on Friday morning last, took his own life early today by hanging himself in his cell at the county jail, where he was confined pending an examination for insanity.

He had secured and kept concealed a chain by which he committed the act. At midnight he was apparently sleeping, but this morning Deputy Sheriff Sheperd found his lifeless body hanging in his cell.

Hart was about 45 years of age and leaves a wife and one son. His examination for insanity was to have come before the probate court this afternoon.

The sensational affair in which Hart figured as principal was described by The Journal in a dispatch from its Pipestone correspondent on Friday. Hart was formerly employed in the school and early on Friday entered the dining hall, where about thirty of the white employees were eating, and discharged five chambers of a 32-caliber revolver at different persons in the room.

Hart had been eating at one of the tables, but arose before the others started to leave the room. As he reached the door he turned suddenly and fired a shot at Joseph B. Felix, disciplinarian of the school, and then passed out of the room. In an instant he re-entered through another door, close to Superintendent Campbell's table, and fired a second shot, this time aiming at Mr. Campbell.

Fortunately the bullet did nothing more than graze the wrist of the intended victim, but Hart continued his attempts at wholesale murder by discharging the third and fourth chambers at Clerk, T. C. Smith, the gun being held so close to the latter's face as to inflict powder-burns when discharged, but by a quick movement, Smith directed the weapon so that the bullets missed him. One of them, however, struck C. K. Peck, causing a bad wound. The fifth shot was aimed at Engineer Edsall, but either went very wild or was deflect upward by a stove.

Clerk Smith managed to close the door against the madman at this time, and shortly afterwards he was overpowered. Besides the big gun, a hammer and several cartridges were taken from him, showing that he had planned on killing the whole force.

Consternation reigned, especially among the women, two of whom jumped from the windows which were on the first floor. Mrs. Edsall who made the leap, was seriously injured.

Hart is believed to have become demented through brooding over his discharge from his position at the school a few months ago.

Copied by Stacey McDowell Dietiker
April 24, 2003

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