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  Tegarden Massacre of  1843  

A special from Des Moines gives the following account of a murder committed in the territorial days of Iowa. It will doubtless be read with interest by the oldest residents, as the murderers were brought to Dubuque, and the judge before whom they were convicted was the Hon. T.S. Wilson; Three miles west of Fayette is the fine farm of Col. Aron V. Brown, formerly register of the state land office. At the eastern edge of the farm stood a cabin, in the winter of 1842-3, and in it occurred the first murder in Fayette county. In the fall of 1842 Moses Teagarden moved up to the edge of the Winnebago reservation and began trading with the Indians. With him was a man named Atwood. In February, 1843, Mrs. Teagarden and her grown son went to Dubuque, leaving a little girl and a boy three years old with Teagarden. Early in March five Winnebago's came to the cabin, and in the evening got drunk, and quarreling with the two white men, murdered both. They also attacked the children in bed, but saved their lives by covering up their heads with bedcloths. The Indians then set the cabin afire and departed. The children made their way through three feet of snow to the cabin of two young settlers named Beatty an Orrear, where they were housed and cared for as well as possible.

A family named Wilcox lived near, and next day Major E.V. Sumner, of First Dragoons, at Fort Winnebago, was notified, who searched out and arrested the murderers. They were taken to the Dubuque jail, and while awaiting trial one of them killed another with a billet of wood. They were convicted at Dubuque, and Judge Murdock, who defended Schmidt, was a spectator during the trial.  They were ordered released by the Territorial Supreme Court on an appeal.

The site of the Teagarden cabin was plowed over ten years ago and a half dollar of of 1810 and every signs of occupancy were found.--- Times    

~ source: Oelwein Register, Oelwein Iowa, 03 February 1888, page 8 column 2.
~ transcribed and submitted by Constance
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