Sunday, July 12, 2009

Puffer: Found Dead

Fulton Journal
October 6, 1896

Luther F. Puffer disappeared from his home in this city Monday morning September 28. He had been making his home with his daughter, Mrs. M. H. McGrath. He had been in poor health for some time and his family believed his mind was unbalanced when he failed to return home. A search was instituted for him but nothing could be learned of him. This morning W. W. McAllister, a baggageman, and W.E. Hullinger, an engineer on the Northwestern road, came over on the passenger and went hunting on the bottoms east of town. While walking along the Cattail creek Mr. McAllister discovered the body of a man partly under water and lying in the mud. Mr. McAllister called his friend to view the remains. They then came to town and reported what they had discovered.
J.N. Baird, coroner, was notified and came to town at 10 o'clock and at once impanelled a jury consisting of T.H. Smith, foreman, W.H. Mitchell, Dr.C.A.Griswold, H.L. Abbott, O. E. Finch and Wardell Stowell. The remains had been brought to town by J.M. Fay and kept at his office. The jury were taken there and were sworn in and then retired to hear the evidence of the witnessess. The two main witnesses were Mr. McAlister and Mr. Hullinger, who told of their experience of the morning, and after hearing the evidence the jury gave a verdict in accordance with the facts.
Luther F. Puffer was born in Leyden, New York, March 26, 1836. He enlisted in the army August 7, 1862, and was mustered out in 1865. He was married to Miss Emma Elvira Knight at Black Hawk, Colorado. They came to this city in 1869 and with the exception of two years, 1882-1884, which he put in at Davis City, Iowa, has resided her since. Mrs. Puffer died in 1894. The children of the marriage are Nettie E., now Mrs. Martin H. McGrath of this city, and Daisy, now Mrs. Clayton Snodgrass, of Iron Hill, Iowa. The funeral will be held at 10:30 o'clock a.m. Wednesday, services being conducted at the Fulton cemetery where the burial will be.

Puffer Missing

Fulton Journal
October 2, 1896

Luther F. Puffer left the home of his daughter, Mrs. Martin H. McGrath about 8:30 o'clock Monday foremoon, and has not since been heard from. He is about six feet in height, with gray hair, dark brown eyes and closely trimmed iron gray beard, and wore black trousers and vest and brown coat. He also wore a pair of brown cloth shoes. He was sick when he left his home and from evidence we have since learned we are forced to believe that his mind is unbalanced. Anyone to whom he may apply for shelter will please notify us at once, as anyone not doing so will be held responsible for any change for the worse in his mental and physical condition. Information regarding his whereabouts since Monday forenoon will be greatfully received. Leave word at the Register office or at our home three blocks north of the High School building.
Martin H. McGrath
Nettie E. McGrath


Fulton Journal
November 2, 1894
(See Blogs 2007: Puffer Obit)

Stole the Child
In June of this year Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Johnston, of this city, separated. They had not lived happily for several months and soon after the separation, Mrs. Johnston applied for a divorce, the case being on the docket of the present term of the circuit court of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston had resided with Mrs. Johnston's parents, Mr. and Mrs. L.F. Puffer, and after the separation Mrs. Johnston continued to reside with parents, keeping house for her father, as her mother is blind, and doing such other work as she could get to support herself and child. In her application for divorce she asked for the custody of the child, a little boy two years old. Johnston had repeatedly threatened to take the child and leave his wife before they separated. After their separation he made no attempt to gain possession of the boy till Wednesday morning about 9 o'clock when accompanied by a confidant he drove near the house....Mrs. Puffer was alone, Mrs. Johnston having gone to a neighbor's for a few moments, and when the door was opened by Mrs. Puffer, in answer to the man's knock, he asked about having a carpet woven. Mrs. Puffer, thinking he was some resident of the city and being unable to see him, asked him if he would step into the house. The boy was standing near his grand-mother and the man stepped far enough into the house to get hold of him. He took the boy in his arms and ran to the buggy in which Johnston was seated and they drove rapidly away. The boy began to cry when taken from his grand-mother and Mrs. Puffer called a neighbor, George Goble, who ran after the carriage. Johnston turned and told Goble to go back or "he would"fix him." Goble turned back and came down town. The officers were notified and L.F. Puffer, accompanied by Frank Considine, city marshal, went to Clinton, where the horse and buggy were found in a livery stable. It was ascertained by the city marshal that Johnston had pawned a revolver with the livery man as security for the livery hire. The toll-man claims that but one man crossed the bridge, and the description given tallies with that of the man who took the child from the house. The location of Johnston and the child is not known and there seems to be no legal means of regaining possession of the child before the application for the divorce case is decided.

Lockhart School Picnic

Fulton Journal
June 18, 1915

The Lockhart school in Gardenplain closed last week Thursday with a picnic and a large crowd in attendance. After a fine dinner the people were entertained by a program given by the pupils of the school.
Twenty-five pupils were on the roll of honor for the year, and three others were absent or tardy only once. The teacher presented these scholars with a handsone pin with the name "Lockhart" engraved on it. To show that the district is well satisfied with Miss Church's work as teacher, the directors have engaged her for the next term at $90 a month.
Roll of Honor for 1914-1915
Arthur Workman, Maggie Ottens, Carl Jacobsen, Earl Schipper, Katie DeWeerdt,
Willie Ottens, Lutie Dornbush, Rena Damhoff, Henry Eissens, Gertrude Poole, Frankie Workman, Grace Poole, Katie Ottens, Harry Sterenberg, Johnnie DeWeerdt, Johnnie Dornbush, Johnnie Damhoff, Tena Holesinger, Joe Pesman, James Jacobsen, Tena Pesman, Effie Ottens, Jennie Poole, Johnnie Poole, Freddie Sterenberg.
Tardy once--Annie Temple, Jake Temple
Absent one day only--Otto Holesinger

Thomas Smith: 1st Dutchman in Fulton

Fulton Journal
February 25, 1896

Thomas Smith was assaulted and robbed at his home on Base street Monday evening. Two or three of Mr. Smith's friends had called on him during the evening the last one to leave was Carl Deelsnyder who left a few minutes after 8 o'clock. He had been gone but a few minutes when Mr. Smith heard a rap at the door and supposed it was Mr. Deelsnyder returning. When he opened the door he was confronted with three young men who forced their way into the room. When they first entered the room they began to jostle Mr. Smith around making all efforts possible to confuse him. This did not have the desired effect and they then bound his hands and feet and placed a gag in his mouth. One of the young men stood guard over Mr. Smith while the others ransacked the house. They did not find much of value and began to abuse Mr. Smith by striking him on the temples with the butt of a revolver cutting an ugly gash over his left eye and also striking him with their fists in his chest. After punishing him in that manner for a time and securing what money Mr. Smith had in the house, which was about $35 they left him. Mr. Smith finally worked loose the rope with which he was bound and went on the street to give the alarm the first man he met was Dr. L. Barber who returned to the house with him and remained until Garrett O'Connor night policeman was called. No trace was discoverd of the robbers Monday evening. Mr.Smith is rather sore from the bruises he received.