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Peter Samuel Staats
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Birth: Aug. 20, 1881
Death: Mar. 9, 1926
Wood River
Madison County
Illinois, USA

SUICIDE after murdering his wife

Note: DOB is Aug 22 1880 on draft board registration. Have used DOB shown on death cert.

Surname also seen as Statts, Slatts.

Son of Tobias Staats (1850-1908/Hillview Greene IL) and Samantha Ann Chapman (1854-1927/St. Louis MO. Children of Tobias and Samantha include: Louella, Fred S., Frank, Dora Grace, Mary A., Peter Samuel, Norman, Stella (m: Hazelwood), Lavena, Grover, Ruby)

m: Hulda Blackwell
ch inc:
-Jessie 1905-1992
-Robert 1906-1910
-Myrtle 1911-1989
-Howard abt 1914-
-Ruth abt 1915-

1910 Walkerville, Greene IL: STATTS Reber/26, Hulda/26, Jessie/5, Robert/4
1920 Walkerville, Greene IL: STATTS Peter/38, Hulda/35, Jessie/15, Myrtle/9, Howard/6, Ruth/4Y8M

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Name: Pete Samuel Staats
County: Greene State: Illinois
Birth Date: 22 Aug 1880 Race: White
FHL Roll Number: 1613406 DraftBoard: 0
Note: Signed: Peter Saml Statts, is farmer, next kin is Hulda Statts, Hillview, Greene Co IL, is med. height/build, brown eyes/hair.

Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947
Peter Staats
Birth Date: 20 Aug 1881 Birth Place: Ill
Death Date: 9 Mar 1926
Death Place: Wood River, Madison, Illinois
Burial Date: 12 Mar 1926
Burial Place: Hillview, Ill
Death Age: 44 Occupation: Farmer
Marital Status: M
Father Name: Tobe Staats
Mother Name: C. Chapman
Mother Birth Place: No Data
Spouse Name: Hulda Staats
FHL Film Number: 1613174

The following accounts of the tragedy courtesy of Judy Clark-Wick #47100356, with thanks.
Peter Samuel Staats & Hulda Blackwell Staats

Alton Evening Telegraph
Wednesday, 10 March 1926
Page 1 Column 1

Slays Wife As Children Look On, Kills Self
Peter Staats of Wood River Pursues Mate Through Street, Followed By Little Daughters

Tragedy Result of Old Troubles
Husband Tuesday Morning Had Asked Warrant For His Wife, Naming Another Man

His jealous rage fired by an overdose of white mule, Peter Staaats, aged 45, of Wood River shot and killed his wife, Hulda Staats, in Wood River Tuesday evening, and then turned the same gun on himself with fatal effect.

The murder of their mother was witnessed by the little children of the couple who raced through the streets for a distance of two blocks, following their father as he pursued their mother, and they pleaded with him not to kill mother. The whisky-sodden father, heedless of the pleadings of his children, overtook his fleeing wife and shot her mortally, death following before she could be given any surgical attention.

The tragedy occurred in the front yard of the home of Ed. Jones at Third and Lorena avenue at 7:40 last night. At this point the husband caught up to his fleeing wife and grappled with her. In the course of the struggle he drew his new.32-calibre revolver and fired twice at his wife. One shot went wild, narrowly missing the children who were pleading with him not to shoot their mother. The other shot took effect in the abdomen, after which she fell a few feet from the sidewalk on Lorena avenue.

Kills Self Instantly
Then Staats excitedly rushed through the alley, and according to all indications, took one of eight cartridges from his pocket, reloaded the gun with a single cartridge and held the weapon to his right temple and fired. The bullet ranged through the skull emerging at the top in the center of his head. He fell face downward against a shed in an alleyway with the gun still clutched in his hand. Death apparently was instantaneous.

A telephone call from the vicinity brought Chief of Police Wilkening and Officers Stahlhut and Miller to the scene. Mrs. Staats had been picked up and was hurried to the Union Christian Hospital in East Alton in Webb Huitt's automobile by a party consisting of Mr. Huitt, John Waggeman and Mrs. Fields. During the ride to the hospital, Mrs. Staats appeared to be conscious and kept murmuring "O help me! O help me." She made no statement concerning the tragedy.

Soon after her arrival at the hospital, she died, and the body was removed to the Bauer undertaking parlor in Alton.

Search Made For Husband
A search for the husband was begun by the officers, who had been told that a shot had been heard in the alley in which direction Staats ran after shooting his wife. Chief of Police Wilkening located the body and approached it cautiously, fearing that Staats might be crouching there awaiting an opportunity to shoot at anyone who came near. When the officers came up to the body, they discovered the bullet hole in his head, and the gun in his hand. Staats' body also was taken in charge by Coroner Bauer.

The murder and suicide was the culmination of a long series of troubles between the couple, according to those who were acquainted with the husband and wife. Staats was a farmer at Hillview, Ill., until about a year ago when his wife left him and came to Wood River, bringing her three children. Mrs. Staats resided at Fourth and Penning avenue and kept boarders at her home.

The husband followed from Hillview and alternate reconciliations and quarrels with his wife occurred. Part of the time he lived with his sister, Mrs. Boirum, on Madison avenue and part of the time he lived at home.

Wife Pays Husband Out
The troubles of the Staats came into public notice about a month ago when Staats, who was said by the police to be a hard drinker, was named defendant in a warrant issued by his sister, Mrs. Boirum, in which he was charged with disturbing the peace of his wife. Mrs. Staats came to the police station and used her own funds to secure her husband's release and accompanied him home.

Yesterday morning Staats applied to Police Magistrate Wilson for a warrent for his wife and Curtis James. Mrs. Staaats answered the serving of the warrant by coming to the police station and swearing out a warrant against her husband for assaulting her and disturbing her peace. At that time, husband and wife passed each other in the police station without a sign of recognition.

Husband Drinking, Wife Said
Mrs. Staats talked freely about her troubles with her husband yesterday morning. She said that he had been drinking and that his charges were based on the jealous imagination of a mind fired with booze. She said her husband was present at her home Monday night and that he went to sleep in a drunken stupor. When he arose, he began making the charges against his wife and the other man, which she said were not true. Trial of the cases were set for March 16. They will be stricken from the docket.

According to neighbors, the husband went to his wife's home yesterday noon and began quarreling. He went away again having threatened to return and kill her. He returned at 7 o'clock last night and the quarrel was resumed which ended when the wife and children rushed out of the house followed by the enraged husband. during this time the children kept screaming "Don't let him kill our poor mother."

Double Funeral Friday
The bodies of the couple, lying side by side in death in the Bauer undertaking parlors, were claimed by relatives today who announced that they plan a double funeral to be held at Hillview at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon. The funeral probably will be held at the home of Mr. Staats' mother, Mrs. Samantha Staaats, at Hillview. The bodies will be buried side by side in the cemetery in Hillview.

The couple leave four children, Mrs. Jessie Garland, a married daughter residing in Granite City; and Myrtle, 15, Howard, 13, and Ruth, who lived with their mother at the home in Wood River.

Mrs. Staats leaves her father, Geo. Blackwell of Granite City; four brothers, Ellis and Archie Blackwell of Detroit, Charles Blackwell of Carrollton; and two sisters, Mrs. Orman Bridgewater of Hillview and Mrs. Pierson Cooper of Detroit.

Mr. Staats leaves his mother, Mrs. Samantha Staats, of Hillview, four brothers, Norman Staats of Hillview, Fred Staats of Spanky, Grover Staaats of Carrollton, Frank Staats of Hillview; and three sistors, Mrs. J. P. Coates of Hillview, Mrs. Robert Hunnicutt of Hillview and Mrs. Beatrice Boirum of Wood River.

Alton Evening Telegraph
Friday, 13 March 1926, Page 1

Double Inquest Set For Tonight In Staaats Case

Man Accused by Peter Staats Before Slaying Wife Not to be Called Before Coroner's Jury.

A double inquest will be held at 7 p.m. today by Coroner Bauer at his office on Market street in the case of Peter Staats and his wife, Hulda, of Wood River who came to their deaths when Stauts shot his wife and then himself on Lorena avenue in Wood River Wednesday night.

As told yesterday, Coroner Bauer has taken a deposition from Howard Staaats, 12 year old son of the deceased couple, which will be offered in evidence before the juries this evening. A number of witnesses are expected to testify as to details of the slaying and suicide.

It was made known today by Coroner Bauer that he will not call Curtis James of Wood River to testify at the inquests. Staats, it is known charged his wife with permitting attentions by Jamaes. But Coroner Bauer from the statements he has secured feels there is nothing in this story. The deposition of the 12 year old son of the couple bears this out and indicates that Staats was under influence of too much booze at time of the tragedy.

Coroner Bauer called on James today to make a statement, and later announced that he would not ask him to append at the inquests. His action is taken as an exuneration of James.

The bodies of Staaats and his wife were taken yesterday to Hillview on the order of a Whitehall undertaker. Although it was originally announced that the funeral would be held Friday at 2 p.m., it is believed that the relatives will ask the funeral be deferred until Sunday at which time a double funeral of the couple will be held at Hillview.

Note: Index gives burial as "Hillview IL", is this aka Walkerville IL?
Family links: 
  Tobias H. Staats (1850 - 1908)
  Samantha N Chapman Staats (1854 - 1927)
  Hulda Blackwell Staats (1885 - 1926)
  James Howard Staats (1913 - 2012)*
  Franklin Staats (1875 - 1968)*
  Peter Samuel Staats (1881 - 1926)
  Stella Etta Staats Hazelwood (1883 - 1915)*
  Norman Staats (1886 - 1965)*
  Lavena Beatrice Staats Evans (1889 - 1971)*
  Grover Cleveland Staats (1893 - 1963)*
  Ruby Agnes (Hunnicutt) Staats Sturgeon (1895 - 1955)*
*Calculated relationship
Bridgewater-Hunnicutt Cemetery
Greene County
Illinois, USA
Created by: LaDon Brennan
Record added: Apr 13, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25973956
Peter Samuel Staats
Added by: rcevans416
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