|Birth: ||Jul. 17, 1869, Scotland|
|Death: ||Sep. 23, 1911, USA|
Campbell H. Alexander, aged forty, shot and killed his wife, Vonnie Leora Alexander, aged twenty-nine, then
turned the gun on himself and committed suicide at about 8:10 o'clock Saturday morning at the home of Andrew
Gasaway, corner of Fairview avenue and West King street, the old house on the Danseizen place directly across from the gate of the Decatur Brick company. Alexander also pointed the gun at his wife's ten-year-old daughter, Goldie
Marie Enlow, but did not shoot her.
DUB TO JEALOUSY.
Jealousy was the cause of the crime. Mrs. Alexander left her husband some weeks ago and went to keep house for
Gasaway, refusing to live with her husband because he would not support her and her child.
NO EYE WITNESSES.
The shooting was soon by no one. Gasaway had gone to a local slaughter house, while the hired man was in the yard and the little daughter had rushed out of the house.
GIRL TELLS STORY.
The story of the shooting was told by the woman's little daughter. With tears in her eyes and still not knowing
of her mother's death, she stood on the porch of F. B. Kemp's house, to which she had fled and told her story.
"I was in the kitchen washing dishes and mamma was down stairs skimming milk when he rushed in and pointed a revolver at me. I said: Don't shoot, papa. I have to call him papa or he gets mad at me. He looked at me a minute
and then said 'where is she? Then I said: Don't shoot her, papa and he ran down stairs.
QUARRELED ABOUT CHILD.
"I ran out in the yard and asked Fred—he's the hired man where I must go and he told me to come over here to Kemp's.
"I don't know whether my stepfather shot mamma or not. He had been mean to us and mamma left him about seven weeks ago to come here and keep house for Mr. Gasaway. He worked some but he didn't work much and he just kept loafing around. He got into a fight with mamma about me
and she wouldn't stand it any longer and left. He's been bothering her ever since, coming out around here and lying in the pasture. He came here about three weeks ago and went into the house and told mamma he wanted to tell her
good-bye and she said she didn't want to say good-bye to him, He said, 'Alright, I'll get even, and then left. The
first week mamma worked here, he came and stole her money and some clothes from her, "No, I don't go to school 'cause my folks moved round so much I didn't have a chance. I was going to start Monday to some school away over south of here, I don't know where, and a little girl that comes by here was going to take me."
POINTS GUN AT MAN
Alexander made his last appearance at the Gasaway place about three weeks ago, when he promised to get even. The next time he was seen was Saturday morning. Fred Batchelder. the hired man, was just coming up to
the house when Alexander mysteriously appeared about four feet in front of him. No one saw him coming. He was holding the revolver out at arms
length and pointing it at Batchelder and he said: "Don't you say a word." He rushed on into the house and
Batchelder ran across the street to telephone to the sheriff. The patrol wagon with Deputy
Sheriff Dan Sullivan and Officers Dayton and Wheeler rushed to the house. The officers found the bodies lying at
the top of the stairway from the basement. They were lying a few feet apart with Mrs. Alexander's partly down the stairway, An ambulance was called and the bodies were removed to the Moran undertaking parlors.
AVOIDED THE NEIGHBORS.
Alexander Was shiftless and lazy married five Years Ago.
Scarcely anyone, knew much of the Alexanders and neighbors had refused to have anything to do with them. Even the hired man did not know much about them. Up until about seven weeks ago, they had been living in the 100 block East Cerro Gordo, but the little daughter did not remember
the number of the place. The father had worked at elevators here somewhat but according to the neighbors was a loafer.
MOVED AROUND MUCH.
According to the daughter, Goldie Marie Enlow, they were married about five years ago and had been moving
from one place in Decatur to another, sometimes living together and sometimes separated.
They had quarrelled much and every time the husband came to see his wife, he would get some of her photographs
of herself or relative and burn them until few are left.
About four weeks ago Alexander had his wife arrested on the charge that she was living with Gasaway as
the latter's wife, but according to the daughter dropped the case. He had probably prowled around the place often at nights as only recently one Sunday evening he came to town from that place and in a drunken condition, told the person be was walking with that his wife was living with Gasaway and that he was doing detective work to catch them.
LETTER TO WIFE
Alexander threatened to kill her and Andy Gasaway
The following letter was found among Mrs. Alexander's effects at the Gasaway home Saturday morning:
"Dear Vonnie-—Will drop you a line.
Will say I have stood all of your crooked work.You are guilty with that man and you know it. Everybody
knows it, so I will give you just twenty-four hours to pack your trunk, take Marie and leave him, or I will get both of you. He ruined my home. I would have turned the trick at the picnic, but I did not want to hurt you. But I
will get that guy. Well this is the last chance for you and Andy Gasaway, believe me. You can show this to him,
the police, the sheriff and any one you wish. I have made my vow and will keep my word. I am in Decatur and have more friends than you think for. You can go to the woods if you please but you must leave him or stand the
consequences. This is Campbell Alexander writing this so take our choice".
The envelope of the letter found at the Gasaway home bore the Decatur postmark and date of Thursday, Sept. 21. It was mailed at 5 o'clock in the evening.
SHOT HER SEVEN TIMES.
Alexander Used 32 Calibre Revolver-Woman Tried To Escape.
Later investigation showed that Alexander had only the one revolver, a 32 calibre, short barreled cheap affair,
and the other was the property of Gasaway. It was lying on a dresser. Alexander shot his wife seven times, five bullets being in the left breast and two in the left arm. He then turned the gun on himself and placing it in his mouth, fired one bullet. It was evident that Mrs. Alexander had been trying to escape. She was in the
cellar when she probably heard her daughter cry, "Don't kill mamma," as at that time she screamed and the husband
rushed to the basement. When found it appeared that she had
been upstairs and was starting back down the stairway as she fell at the top and was lying partly in the doorway.
In Alexander's pocket was a note book which read:
"Andy Gasaway has broken up my home and I will kill all of them". C.H. Alexander
He had a half pint of whisky and 26 cents in his pocket
Girl Says Stepfather tried to kill wife once before.
Coroner Buxton held inquests over the bodies at Moran's chapel Saturday forenoon. The inquiry over Alexander
was held at 11:30 and that over Mrs. Alexander immediately following. The testimony was the same and the witnesses
the same in both inquests. The little daughter, Goldie Marie Enlow, was the first witness. In addition to the telling of the shooting Saturday morning, she said that her stepfather once before had tried to kill his wife and that he had threatened Goldie with death if she ever told about it. She said Andy Gasaway had left the house only five or ten minutes before Alexander came.
Officer John Dayton, Officer Dick Wheeler and Deputy Sheriff Dan Sullivan told of the finding of the bodies,
which were lying close together, the woman's head being against the man's shoulder. A loaded cartridge was found on Alexander's chest, Indicating that after shooting his wife he had lain down beside her and reloaded the gun
and shot himself. Fred Batchelder, who worked for Gasaway, told of Alexander's visit at the house and of Goldie running out and saying Alexander was going to kill her mother. The strange thing is that of five or six people within 100 feet of the house not one heard any of the shots fired. The verdict in the case of Alexander was that of suicide, and that In the case of Mrs. Alexander was that death resulted from gunshot wounds inflicted by C. H. Alexander with murderous intent.
LITTLE KNOWN ABOUT HIM.
Not much could be learned about Alexander. His wife's sister thought that he had some relatives somewhere in Alabama, but was not sure, and the little girl knew nothing about his relatives. Alexander worked awhile for
F. M. Meridith and also for L. B. Ware as a teamster.
Andrew Gasaway said that he had never seen Alexander but twice and knew nothing about him. He said he had never had any words with Alexander and did not know of the threatening letter that Alexander had sentto his wife.
MRS. ALEXANDER'S HISTORY.
She Has Two Sisters Living Here in Decatur.
Alexander was about forty, or forty one years old and his wife, Vonnie Leora Alexander, was about twenty-nine. They had no children; but there were two children by her former husband, William Enlow. One was a boy that died and the little daughter, Goldie Marie Enlow, is the surviving child.
Mrs. Alexander is survived by two sisters here in Decatur. Miss Goldie Morris and Mrs. Frank E. Adams, both of 640 East Orchard street, two sisters in Atwood, Mrs. Ida Barnhart and Mrs. Charles Bridges, and one brother,
William Morris, of Tuscola. She was born near Cerro Gordo
twenty-nine years ago and after living there a short time went to Atwood, where she lived sixteen years.
Then she came to Decatur and has lived here since. Her parents are not living.She was married to William Enlow
first and he deserted her about six years ago, she obtaining a divorce on these grounds.
Not much of Alexander is known here and nothing of his family excepting it is said he had some relatives in
Alabama. The wife's relatives here refused to have anything to do with him and knew nothing of him whatever.
Men that he worked for here said he was no good and they never learned anything of his family.
Decatur, Il Review Sept 23, 1911, p8 includes picture of Vonnie and Goldie Marie
Campbell Alexander, died Sept 23, 1911, at West King and Fairview, shot himself through the head, aged about 40
yrs., married, J.J. Moran undertaker, buried county farm cemetery.
Deaths and Burials Macon County Poor Farm, Decatur, IL 1902-1927 Note: Those buried at the Macon County Poor Farm were later moved (at least twice). First to a "collective" grave at the farm and then to a common "collective" grave at Graceland Cemetery, North Oakland Ave, Decatur, Il See marker photo.
Father - David Alexander (Buried Fraternal Cemetery, Pratt City, Birminham, AL)
Mother - Sarah Hamilton Alexander (buried Fraternal Cemetery, Pratt City, Birmingham, AL)
For genelogial information contact Ray Smith
Sarah Hamilton Alexander (1836 - 1911)
Vonnie Leora Alexander (1882 - 1911)
David Hamilton Alexander (1859 - 1947)*
Campbell Alexander (1869 - 1911)
Peach Orchard Cemetery (Defunct)
Maintained by: Ray Smith
Originally Created by: kpet
Record added: Jul 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55139117
RIP Campbell. You'll not be forgotten.|
Added: Sep. 6, 2011