|Death: ||Jul. 23, 1891|
NOTE: Woodlawn is a pauper's cemetery and there are very few stones. Most are buried in it at the county's expense and were given minimal funerals and no stones were set. This woman does not have a stone.
According to 1870 Census records for her family, she is listed as Nancy Abernathy. Possibly her middle name was Elizabeth and she was nicknamed Lizzie.
It shows her father to be a John Abernathy, age 44. The family was living in Adams, Wapello county, Iowa at this time. His wife Ann was 41 and the children were listed as Moses Abernathy age 18, George Abernathy age 16, Nancy Abernathy age 11 and Jane Abernathy age 4
The brother of Lizzie is Mose H Abernathy of Blakesburg, Wapello county, Iowa and is buried there.
Account of the incident as published in the July 23, 1891 edition of the Carthage Weekly Press newspaper.
MURDER AND SUICIDE
A Double Tragedy Enacted in This City Last Night.
A DISGRACEFUL AFFAIR!
Jeff Gilbert, a Married Man, Shoots His Paramour, a Married Woman, and Then Commits Suicide - The Coroner's Inquest
Last night about 11 o'clock one of the most sensational tragedies ever known in the Southwest was enacted in this city by which Jeff Gilbert, the well known foreman at Norris' Livery Barn, shot and killed Mrs. Abernathy at her home in the front of a little grocery store on Oak street between Orner and McGregor, and then took his own life with the same deadly weapon.
News of the horrible crime soon spread and the officers hurried tot he scene of the tragedy. A large crowd had already congregated on the premises, eager to learn full particulars of the awful deed. The bodies were of course not touched, but the coroner was dispatched for and Messrs. Al Parker and Wash Logsden detailed to guard the premises.
A PRESS reported visited the scene of the crime this morning. The street was filled with vehicles and some three or four hundred people were crowded about the house. The windows were all closely curtained and the doors securely barred, but prompted by morbid curiosity the people crowded up as close to the building as they could possibly get.
The scene in the room this morning was a terrible one. The bodies still lay as they had fallen, and a pool of blood stood in the middle of the floor where it had run from the wounds of the two dead persons. They were both in their night clothes and all were stained in blood. Mrs. Abernathy was stretched out by the bed with her head partly beneath the rail and Gilbert lay by her side on his face. In his right hand he clasped a "bull dog" revolver, the weapon with which he had done the desperate deed. It was a .38 calibre five shot fire-arm, and contained one load. Mrs. Abernathy showed wounds from two shots and he wounds from two. All were evidently aimed at the heart, and produced almost immediate death.
Gilbert and the woman were seen together about ten o'clock on their way to her place of abode. They were talking and laughing and appeared to be in the best of spirits. The shots were heard three-quarters of an hour later by several parties and all say they heard but three reports. The family living in the back of the store building heard the pistol shots and the woman screamed "Murder." A moment later she moaned "My God, I am dead, dead, dead!" The groans of Gilbert could be distinctly heard for several minutes. The doors were all locked and there being some hesitancy about breaking into the room, both were dead when reached. Mosey Abernathy, the woman's five year old boy was sleeping on the bed and had not bee aroused by the disturbance. He was removed and taken to the home of some of the neighbors.
The woman has been twice married but her last husband, Eli Smith, has not lived with her for a year. It is said that he resides at present in Marionville. She is about 30 years of age.
Gilbert is a married man and resides in the neighborhood of the Washington school. His wife seemed to be wholly unaware of her husband's conduct though it seems he has been intimate with the woman for some time. She could not believe it was her husband, as she said he was not in town. He is about 35, and has four children. He has received $40 per month at Norris' stables for a long time but his family is left destitute. These are the full particulars as obtainable through interviews and from a survey of the scene of the crime this morning.
The coroner, Dr. E.C.H. Squire, of Joplin, arrived this morning and after impaneling a jury proceeded with the inquest at about nine o'clock. Nothing new was brought out from the evidence except to show that the cause for the crime was jealously. Mrs. Abernathy was talking to another man on the streets last night. Gilbert came up and interfered, ordering the man to go away from her and telling her to go on home. It seems he threatened her in some way for she then appealed to Marshal Hurst for protection. She said to Hurst that Gilbert was neglecting his family for her and she wanted nothing more to do with him. She asked him to please tell Gilbert that, and to advise him to stay away from her, but the marshal was unable to find him, and an hour later the news of the terrible double tragedy reached him. The jury was in session till 3 o'clock, and went over all the evidence that could be gotten hold of.
The jury comprised J.L. Nall, A. Cornell, Joseph Ivers, J.S. Mealy, W.C. King and J.W. Harrison. Their verdict was as follows: "We, the jury in this inquest, find from the evidence that the bodies are those of Jeff Gilbert and Mrs. Lizzie Abernathy, alias Smith, and that Mrs. Abernathy came to her death from a gunshot wound in the heart inflicted by a pistol in the hands of Jeff Gilbert, and we find also that Jeff Gilbert came to his death from a gunshot wound in the heart inflicted by a pistol in his own hand."
Gilbert was buried this afternoon at 4:30 by his brother Richard. His wife and children followed the remains to the cemetery.
Mrs. Abernathy will be buried some time tomorrow at the expense of the county.
Follow-up article published in the July 30, 1891 edition of the Carthage Weekly Press newspaper
M H Abernathy, a brother of the woman who was murdered here a week ago last Friday night, came down from Blakesburg, Iowa yesterday and today returned with the little five year old boy, Mose Abernathy, who was left an orphan by his mother's horrible death.
Created by: NJBrewer
Record added: Jan 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103327268