|Birth: ||Jul. 31, 1875|
|Death: ||Oct. 1, 1906|
DEATH: The Parker Press-Leader Volume XXIV Number 21
Parker, South Dakota, October 4, 1906.
H.E. Collins' Home Broken into, robbed and Mrs. Collins Murdered.
$2000.00 Reward For Conviction of the Murderers.
This town was startled as never before when on Monday morning about 7:30 Earl Collins rode in from his brother's place in Norway township with the news that Mrs. Harry Collins was dead and Harry unconscious and the house robbed. Dr. Cooke had received the news a few minutes before and had left for the scene. He was followed closely by Sheriff Geo. Mumby and States Att'y C.L. Jones and a representative of The Press-Leader.
Before the arrival of the officers, neighbors had arrived and from them and from the appearances of the place, and later from Harry Collins and his brother Earl, the writer takes his story, which will be based on facts as nearly as they could be ascertained.
On Saturday, Harry E. Collins, who lives on the Espie farm in Norway township, five miles southwest of Parker, came to Parker and during the afternoon had had a grain check cashed for $119.00, having in his pocket after leaving for home $110.00. Saturday night his money was hidden in a shoe under the bed. Sunday the family spent the day in Parker, eating dinner at the Paul Moeller. Earl a lad of 18, is staying with Harry and attending school here, and he remained at home all day Sunday. The family returned early in the evening, the chores done, a light supper partaken of, and the family sat around the reading table until about ten o'clock. The dog did no little amount of barking and whining and in a joking manner Harry remarked that he guessed some one had come to get them this time. He had been troubled the week before on two occasions with dreams of robbers being in the house. Earl, just before retiring, stepped outside and the dog came running to him growling and then running off to the northwest of the house, then back to Earl. The boy thought nothing of it and went up stairs to bed. (It will be seen later that a horse had stood to the northwest of the house in a grove.) Earl says that about one o'clock, he thinks it was, he was awakened by some noise, but immediately fell asleep. Harry and wife retired to their room, the two little boys, aged 2 and 4, were put to bed in a bed in the northwest corner of the room, the window raised about six inches, the curtain pulled down, and Mr. and Mrs. Collins retired to their bed in the northwest corner of the room, leaving the amp burning as usual. A window on the porch opens between the two beds.
Nothing more is positively known until morning. Earl arose at 5:30 and went to the barn. Her he found one of their horses a heavy grey mare, standing at the door, saddled, bridled and showing traces of having traveled. Earl was milking when Harry rushed into the barn saying ----- Emma (his wife) was-----at his alarm ------6:30---- that he was awakened by the children crying. He called his wife, then noticed a pillow over her head and in taking this off noticed that she was cold. He leaped out of the bed and fell fainting over the children's bed. From here he arose and went to the phone but could get no answer to his calls (the wires had been cut outside the house.) He then went to the barn and called Earl. While running in Earl told him of having found the horse, when they reached the room they noticed the window raised as high as it could be and propped up, the screen gone and curtain torn. It then became evident to both that robbers had been there. The two men worked over the wife for a short time and Earl then mounted a horse and went to a neighbors for help and phoned for a doctor then rode on to Parker. Neighbors soon arrived and the camphor was rubbed on the victim of this terrible crime, but no signs of life could be seen.
Harry went to the kitchen in a fainting condition and was found laying on the floor unconscious. It was noon before he was fully revived and all day was in a weak, unnatural condition.
Coroner S.L. Brown of Centerville, arrived at the scene of the murder at about one o'clock and immediately summoned a jury, A.A. Rowen, C.A. Rector, Howell Davis, and held an inquest and Drs. Cooke and Peterman held a post mortem.
It seems that the house had been ransacked, $110.00 had been taken from the trouser's pocket and the other clothes in the room had been gone thru. A revolver, azor silverine watch and cartridges had disappeared. The pillow which was found over the victim's face is stained as if by some liquid. The doctors have not stated as yet what caused her death. The coroner's jury was adjourned for one week to await developments.
Funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church yesterday and were attended by a large number of friends of the deceased. Interment was made in Rosehill cemetery.
An iron bank belonging to the children and containing a few dimes and nickels had been broken open and robbed.
The stops on the window were broken off and found outside. Appearances indicate that a shod horse had been tied in a clump of trees just northwest of the house. Mr. Collins has not had a shod horse on the farm this summer.
The horse taken was a poor rider, while an excellent riding horse was passed by the murderer or murderers.
A gold watch, having Mr. Collins name engraved thereon, was not taken.
Neither of the children were harmed in the least.
The citizens of Parker have raised $500 to be used as a reward for the conviction of the murderer, the farmers in this vicinity here raised $500 and the county commissioners have offered $1000 reward. The people of Turner county are aroused as never before.
Sheriff Mumby and the States Atty. Jones have done all within their power, but there as yet appears hardly a clue to work on. The officers tell us they are making movements now which cannot be made public and every good citizen should be willing to trust the case to them. No stone will be left unturned to find and punish the perpertrator of this terrible deed. The commissioners have placed a sum of money with the officers to be used in defraying their expenses and those of assistants.
Our county commissioners dealt with the matter promptly and liberally. They believe in making every effort possible to rid the county of such villains.
Those who subscribed toward the reward should pay their money into the First National Bank at once.
The Argus-Leader and the Sioux City Journal published a bit of news which was not facts when they stated that the Coroner's jury had returned a verdict. It has not and will not before next Wednesday.
Look up the facts and do not form your opinions from the sensational stories told by some and published in certain papers.
South Dakota, USA
Plot: Lot 125, Row C, Grave 9
Created by: KBJohnson
Record added: Apr 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18836927