|Birth: ||Aug. 19, 1832|
|Death: ||Dec. 22, 1883|
The Daily News, McKeesport, PA Wednesday Evening, July 23, 1884 – Pg. 1 The Edmundson Case HIRAM EDMUNDSON
By order of the court the body of the late Hiram Edmundson was exhumed this morning from the resting place in Versailles cemetery and thoroughly examined by Doctors Powers and Newlin. The principal thing to be ascertained was whether his hair corresponded with the hair found in Wagner’s cellar. A news man accompanied the party. There was Isaac Edmundson, Adam Whitehead, Jame Harrison, Dr. D. P. Powers, Dr. W. E. Newlin and the news man. The party went out very early this morning and proceeded directly to his grave in the lower part of the cemetery. A few minutes digging brought the body to light and, on opening the coffin Edmundson’s body was found to be but slightly more decomposed than it was when found in the river. A bunch of hair was secured, and the doctors thoroughly examined the body. Another thing that the body was exhumed for, was to find whether he had lost any of his teeth. It had been said by gentlemen who saw him when found that he had lost four teeth but this was seriously denied by the medical gentlemen who examined him at the time. On examination this morning it was found that one of the back teeth was broken and four of his front teeth were out. Isaac Edmundson stated that the back tooth had been broken previous to his demise but the front teeth had been knocked out since that time. It looks as if violence has been used, for a fall in the river would not knock them out, and decomposition is not far enough in advance to allow them to fall out. The nose is also crushed and the fact presents the appearance of having been hit with some flat instrument. On conclusion of the examination the body was replaced, the grave closed and the party returned to town. Isaac Edmundson and Adam Whitehead went to town to give a report of their investigation and to present some of the hair of the deceased to the court for comparison with the hair found in Wagner’s cellar..
T he Daily News, McKeesport, PAWednesday Evening, July 23, 1884 – Pg. 1.
St. Paul Daily, St. Paul, Minn., 23 Jul 1884, p. 6, image 10.
A. B. Leing has been arrested for complicity in the murder of Edmundson, the McKeesport, Pa., coal dealer. This makes the fourth arrest. One of the principal witnesses has been murdered..
Pittsburg, Penn., July 22.-A. B. Lowry was arrested today charged with complicity in the murder of Hiram Edmundson, the wealthy McKeesport coal merchant, whose body was found in the Monongahela River about a month ago. This is the fourth arrest in the case, the other persons accused being Lowry's brother and brother-in-law and a saloon-keeper named Jacobson. Michael Doney, one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution, was run over by a freight train last Saturday and, as was supposed at the time, accidentally killed. It is now thought he was murdered and his body placed on the track to avoid suspicion. When his body was found it was perfectly cold, and if he had been killed at that time it would have been yet warm. The train men remarked how cold the body was at the time, and spoke of it to several persons. Doney never went home by the road on which he was killed, and had no business that would take him down in that direction. He was not seen or heard by any of the train men, and no person saw him going in that direction, and this, taken with the fact that he was perfectly sober at the time he was killed, makes the matter look very suspicious..
The New York Times; Published July 23, 1884.
More Arre Joseph Dougherty, the new Detective, Stirs up the Edmundson Mystery gain
Several days ago we were told in confidence that certain clues were being worked up against parties suspicioned for the murder of Hiram Edmundson, and that in a very short time some more arrests would be made. On Monday evening Jas. Dougherty’s request for the appointment of Special Borough Detective, without pays was granted by Council, and he at once set about the preparations for arresting certain parties suspicioned for the crime.
The first man he desired to lay his hands on was Charles Jacobson, who keeps a saloon up near Moore’s distillery. In company with a detachment of police, Dougherty went to Jacobson’s house about four o’clock this morning, but found the gentleman “not at home.” His wife and family knew nothing of his whereabouts. They hardly expected to find Jacobson at home, for they had seen him last evening out buggy riding with woman of questionable repute, named Rosanna McClain, and had understood too that Jacobson had engaged a room for the night at the National House. The officers at once repaired to the National House where they found Jacobson and the woman both occupying the same bed. They were forced to arise and accompany the officers to the Burgess, office, where Officer West preferred a charge of adultery against the guilty pair. The evidence being very conclusive, they were both remanded to jail.
Detective Dougherty then became responsible for the body of Jacobson and started with him to the office of Alderman Fields, where he was arraigned under the more serious charge of murder. The man Wagner who lived just near to Jacobson at the time of Edmundson’s disappearance, and who has several times mentioned in this case, was also included in the information, and, having been arrested at an early hour this morning, was placed on trial at the same time.
Daniel McCarthy, he with whom so many sensational stories have originated of late, was the first witness called. His evidence was that he had promised a man named Wunder a keg of beer and that Wunder came after it about 11:30 o’clock on the night of Edmundson’s disappearance.
He happened to be out of beer and went up to Jacobson’s saloon to get a keg. When he went into Jacobson’s he found Jacobson, Wagner and man named Lowry playing cards. He also noticed Hiram Edmundson there; and about the time he entered there was a fuss kicked up between the parties. He saw Wagner take Edmundson by the throat and pull him out the back door; never saw anything of Edmundson after that time. He asked Jacobson if Wagner was going to kill Edmundson and Jacobson replied that it as none of his (McCarthy’s) business.
Mrs. McCarthy was called and corroborated the evidence given by her husband by saying that he had gone after the beer on that evening; but came back without it, saying there as a fuss up there and he could not get it.
Mr. Wunder being sworn, said he had been at McCarthy’s that night after beer; that McCarthy went to Jacobson’s for it, but came back saying there as a fuss up there and he could not get it.
Several other parties testified to much the same thing. The Alderman considered the evidence sufficient to remand Jacobson and Wagner to jail. They were both taken to jail to await action of the grand jury, the Alderman refusing to accept any bond.
Jacobson says he denies everything ever said about him in relation to this case. Declares he did not know Hiram Edmundson. Jacobson is the same individual that shot and killed the little neighboring boy who was playing in front of his windows about a year ago; and for which crime he was arrested and tried, but was cleared, the jury thinking the shooting accidental.
Constable Dart at once organized a party and went to search the premises of Wagner and Jacobson. Under the house formally occupied by Wagner they discovered a large hole dug out and lime scattered all about it. The family living in the house now moved there only about one week ago. They say that when they moved into the house there was a terrible smell about the hole in the ground and they put lime there to kill the smell. The hole in the ground has the appearance of being dug but recently.
We can but add that of all the clues, this looks suspicious, and it may be that Detective Dougherty has really detected something. If so, we say good!
(Copy of an unknown/undated newspaper clipping obtained from Mary Elizabeth. Edmundson in possession of James Edward Edmundson, Sr.)
Abigail Ann Hayden Edmundson (1830 - 1886)*
Cornelius Jane Edmundson Whitehead (1856 - 1919)*
Zerah Edmundson (1859 - 1932)*
Edward Francis Edmundson (1863 - 1943)*
McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery
Plot: Section E, Lot 89
Maintained by: James Edmundson
Originally Created by: Mary Ellen Hill
Record added: Dec 07, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32024026