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 Walter Herbert Gatten

Walter Herbert Gatten

Belpre, Washington County, Ohio, USA
Death 9 Nov 1969 (aged 91)
Colton, Clackamas County, Oregon, USA
Burial Polson, Lake County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 20962049 · View Source
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Walter Herbert Miller was born in Belpre, Washington, Ohio, USA, the son of Solomon A. Miller and Margaret “Megs” (Smith) Miller. After his mother, grandmother, and uncle were accused of murdering his father in Warren Township, Washington County, Ohio (but were later absolved) his mother reportedly died the same year.

Walter was placed in an orphanage, along with his two brothers Solomon Jr. and Joseph Theodore Miller. He was adopted by Robert A. Gatten (FAG #23585824) and Eliza (Gates) Gatten (FAG #23585823) in 1884. He married Grace Monroe Gifford in 1903 and had 13 children. He died in Colton, Clackamas, Oregon, USA. He was a Spanish-American War veteran.

"MARIETTA REGISTER, February 15, 1884:

"A shocking and inhuman crime has been committed in this neighborhood near Tunnel, the details of which are horrifying in the extreme, not so much from the manner in which the deed was done, as the near relationship of the parties implicated and the helpless condition of the victim himself. The facts are as follows:"

"Solomon Miller, his wife and three small children were living about 4 years ago this winter, in a little log cabin near Tunnel Station, apparently happy and contented, and struggling to make a livelihood. That winter the husband was stricken down with an abscess in the back, and at once became helpless. As they had nothing to fall back on he became a county charge, and has been kept by the the county eversince. Some time that winter, he was removed by his friends two miles west of Tunnel Station, on the land of his brother, William R. Miller, where a house was provided for them. There his wife proved unfaithful to him and, it is said, became too intimate with his brother and others. They became estranged, domestic difficulties sprang up and continued to grow worse, and on the morning of the 7th inst. he was found dead in his bed by his family. The alarm was given, and neighbors came in and proceeded to prepare the body for burial. It was supposed he came to his death by disease, being very much reduced physically, but there was discovered in the pit of the stomach, about 2 inches below the breast bone, a round hole like a gun shot wound, being burnt around it with powder. Suspicion was at once aroused, a coroner was summoned and an inquest held."

"An autopsy was made by Dr. Bohl, of Watertown, which revealed the fact that he was shot."

"The ball entered as before stated, and went a little to the right of a straight line through the body, passing through the lungs, and lodged near the back bone. The person that did the deed raised his shirts, as there was no hole found through them.--After shooting him, the murderer cleaned off all the blood and powder, as well as it could be done, and replaced everything as when found, then covered him up as though asleep, and in this condition he was found, thus dispelling all doubt as to suicide."

"An inquest was held, Saturday evening, before Squire A. T. McMahon. The verdict was death from a pistol wound by a person or persons unknown."

"William R. Miller, the brother of the murdered man, did not stay in the house that night. Mrs. Miller, her mother, and the three children were there."

"The mother-in-law's maiden name was Smith. Her last husband's name was Schaefer. Some of the neighbors do not seem to think she was concerned in the murder, others suspect that she and the daughter were accomplices. The wife of the victim has a hard name and, it is said, has been the cause of breaking up one or two families. The circumstantial evidence here is very strong.--The neighbors seem disposed to think the brother had a hand in the deed but as yet the evidence implicating him is slight."

"It is supposed the motive was to put the murdered man out of the way and then Mrs. Miller would marry the brother, who has some property."

"The brother, wife and mother-in-law of the victim were arrested and brought to jail Wednesday."


"The special Grand Jury that met Tuesday to investigate the killing of Saul Miller found no indictment against Miller's wife, brother and mother-in-law, the parties who were in jail charged with the crime."




  • Created by: Pam R.
  • Added: 15 Aug 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20962049
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Walter Herbert Gatten (13 May 1878–9 Nov 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20962049, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Polson, Lake County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Pam R. (contributor 46923349) .