Louis Arbogast

Louis Arbogast

Birth
Germany
Death 13 May 1909 (aged 51)
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA
Memorial ID 64876864 · View Source
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Murder victim. He was a wealthy butcher who operated a large and successful meat market at Seven Corners in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was murdered while sleeping in his bed at his home on May 13, 1909.

Following is an article from the NY Times about the murder:

"Husband Slain in Bed
Wife and Daughter of Wealthy Butcher Tell Conflicting Stories

ST. PAUL, Minn., May 12. - Louis Arbogast, a butcher, reputed to be worth $200,000, was murdered in his home today. His head was crushed, and the police say his bed was saturated with oil and set on fire. In the cellar was an axe covered with blood and wrapped in some old clothing.

Stories told by the widow and by Miss Ida Arbogast, the daughter of the dead man, do not agree. The daughter told the police that she smelled smoke, went to her parents room, and found that the bed on which her father and mother lay was burning.

"I dragged my mother out," she said. "Neighbors put out the fire. My father, partly burned, was unconscious, and died on the way to the hospital."

Mrs. Arbogast is slightly burned. She told the police that she was in the bathroom, and when she heard her daughter scream ran to her room and found her husband in the blazing bed. All windows and door locks in the house are said to have been found intact.

The detectives say that they learned that there was a family quarrel last night on the announcement of Mr. Arbogast that, notwithstanding the objections of his family, he was going to the Klondike on June 1 with William Manteufel, a well-known manufacturer of St. Paul. The quarrel lasted until late last night." (New York Times, May 14, 1909)

Police believed the murder was committed by someone in the household. After a few days, Louise was arrested for the murder of her father. On June 7, both Minna and Louise were indicted by a grand jury. They both pleaded not guilty to the murder. Police no longer believed Louise committed the crime, but that she was an indirect cause of it. They were certain Minna committed the murder in a state of rage when she discovered conditions in her household. Louise had worked for several years in her father's store, and according to newspapers, "at home she had been with him as a comrade in the most intimate sense". According to police, her mother said that Louise had been having hallucinations. She was admitted to a hospital for a rest cure, but her father pressed for her early release, despite warnings that she may be violent.

After Louise was arrested for her father's murder, she was found "sane" at a sanity hearing. She was released on bail on July 14. Minna's trial began in October. Newspapers stated the motive for her husband's murder was "such as to make impossible her conviction before any jury." She was acquitted and released on Nov. 4, 1909. The indictment against Louise was quashed on Dec. 3, 1909. No new evidence was found against Louise and if it appeared, the chances of conviction, based on Minna's acquittal, were very unlikely.

The murder was never solved.


Sources:

New York Times, "Husband Slain in Bed, Wife and Daughter of Wealthy Butcher Tell Conflicting Stories," May 14, 1909

Whitney, Marilla. Date and place of birth from passport applications.


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  • Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
  • Added: 30 Jan 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 64876864
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Louis Arbogast (3 Mar 1858–13 May 1909), Find A Grave Memorial no. 64876864, citing Oakland Cemetery, Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Cindy K. Coffin (contributor 47084179) .