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 John Jacob “J Jacob” Maassen

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John Jacob “J Jacob” Maassen

  • Birth Mar 1850 Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • Death 28 Jul 1879 Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA
  • Plot maassen
  • Memorial ID 92590947

John Jacob aka "J. Jacob" Maassen, was born in Holstein, Germany, to John and Catherine (Sterling), Maassen.

J. Jacob Maassen, married Sophia Harder, July 05, 1876 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Jacob farmed the land and raised cattle.

J. Jacob Maassen, was killed in a land dispute by a neighbour who murdered him. The murder was Christian Pittman. Mr. Pittman was taken to trial twice, but let go. Mr. Pittman stabbed J. Jacob Maassen, in the chest with a knife and killed him; which left Sophia Harder Maassen, a widow, and John and William maassen, with out a father. Mr. Pittman said he was defending his self, I guess so if you stick a knife in a man's heart.{Pittman murdered my Grandfater, "On the evening of July 28, 1879, Jacob Maason was killed by Christian Pittman, being stabbed to death." from: History of Pleasant Township, 1907}

C. John Maassen, married J. Jacob's wife (Sophia Harder on Feb. 19, 1881)after his death. C. John Maassen, was Jacob's younger brother. Jacob had 2 sons William H. Maassen and John J. Maassen before he died. I notice in some records Jacobs last name was not spelled correctly.

J. Jacob Maassen's, name is some times misspelled John J. Maason, Massen, or Maasan. His first name is John Jacob and some records J. Jacob.

HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY.
(pg.259)
The most notable public event was the tragic death of Jacob Maason, a farmer, a German, at the hands of Christian Pittman, a neighbor. This occurred on the evening
of July 28, 1879. Maason had been at Avoca, during the day, and came home in the afternoon. A dispute had existed between them on account of the claim made by the latter, that Pittman, in cutting his grain with a reaper, on a piece of ground next to that of Maason, was treading down the latter's growing corn. Just about dusk, Maason was standing near his door, with one of his children near the door, when he saw Pittman coming out of his field into the road near Maason's gate. Without putting down the child, he advanced to the gate, and there an altercation took place between them, the words of which could not be heard by those in sight of them, as they stood in the road. When Maason went out of the gate, he placed the child on the ground. In a few moments Pittman started to run, with Maason in pursuit, and in a short time both were out of sight. Pittman stated, in his evidence on the trial of the case, that, when they got
near his own premises, Maason then close to him, took hold of him, and threatened to kill him. That he did not realize that he had struck Maason until after he saw the wounds,
after death, and that he only used the knife, to ward off the blows and to loosen the grasp of Maason. 'The death of the latter was allmost instantaneous, the stab being in the
heart. Pittman was arrested and indicted by the grand jury, and tried before the District Court at Council Bluffs. The prosecution was conducted by A. R. Anderson, District Attorney, and John H. Keatley, and the defense by Mynster & Adams.
(pg.260)
The jury failed to agree on the first trial. The case
was then changed to Mills County, and when the case was called for trial there, the indictment, which had never been sent to that county, could not be found, and the District
Attorney, Conner, who had succeeded Anderson, was obliged to dismiss the casa The attention of the grand jury in Pottawattamie County was again called to the case at the
December term, 1881, of the District Court, and Pittman was indicted a second time, and a second time the place of trial was changed to Mills County. At the September term of the District Court of Mills County, in 1882, the cause was tried a second time, with a verdict of acquittal.

"2nd version of story from different history book."
On the evening of July 28, 1879, Jacob Maasan was killed by Christian Pittman. Maasan accused Pittman of tramping down his corn by running his reaper over it, their lands joining where it happened. There were no witnesses to the tragedy, only Pittman was seen to run, with Maason in pursuit. Pittman was arrested and tried, but the jury disagreed. The case was taken to Mills county, but the indictment could not be found and the case was dismissed. The case was again brought before the grand jury of Pottawattamie county and he was indicted, and again the case taken to Mills county, where he was acquitted. In his defense Pittman claimed that Maasan attacked him, threatening to kill him, and that he cut him in self-defense, but not intending to kill him. The stab proved fatal, the knife having struck the heart.


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  • Created by: Troll'sBridge
  • Added: 25 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 92590947
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Jacob “J Jacob” Maassen (Mar 1850–28 Jul 1879), Find A Grave Memorial no. 92590947, citing Graceland Cemetery, Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Troll'sBridge (contributor 47862965) .