|District Court did not convene until one
o'clock Tuesday afternoon, June 20th. The day was taken up in
selecting a jury for the trial of Harry H. Schieler for the killing of
John Wilson in Warrens on December 4, 1892.
Wednesday morning J.H. Forney stated the
case to the jury and an order was made that all witnesses with the
exception of Mrs. Frankie Wilson and George Riebold, be excluded from the
room during the progress of the trial.
P. W. Mitchell testified that he has lived
in Warrens 4 or 5 years. Harry said "I don't want any of you
fellow to pass here any more," and he meant the men at the
Knott and Delaware mines. Wilson had some through the night before
and Schieler had hallowed, but Wilson did not answer.
Warren Helm testified he was at the Little
Giant mine December 4 and saw Schieler but had no conversation with
him. He heard the conversation on the porch between Schieler and
Long, Schieler said "I told him not to come through here any more, if
he did I'd kill him." Helm went to town but stopped at Brewer's
place, Wilson was there, tried to keep Wilson from coming by Riebold's.
Harry W. Cone testified that he came home
about half past five Sunday morning and went to bed. Was awaked by a
woman's screams, jumped up, put on pants and shoes and ran to door; saw
Schieler with a Marvin rifle and Schieler said, "He came through here
and I shot him. What else could I do, he had the woman with
him. I thought he had a pistol; he would have pulled the woman to
him and plugged me." I told Schieler he was under arrest and to
come with me down to town. Earlier in he week when Wilson went through
and Schieler had hallowed at him, Wilson put his snow shoes behind him,
put his hand in the pocket as though to draw a pistol. I heard
Wilson say he was going to kill him at a dance; Schieler was on a platform
and Wilson said "Look at the son of a b...., I've got to kill
him." I told Schieler to look out for him.
Witnesses describe the trail leading from
town to the Delaware mine, also the nature of the land which had to be
covered if a person went through the Little Giant mine going to the
Delaware, a very narrow gulch at the place.
A.D. Smead testified that he held the
inquest on the body of Wilson. At that inquest Schieler said,
"I had been down to Brewer's, met Wilson and warned him not to come
there, went back up to the mine, looked down road and saw no one, went in
to store house and came out and saw Wilson and wife coming, and I shot
him. Wilson said he would come through whenever he wanted to; that
he would put his other eye out is Schieler tried to stop him".
Thursday morning J.M. Haynie testified that
he was one of the coroner's jury. The body was lying on the trail
about 30 feet from the house, lying on his face. He had a bundle in
his left hand, his right hand under the body. He had gloves on both
hands, there was a wound on the left cheek from which blood had flowed and
ran on the snow.
C.F. (Frank) Smith stated that he was at
the Delaware mine Sunday and went to Warrens about 8 o'clock in the
evening, going from the mine by Riebolds and Brewers and from there to
Warrens. That was the usual route traveled going between the two
places and he was never forbidden to go through that way. The county
trail from the mine to town was not broke but it was by way of
J.W. Dysart had gone from the Delaware mine
to Warrens the day before by way of Riebolds, returning about five o'clock
the evening of December 4. This was the usual route of travel.
John Shiefer testified to traveling over
the trail from the Knott mine to Warrens by way of Riebolds.
Crosby Brewer, who married Georgia Smith,
sister of Mrs. Wilson, testified that up to the time of the homicide he
was working for Mr. Riebold. He testified as to the conversation at
his house the morning of December 4th and to conversations previous to
that in which Schieler said, "Do you know that shotgun of the old
man's? If he stays away long enough, I will wad that gun and make
Wilson carry her trunk down here, or kill him."
Wm. Duniway testified to threats made by
Schieler against Wilson and his attentions to Wilson's wife, before her
marriage with Wilson.
During the cross examination of the witness
the jury was retired while counsel argues the objections to a question as
to the character of Mrs. Brown and her two daughters, which was judged not
admissable. Mrs. Brown is the mother of Taylor Smith, Frankie Wilson
and Georgia Brewer.
Friday, Robt. C. Devine testified as to the
nature of the trails and the trail by Riebold's being used by men going to
the Delaware and other mines during the winter.
Mr. Schiefer was recalled and testified as
the conversation with Schiler regarding Frankie Smith prior to her
marriage with Wilson, asked him why he did not marry her, he said he would
and go to railroading. At the house of Mrs. Brown, Schieler and
Frankie had quarrelled. After, he got down on his knees before her
and wanted to make up. There was talk of the girl being in trouble
and Schieler said he would marry her if she laid it on him.
Taylor Smith testified to being at Brewer's
house the morning before the killing and detailed the conversation there, substantially as
given by the next witness Mrs. Wilson.
Mrs. Wilson (age 17) testified that she was
married to Wilson May 26, 1892. In the spring of '91 at her mother's
residence Schieler asked me to marry him and I refused. Mother asked
what objections I had to him. Another time Schieler asked me to
marry him in the presence of Jack Shiefer. After marriage Wilson
worked for Mr. Riebold until the last of August when we moved to the
Delaware mine, he left not wanting trouble with Schieler. We came
down on Saturday and I was at the dance the night before the
killing. It was about half past four in the morning when we went to
Brewer's. Schieler came there in the morning and Wilson said he
would treat Schieler like a gentleman if he would do likewise. After
breakfast we started home, I in advance. About 30 feet from the
house I asked Wilson if we would go between the houses or on the porch, I
was about ten feet ahead. Just then I heard a shot, Wilson fell,
Schieler came out, Cone came out and took me in the house. I had
asked Jack to go the other way and avoid trouble and he said he did not
think there would be any.
Mrs. Wilson was subjected to a thorough
cross examination but could not be made to contradict herself. When
Wilson had typhoid fever, Riebold helped me nurse him. Schieler
always acted towards me as a gentleman in my presence.
Mrs. Brewer, testified as to the quarrel at
her house. Wilson said to Schieler "You think you are d. . . .d
smart because your uncle has lots of money; you think you could do
anything and get clear."
The state then rested.
Saturday, the first witness for the defense
was Jas. A. Long. He testified that he saw Schieler at Brewer's the
morning of the trouble. Brewer was building a fire and Schieler
setting in a chair, Brewer and I took a drink; Schieler did not
drink. Wilson came out of the bedroom and they argued as
testified before. Brewer and I stepped outside and Schieler walked
past me on his way to the mine. I told Schiler to look out for
Wilson. He said he would. Two weeks before Wilson told me that
he was going to watch Schieler and "if he dances with my wife I will
put a hole through him" Wilson's general reputation is bad,
Schieler's good. helm and I agreed that Wilson and Schieler were
both damn fools.
Harry W. Cone was called as a witness for
the defense and his evidence was substantially the same as given by him
C.F. Smith was foreman of the coroner's
jury, as deputy sheriff at the time; heard of homicide at noon from
Schieler himself who surrendered to him. At one time prior to
killing, I watched all night to see that Schieler was not harmed.
W.J. Kelly was a member of the coroner's
jury, testified as did all present at the inquest, of the condition of the
body, the billy club being found in his right coat pocket, also as to
threats made by Wilson against Schieler prior to the killing.
J.H. Babendorf was the last witness of the
day, his evidence being immaterial as he came from the Delaware mine to
Riebold the day of the killing coming down the gulch; that no trail was
Monday, June 26, fourteen witnesses were on
the stand during the day. The most of them were only to prove
threats made against the life of Schieler by Wilson and the general
reputation of Schieler being good and Wilson's bad.
W. C. Newburn and P. Davis were put on the
stand to prove reputation of Wilson's in Dakota before he came to this
State. Newburn's was excluded as being incompetent, Davis showed he
and Wilson had been partners in Dakota in throwing a foot race.
Riebold, the owner of the Little Giant mine and uncle of the defendant,
Schieler testified that Wilson worked for him, that Schieler wanted to
leave because of the difficulty between him and Wilson. Schieler had
discharged him because his life was threatened and Riebold gave him a
share of the business to induce him to remain. parties were never
allowed to pass through the mine in traveling to and from Warrens.
George Riebold resumed telling about his conversation with Mrs. Brewer and
Mrs. Wilson after the killing. Mrs. Brewer said if he would give a
check for $10,000, they would go to Chicago by way of San Francisco and
Seattle and stay all summer and then go to Coeur d' Alene. After she
came down to $1,000, I asked Alex Baumier to find out what they
wanted. Brewer was to cross the British line for $1,000, if Frankie
Wilson went he wanted $1,500. I sent word negotiations were ended,
Mr. Riebold gave testimony contradictory to Mrs. Wilson and Taylor
smith. He also said that Wilson knew he forbid parties going through
Schieler, the defendant, then took the stand., and told his story in a
straight-forward, manly way. I am 23 years old, lived in St. Louis
before coming to Warrens in 1887 to work for my uncle at $50 per month.
I sent money home to help mother and to purchase a home for myself.
I am engaged and went back on a visit in April '92. I first met
Wilson in Warrens in June of '91. I had charge of the mine in
Riebold's absence. I was waiting on Wilson, who was sick with
typhoid fever at that time I had trouble with Harmonica Jack. He was
drunk and came in the house where Wilson was and caused a row and I put
him out of the house.
I talked to
Schiefer about the woman's condition, he accused me of causing her
trouble, and I him. Never at any time did I ask her to marry me,
positively never at the Clifford house. I was in St. Louis at the
time of Wilson's marriage and didn't return until the 12 or 15th of
June. After her marriage I saw her and spoke and always acted as a
gentleman. Wilson made threats in the fall of '92 and I wanted to
leave camp but was persuaded to stay by my Uncle. I never went to
see Mrs. Wilson at the Delaware mine. I was working at Willey's and
went at the invitation of Moore & Butler. Wilson accused me of
telling lies about them and said he would have to fight. I backed
off but he followed me and I picked up a rock to defend myself. I
wrote two letters to Mrs. Wilson asking for a ring and photo and she
refused to give them up.
Brewer told me that Wilson was going to shoot me in the back on the
trail. Wednesday before the killing the Chinaman came in and
said. "nother man go up to mill". It was
Wilson. I knew Wilson carried a pistol and was a crack shot.
The Sunday before Duniway warned me about the trouble with Wilson. I
asked Frank Smith to go to Smead's night before, also to dances at
Baumier's and Bemis's on account of threats Wilson had made. Sunday
morning I was going to town when I saw Long, went to Brewers house and
found him building fire. (Witness detailed conversation as before
testified.) I was sitting in a chair afraid to move and told him to
stay away. I went out to the first chance, I thought he wanted to
kill me right then. I went home and Long came up soon after.
He said to look out, he's coming up for a row. I didn't tell
Mitchell. "if any of you fellows get hurt it won't be my
fault." I saw Wilson and his wife coming up the road, he was
about ten feet behind stooping. I ran into the store house and
grabbed a gun, ran into the room threw gun against window curtain and
shot. Then reloaded the gun and came to the door. He was lying
in the snow, she screaming. I thought he was going to shoot me over
his wife's shoulder or around her, using her as a shield. Chinaman
opened the door and Cone took the gun and I went to town.
was the last witness for the defense. The State introduced several
witnesses in rebuttal, but their testimony, if anything strengthened the
Wednesday was taken up by
arguments of counsel. Ailshie, Poe and Reid for the defense and a
night session was necessary to enable Mr. Reid to finish his address.
morning J.H. Forney made the closing address on behalf of the state.
Judge Piper delivered the charge to the jury and the case was submitted to
them at noon.
The jury was out all the
afternoon until 10 o'clock at night. The verdict was guilty of
"manslaughter". A motion for a new trial was promptly
made. The penalty for manslaughter is not to exceed ten years in the