The Hilger murder at Hooppole occurred October 28, i9oo. A schoolmistress wedded Fred Hilger, against her mother's will. On a Sunday evening the young husband laid upon a sofa, and slept. The wife shot him dead with a revolver. She proclaimed to the excited villagers that Fred had suicided.

She was arrested, tried, found guilty of the fact of the killing; but also insane and not responsible. She was apparently free from hatred or malice for her husband. Physicians testified that monomania exists in some individuals in her condition (she became a mother during her imprisonment). After her trial she was con­ fined in the prison for the criminally insane, at Chester. After a brief incarcera­ tion, she was discharged as cured. She and her babe and the aged mother of Mrs. Hilger left the country. It is reported that Mrs. Hilger is again married.



Though the shooting of Burton Mapes by Arthur Handley occurred just over the line in Whiteside county, the principals in the tragedy were so well known in Henry county, and so closely allied with the people of Yorktown township, especially about Hooppole, that a brief record of it is warranted here.

The shooting occurred on November 20, 1905, at a crossroad half a mile south of the hamlet of Leon. The men had a dispute about wages. Handley had been working for Mapes. Handley claimed that Mapes assaulted him, and that he pulled a pistol and fired in self-defense. Handley was indicted for murder.

The trial was held at Morrison, before Judge E. C. Graves of Geneseo. The trial drew an immense crowd. The case went to the jury at 11 :28 a. m. on Monday, and on Wednesday, at 10 :08 a. m., the jury announced that an agree­ ment had been reached. The verdict was not guilty. The audience started in to applaud, when Judge Graves arose and suppressed the demonstration. During the trial, Miss Gracia Goodell, Arthur Handley's betrothed, interposed her eighteen sweet years and radiant young life between the jury and justice. The widow Mapes was constantly present. The trial cost Whiteside county two thousand, three hundred and seventy-three dollars and forty cents. The story is not certain, but deductive logic points strongly to the conclusion that the forty cents was for a new gavel for the judge's desk, the old one having been fractured in suppressing the rejoicing over the freeing of Handley.


John V. Streed, a Swedish lawyer, suicided or was murdered with a re­ volver on the night of September 26, 1905, in Cambridge. His body was found in the rear of his office building, near an outhouse. The revolver was lying beside the body. The prominence of the man, the apparent absence of motive, and other features of the case, caused much comment and excitement throughout the county.

The death of Streed yet remains a mystery. It may have been murder most foul. It may have been suicide for some occult reason which will remain unknown. There were no children. The widow, Luna G. Streed, resides at Union Pier, Michigan.


Mrs. Julia A. Markham murdered her six children and herself, at the Mark­ham farm home near Andover, on September 30, 1905, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, while temporarily insane. The children were young, three boys and three girls, ranging from five months to nine years. Mrs. Markham killed the children with an axe, then set the house on fire, and cut her own throat. Her body was partly burned, as were the rest.


The two events above led a Chicago paper to publish a full page sensafional article, claiming that Henry county's criminal record is the worst of any thirty miles square with like population


History of Henry County

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