Winfield - Murder in 1885


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 13, 1885. A Horrible Murder at Winfield. Last Tuesday morning the denizens of Winfield learned that a horrible tragedy has been enacted on the previous night. During the storm which raged Monday night, some unknown fiend entered the house of Robt. White, who resides on Timber Creek near Frank Manny's brewery, and murdered his wife.

It was a brutal murder; and if the citizens of the county seat had discovered the perpetrator of the horrible deed on Tuesday morning, he would have most likely attended a hemp neck-tie party. But the whole affair is enshrouded in mystery. Some were prone to lay the deed at the hands of the murdered woman's husband, who is regarded with suspicion. The story he tells does not make him entirely blameless and is as follows.

It seems that White has a fear of cyclones, and on Monday night at about 12 o'clock, as it looked as if a cyclone was coming up, he took some cover and went out to a lime kiln nearby to protect himself. Mrs. White and the two children remained in the house. White remained in the kiln about two hours; and when he returned to the house, he found his wife's head hanging over the edge of the bed with her face covered with blood.

Neighbors and physicians were summoned. White at first supposed that his wife had fallen and hurt herself, but soon ascertained that the injuries were very severe. The woman died Tuesday evening. The attending physician removed a piece of the skull bone almost as large as a dollar.

White takes the matter very calmly and almost coolly, and this is one reason suspicion was aroused against him.

White is a painter, and industrious, and no family quarrel is known to have occurred between husband and wife. The two children who were in the bed with their mother are aged two and five years. The family was very poor and lived in a hovel. They came to Winfield about three months ago from Illinois.

LATER. Dr. Marsh was summoned and held an inquest. The jury's verdict was that the deceased came to her death by a blow from a flat iron in the hands of her husband. White has been arrested.