On This Day

NOVEMBER

Sister Mary Virginis tombstoneOn November 2, 1921, two St. Joseph’s Academy music teachers — 37-year-old Sister Mary Virginis (née Mary Agnes Austin) and 41-year-old Sister Mary Rosalita (née Agnes McLaughlin) — were killed by a hit-and-run driver at the corner of 31st Street and Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Click here to read “All Souls’ Day.”
Sister Mary Rosalita tombstone

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On November 3, 1922, Rose Brownfield, 41, and her 43-year-old husband Homer were robbed and shot to death in the wayside store they operated at the Low Moor Corner along the Lincoln Highway in Clinton County. Despite the arrest of violent rum runners and a “confession” from a brain-damaged teen, no one was ever brought to justice for the double homicide. Click here to read “Death Along the Lincoln Highway.”
Rose and Homer Brownfield

Rose and Homer Brownfield

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Eight-three-year-old Civil War veteran Michael Featherstone was found robbed and bludgeoned to death four miles north of Marshalltown on November 7, 1924. He was lured away from the Old Soldiers Home, where he lived, on the promise of love and romance by a mysterious woman named “Dora.” Click here to read “Lonely Hearts Scam and the Veteran.”
Michael Featherstone's tombstone

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When Henry Chavis was ambushed and shot behind his Story County farm home one mile south of Ames on November 7, 1948, there were plenty of suspects who had a grudge against the 55-year-old businessman. A gun belonging to Chavis was found two years later in a nearby steam, increasing the mystery surrounding the homicide. Click here to read “Who Killed the Corn Canning Czar?”
Henry Chavis

Henry Chavis

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Forty-nine-year-old Yugoslavian lumberjack John Zauhar was traveling across the country by train from the Northwest when he began acting oddly in Iowa. He was removed by the police at Boone for his own safety. He disappeared the next day, August 24, 1947, and was found shot to death along railroad tracks four miles west of the city on November 9, 1947. Click here to read “Giving Away Money.”
location of Boone, Iowa

location of Boone, Iowa

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Edward A. Kriz, the 43-year-old owner of George’s Buffet Tavern, was shot at the rear entrance to the Hamburg Inn No. 2 at 214 North Linn Street in Iowa City on November 10, 1962 while trying to stop a would-be robber. Click here to read “‘Right Place, Wrong Time.’”
Edward Kriz

Edward Kriz

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The body of 39-year-old Clinton resident Arlene Grace Adler was found floating in the Mississippi River behind the Agrico Plant in Fulton, Illinois, on November 11, 1967. She had been slashed to death by a sexual psychopath who likely abducted and killed her on the Iowa side of the river. Click here to read “Crossing the Line.”
Arlene Adler

Arlene Adler

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On November 14, 1877, Reuben B. “Rube” Proctor, a 26-year-old Warren County farmer, was seized from law enforcement and hanged by a band of vigilantes seeking justice for the shooting of August Cading, 19, who had fended off three masked home invaders on October 31 and who died in her Belmont Township home two days after the lynching. Proctor was hanged in the Schonburg Community near Milo. Rumors circulated that he survived the hanging and went free, his family burying a coffin filled only with dirt. Click here to read “Lynch Law.”
Location of Milo, Iowa

Location of Milo, Iowa

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Augusta Kading, 19, was shot twice on October 31, 1877 as she fiercely protected her family’s possessions and fended off masked home invaders in Belmont Township near Milo in Warren County. She died of her injuries on November 16, 1877. Click here to read “The Brave Girl.”
Location of Milo, Iowa

Location of Milo, Iowa

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On November 16, 1962, 21-year-old office worker Anna Marie Medici was killed by a hit-and-run driver in front of her home along US Highway 69 in Crocker Township of Polk County. Click here to read “Almost Home.”
Anna Marie Medici's tombstone

Anna Marie Medici’s tombstone

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The body of John Hill Beal, a 19 year-old farmhand, was found along the railroad tracks two miles south of Cherokee on November 17, 1893. He had been struck with a heavy rock and robbed of his money while riding a train back to his Waterloo home for Thanksgiving. Click here to read “Wages in Gold.”
John Hill Beal's tombstone

John Hill Beal’s tombstone

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Thirty-year-old George James Massouris, a railroad worker and part-time Red Top Taxicab driver, was found shot to death in a ditch on Orchard Road near Highway 6 in Council Bluffs on November 18, 1950. He had been robbed and killed by a fare he picked up. Click here to read “Taxi Ride to Death.”
George Massouris

George Massouris

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On November 19, 1914, 41-year-old farmer Chester N. “Chet” Van Horn was found shot to death in his bed on the family farm in Clear Lake Township of Cerro Gordo County. Suspicion swirled around his wife Charlotte and a possible love triangle. After a sensational trial and presentation of evidence, a judge dismissed murder charges against her. Click here to read “’Thin Veil Over Her Face.’”
Chester Van Horn's tombstone

Chester Van Horn’s tombstone

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Carlisle Gordon “Lyle” Hunter, a 30-year-old Guthrie County farmer, was shot during a holdup in a downtown Des Moines alley on November 22, 1919. He died a few days later at a local hospital. Click here to read “Alleyway Robbery.”
location of Des Moines, Iowa

location of Des Moines, Iowa

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On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1910, the body of a young man who had been shot in the head was discovered on the Charles J. Murray farm in South Fork Township of Delaware County near Monticello. His clothing contained many unusual items, but no identification. He was last seen alive in the area on Labor Day. Click here to read “Elgin Watch Case #138033.”
location of Monticello, Iowa

location of Monticello, Iowa

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John “Jack” Murphy, a 41-year-old saloon custodian and porter, was on the way to Mass when he was fatally shot at N. 6th and Concert streets in Keokuk during the early morning hours of November 27, 1904. Click here to read “The ‘Inoffensive, Harmless Man.’”
John Murphy's tombstone

John Murphy’s tombstone

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On November 29, 1955, Lucille Lenore Bacher, 43, was brutally bludgeoned and slashed to death and her husband Henry critically injured by a frenzied intruder in their business, the Lincoln Avenue Pharmacy, at the corner of South Lincoln & Redwood avenues in Davenport. Click here to read “‘Maniac’ in the Drugstore.”
Lucille Bacher

Lucille Bacher

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On November 30, 1904, Daniel Kelleher, a 28-year-old Burlington Northern Railroad employee, was robbed of his wages and beaten at an unknown location in Des Moines. He died a few hours later of his injuries at Mercy Hospital. Click here to read “Acting Oddly.”
location of Des Moines, Iowa

location of Des Moines, Iowa

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