Cause of Death: Undetermined
Murder Scene and Date
By Nancy Bowers
On Wednesday, August 24, 1881, a grim discovery was made in a farm pasture near Keota: a body with the flesh decomposed — or eaten by a hog or other animal — nearly completely off the bones.
Written July 2012
The body was identified as that of 16-year-old Elmer Penderson.
Elmer — the hired man at the Euphenia and Stephen C. Pierson farm in Section 26 of Seventy Six Township in Washington County — had not been seen for nearly two weeks.No cause could be determined for Elmer Penderson’s death, but the circumstances were considered suspicious.
The 1880 U.S. Census records the victim’s name as “Elmer Anderson,” although newspapers referred to him as “Elmer Penderson.”
Please note: Use of information from this article should credit Nancy Bowers as the author and Iowa Unsolved Murders: Historic Cases as the source.
- ☛ “Iowa News Items,” Le Mars Daily Liberal, September 5, 1881.
- ☛ U.S. Census.