Mrs. Celia Hiemer was shot last Saturday night about 9:00 o’clock at her home in south Seminole township, three miles north of Bellemont, by her husband, Francis Hiemer, and died from the effects of the wound Sunday morning about 10:00 o’clock. An inquest was held Sunday afternoon by Justice of the Peace Vlasak, of Creek township, and . . . we gain the following facts which were brought out at the inquest.
The family were preparing to go to bed and the children were on a pallet in the west room of the house, the room in which the killing was done. The old man was in the east room and suddenly he took down his shotgun and loaded it, then got his pistol saying that he was going to the dance at Ladra’s, where his elder daughter, Mary, had gone to spend the evening with the young folks. Mrs. Hiemer was also in the east room at the time, and he asked her why she had had him arrested, referring to the time a year ago when she had had him arrested for beating her. She answered that, since that trouble was long past, she wished he would not refer to it anymore, and then she started to go into the west room where the bed was.
As she reached the door between the two rooms he suddenly pointed the pistol at her and fired, the ball striking her in the left breast, just below the heart, and ranging downward and diagonally backward, lodging just above the top of the hip bone on the opposite side of the body. The pistol used was of the bull dog type and was of 44 caliber.
After shooting the lady the murderer asked her where some of his clothes were, saying that he was going to kill himself. Shortly after he lighted a match and held it over her so that he could see her, saying as he did so, “This is just what you should have had long ago.” Then he went out of the house and fired his pistol off three times and the old lady died believing that her husband had killed himself She was conscious up to the last and spoke frequently, saying that she would soon be gone. . . . She averred that the shooting was maliciously done, saying that her husband had no just cause for his act.
The children corroborate the statements of their mother in every particular. The little boys saw the whole affair. They heard their father’s remarks after the shooting and were ordered by him not to go for the doctor. About half an hour after the shooting occurred they went to Bellemont for the doctor, leaving the little girl with her dying mother.
The neighbors soon heard of the tragedy and a great crowd gathered and posses of men at once started in search of the murderer. He was found at daylight at the home of F. D. Satterlee, four miles from the scene of the shooting. He was placed under arrest . . . and hustled to the county jail for safe keeping. The community seemed very much aroused over the killing and threats against Hiemer’s life were freely and publicly made by the people. The jury at the inquest returned a verdict that the deceased had come to her death from the effects of a pistol shot and that her husband, Francis Hiemer, was responsible.
Hiemer’s account of the affair is that on going into the room he found his wife with the pistol and that he attempted to take it from her and in the scuffle it was discharged. He claims that he had given himself up to Satterlee before the men who took him arrived on the scene [but] these men testified that he was hidden outside the house when they demanded his surrender of Satterlee.
A. J. Cain, plaintiff, vs. Franz Hiemer, L. W. Clapp [a lawyer working for the firm of Hoffman & Embry], Alfred Hiemer, Mary Frost, formerly Mary Hiemer, and Susie Hiemer, John Hiemer, Frank Hiemer, Celie Hiemer, minor children of Cecilliye Hiemer, deceased, and William B. Hudspeth, administrator of the estate of Cecillye Hiemer, deceased and guardian of the minor children of said Cecillye Hiemer, deceased, defendants.
The defendant Franz Hiemer is hereby notified that he has been sued . . . and that unless [he] answers ...on or before the 17th day of September 1903, said amended petition will be taken as true and a judgment according . . . will be rendered thereon against the defendant . . . for the sum of $350.00 with interest thereon at the rate of 10 per cent per annum from the 17th day of January, 1902, together with an attorney’s fee of $38.50 and the foreclosure of a mortgage given by the said Franz Hiemer to John Embry to secure the same on the north east quarter of section No. twenty one (21) in township No. twelve (12) north of range No. five (5) east in Lincoln County, Oklahoma territory; and for the sum of $118.00 with interest thereon at 12 per cent per annum from January 18, 192 and an additional sum of $25 attorneys fees and the foreclosure of a mortgage on the above described real estate which was given by the defendant Franz Hiemer to J. H. Wright . . .
A Wretched Old Convict
Franz Hiemer, aged about 70 years, who was sent from Lincoln county to the Lansing penitentiary for life for having murdered his wife in South Seminole township, is one of the most wretched convicts in that penal institution. He is forcibly and sadly finding out that “the road of the transgressor is hard” to travel on. Sheriff Tilghman says: “When I took the last consignment of prisoners to the Lansing prison Old Mr. Hiemer shed bitter tears and asked me if he never more could go home and visit his children. He looked haggard, wild-eyed and like one utterly forlorn and extremely miserable.” The old man does little, if any work. He is supposed to work in the toy shop, where some of the more artistic prisoners make some toys, canes and other articles that are sold as penitentiary-made curios. Hiemer, like Cain, feels the murderer’s load which he can not throw off. His punishment is almost more than he can bear much longer. He is still a living, suffering example for all those who propose to or shed innocent blood.
Available upon request to the author.