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About The Nebraska advertiser. (Nemaha City, Neb.) 18??-1909 | View Entire Issue (June 5, 1908)
Ey Clfreirf oily Yields Lif e IRaftb"
r TH?aio B Separated from?
CBirjpaioiio t Wlbinr? H
CHICAGO T his is the
strange story of the love
of a man and u boy.
Tho man was a musician
and hopeless invalid. Tho
boy was no kin. But the
boy loved the man so that he forswore
his own mother to run away with him.
And when the moment came that tho
man could stand his pain no longer,
alone in the woods beside tho lake the
boy lay down, bared his breast to a
dagger, and waited with closed eyes
while the man sought his heart.
Tho boy died. With shaking hand
the man plunged the knife into his
own breast, but his stroke failed to
find a vital spot.
Hours later soldiers at Fort Sheri
dan found the man, wandering and
gibbering and clawing at his bloody
breast. They took him to the hos
pital at the fort and strapped him to a
cot. It was not until daylight camo
that they paid much heed to his m tit
terings and tho writing that he
scrawled upon a slip of paper.
Then, when they followed his vague
directions, they sought in the woods
and found tho body of the boy, cold
nrnd stark, tho little tense fingers still
clutching at the shirt that ho had
barod for the blow.
The boy was:
Knobel, Walter, 12 years old, son
of Mrs. Mary Knobel, 755 Racine ave
nue. The man:
Amann, Henry Rudolph, 43 years
old, 1012 Otto stroet.
Here are tho letters that the man
and tho boy wrote during tho period
of 3G hours that they wandered to
gether through the north woods, pluck
ing flowers, eating roots and nuts, and
talking of their resolve- to quit tho
From Walter Knobel to his mother
and to Edward Martin:
Chicago, May 15, '08. Good-bye, Mr.
Martin. I want to bo with my father.
Tell mothor. Farewell. (Not signed,
but in boy's handwriting.)
From Amann to Edward Martin:
Mr. Fiedler has no faith in mo any
more. I am going to end it all. My
brothers In Germany will pay all my
From Amann to Hermann Fiedler:
My brothers in Germany will pay all
I owe you. Good-bye. I am going to
ond all. H. R. Amann.
In Amann's pocket, In two hand
writings: Ploaso bury us in the same grave.
Everything was againBt us. I do not
want to live without my father. I go
with my own free will. (Signed)
On matchbox in woods:
It is his mother's fault. Sho is a
In tho morning about two o'clock
Amann was found wandering as if de
mented near tho officers' quarters at
Fort Shoridan. Ho was challenged by
Private Sago of Company D, who was
on picket duty.
Tho guard aclyanced, to find blood
'i H ...i e H. . i. .. . . t , . . . T
t HWK.a.Q taw.. . v U V. V I. i tti
hurried him into the hospital and
called for assistance. The man was
unable to speak becauso of weakness
from loss of blood, and motioned for
paper. This is what lie wrote:
Please got my boy 200 yards north
east of the post at Sheridan.
Ho whispered incoherently about
killing the boy, but no one bolleved
the story until morning. Private Sage
determined to Investigate and went to
tho spot designated.
Hero he found the body of a 12-ycar-old
boy under a troe, lying in a pool of
blood. He immediately notified the
officers of the post, und the man, who
was then unidentified, was double
strapped to his bed for fear he would
The story the murder and at
tempted suicide in all its details was
told by Amann first to Lieut. Frank
Griflls, hospital surgeon, and later to
tho coroner's jury. lie bogged for a
knife that he might fulfill the suicide
"I was up against it and sick and
discouraged and determined to end it
all. The boy would not leave me and
wanted to go with me. We wandered
two days in tho woods and along the
beach and finally agreed to die to
gether," ho said.
"Wo wandered and talked about the
people wo saw. Men and women
seemed happy and walked to and fro
and we watched them. I had talked
about leaving tho world and told the
boy to go back to town, whore he
would find friends.
"He said, 'I will go with you and
where you go,' and I tried to slip away
from him as ho played in tho sand. Ho
saw me and followed me.
"Wo watched the people going by In
automobiles. We were hungry and
turned away from there to go into the
woods. I was tired of life and discour
aged and could have gone Into one of
tho bathhouses and killed myself.
Pluck Flowers In Woods.
"In tho woods and away from tho
people wo gathered flowers and I told
him tho Latin names for the flowers.
"I found a specimen of Trillium
Grandiflorum, and explained how raro
it is, and compared it with tho other
and more common trilHum, which
grows in abundance.
"Wo had had nothing to eat since
Tuesday and pulled roots and shrubs
to stay our hunger. It came night and
wo slept In tho woods until it began
to rain. Then wo went down to the
beach and curled up under a wide
cornice of one of tho houses.
"We lay on my coat for a pillow, but
tho boy woke up and was cold. We
walked until morning and went to
Lako Bluff, whero we wrote and mailed
three letters tolling our friends wo
would ond all.
"Friday wo walked to Lako Forest,
and then back to the beach by Fort
Shoridan. Wo saw people ond they
were well dressed and happy. They
rode in automobiles. Wo were hungrj
nnd wont from tho beach into tho
woods again. Waltor wanted to go
down to tho lake and Jump in, but the
water was too cold.
"Wo tnlked it all over again and
talked about all tho good times wo had
had together in our travels. Wo talked
about Pennsylvania nnd Colorado, and
Salt Lako City and its big lnke, and
"Then we went up to tho rifle rango
whore the Boldicrs wero practicing.
We hid in the bushes nnd talked about
dying. I told him if ho would lead wo
would run from Uio bushes out in
front of tho targets when tho soldiors
fired nnd die thore, but he would not.
"I don't know Just how long wo
wandered after that, but it wns night,
and wo kopt hid. It camo daylight
again, and wo heard voicos of men nnd
women nenr us, and I thought tlioy
wero hunting us.
"It was warm and we were tired and
lay down to sloop. Wo talked it all
over again, and I urged him to leave
me nnd go to his friends. Ho throw
his arms around my neck and cried,
and said he would nover lcavo mo.
Bares Breast; Asks Death.
"He said he would go to his grand
pa, und that I could go to my fnthor in
the next world. I gnvc him some
laudanum, nnd he slept again, but it
was not enough to keep lilin nsleep.
Ho woko again nnd thought i was try
ing to leave him.
"Then ho opened his cent nnd shirt
and milled them back with his hand,
.showing mo whero to strike, and
opened my clothes so I could kill my
self, too. Ho showed me whore his
heart was, and begged mo not to miss
the place. Then ho lay back on my
arm again and went to sleep.
"I lay thoro and looked at him nnd
my head went nil in a whirl. It seemed
that my brain had turned to water and
was surging all around in my head. I
picked up my big hunting knife, which
I hnd opened boforo. 1 reached over
and felt for his heart beats and then
felt for my own. I had located tho
places, but I stopped again. My nerve
was leaving mo.
Pushes Dagger to Heart.
"It seems that I went crazy, but I
placed tho point of tho knife over his
heart and pushed it down. Then I
turned it nnd plunged It twice into my
own breast, which was harder than
"Ho awoke and saw tho blood spurt
ing from my wounds. Ho drew his
handkerchief and put it over my broast
to stop the blood, an that was all I
knew until they found mo."
Amann was still holding this hand
kerchief to his breast when found by
tho guard at the army post 12 hours
after the timo he gives for tho stab
bing. Officers at tho post think ho
J Took my KNirt? in
might have been deceived by the
clear moonlight and thought it was
day in his half-demented condition.
Tho confession was mndo as the
prisoner lay strapped to a bed in ono
of tho hospital wards. Coroner J. L.
Taylor and his deputy, Edward Conrad
of Lako county, and State's Attorney
Hanna wero present as Amann told
Jury Gets Whole Story.
A coroner's Jury was formed, with
John Congdon as Its foreman, and be
gan the investigation Into tho boy's
death. As Amann grow stronger In,
the hospital they agreed to wait until
ho could give evidence, in tho hope
that Lieut. Griflls could obtain a con
fession In the meantime.
Shortly after noon Amann offered
to glvo ills name and toll tho wholo
story If lie could seo the body of tluv
boy. It was brought Into his room nnd
he asked that It be moved closer. He
touched tho body and kissed tho cold
forehead and murmured "Good-bye."
Then ho started In and told tho
story, incoherently and with many
pauses because of emotion nnd partly
becauso of weakness.
Ho said ho was born In Germany
and enmo to Amorlca 21 yeara ago.
Ho Is 43 years old. Ho was a tanner
by trade and later a flute player, and
lived in St. Louis for eight years.
When his wifo dlod ho oamo to Chi
cago. He used to piny in saloons and
about tho atreots to oarn monoy. Ho
went to board nt tho house of Mrs.
Mary KnobeL 755 Racino avenue, 12
years ago. Mrs. Knobel had corao
from the town of his birth, Kirchhofon,
in the province of Badon. Tho two
wero friondB from childhood. Mrs.
Knobel hnd threo children George,
who is now 17 years old; Amanda, 16,
and Waltor, who was noarlng lits
After Mrs. Knobol'a htiBbnnd died
Amann continued to live nt her homo
and urged hbr to marry him. Tho chil
dren had learned to wait on him and
liked to bo with him aftor ho hnd
been stricken with paralysis.
As tho two oldest grow they rovort
ed their affections to their mother, but
Walter clung to his "Uncle Honry."
Two yenrs ngo Amann ran away with
the boy, taking him to Snn Francisco.
From there ho wroto ho would return
if Mrs. Knobel would send him $200.
Mother Refuses Her Hand.
Fearing alio would novor seo tho boy
again she sent the money, nnd Amann
relumed and again askod her to marry
him. Shu refused, nnd he left her
homo and went to livo in tho baso
motit. of a house owned by Herman
Fiedler, 1012 Otto streot. Tho boy
wont witli him, and they kept bachelor
quarters in tho ono room.
Since they moved there In January
the boy wont to tho Hawthorno school,
nnd has not been soon by his mothor
in Hint time. His brother frequently
urged him to come home, but nt such
times Walter would burst Into tears
und run away.
Saturday night Edward Martin, n
barber living at 915 School street, re
ceived an onvclopo that contained
Tho envelopo showed thnt It had
been posted nt Lako Bluff May 1G at
eight a. m. It contained threo letters,
ono from the boy and ono from
Amann, and a third for Hermann Fied
ler, saying fniewcll and telling of tho
purpos- to commit suicide.
Amann wild In his confession ho also
mailed letters to his relatives in Ger
many. After tho lcttors to Martin wero
mailed tho pair kept closo to tho woods
and remained in hiding for fear a
search would bo made aud thoy would
Boy's Mother FtarG Blackmail.
Mrs. Knobel thought when she first
heard of tho letters that it was only
another attompt on the part of Amann
to get money from her. She did not
HE HAD HIS JjTfUJ GlR3
suspect that ho had actually killed her
Amann Is said to have relatives In
Germany who aro of the wealthier
class, and frenuontly got money from
them during tho earlier years of hla
career in Chicago, but for the past
six or seven months has lived in ab
Federal Authorities May Act.
After tho autopsy and when the in
quest was resumed State's Attorney
Hanna announced thnt it was prob
able that the case was ono for tho
fedoral authorities rather than tho
state becauso it had happoned on a
military reservation. The Inquest was
adjourned for two hours.
Investigation by tho coroner nnd
post officers determined that it was
outside of the post that tho body was
found and the coroner's inquest was
Coroner Taylor took the body of tho
boy to Waukcgan, where tho Inquest
will be continued. Amann was also
taken to Waukcgan in an automobllo
to await tho vordlct of tho coronor's
jury and subsequent action on tho part
of tho grand Jury.
State's Attorney Hanna said ho was
inoroly a visitor at tho Inquest nnd
would tako no action toward prosecu
tion until tho vordlct of tho coronor's
jury was given.
IS 100 YEARS Oil
REV. MOYNIHAN, PRIEST IN CHI.
CAQO, TURN8 CENTURY MARK.
Refuses to Disclose His Exact Aaja
Is Still Very Active and Reads With,
out the Aid of Glasses Was
orn In Ireland.
Almost a century In tho service ol
hla church, 70 years of which havfl
elapsed since he wns ordainod a priest,
and yet to bo able to colobrate niasa
before an altar constructed In his own
room, is tho proud record of Very
Rov. Ca'ion Jeremiah Moynlhan, who
now makes hla homo with frlenda at
193 Thirty-ninth Btroot.
Just exactly how old this grand old
priest is remuiiiB n secret which ho
guards aH carefully as does a coy maid
en who has passed that mystic birth
day when women would rnther remain
sllont than divulgo tholr ago. He ad
mits thnt ho was born in 1808, but
says that he will not tell any man,
woman or child tho exact dato of hla
"They'd mnko a fuss about it," ho
Bays, "and that would bo uboIobb."
"Old Father Jerry," as ho 1b famil
iarly known by thousands of admirers,
says to live long nnd keep good hoaltb
one muBt cat and sleep regularly, shun
tobacco nnd liquors nnd banish worry.
Canon Moynlhnn is nctivo, ho cata
well, he sloops well, ho laughs oh, so
hoartily and ho doclnros that ho can
pluco a man of 70 on his back In a
twinkling. Wero ii not for his ad
vanced ago, ho Bays ho would have
been a bishop, nnd vory likoly tho arch
bishop of Now Orloans. Ho 1b not at
CANON J. CliOYNJHJN
all dlscouragod with life, but boob hu
mor in everything poBsiblo. Ho to-duy
looks llko a man of 70, nnd acts llko
one. When a baby tho people of hla
homo town of Kanturk, County Cork,
Ireland, wero still talking of tho sac
rifice of "Robert Emmot, and thoro was
a whisper here and thoro of tho "wear
ing of tho greon," but It hnd to bo
only a whisper. Tho robolllon of ton
yoars previous Btill was on evory IrlBh
tongue. Canon Moynlhan was born
into nn atmoaphoro of revolution. Hla
baby lips learned tho syllablos of
evory Irish song that moves a Colt to
action. Tho Bight of a red coat was
both a horror and an indignation from
tho moment his baby eyes learned to
"I mind them still," said Canon Moy
nlhan In an Interview. "I mind tho
soldiery well. That's 90 yoars and
more ago. I'll novor forget thorn if
I livo 90 years moro."
Canon Moynlhan Is rugged, deep
chested, and must have boon of great
physical strength in hlB day. Ho hnB
plenty of gray hair about hla tomplos,
but the upper head is bald. With a
hundred years of handicap, ho sees
tho Joko long boforo you do. When
you knit your forehead to find out tho
flno point, you boo him laughing at
you under IiIb shaggy brows.
"What plnco in Ireland did you come
from?" ho snapped out suddenly whilo
being Interviewed. "What's that you
camo from New York? Suro, it's tho
"Spectacles? What's that? You want
to inBult a man who bears his 100
years with honor? Spoctaclos? What
are tho like for? I can seo through you
bo oasy I'd nevor need thorn. What's
that? Ha, ha, ha! I novor havo used
thorn, and thank God I know my
breviary from end to ond without
Ho made a trip to Ireland many
years ago and brought back from Dub
lin fivo SIstors of Charity, who took
up tholr laborB in America.
Desplto his great ago, ho celebrated
mass at tho Church of tho Holy An
gels two years ago. Boforo coming to
Chlcngo ho was rector of a parish at
Bradford, 111. For 50 yoars ho lived
In Now Orleans, whore ho was mad
u canon. He speaks six languages.
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