His Remains Brought Here -

The Sad Ending of a Well Known Yorktown Man Who Was Found Dead in Cornfield

The remains of Charles W. Markle who committed suicide in a cornfield near Ashton, Illinois, were brought here last Saturday accompanied by Leonard Hopkins and interred in the Yorktown Cemetery. Memorial services were held for the deceased last Sunday at the Yorktown Christian Church, Rev. Guy L. Zerby officiated.

Trouble arose Wednesday, October 2. After being out in the field ploughing during the morning, he went in for dinner. After dinner he went to the barn about his duties and Conrad, having assured by wife everything was all right, went down to his brother's to cut corn. Mrs. Pfeiffer thought Markle acted rather strange. After Pfeiffer left, Markle went back to the house and wanted to hitch up the horse for Mrs. Pfeiffer as she had spoken of going to town in the afternoon. Mrs. Pfeiffer stated that she could hitch up and retired to her room to change her dress. She was followed by Markle who made improper advances. When ordered to leave the room, he grabbed Mrs. Pfeiffer by the wrists and jerking away she screamed. He then threw the baby on the floor and threatened to choke the child if the mother did not stop screaming. Markle grabbed up his shotgun which he kept in the Pfeffer bedroom, but Mrs. Pfeiffer held the door to the summer kitchen where the shells were kept. On being told he would shoot her, she ran from the house. Markle ------ (unreadable) --- Pfeiffer farm, but the

(-----unreadable----) made good his escape.

At the inquest, which was held Friday afternoon, his trunk was opened and papers were found by which his relatives were located. His trunk was well stocked with reading matter all the way from a good copy of the Bible, down to a Diamond Dick. Letters found him to have been a book agent at one time, selling religious works. When his dead body was searched, all that was found was his open fact watch, six cents and a bunch of keys. His printed stationery showed him to be a member of the American Detective Association and post office address Yorktown.

After some deliberation, the jury reached the following verdict: We, the undersigned jurors, sworn to inquire into the death of Charles Markle, deceased, on oath do find that he came to his death by a gun shot would inflicted by himself on or about October 3, 1907, on the premises of Conrad Pfeiffer in Ashton Township, Lee County.


November 15, 1907

Charles Markle was born in Yorktown township, Henry County, Illinois, September 7, 1872, where he grew to manhood and helped his father on the farm until December 1906, when his father died after which he settled up the estate and then remained with his sister Minnie until April. He spoke of his intention of going to Minnesota. No letter came concerning his whereabouts, but this was not unusual with him and the family looked to his safe return home. But such was not to be, as on November 2, authorities of Ashton notified that their brother was found dead in the cornfield of a kind and hospitable family, Mr. and Mrs. Pfeiffer who gave the brother a warm welcome. The last he was seen alive was on the afternoon of October 2. He was found November 2 and although being a stranger, he was given a respectful burial in the beautiful cemetery at Ashton at the age of 35 years.

He leaves to mourn his loss, one brother, Edwin S. Markle, two sisters, Miss Minnie Markle and Mrs. Leonard Hopkins, besides many other relatives and friends.

(The Daily Gazette, Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois, November 15, 1907, submitted by Melva L. Taylor) 




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