CHARLES W MARKLE
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)