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"Obituary - William Henry Lewis"

Name: William Henry Lewis

Birth date: April 13, 1881

Birth location: Mine La Motte, Madison County, Missouri.

Father: John Lewis

Mother: Mary Elizabeth Miller

Married: Eva Underwood on April 13, 1902, location unknown.

Mary V. Parks (Date and location unknown).

Death date: April 10, 1956

Death location: Esther, Saint Francois County, Missouri.

Burial date: April 17, 1956

Burial location: Christian Cemetery, Fredericktown, Madison County, Missouri.

Name of newspaper publication: Unknown.

Newspaper location: Unknown.

Date published: April 1956

Provided by: David & Mary King

"Transcript of the above obituary"

Mine La Motte Native Is Victim Of Hatchet Murder By Wife Who Ends Own Life

A coroner's jury in St. Francois County Tuesday found that William Lewis of Esther, Mo. (a native of Mine La Motte) came to his death at the hands of his wife, who in turn committed suicide by slashing her wrists and drinking poison.

The murder suicide was discovered Sunday afternoon at the Lewis residence in Esther when county officers were called to the locked home by two sons of Mr. Lewis by a previous marriage. Mr. Lewis was found in bed with his head severely cut, numerous times, apparently by a hatchet which was on the floor nearby. Mrs. Lewis was found in another room lying on a couch, her wrists and arms slashed. Both had been dead for several days.

Mr. Lewis was born April 13, 1881 at Mine La Mote, Mo., the son of John Lewis and Mary Miller Lewis. He was 75 years old. He is survived by three sons and one daughter: Ivan of Elvins, Edgar of Esther, Arnold of Battle Creek, Mich., and Stella of St. Louis. Four brothers also survive, Jeff Lewis of Fredericktown, Fred of Libertyville, Frank of St. Louis and Pete of Detroit, Mich. Five sisters are also left, Mrs. George Crump of Leadwood, Mrs. Grace Baurer, Mrs. Ruth Scott and Mrs. Maggie Carson, all of Detroit, and Mrs. Ann Watts of Centralia, Ill. Nine grand children and 12 great grandchildren survive also.

The funeral was held at Flat River Tuesday and interment was in the Christian Cemetery at Fredericktown.

Mrs. Mary V. Parks Lewis was 66 years of age and was survived by one sister, four brothers and other relatives. Her funeral was Tuesday and interment was in the Pendleton Cemetery at Doe Run.

Mr. Lewis has been a semi-invalid for a number of years following a freak automobile accident in which both of his legs were broken. The St. Francois County Journal reported that Mrs. Lewis had been an inmate of the state mental hospital at Farmington until a few months ago and had been released upon her husband's signature. She had threatened to kill her husband on previous occasions, the Journal said it was reported.

The hatchet, bed and wall in the bedroom were splattered with blood but Mrs. Lewis garments were clean, indicating that she must have changed her clothing sometime after the killing. Two paring knives and a razor blade were found near the body.

Copies of a newspaper dated April 10 and afterward were lying in the yard of the Lewis home and Mr. and Mrs. Lewis were last seen on that date by Rev. K. H. Ladman. This led authorities to believe that the tragedy occurred Tuesday evening of the last week or thereabouts.

One of Mr. Lewis' sons, Edgar of Esther, had gone to the home Sunday and found it locked. He checked with another brother and a sister to see if the Lewis might be visitors in their homes. They then checked with authorities who entered a window to discover the murder and suicide.

The corner's jury decided that Mrs. Lewis' death was the result of the arsenate of lead which she mixed and took herself. The slashes on her wrists apparently did not cause her death. Mr. Lewis was killed with repeated blows on the head from the hatchet.

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