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August 20, 2017

1898 Murder of W. H. Hartman, Magnolia Opera House Owner and more, Second Richest Man in Johnson County

Husband Kills Wife's Paramour
1898 The Penalty of Sin. Murder of W. H. Hartman, Magnolia Opera House Owner and more, Second Richest Man in Johnson County

Warrensburg, MO, Sept 6, 1898

Warrensburg has not been shocked in years as it was last night at the startling news that W. H. Hartman of the firm of Hartman & Markward one of the leading business men and wealthy citizens of the town, had been shot. Hartman was discovered by Adolph Lubrick in company with Lubrick's wife, in the house where he was living. Lubrick forced the door and opened fire with a revolver. He put three bullets in Hartman's body, any one of which would have proved fatal. The first struck in the neck, going to the base of the skull; the second struck in the back, coming out in front just below the breast bone, and the third struck just over the hip and lodged in the intestines. Night Watchman Hampton rushed to the scene and found Lubrick threatening his wife. He gave him self up to the authorities and was placed in jail. Hartman had been in the house about an hour when the tragedy occurred, he was armed and died with a pistol in his hand. The victim of the tragedy had supported Mrs. Lubrick for several months. Lubrick discovered the fact and went to the house to kill them both. Lubrick and his wife, up to last November, had lived in Lexington. During that month Mrs. Lubrick with her children came to Warrensburg on a visit to her parents and it was during this visit she became acquainted with Hartman.

Killed by Outrage Husband, Warrensburg, MO 1898

The result was that she rented a house and made it her permanent home. Lubrick, in the meantime remained at Lexington. The long visit of his wife aroused his suspicions, and he arrived in Warrensburg on Sunday night at 11:18. He remained in hiding all of Monday, and went to his wife's house early in the evening and hid in the cellar. Hartman went to the house about 9 o'clock, taking with him some wine and lunch, which he and Mrs. Lubrick disposed of. Lubrick's suspicions being fully confirmed, he proceeded to the room wherein was his wife and paramour, and committed the deed as above stated. Lubrick was seen by a reporter and told a straightforward story, not being in the least excited. He stated that he fully intended to kill them both, but his wife begged so piteously, and for the sake of the children, he spared her.

William Hartman, Mollie Lubrick, Adolf Lubrick

Love Triangle Murder in Warrensburg, MO 

The coroner's jury returned a verdict at 4 o'clock this afternoon finding that Lubrick was justified in killing Hartman. Prosecuting Attorney Bradley, however, has sworn out a warrant charging Lubrick with murder and will hold him for preliminary trial. Hartman was the head of an interesting and highly respected family, was the second wealthiest citizen in Warrensburg, and a progressive citizen. He was at the head of the Magnolia Mills, Magnolia Opera House, Electric Light Plant, Home Town Mutual Insurance company and many other noteworthy enterprises.
Magnolia Mills Link
A STORY OF SHAME. W. H. Hartman Killed at Warrensburg Last Night 
Adolph Lubrick Fires Three Bullets Into Hartman. 
HE FELL DEAD INSTANTLY. Lubrick Returned Unexpectedly from (South) Dakota and Discovered the Sin of his Wife. Once more Warrensburg is in the throes of a sensation—the greatest she has ever experienced. At his palatial home on  (201) West Gay street, amid all the splendor and those luxurious surroundings which money can give, W. H. Hartman, second wealthiest man in Johnson county and one of Warrensburg’s most prominent and influential citizens, lies cold and dead in his coffin, surrounded by a loving family, whose sorrow is made keener and sharper by the awful fact that he died in open sin—in the arms of another man’s wife, with his head pillowed upon her bosom. In a handsome house in another part of the city, a faithless wife mourns the loss of character, friends and reputation, with the sound of angry cries and pistol shots yet ringing in her ears; with spattered walls and pools of blood upon the carpet of her boudoir to remind her of the awful tragedy which occurred before her eyes but a few hours previous. It is the old, old story; oft told and told again. Sixteen years ago Mollie Brammer was an attractive, pretty girl, full of the innocent ways of young girlhood, and the belle of the Old Town—the west end of Warrensburg. As she budded into womanhood the Old Town swains and beaux danced attendance upon her, and vied with each other in their devotions. But on an evil day she fell, and in course of time a little life was ushered into the world, amid surroundings of the greatest mystery and secrecy. The child was never heard of afterbirth, and its final end was shrouded in darkness. It is said that the little one was born dead—and the explanation was accepted without comment by the few who knew of the poor girl’s mistake. Once more Mollie moved among the people, but her star had dimmed, and her former friends knew her no more. Ten years ago she visited an aunt in Lexington, and while there met a man named Adolph Lubrick the slayer of the man who now lies dead at his luxurious home. The acquaintance ripened into a mutual affection, for Lubrick was a handsome fellow, with an attractive air and a dash of boldness about his personality. In a burst of confidence Mollie told of her former wrong-doing, and received a full and free forgiveness. In two weeks they were married and settled down to a happy home life in Lexington. Two children were born; a son and a daughter; bright, pretty, interesting children. For eight and one-half years they lived in Lexington, and there was not a cloud nor a blot upon the sunshine of a happy home. Still, however, suspicion rankled in the breast of the husband, and the skeleton in the family closet became a grinning, living, horrible reality to him. His fears were never communicated to his wife, and he nursed his sorrow in secret last March the family moved to Warrensburg and rented a pretty little cottage at 306 West Culton street.
306 West Culton, the love nest and site of W. H. Hartman's Murder
Lubrick furnished it lavishly, and made a most attractive little nest for his wife and loved ones. Business called him to the land of the Dakotas, and he went—with many misgivings, but determined to trust all to Providence and the honor of his wife. W. H. Hartman had known Mollie Lubrick (Marriage License Adolph LUBRICK, Lex. to Mollie BRAMMER, Warrensburg 7 May 1889 in Lexington, MO) in the days of her youth and innocence, and saw the opportunity presented in the absence of the husband in a far-off state. Hartman was wealthy and influential, half owner of the Magnolia Roller Mills, 
Magnolia Roller Mills, West Pine Street, Warrensburg, MO 1890's

Innes Mills
president of the Magnolia Light, Heat and Power Co., 
Magnolia Light, Heat and Power Company, Warrensburg, MO 1890's
vice president of the Citizens’ Bank, 

Citizens Bank of Warrensburg, 1890s, North Holden, Warrensburg
president of the Home Mutual Insurance company, owner of the St. Cloud Hotel 
St. Cloud Hotel, Culton at Holden Street, Warrensburg, MO 1890's
and Magnolia opera house, and treasurer of the Warrensburg board of trade. He was a progressive man, an up builder of the growth of the city, and a promoter of public enterprises. He had a magnificent home on West Gay street; a loving wife, and a devoted family of young girls just ripening into womanhood. He had all that his heart could desire, but he was not satisfied. While Lubrick was in South Dakota the rich man became a frequent visitor, it is alleged, at his home. Last night, while the light­nings flashed and the thunders rolled, and the rains descended in a perfect flood of waters, Hartman silently stole to the residence of his paramour. She was awaiting him, and after the children were snugly ensconced in their little beds, the front door was silently opened and he was admitted. Amid the dark watches of the night the suspicious husband, who had secretly returned from Dakota, kept silent vigil around the darkened home, and awaited for the opportune moment to strike a death-blow to the despoiler of his happy home. After being admitted, Hartman went to the kitchen and the two partook of a light lunch. After this a pallet was made upon the floor and man and woman silently prepared for the night. Curtains were drawn, the lamps lowered, and soon the household was wrapped in silence and gloom. Lubrick thought the time to act had arrived. Taking his knife from his pocket he stole to the kitchen door, where, with a steady stroke, the screen was severed and the catch withdrawn. Amid the thunder’s sullen roar and the noise of a train ascending the steep grade west of town, no sound reached the ears of the gently pair inside as the door latch was burst asunder by the assaults of the outraged husband. His voice, calling through the gloom, was the first warning, Then the wife shrieked in agony as she recognized the familiar tones. Hartman reached for his gun, and attempted to close the door of the bedroom, but the husband was the stronger, and as the wealthy mill owner staggered back and threw up his hands three pistol shots rang out in quick succession, and Hartman, mortally wounded, fell dead upon the floor of the apartment. Lubrick then turned the gun upon his wife, but she begged and pleaded for mercy, and her life was spared. The authorities were notified,and soon the whole town was ringing with the news of the murder. Coroner Horn, at Holden, was telegraphed for and arrived at 11:18. Lubrick was placed under arrest and lodged in jail. The body of Hartman, sweltering in its blood, was taken to the undertaker’s shop, where it was embalmed and prepared for burial. The funeral of Hartman will be held at the home this afternoon at 4 o’clock. It will be conducted by Rev W. V. Hamel, and will be very quiet. The remains will be interred in the City cemetery.

Sedalia Sentinel

Lubrick Murder Case Called. Warrensburg, Mo., March 14, 1899—The case of the state vs. Adolph Lubrick, charged with murder in the first degree, began here yesterday, a special session having been called to try.

Sedalia Weekly Democrat - March 17, 1899
The trial of Adolph Lubrick, charged with the murder of W, II. Hartman at Warrensburg last September, commenced in the circuit court there Monday. A special venire of sixty men has been summoned from the county, out of which the jury will be selected. It will be remembered that Hartman and Mrs. Lubrick were surprised in the latter’s room by Lubrick, when the killing took place. On this fact the defense will be based. It is understood that the prosecution will undertake to prove that the murder was a result of a failure to blackmail Hartman into paying a large sum of money.
She Formerly Lived In Kansas City and Claimed to Be the Wife of a man Who Rarely Came to See Her.
Ethel Baker, alias Ethel Coleman, alias Florence Coleman, (Mollie Brammer Lubrick) a former resident of Kansas City (Warrensburg), took poison in a St. Louis hotel yesterday. She was known In St. Louis as Ethel Baker and the reason for her assuming the alias has not yet been learned. From letters found In her room it is believed that a secret marriage with W. H. Coleman, of Warrensburg, was one of the factors leading to the suicide. As Florence Coleman the woman lived at 1329 Central street and 1305 Washington street, in this city, for many month". She claimed to be a married woman, but her husband rarely united with her and finally, in September, 1898, she announced that he had committed suicide. Mrs. Sarah Pearsall, of 1305 Washington Street, with whom she roomed, was shocked to hear of her death. "She roomed with me for many months and was one of the quietest people I have ever known." said Mrs. Pearsall "She never left the house at night and kept to her room during the greater part of the day. She was very deaf and her infirmity made a sort of recluse of her. She. disliked to talk to people because of it and for that reason I never learned much about her. "Her husband I saw but once. I believe his name was Hartman, and she told rite that he had committed suicide. He was an elderly man, and wore spectacles. That was in September, 1898 and she left my house to live with the family of Harry E. Moore. The Moores were very kind to her. and they were the only friends she had She came to see me on February 15 .of this year, and then told me she intended to go to St. Louis. Several months later I received a letter from her and in it she stated that she was getting along nicely, and was working; in a restaurant. She was about 30 years old, had black hair and gray eyes, and was very small, in fact a tiny woman." Harry E. Moore and wife, with whom the woman lived for some time, left their home at 617 Steptoe last Saturday and have not returned. The mentioning of the name Hartman as being that of Mrs. Coleman's husband by Mrs. Pearsall recalls a tragedy that startled Warrensburg. Mo. on September 6 last, from center to boundary lines. W. H. Hartman was killed by Adolph L. Lubrick on the night of that date. Lubrick found Hartman in his wife's apartments and shot him down. Three bullets entered his body. The first passed through the heart, the second lodged in his throat and the third entered his right side. Hartman fell dead without uttering a word and then Lubrick turned the pistol on his wife, who was cowering at his feet and moaning piteouslv. He bade her make her peace with her God and she pleaded for mercy. Lubrick is a gambler and had plied his vocation in the West. It was his sudden return from South Dakota that led to his awful discovery and when he threatened his wife he was dazed. The chivalry that is innate in every true gambler stayed his hand and her life was spared. The inquest that followed developed that Hartman had long been Intimate with Mrs. Lubrick and that business often called him to Kansas City. He had a wife and two charming daughters who were leaders of their social circles in Warrensburg and was the senior member of the firm of Hartman & Markward. which owned the Magnolia mills. His wealth was estimated at $150,000.00 and he was reputed to be the second wealthiest man in his county. Mrs. Pearsall. the unfortunate woman's landlady in Kansas City. Says that she believes Mrs. Coleman's reputed husband's name was Hartman. Papers found in the room of the woman In St. Louis Indicate that she was a party to a secret marriage or a liaison with a W. H. Coleman, who lived at Warrensburg. Mrs. Coleman told Mrs. Pearsall that her husband had met a terrible death in September, 1898 and about the same time Adolph Lubrick killed W. H. Hartman. The numerous coincidences are so striking as to warrant the belief that W. H. Coleman and W. H. Hartman are one and the same person, and that the mystery now attached to the death of Florence Coleman in St. Louis easily dispelled J. Among the suicide's papers is a note from Harry E. Moore in response" to a personal inserted by her in a Kansas City paper. Mr. Moore is the gentleman referred to by Mrs. Pearsall In her statement, and when she first heard of him he was living at 1218 McGee street. He now lives at 617 Steptoe street, and is, according to the directory, connected with the Kingman Moore Implement Company. A reporter for The Journal called at his residence last evening in order to learn what he knew concerning Mrs. Coleman, but the residence was in darkness, the family having left town for the summer.
Sedalia Democrat: Friday, August 18, 1899 
POISON DID NOT KILL. Mrs. Florence Coleman’s Attempt to end her life failed. Florence Coleman, alias Ethel Baker, is not dead. The poison she took in St. Louis Monday night with suicidal intent failed of its purpose, says the Kansas City Journal, though for many hours the unfortunate woman hovered on the brink of the grave. Yesterday a special telegram to the Journal announced that physicians had succeeded in resuscitating her, and that she was rapidly recovering from her terrible experience. When able to talk her first remark was that her only regret was that she had not been successful in her attempt to end her life. What found in her room at the Merchants’ hotel in St. Louis she was unconscious. She was hurried to the City hospital, where restoratives were applied and finally she was pronounced out of danger. Owing to the fact that she was unable to hear even the slightest sounds, Mrs. Baker, as she is known, or Mrs. Coleman, as she gave as her correct name, does not "attempt to talk. All communication with her is in writing. “Please don’t put any of my wretched story in the newspapers,” she wrote on a scrap of paper, “for I don't want my family to know of this. I came here from Kansas City, where no one knew of my intimacy with Mr. Hartman or what I was. I have had a bitter time since I came here. Lack of money and poor health, combined with the thought that I was alone in the world since Mr. Hartman’s death, all ended in my trying to kill myself wish I had succeeded, for now it will be worse than ever. I never wanted for money when he was alive. “No, I have no messages to send to my family. What few friends I had all went back on me because of my relations with Mr. Hartman, but if I had it all to do over again I would do just as I have done. He was the noblest man God ever made. Since he was shot, on September 6 last, I have often been in need. The whole matter has been a terrible experience, particularly since I came to St. Louis. I don’t see why the poison did not affect me. I thought I had made sure of death by taking enough of the poison. ” Mrs. Baker, despite her affliction, is not an unattractive woman. She is small in stature, a brunette, with large, dark brown eyes and almost jet black hair. A man named W. H. Hartman, who was a prominent business man in Warrensburg, was shot on the night of September 6 last, as stated by Mrs. Baker, or Coleman. Hartman was caught by Adolph Lubrick in his wife’s bedroom and was wounded three times by the infuriated husband, who then turned on his wife. Her appeals to be spared for the sake of their child saved her life.

Lafayette MO, County Marriage Books
Adolph LUBRICK, Lexington to Mollie BRAMMER, Warrensburg 7 May 1889 
W. H. Hartman and Mary Stewart Hartman, Gravesite Warrensburg, MO Sunset Hill
Magnolia Opera House, Also Owned by W. H. Hartman, Warrensburg, MO
This was also the temporary morgue for the 1904 World's Fair Train Wreck. Worlds Fair Train Wreck 1904


Magnolia Link, student project

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