|Alias Ed Aultman, Hanged|
WARRENSBURG, MO., April 4. (1884) Charles and W. H. Hamilton brought here yesterday, from Sedalia, for the murder of the man whose mangled body was found on the railroad tracks near here on Sunday night, have confessed to one of the most atrocious murders yet recorded. The two Hamiltons are not related in any way, one being an American and the other a Bavarian. They first met in the Jefferson City Penitentiary, two years ago, where both were serving time. Their victim was Carl Steidle, a machinist in the Missouri Pacific shops in Sedalia, who had saved up a few hundred dollars and was going to California.
|Carl Steidle worked here at the MoPac |
Repair Shops, Sedalia, Missouri
Chas. Hamilton said in his confession that he was discharged from prison six or eight weeks ago. He went to Warrensburg three weeks ago and was employed as porter in the Simmons House. At nine o’clock on Sunday night Billy Hamilton came to him there and told him that he had fetched a man from Sedalia on the way to California, and wanted Charles to go with them as far as Kansas City. They went to the depot where Steidle was waiting and persuaded him to come out of the depot. Charles Hamilton struck him on the head with a wrench and choked him. Then they laid the body across the rails and waited to see that the train ran over it. They got about $75 apiece by the murder. W. H. Hamilton also made a confession substantially corroborating the above.
LIFE FOR LIFE.
James Douglas Eads
|Warrensburg Union Pacific Railway Depot 1884|
|This is the type of passenger trains operating on the Pacific Railway in Missouri around 1884. |
This picture though is of a Texas train.
|October 1883 Warrensburg, Missouri|
The law of the land, just and inexorable, has been vindicated, and the Hamiltons, the savage and brutal slayers of Carl Steidle, are men in memory only. Nothing remains but their bodies in the Potter’s field, and the memory of their crime. That this is right, not man in the great state of
AFTER SOME HESITATION
THE RIDE OF DEATH.
In accordance with
|Warrensburg Union Pacific Depot about the year of the murder|
The murder weapon, a large track wrench was taken from behind here
|Simmons House, Simmons Hotel, later known as the Commercial Hotel, Business College, Ming and the Martin Hotel|
The hotel was just behind, South of the train Depot in Warrensburg
William H. Hamilton then stood on his feet, and when asked why sentence should not be passed, broke completely down and between his incoherent sobs were heard these words: " I know I did not kill that man; I only know I am not guilty. Do as you will with me, I am ready." At this point Charlie broke in with; "Straighten up your face, your cur."
Here the depraved Aultman again found him. Writing a letter from Sedalia telling Charlie to resign his position, dray his pay and go with him to Kansas City, and then to California or Colorado. He talked the matter over with Mr. Cottrell, and at the earnest solicitation of that gentleman, agreed to remain with him another week. On Sunday, March 30th, Aultman and Steidle left Sedalia with the intention of going west. Steilde had packed all his personal property, including his clothes he wore in the shops, and his mechanic's tools in his trunk, had it hauled to the depot, and taking the passenger train west from Sedalia Sunday afternoon, came to Montserrat, this county, where they alighted, Steidle supposing he was in Warrensburg. When he discovered his mistake the two men proceed on foot to this city, arriving here at night. Leaving Steidle at the depot, Aultman went to the Simmons house, met Hamilton, and
UNFOLDED HIS PLANS The German, he said, was an ignorant greenhorn, unable to speak or understand the English language, and possessed of 200.00 in money and considerable other property, which they could easily get by striking him on the head and stunning him to unconsciousness. Charlie demurred to this, but his weak will in the hands of this man was overcome. After settling up with Mr. Cottrell, and receiving a balance of some 4.30 due him, he went with Aultman to the depot, when he met and was introduced to this new friend. The three then came up town in search of something to drink, and applied to J. D. Eads, druggist, corner of Holden and Pine streets. This Eads refused to sell them. "It will make no difference," said Billie;
WE ARE STRANGERS HERE and are going to Kansas City by the next train." Eads still refusing to them the wine, they left and went to Jacob's restaurant, half a block further up the street, and asked for liquor. Mrs. Jacobs, the wife of the proprietor, informed the men she had nothing to drink but lemonade. They drank three glasses, and returned to the depot. After sitting there awhile Aultman proposed to Steidle that they take a walk up the street. Charlie went around the depot and secured an iron wrench, such as track men use to tighten the nuts on track bolts. He overtook the two walking up the track, Aultman in front, Steidle just behind him. When Aultman knew that Hamilton was present he began abusing and cursing him in English for his cowardice, and ask him
WHY HE DID NOT STRIKE.
When they passed the Miller Street bridge(College street today), and were just entering the deep cut there, Hamilton, at a given signal from Aultman, struck Steidle just above the right ear, felling him to the ground. Aultman immediately seized the man by the throat, choking him as he rifled his pockets. The choking continued for five minutes, or until, as Hamilton says in his confession, life was almost extinct.
AULTMAN SECURED STEIDLE'S MONEY
watch, pistols, papers, etc., even turning the body over until he could remove his overcoat. Express train No. 4, going East (towards Sedalia) had just arrived at the depot, and Hamilton says he became afraid of being seen by the train men in the glare of the locomotive's headlight, and went up the bank in the dark. Aultman remained below, and after getting all he could from the pockets of his victim, dragged the body between the rails and fled from the scene. They stood on the bank until the express train had passed, crushing the body in its progress, and then went away. They then returned to the depot and started down the track, going west. A mile or more from town they went out a few yards from the railroad, built a fire, and by its light divided and sorted their booty. All the papers, photographs, a pocket knife and other small articles they burned and buried the watch and chain in the earth. About 1 o'clock on the morning of the 31st they arrived and going to the house of S. J Oliphant, who keeps a hotel, woke him up and
He told them it was too early for his wife to get up, but he would give them a light lunch, they saying they would return for breakfast. He gave them four glasses of cider, some cheese and crackers and two slices of cake which they ate
and then went away. Billie ate a very hearty breakfast, but Charlie ate not more than one or two bites and drank a cup of coffee. Charlie paid Mr. Oliphant and they went away. At the depot they boarded a passing freight train and rode to Kansas City. The conductor noticed that they had been drinking heavily and that one of them slept for nearly an hour. Once within the limits of Kansas City the conductor lost track of them and saw nor heard nothing more of them until they were arrested.
AT KANSAS CITY
they took Steidle's trunk from the baggage room, and took it to the restaurant of one James Butler, in Kansas City, Kansas, where they spent the night of April 1st. In the morning Charlie says they took Steidle's clothes and traded them to a second-hand dealer for a new suit, paying the difference in money. They trade his revolver for a larger one, and at a jewelry store Charlie bought a silver watch and chain. All the articles in the two trunks--clothes, boots, tools, etc., were positively identified by several witnesses and there was no doubt as to the truth of Charlie's story. This statement was substantiated all the way through by the testimony of the large number of witnesses for the state, each one's evidence appearing to be a link to make to make the chain complete. And each one seemed to have some new incident to relate, they all fitting together to make one whole, like the different
pieces of a watch. One witness swore to friendship of Steidle and Aultman: another began with their departure from Sedalia; another found them a Montserrat: the fourth detailed their arrival in this city; Hamilton finished the story until their arrest, and so on, no one contradicting the other, each forming an additional line in the indestructible chain, whose last link bends them to the gallows.
THEIR RETURN TO SEDALIA.
After their sentence had been passed it was decided to bring them to Sedalia and place them in charge of Sheriff Connor, to await the fatal day of execution. The fact being known that they would arrive on the midnight train Saturday, created quite an excitement and hundreds of people thronged the depot long before the train was due, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the men on their arrival.
The condemned men in charge of two deputy sheriffs alighted on the south side of the train and were escorted to the jail followed by a curious crowd. A Bazoo representative had a brief conversation with the murderers after they had been locked up, they being placed on opposite sides of the jail, Charlie was quite communicative and said that he had been given a fair trial and expected to meet his fate like a man when the time came. He said that he felt that he was not guilty of murder as he had been lead into the commission of the terrible deed by Aultman alias Billie Hamilton, and that he was satisfied he had the sympathy of the better class of people in Warrensburg. He stated that Aultman had added to his terrible crime the sin of perjury, the statement made by him on the witness stand to the effect that be had choked Steidle to death by his (Charlie's) command and while covered with his revolver being absolutely false. When asked if he had been visited by any clergyman or had made any profession of religion, he replied in the negative, but added that he had been visited by some kind ladies and intimated that he would, in time, make a profession of religion. In answer to the question if be had any hope of a reprieve or commutation of his sentence
he replied that he had requested his attorney to take his case to the supreme court and supposed that he would do so. Billie Hamilton, alias Ed Aultman was called on but said that he had no statement to make as he was worn out. He invited the reporter, however, to call on him this morning, at which time he desires to make a statement,
WHAT WILLIAM SAYS.
According to promise the next day the Bazoo reporter called upon Billie Hamilton alias Ed Aultman, at the county jail. Both of the murderers were asleep, but Billie speedily arose to his feet when informed that a newspaper reporter desired to talk with him. He came to the grating and for half an hour conversed with the reporter who subjected him to rigid examination. Nothing new was learned and the murderer persisted in his story, previously related and published, that Charlie Hamilton was the guilty party, and at the point of his revolver, prevented him from interfering while he choked Steidle to death and rifled his pockets of their contents. In answer to the question if he was aware that Steidle had been inveigled into going up the railroad track, in order that he might be robbed, he stated the he knew nothing of any such intention on the part of Charles Hamilton until he heard the sound of the heavy iron wrench on Steidle's head, Charlie coming up in the rear. He was questioned closely as to his action, and the position he occupied while Charlie Hamilton was choking Steidle, as he alleges, and rifling his pockets. He denied that he touch the murdered man, or assisted in any way in the murder. He says that he was covered by Charlie Hamilton's revolver during the entire time and could not go to the assistance of Steidle whom he says was a dear friend. "Were you aware, queried the reporter, previous to the murder that Charlie Hamilton had a revolver." " He did not have a revolver, he took one from Steidle's persons. "How did he manager to keep you covered with a revolver and go through Steidle at the same time?" "Well I tell you, replied the murderer, who is a German and talks rather broken English, he is a bad man and although he had his revolver on the ground while he robbed Steidle, I knew from the look in his eyes that he would shoot." "Did you not take a portion of Steidle's money?" "Yes, but he, Charlie, forced me to take it. I was afraid to disobey him." "Did you spend any of the money you received?" "Yes, but had money of my own to make it and I sent all of the money I received belonging to Steidle, to this sister." "Were you and Charlie Hamilton under the influence of liquor when Steidle was murdered?" "No sir, we were perfectly sober, and had not been drinking at all." "Where did you understand that you and Charlie and Steidle were going when you started up the railroad track?" "Charlie told us that as it was quite awhile until train time he would take us to see some young ladies with whom he was acquainted." "You positively deny, then, that there was any preconcerted scheme between yourself and Charlie Hamilton to murder Steidle?" "Yes, sir, I do. The understanding was that we were to meet in Warrensburg and from there go to Kansas City where our future movements were to be determined on." Persistent questioning failed to elicit anything in addition about the cowardly murder from what is already known and been published. Aultman says that he had known Steidle from boyhood, they having learned their trades in Stutgardt, Germany. He esteemed the murdered man and his dearest friend. Aultman was also interrogated as to the charge made against him some weeks ago of having poisoned Mrs. Mossiman, the sister of his betrothed. When the question was broached Aultman became very much excited and denounced the charge as emanating from Charlie Hamilton, whom he designated as "that trash on the other side of the jail." He said that the report was too ridiculous to even talk about, and went on to say that Mrs. Mossiman was as dear to him as a sister and that he believed that her death was caused by the shock of the news that he had committed murder. The condemned man said that he had always attended the German Evangelical church, of which his parents were members, and in which he had been baptized in his infancy. He expressed a desire to see Rev. Stanger, the pastor of the church, and Deputy Sheriff Fred Conner promised to have the reverend gentleman sent for. In reply to the question if he expected his attorney to do anything to avert his impending fate, he said that he would prefer not to answer. He expressed himself as surprised at the verdict of the jury, and declared that his life had been sworn away by Charlie Hamilton. He desired the reporter to express as his sincere thanks to this attorneys, Col. J. M. Shepherd and Hon. A. W. Rogers, who he said working nobly for him, although he was not able to pay them.
said that he had nothing in addition to say to the statement he had already made. He professed to be penitent for his crime, and says that he is trying to obtain peace and comfort from from the consolation afforded by the christian religion. He denies the statements made by Aultman, and persists in the assertion that while very much under the influence of liquor he was induced by Aultman to commit the crime for which he will forfeit his life on the gallows.
little worthy of note has transpired. Each has stuck to this story regarding the matter with a pertinacity worthy of a better cause, and while acknowledging to the killing, have told much that is obviously false. They have been allowed every comfort and freedom compatible with their circumstances and the law, by Sheriff Conner, and have been only sufficiently watched to prevent their escape or their doing bodily harm to themselves. Wm. Hamilton is of a rather morose and sullen disposition and his natural nervousness has brought upon him such disease as to require constant use of stimulants. While Charlie, being much milder and less excitable has been able to bear up under the strain remarkably well. He has turned this mind more to religious preparation and listening to the councils of the ministers, who visit them regularly than has Billie. Charlie has also tried his hand at literature by way of divers on, and among his other production have appeared the following verses:
|From Lisa Irle's Book, She was the JOCOMO Historical Society Director|
Sheriff H H Russel, Johnson County, MO 1884
|Sheriff H H Russell, Johnson County, MO|
Sheriff Henry Hagan Russell, Johnson County, Missouri
Sheriff Russell, born Jan 19, 1851, Nelson Co KY died at Warrensburg MO Jan 30, 1909