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November 15, 2015

R. W. Houx, The Columbus Fiend In Custody.

R. W. Houx, The Columbus Fiend In Custody. 1889

Holden, Mo., July 11. Officers arrived at this place about 5:30 o'clock this afternoon having in custody R. W. Houx (Robert W. Houx), son of William Houx, of Columbus, Mo., charged with the commission of a criminal assault on the 10 year old daughter of Joseph Seidenstricker, a wealthy farmer living about one-half a mile from the above place. It seems from what can be learned here that young Houx, who is about 21 years of age and the son of respected parents, had been working on the farm of Mr. Seidenstricker for about a month, and during that time had become enamored of the latter's little girl, who is unusually attractive and well developed for her age. On the Monday afternoon of the crime he had been cutting hedge, and according to a prearrangement, the girl carried water to him about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. It was at this time that the assault was made.

Immediately after the perpetration of the crime, young Houx went to the house and told the child's mother what he had done. She said that she would have him arrested and hung. Houx replied by brandishing a large corn knife which he carried, and threatened to cut off her head. He returned and finally left, however, and went to his father's home not far distant, where he again repeated what had occurred. The father did not advise him, and shortly after he left.

Officers and citizens from all parts of the county gathered for pursuit, and free threats of lynching were indulged in on all hands. The pursuers divided into various parties for the hunt and scoured the county in all directions, but their efforts were futile till late this afternoon, when they found the culprit in hiding on the farm of Obadiah Stronge, four and one-half miles from this place. He made no resistance to arrest and was taken into custody brought here and lodged in temporary confinement until he could be taken to the county jail at Warrensburg. It was reported by parties here that a mob of 500 men was in waiting at Warrensburg to take summary vengeance on the ravisher, but despite the warning to the contrary, he was forwarded to Marshal Child. Lynching is strongly anticipated, as the crime is one of the most brutal in the annals of the country. The girl lies at her house in a critical condition and doctors report her recovery doubtful.

St. Louis Post Dispatch 
Description: A Young Fiend's Crime.Date: July 12 1889 - Holden, MO
The entire neighborhood here is around and the farmers and citizens speak very freely of lynching. R. W. HOUX, a young man of 21, who was a farm hand for Jos. SEIDENSTRECKER, brutally assaulted and outraged the little 10 year old daughter of his employer. The prisoner was spirited off to Warrensburg for safety. 

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