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Newspaper Clippings for
September, 1916

Antioch News7 September 1916
Mr. and Mrs. Spring moved into their new home Wednesday.

A. K. Bain and family motored to Racine Sunday to visit his brother and family.

Archie Webb, wife and son motored to Pontiac. Ill., to visit relatives for a week.

Ray Eusden spent the past week with the Bonner families before returning to his home in Iowa.

The Millburn Ladies Aid society will have their regular monthly meeting on Sept. 14. Supper served.

Lawrence Gail of Chicago and Bert Gail of Highland Park are visiting their aunt, Mrs. Menzo Webb.

The Angola Cemetery society will meet at the home of Mrs. Lucinda Cribb in Antioch, Friday, Sept. 15.

Mr. and Mrs. D. M. White and Earl White entertained Mrs. Baker and Miss Johnson of Ithica, N. Y., the past week.

Miss M. Watson and neice Miss Ruth Pollock were Chicago visitors Saturday. Miss Inez Pollock accompanied them home.

Miss Annie McCredie will teach the Grubb school. The school is having extensive repairs made and they are not finished.

Ray Backus and a friend from Chicago spent the week-end with his mother. They caught 18 pickerel in Hasting Lake.

Roy Dawson of Minnesota, formerly of Millburn spent the week- end with his sisters, Mesdames L. S. Bonner and V. H. Strang

Vera and Max Irving, Lyman Thain, Ruth Pollock and Stanley, Elmer and Marshall Jack are attending High School at Antioch.

Antioch News14 September 1916
Joseph Claus Takes the Life of Harry Kerr
in Self Defense it is Claimed
Saturday evening the village of Lake Villa was agog with excitement when, a quiet little trial in a justice court terminated by one man loosing his life.
The principals in the affair were Harry Kerr, the victim of the attact and his brother-in-law Joseph Claus, the man who did the shooting.
The former has for a number of years been working a portion of the eighty acre farm, owned by his father, sitnated northeast of Lake Villa, and the latter the husband of Harry Kerr's sister Edna, whose home up to a few weeks ago was at Oshkosh, Wis., had moved to Illinois to reside and at the time was staying at the home of George Kerr, Jr., another brother of Mrs. Claus.
It appears that money was at the root of the whole trouble, according to Geo. Kerr, father of the deceased, who was the only witness to the tragedy. The controversy began on Thursday, Claus, at the suggestion of his father-in-law asked Harry for the back rent on the portion of the farm which he occupied, at that time it is claimed Harry produced a receipt for the rent which the other called a forgery. In the clash blood was shed. Edna Claus is said to have been slapped upon the face by Kerr, the man now dead. Her husband is said to have been stunned by a blow from the same fist. As a result of this Kerr was arrested on a charge of assault and the hearing was held in Justice Millers Harness shop at Lake Villa Saturday evening.
Kerr was fined one dollar and costs by a jury of six men who heard the evidence. Directly after the jury had reached the verdict finding Kerr guilty, he walked up to Claus and said, "I would give another dollar to take a punch at you. I will get you before you reach home." Geo. Heim, a carpenter living at Lake Villa heard him make this threat.
As the party left Miller's place quite a few people were gathered about but as a political speech was going on elsewhere in the village and the excitement of the trial appeared to be at an end, the crowd drifted away to hear what the candidate had to say. Suddenly two shots rang out and the crowd which quickly gathered saw the dead form of Kerr lyigg in the dust, just across the street from the D. R. Manzer store. Geo. Kerr, the deaf mute, was the only witness and while he did not hear the shots he saw the smoking weapon in the hands of Clause and saw his son walk around to the horses heads and then fall in the dust.
The story told by Kerr was an unusual on in that it was told by the hands and fingers in the language of the mutes. It is said that never before in the history of Lake county has the story of the death or possible murder of a human being been told by the sign language, but that is exactly what happened in Lake Villa Sunday.
He told of Harry having come to their place on the previous Thursday and of his having picked a quarrel with Claus. He told of the justice trial and of the events which followed. In part he said:
We walked across the street to a post where I had hitched the horse. That was directly in front of Manzer's store. Harry followed us across the street and addressed us in the following terms:
"You are no father. I'll shoot both you when I get a chance.
Joe and I were standing at the horses' heve at the time. We untied the horses and both climbed to the seat in the wagon. Joe picked up the reins. He had driven less than two rods when Harry attempted to climb into the wagon. He was on his knees in the wagon when I heard a concussion. When I looked up I saw a weapon in Joe's hand's. I did not see him shoot. I felt the concussion. After the two shots had been fired I saw Harry press his two hands against his stomach and race towards the horses head. He walked a few feet and fell on his side into the roadway. Then some one grabbed Joe. Later in the evening he was taken to Waukegan. I went home to Joe's wife and family."
In all close to fifty-five witnesses were called during the inquest. A majority merely heard the two shots. They ran to the side of the wagon where the dead man lay in the dust. They saw Marshall Fisher pull Claus from the wagon. They saw the mob gather.
A sensation was caused during the inquest which was held in the Woodmen hall. James McKenzie, a laborer, told of a story of a threat which he had heard Claus utter earlier in the day. His story:
"I was at work loading a car with gravel in the freight yards about the middle of the afternoon on Saturday when Claus and his father-in-law came through the years. Sheehan called to them and they came to the car. I heard Sheehan invite Claus to ride home with him as far as Walker's corners and Claus said, "No. I can't. I have got to be here in town at 6 o'clock. I've got to get him tonight."
That was all of the conversation McKenzie heard between Claus and Sheehan. A messenger was sent to the Sheehan home to call him as a witness.
His story is as follows:
"Yes, I saw and talked with Claus yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock. I invited Claus to ride home with me and he said he couldn't. He told me that he was going to have that guy-meaning Kerr-cooped up. He told me that he would see me about 7 o'clock.
He was asked if he ever heard Claus make a threat and his answer was:
"Yes, I heard him make threat on Thursday noon last. My wife was present so was Mrs. Wm. Gelden.
"He told me that Harry had threatened him and that he had made up his mind that he would have to protect himself. He said that he intended to buy a revolver. I told him he was foolish to think of such a thing, but I fear he went to Attioch that afternoon and bought the gun which he used the night of the killing. I saw him in Antioch that afternoon. In fact he rode part of the way with me. On the way he said he had had trouble with Harry that morning, that Harry had slapped his wife's face and had struck a blow in the face, and had raised a hammer to hit him and had called both his wife and him bad names.
The men who served as jurors at the bearing in the Justice Court were: Geo. Burnett, Mr. Witt, E. Jensen, Frank Huber, Andrew Bebour and Frank Nadr.
The verdict made by the coroner's jury is as follows:
"We, the jury, find that Harry C. Kerr came to his death from a gun shot wound being shot from a 32 calibre revolver held in the hands of one Joseph Claus, between 8 and 9 o'clock on the night of Sept. 9, at Lrke Villa, Ill.
"The jury further recommencs that Joseph Claus be held to the grand jury on a charge of murder until discharged by due process of law."
The men who composed the coroner's jury were: E. Wald, foreman; C. Donnelly, Fred Hamlin, John Cribb, E. T. Shepardson and F. H. Steele.
Kerr was thirty one years of age, a married man and the father of three children, the eldest of which is less than six years of age.
Claus is about twenty six years of age and is the father of two children.
The alleged murderer now occupies a cell in the county jail, and is held without bail until the grand jury investigates the case next October.
When questioned by a reporter before the inquest at Lake Villa Sunday, Mrs. Claus threw both her arms around her husband's neck, and made this statement which she was willing should go to the public.
"When I was a girl of but nine years, my father was worth quite a lot to my mother. My mother was a mute. She died of consumption about nine years ago. Soon after her death my father and I went to Oshkosh. It was there I met the man who is now my husband the man whom the law charges with a crime. He killed Harry Kerr. Harry is of my own flesh and blood, and I want to tell you that Harry is a coward. Why when I was but nine years old, I can remember Harry attacking my mother and I can remember distinctly that he struck her down. At that time my mother was suffering from consumption. Tuberculosis and worry caused her early death. Why, I can remember a time when Harry struck my father a blow on the face with a horse whip. I believe the mark of the whip still decorates my father's face. Why Harry is a coward. He had driven poor father nigh onto bankruptcy. Why, one time he forged a note for $800 on father. He forged many notes but I remember the one for $800 well. He reduced father from a man of wealth to a man who is depending on his own children for support. Father still owns the farm, but he hasn't received on cent in rental for the 28 acres which Harry has farmed in over eight years. Harry forged a receipt in payment as rental of the 28 acre tract and when my husband asked him to pay the rent he produced the forged receipt which caused the fight between my brother and my husband. Will I stick to Joseph. I should say that I will. He has given me every sent he has to his name – about $27. I will starve before I will spend that money and rob Joe of a lawyer.
Antioch News21 September 1916
Dr. Jamieson was in Chicago Saturday.

Mr. Spring is building a new barn on his home place.

A number from here attended the Milwaukee fair.

Bert Trotter is visiting his sister, Mrs. A. K. Bain.

Mrs. Menzo Webb was a Highland Park visitor the last of the week.

Mr. Denman's father returned to Highland Park the last of the week.

The Ladies Aid society met at the chruch Thursday. Supper was served.

Mr. and Mrs. Bonner have a new auto and Warren Hook has a new auto truck.

J. B. Denman and wife and C. E. Denman and wife and Mrs. McGuire were Antioch callers Friday.

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