REMSTER, Frederick - kills Jones; wounds Beckelheimer - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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REMSTER, Frederick - kills Jones; wounds Beckelheimer

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 17 June 1869 p 4

From the Covington Journal, Extra of last Monday morning we clip the following particulars of a cold-blood murder, committed in that place on last Saturday afternoon.  Our usually quiet little city was the theatre of a most terrible tragedy Saturday evening last resulting in the almost instant death of Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, aged 73 years and the mortal wounding of Miss Clarissa Beckelheimer, both by pistol shots from the hand of one Frederick Remster. The unfortunate victims of this terrible tragedy were of the highest respectability and standing.  Mrs. Jones was the mother of John R. Jones, founder of the People’s Friend and representative from this county to the State Legislature and of Wm. Jones, Esq formerly Mayor of the city of Vincennes.  Miss Beckelheimer is the only daughter of Levi Beckelheimer, a worthy and esteemed citizen of this this place. The facts pertaining to the tragedy are in substance as follows: Remster, who was married to an estimable young lady of this neighborhood, only three weeks ago and was occupying a part of the house owned by Mrs. Jones (Mrs. Jones occupying the other part of the house) came home about 6 o’clock Saturday evening apparently laboring under some mental excitement. It does not appear that there was any quarreling. But Remster remarked in the presence of his wife and Mrs. Jones that they would all be killed that night or or that there would be bloodshed at which Mrs. Jones becoming alarmed remarked that she would go to her daughter’s who lived nearby and stepped out of the door.  Remster followed, caughter her and putting his pistol to her head, fired, killing her almost instantly. The act was witnessed by four or five ladies in the neighborhood, among whom was Miss Lillie Knight, granddaughter of Mrs. Jones who raised the alarm and all ran to the assistance of Mrs. Jones. Remster, who had gone back into the house as is supposed for the purpose of killing his wife, hearing the cries of the ladies, started toward them in a threating manner. They all ran for life, he pursing them and all succeeded in escaping except Miss Beckelheimer who fled across the street, through her own door yard and back towards her father’s shop, situated on the next street and when withing 20’ of where her father was standing Remster caught her and putting the pistol to her head fired, causing a mortal wound.  Before Mr. B could realize the terrible truth, the murderer fled on in a northerly direction, attempting an entrance in the house of Mr. Donaldson; failing in which he next met three gentlemen among them Mr. Fansler at whom the murdere snapped his pistol.  Mr. Fansler immediately grabbed him and with the assistance of the other  gentlemen tired him.  Thus was the murderer captured and is now in jail heavily ironed.  When the murderer started in pursuit of the ladies, his wife made her escape to the house of Mr. JH Spence on the adjoining lot.  Remster claims to be insane but of this there is much doubt in the minds of our citizens. Upon no other ground can the mystery of the terrible crime be based else he must be a fiend incarnate.  Mrs. Jones will be buried today.  Miss B is rapidly sinking and cannot possibly recover. The friends of the victims of the monster have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community in their great bereavement.  Of the murderer we know but little except that he is of good family many of whom reside near here.  He was a resident of this county but for the last 8 or 10 years has been wandering over the Western Territories and doubtless has been thrown much in the society of desperadoes. Since his return here, he has been associated as an auctioneer with Mr. Dodd of Lafayette.  After a preliminary examination before Justice Rawles, yesterday afternoon he was committed for murder in the 1st degree.  We learn this morning that the murder disclaims insanity and says that he killed the ones he desired to kill.  We reframe from giving an opinion as to the motive that prompted the terrible deed and await the truth.

Source: Crawfordsville Weekly Journal 23 Sept 1869 p 1

“Indiana News” – Remster on his way to prison he came somewhat sane. He talked sensibly and freely to the sheriff concerning his life in Montana but disclaimed all knowledge of the murder and said if he did it he was under the effects of drugged liquor.  We see in several papers an item to the effect that Miss Beckelhymer shot by Remster at the time he killed Mrs. Jones, “has recovered but is hopelessly insane.”  This is incorrect.  Miss B has recovered from the prostration incident to the wound but is not insane. At times she suffers from the weight perhaps of the ball on her brain.  It “shakes her up,” so to speak and renders her incapable of even moderate exercise!”

Source: CWJ 9 Sept 1869 p 4

We are informed by Prosecutor Pierce that Remster, the Covington murderer has been sentenced to the penitentiary for life.  After retiring for an hour and a half, the jury returned a verdict of murder in the 1st degree which will imprison him for 99 years.  He was ably defending during the trial and many witnesses gave strong testimony tending to show his insanity. The feeling of the people of Covington is intense and perhaps had not wiser counsels prevailed, he would have been hung before he reached the State Prison.

Source: Terre Haute Express 16 June 1869 p 2

Our dispatches report an awful tragedy that occurred at Covington last Saturday. Fred Remster, an auctioneer, shot and killed an aged lady named Jones, mortally wounded a young lady named Beckleheim and fired at sundry other persons.  He was captured and lodged in jail. – kbz

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