Iowa Old Press

Hull Index newspaper
Sioux County, Iowa
Friday, November 18, 1898

The Affair Took Place at the Victims Home Five Miles Northwest of Hull.
Two Shots Did the Work.

This community was thrown into a fever of nervous excitement Wednesday
morning early, by the report that Mrs. Alice Blood had shot and killed
her husband. The report spread rapidly, and in a few minutes the entire
community was made aware of the awful crime. An Index reporter hastened
to the scene of the tragedy in order to learn the particulars. In the
meantime the coroner was summoned and arrived from Rock Valley at about
11:30 o'clock. The body of the murdered man was found lying on his face
in the dining room just as he fell after the first shot was fired. A
number of men and women from neighboring farms had been summoned. We
found Mrs. Blood prostrated from the fearful strain upon her mind after
she had come to fully realize the horrible crime she had committed. The
coroner empanelled the following jury: B. H. Tamplin, B. F. Hawkins, and
M. F. Miller. The following witnesses were examined: Nellie and Bertha
Blood, Oscar and Walter Blood, children of the deceased, also the hired
man. Their testimony elicited nothing further than that they had heard
the fatal shots; the first named having stepped in the room just in time
to see her mother fire the second shot, while the father lay prostrate
on the floor. The wife upon being questioned by the coroner before the
jury, stated that the crime was committed with a premeditation. She
stated that she had gone to her son's room, and unlocking his trunk,
took there from his revolver, a 38 caliber, with the intention of doing
the deed. In her statement she said that the revolver was loaded when
she took it from the trunk. In the statement of her son Oscar, the
revolver was said to not have been loaded since he had sent it from Camp
at Chickamauga Park last summer. Owing to the extreme nervousness of
Mrs. Blood, who lay prostrate upon her bed, it was not thought proper to
further continue the examination since she had admitted the shooting and
that it was not done in self defense.

The following is the verdict of the jury.
The said jurors upon their oaths do say: We do find that said deceased
came to his death by gunshot wounds from a 38 caliber revolver in the
hands of his wife, Alice A. Blood. We do further find that said homicide
was premeditated and done with deliberation and afore thought. Two shots
were fired. The wounds were both in occipital region, the scull being
fractured in both wounds, the shooting having occurred between the time
of 6:30 and 7 o'clock on the morning of Nov. 16 at the home of the
deceased on the Southwest quarter of section seventeen, Lincoln
township, Sioux county, Iowa. And we further find that he did come to
his death feloniously, and that a crime has been committed on the
deceased and against the State of Iowa, and that Alice A. Blood is the
name of the person whom the jury believe has committed the crime. In
testimony whereof the several jurors now herunto set their hands this
sixteenth day of November 1898.
B. F. Hawkins.
M. F. Miller.
B. H. Tamplin.

In commenting upon this horrible affair, we can not do so without a
profound sympathy for the poor wife who it seems had been driven,
through a desperation born of insanity, to commit the crime. We have
never known a person in our life but that some word of commendation
could have been said of him until we knew the one who so recently met a
violent death. Absolutely nothing good could be said of him. He was not
a good citizen neither a good neighbor nor a good husband or father.
Those who have lived near him for years all tell of him in the same
strain. It is a well known fact that he drove from his own door, at a
time when the weather was inclement, an aged father who was too weak to
make his own way alone. For over twenty years this poor woman's life has
been made miserable through hard work, deprivations of many of the
comforts of life; and by this, coupled with horrible and inhuman
treatment she has been brought to a point of desperation and the verge
of insanity. With a mother's heart she has sought to keep her children
close to her side, and has beheld them abused by one who had less of the
instinct of love and affection than was shown by the dumb brutes upon
his farm towards their offspring. The inhumanity of husband and father
however, did not justify the deed; yet we cannot look upon the rash act
only in the light of one who had been driven mad by the unhappy
condition of her household.

Those who know Mrs. Blood, know her to be a woman of refined tastes and
tender emotions. Her social privileges having been abridged by her cruel
and inhuman husband, but few knew her in social life. In comparing her
unhappy life with the sad and tragic ending of her husband's life, the
sympathy of the entire community is with the former without stint.

In the evening County Attorney Olmstead, in company with deputy Sheriff
Henry, went out and placed Mrs. Blood under arrest. An examination was
waived and she was placed in $5,000 bonds for her appearance. There were
enough to volunteer to go on her surety if the sum had been placed at
ten times the amount.

For fear of overtaxing the already overstrained nervous system of Mrs.
Blood and her family, we refrained from making enquiries as to the past
history of either Mr. or Mrs. Blood. We have however, gathered up a few
facts which may be of some interest. Mrs. Blood was born and raised near
Brandon, Vermont and is now forty-four years of age, her deceased
husband being a few years her senior. Their marriage took place at her
home when she was 22 years old. Oscar, the oldest child, was born a year
after marriage; when he was a year old the family moved west and came to
Sioux county and settled on a farm five miles due west of Hull. This was
the old homestead of the father of Blood which was subsequently deeded
to the son, just prior to his turning his aged father from the place.
After living here a number of years during which time five children were
born to them, they had succeeded by hard work and close economy in
accumulating enough to purchase the fine farm of Mrs. Jane Denby, where
he came to his untimely end. While on the old homestead a sad accident
occurred to a little child which resulted in its death. The mother had
left the little one in charge of Oscar, who was then about four years
old, and went out to attend to some duties outside the house. The little
child, holding out her apron, pleaded with her brother to drop some
coals of fire in her apron, which was done and resulted in the death of
the child. The inhuman husband, has, as a further means of torture to
his patient and long suffering wife, been throwing this up to her in all
the intervening years, charging her with taking her child's life.
Nothing could be gleaned of the life and character of deceased prior to
their marriage. The aged father, whom he thrust from his door during
that memorable winter of '80-'81 is now an inmate of the county house of
the county in Vermont from whence the family came.

The children of this unhappy family are, notwithstanding the evil
influences which had surrounded them all these years, of refined tastes;
they are intelligent and have shown a remarkable desire for education.
The mother has sought to give them the advantages of the schools. Oscar,
through extra exertions and through many privations, attended the
Academy. Nellie, the oldest daughter, was at one time a student of the
Academy, and until after she had made arrangements to assist at Dorcas
Hall to pay her board, was forced to walk the five miles morning and
night to and from school, although horse and buggy were standing unused
at home. Bertha, the second daughter, had, through her mother, arranged
to attend the Academy, but was refused the privilege of attending by her
father because of feeling too unwell to go out in the field to husk

Those who have been accustomed to meet the children have all spoke of
them in the best of terms, and to them it was a mystery that they could
be possessed of all the virtues accorded them, with the evil influences
of their inhuman father surrounding them. The mystery could only be
explained away by referring to the patient and forbearing mother, whose
gentleness and refinement was always pointing them in the way of right
doing and a higher and noble, life. We might continue to give instances
of the cruelty of the deceased husband and father toward his family and
toward those with whom he came in contact until page after page were
covered, but it would be a sickening story. We close joining in the wish
of the entire community that if the trial of the unfortunate woman
results in a conviction and a sentence, however light it may be, that a
higher than the court, will intervene and prevent the carrying out of
the sentence.


From the testimony before the coroner's jury in the Blood murder case,
no one was in the room when the first shot was fired. Nellie, after
hearing the first shot fired, rushed into the room just as her mother
fired the second shot.


Drs. DeBey, of Orange City, and Cram and Wheeler of Sioux City, were
Hull yesterday in company with county attorney Olmstead, and went over
to the Blood farm to examine into the sanity of Mrs. Blood.

[Sioux County Herald, Orange City, IA, November 23, 1898]

At the last week's meeting the Orange City Band resolved to make its
organization better than ever before. Four or five new horns will be
added and weekly meetings held until Jan. 1st when they will probably be
held oftener. It would be little to the credit of Orange City if an
organization so well known all over the state should be neglected. The
boys, of course, get nothing but glory for their services but The Herald
knows they are appreciated right here at home, which is often not the

Coroner Frank J. Huizenga of Rock Valley is here, the guest of
Postmaster Van de Steeg.

Sheriff Balkema took Mrs. Rosie Moore of Granville to the Clarinda
insane hospital Monday night.

Lowell Morse, J.W. McCrum and M. McCabe drove over from Boyden Monday to
attend to some legal matters.

Jerry Kendrick, P.L. Schoop and Joe B. Hyink a jolly trio of Sioux
Centerites were in the county seat Friday and made this office a
pleasant call.

Cards are out announcing the marriage of Harry F. Thomas to Mary Cowen
which is to take place in Orange City, Thursday, Nov. 24th.

[Sioux County Herald, Orange City, IA, November 30, 1898]

IRETON. Geo. Rake is moving into the Geo. Post house this week. Mr.
Hilten expects to occupy the residence vacated by Mr. Rake soon.

Mrs. Jonn Thompson of Esteline, S.D., is here for a visit with her
father A. Buck and other relatives.

Mr. and Mrs. Hickey of Seney visited with Mrs. P.E. Burns, Mrs.
Hickey's mother, the past week.

HULL. Jno. Waldron and Sam Lincoln of Alton were visitors Saturday.

MATLOCK: The marriage of John Cooper and Miss Sadie Allen of this place
is said to have taken place in Cherokee county on Thanksgiving day. The
Honorable Mr. Cooper and his worthy bride returned to Matlock Saturday
morning. May absolute happiness and prosperity be their lot through

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