Knocked Down and Robbed
Adam Kuntz was found about six o’clock this morning near the Atchison company’s coal chute, in a semi-unconscious state. It was at first thought that Adam had been struck by a train, but when he was taken home Dr. Seaton could find no injuries other than a blackened eye. Kuntz was reported intoxicated last night. It is said that when last seen he had $16 on his person only $1 of which could be found this morning. It is thought that the man has been knocked down and relived of his money. The Newton Daily Republican, Newton, Kansas. Monday, August 30, 1886. Page 4.
Death of Adam Kuntz
He Drops Off Suddenly to the Surprise of the Attending Physicians. Adam Kuntz died about nine o’clock last evening. His death was quiet and was a surprise to Doctors Seaton and Bennett, the attending physicians. Dr. Seaton called on his patient, yesterday afternoon and found him apparently in the same condition that he had been several days. Dr. Bennett called after supper, but noted no change for the worse. At half-past eight o’clock this morning Dr. Bennett, assisted by Drs. Seaton, Coleman and McKee – with Dr. Nolder present – held a post-mortem examination. An examination of the skull and brain was first made, and a careful inspection of the former proved the correctness of the theory that there was no fracture. The examination of the brain failing to reveal the cause of death, the physicians pursued their investigations further, and in the heart found what is technically known as a “heart-clot,” being a formation of coagulated blood. It was evident that this clot had formed within the heart, it being too large to have found its way through the currents of circulation. This clot, the physicians concluded, resulted from the blow on the head, and was the immediate cause of death. Adam Kuntz had been a resident of Newton for many years. He belonged to three secret societies, viz: I.O.O.F, Knights Templar, and G. A. R. He was 60 years of age. He came to America from Germany when a boy, and a few years later was married to Sarah Sensenbough, at Dayton, Ohio. Ten children, seven of whom are living, were the result of the union. Of the children three, Mrs. Mary Wolf, Carrie and Joshua Kutz, live in this city, and five live in Fort Wayne, Ind. William, one of the sons living in Fort Wayne, has been here for several days. Deceased lost his first wife and was married again about thirteen years ago to Mrs. Gish, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who survives him. The Newton Daily Republican, Newton Kansas. Thursday September 9, 1886. Page 2.
The Kuntz Inquest
Adam Kuntz Came to His Death in a Manner Unknown. The evidence given at the inquest held over the body of Adam Kuntz yesterday afternoon is given below. Justice Cutler officiated as acting coroner: Dr. J.H. Seaton – I was acquainted with Adam Kuntz in his life time. I waited on him during his last illness. I assisted in the post-mortem examination, with Dr. McKee, Dr. Bennett, Dr. Nolder, Dr. Coeman. I was called to deceased last Monday. I called that day three or four times. His mental condition was not rational at any time I saw him. He was hurt Sunday night. I saw him two, three, and four times a day. Several times when I saw him he seemed to be rational and talked rationally. I asked as to the cause of his injury but got no satisfactory answer. Several times I talked with him he seemed to give rational answers. He seemed to be rational and I thought he was rational, at the time. I think the wound he received was the primary cause of his death. The injury was quite a large surface bruise on his right eye extending over the bridge of his nose and his lip was badly cut on the inside. We found considerabe congestion of the brain. The injury was the cause of the softened state of his brain. I think the injury was from the blow, which blow I think was given by a sand-bag. It did not seem to have been given by a solid substance. P. Hart – I visited the deceased on Tuesday evening after he was hurt. Mr. Gerson asked him in German if he knew him; he said, yes. He asked him who hurt him and he said, my woman. I understood German. I thought at the time deceased was rational. It was Tuesday, 3 or 4 o’clock p.m. J.W. Hurst – I met deceased on the day of the night he was hurt about 7 o’clock p.m. in front of deceased’s meat shop. I was going north; my wife was with me. I do not think he was under the influence of liquor. I next saw him twenty minutes after eight p.m. I met him on the crossing on Main street. He was going north and I going south. That was the last I saw him that day. I next saw him Monday, 10 a.m. I had no conversation with him. I do not think he knew me at any time. When I met him twenty minutes after eight I said, good evening, and said, are you taking a walk; he said, yes. Dr. George D. Bennett – I am a physician annd surgeon. I treated deceased since the Tuesday after he was hurt, each day. I thought he understood many questions put to him. I think a blood clot formed in the heart was the immediate cause of his death. This was caused by the blow received on his head which injured his whole system. I think the wound was made by a sand-bag or shotbag or something of that kind. Through the injury to the brain the nerve center controlling the circulation was so injured that it would be sufficient cause to give rise to the blood clot in the heart. I think the wound could not have been made only by a blow. Mrs. Eva Kuntz testified that deceased was at her gate at 7:45 o’clock. He went north toward the shop. Did not see him alive after that. Staid at home until after dark. Then went over and asked Ida Miller to come and stay with me. After ten or fifteen minutes she and Hall came home with me. Hall staid until half past ten o’clock, Ida staid until six o’clock next morning. I slept on the bed with her and then got on the lounge. I do not know how long I was on the sofa. Bed and sofa not in the same room. Adam and I had some words that day. He was about two-thirds tight. I have not heard whom he was with that night.
Ida Miller testified that she has lived in the American House since the lasst of January 1886. Was there until about half past eight o’clock p.m. August 29. Then went to Mrs. Kuntz’s house. Was awake when Mrs. Kuntz got up and when she returned to bed. Had staid with Mrs. K. two nights before that. H. Benfer testified that he met Kuntz Sunday evening and talked with him. John McCabe – I found the deceased by the A.T. & S.F. Co.’s coal-shute. He was leaning against it at about 5:30 o’clock in the morning; between coal-shaft and track. We had not been down on that track for three hours. We had run down during the night often until 2:30 o’clock a.m. We run the last train about 11 or 12 at night; saw only the workmen on the road. No. 11 got coal after we went to the other end of the yard. They were there perhaps twenty minutes. C.F. Foss – I nursed the deceased. I had a conversation with deceased last Friday morning as to how he got hurt. I asked how long he had been sick he said three or four days. I asked him who hit him; he said she did. I asked him if she had a club he said no she hit him with a board. I asked him how many times she hit him and he said three times. The last questiion I asked him where he was when he was hurt. He said out back here. James Edwards – I live in Newton. I am a dryer by trade. I was one of the nurses of the deceased last week; was there two or three nights. He roused up in that night and took hold of my badge. I asked him how he felt and he said pretty bad, that he had been sick several days. This was Friday night. I asked him who done this and he said she done it. What did she strike you with – a club? No, she struck me with a board. She struck me three times. A few minutes after he awoke and told the same story. I asked the questions. I asked where he was hurt and he said, down here. John Rohrer – I was here one week before deceased was hurt. I saw him about six o’clock that Sunday night and talked with him then at railroad. I saw him during his sickness. At times I think he was rational. He did not give me any answer as to how he got hurt. Mary Wolf – I am the daughter of deceased. I live here. I last saw the deceased on the eve he got hurt about 8 o’clock. He was standing outside the market door talking to some one. He walked south gone about 15 minutes. I saw Mrs. Kuntz when he went away. She was on the porch; saw her go across the street to Wagner’s. Joshua Kuntz – I inquired of sundry persons when they saw the deceased last. I found none later than Mr. J.W. Hurst.
The jury, composed of T.B. Atchison, J.C. Parmele, H.W. Bunker, W.E. Ball, S. Lehman, and H.W. Hubbaard, in their verdict said that death came to the deceased by means unknown to them. The remains of Mr. Kuntz were taken east last night for burial in the family cemetery at Fort Wayne. The Newton Daily Republican, Newton, Kansas. Friday, September 10, 1886. Page 1.
Adam Kuntz died from the result of a wound inflicted on his head by parties unknown on the night of Sunday, August 19th. He was found early Monday morning, lying across the Atchison railroad campany’s coal chute. It was at first supposed that the man had been struck by a car, but the nature of the wound excited the suspicion that he had been foully dealt with. It was hoped that the wounded man would recover consciousness long enough to tell who his assailant was, but he was rational at intervals of a few moments at a time, when he would relapse into the comatose condition in which he remained for the greater part of the time until his death. The proper authorities are investigating the mystery surrounding the old man’s death and it is possible that some light may be shed on the matter in a few days. County Attorney Greene is holding an inquest over the remains this afternoon. It is probable that the body will be sent to Fort Wayne for interment. The Newton Daily Republican, Newton Kansas. Thursday September 9, 1886. Page 1.
A Newton Murder Mystery
An inquest on the body of Adam Kuntz, who was mysteriously assaulted on the night of August 9, and who remained in an unconscious state until his death yesterday, furnished no clue to his assailant. He had been drinking for several days. The bruises on his head were made by a sand bag. The remains were taken to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for burial. The Garnett Journal, Garnett, Kansas. Saturday, September 18, 1886. Page 1.
Adam Kuntz Funeral
The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal has the following item: “The funeral of the late Adam Kuntz, who died at Newton, Kansas, occurred on Sunday afternoon, and was one of the most imposing seen for many days. It was conducted jointly under the auspices of the three lodges of Odd Fellows, and the G.A.R. of this city. The procession, which was headed by the South Whitley band, was a very long one, and the services at the ground were impressive. Dr. Boswell officiated as chaplain for the Odd Fellows. Mr. Kuntz had lived in Kansas for eleven years.” The Newton Daily Republican, Newton, Kansas. Wednesday, September 22, 1886. Page 4.
(c) Excerpted from the book Deadly Encounters: Murder in Harvey County by Darren McMannis. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.