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Jacob Wesley Shenefield Obituary

Name is Jacob Wesley Shenefield  - correct spelling
Hutchinson News - 22 April 1899 - Saturday
Jake Shoenefield Shot
   The foreman of the Western Salt Works in a Critical Condition
At 4 o'clock this evening word was received by telephone of the shooting of J. Shoenefield, foreman of the Western salt plant by J. Vi. Dicks, generally known as Diamond Dick.
 Mr. Shoenefield was shot in the head and is in a very critical condition.  No reason for the shooting is known.
 Dicks had been working full time, and there had been no trouble between the men so far as known. Dicks was arrested at once.  He was drunk when he did the shooting.
Front page - Hutchinson News - Monday - 24 April 1899
 Murder Most Foul
 J. Shoenafield, Foreman of the Western Salt Works
 Shot by J. V. Dicks, who was crazed with Alcohol
 Died Saturday night
 Seems to be no cause for the Crime but, Liquor
 The Murderer in the County Jail and Refuses to Talk.
 The terrible affair which occurred at the Western salt plant Saturday evening, which was briefly given in Saturday's News, turned out quite as badly as was feared.  Ex Councilman Jacob Shoenefield, who was shot by J. V. Dicks died in a few hours breathing his last about 9:30 Saturday evening.
While Mr. Shoenefield lay dying at Mrs Reed's hospital on East Fourth avenue, Dicks was unconscious in a drunken slumber in his cell at the county jail.
 Dicks has talked but little if any about the affair since the occurrence.  He was visited at the jail this morning by. H. Fierce whom it is said he has employed to defend him.
 There have been several stories talked about as to what caused Dicks action, but, so far as is known, there were no cause for the deed, other than that Dicks' brain was crazed by drink.  A careful investigation is being made and an earnest effort will be made to get at the truth.
 The killing of Shoenefield appears to have been entirely unprovoked and as dastardly a crime as was every committed, and still Dicks acquaintances claim he has been a quiet and peaceable man whose worst feature has been an occasional but always harmful spree.
 Saturday afternoon Dicks came downtown and proceeded to get drunk.  He says he drank alcohol but it is not known where he got it or who he was drinking with.  He went to the repair shop of Mr. Blivens at 314 North Main where he stayed almost an hour.   He finally picked up a shot gun and said to Blivens "If this was loaded I'd fix you".  He had no quarrel with Blivens and this language was unaccountable.  When he left the shop he took the gun with him, paying  no attention to Mr. Blivens orders to leave the gun alone.  He was seen on Sixth and Seventh avenues later and pointed the gun at different people.
 Dicks was next heard of at his home a short distance south of the Western salt block.  Here he gave his wife an awful beating and she ran to the salt plant to seek protection.  Dicks staggered after her, taking the gun.   He  had secured several cartridges after leaving Blivens shop and had both barrels of the gun loaded.  Just before he reached the office of the salt plant he stumbled down at a dirt pile and before getting up leveled the gun on some one at the building. He made some inquiry about his wife on reaching the building and appeared have little choice about who he pointed the gun at.
 When he shot Mr. Schoenefield he was but a short distance away and raised the gun four or five times before pulling the trigger.  After this he walked out on the open prairie near by, carrying the gun as though ready to shoot any one who might follow.  There were employees from the plant upon all sides of Dicks, but at safe distance when the police arrived from town, having been summoned by telephone.
 Marshal Benedict and Policeman Lowry, followed by Policeman Champion and Charles Phillips approached Dicks, watching his movements carefully.  He advanced toward them holding his gun in readiness but not raising it to his shoulder.  When in pistol range officers Benedict and Lowry drew their revolvers and ordered Dicks to drop his gun. He threw the gun to one side and kept advancing.  The marshal asked him what he had  been doing and he said "I've been looking for meadow larks, I guess"  I have a right to do that, haven't I?"
 When Dicks was taken in the cab past the salt plant where the crowd had gathered to look at his victim, he asked "What's going on here?" soon after the cab had started to the jail Dicks fell into a sound sleep and did not awake until he reached the jail.
 Mr. Schoenefield was taken at once to Mrs. Reed's hospital. After taking stimulants he was able to speak a few words, but, soon became unconscious and did not revive again. 
 The examination after death showed that thirty-two shot had struck his face, most all of them being above the eyes.  Out of all these wounds only one could have had serious effect.  This shot entered the eye, severing an artery and lodged in the base of his brain, causing his death.    All of the other wounds were not through the skull.
                         CORONERS INQUEST
 At the coroners inquest the facts connected with the killing of Schoenefield were established, but, no cause further than the intoxication of Dicks was brought to light, and the general opinion  appears to be that it was simply a drunker frenzy on the part of Dicks.
 It appeared by the evidence that Dicks was equally bent upon killing Shoenefield, who was superintendent of the works, and Kirk, the foreman.
 Mrs. Dicks was sent for to appear at the inquest but refused to come, saying that she was not able to leave the house.  She is with her husbands people at the Avenue B flats.  When talked with she said she would not testify at the inquest.  She has a deep gash above one eye where she was struck by her husband Saturday.
 The fellow laborers who worked with Dicks have little to say regarding the murder.  They are investigating the case to see if there was any cause for the deed other than appears upon the surface.  It is not known yet whether any of them will come to the aid of Dicks when his case comes to trial.
 The fact that Dicks threatened people downtown before going to the salt plant would make it appear that he was merely crazed with drink and possessed of the idea of doing mischief.  There has been no proof that he loaded up with alcohol for the purpose of getting even upon some difficulty with the foreman and superintendent of the salt works.  Even when he went to the plant it was in pursuit of his wife who went there for protection.
 Mr. Kirk the foreman, says he is not acquainted with Dicks wife and knows nothing of their domestic troubles if they had any, and Mrs. Dicks, it is said, claims that he had no acquaintance whatever with the superintendent, Mr. Shoenafield.
 The inquest was continued until this afternoon while the officers were searching for Mrs. Dicks.
 The coroner's jury brought in the following verdict this evening:
That Jacob Dicks died willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly and with malice aforethought, on the 22nd day of April, 1899, shoot with a shot gun and murder and kill Jacob Shoenefield.
Tuesday - April 25, 1899 - Hutchinson Daily News
 Funeral Today
 The last sad rites over the remains of Jacob Schoenefield were witnessed by a large number of his friends and fellow workmen.  The funeral was one of the largest ever held in Hutchinson.  The G & H and Western Salt plants, of which he was superintendent
at the time of his death, were closed down today as well as the offices of the Kansas Salt Company, out of respect to the deceased, and the officers and employees attended the funeral.
 The services were conducted by Dr. Irwin at the home on Avenue F  east and were very impressive.
survived by his wife
Mary Ellen Dixon
Clyde Edward, Oty Jane, Jacob Wesley, Ivan T, Carl T, Owen W, May Ellen
Jacob Wesley Shenefield, son of Jacob Wesley Shenefield - is my great grandfather.

Submitted by
Pam Long on February 6, 2005.

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