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The murder of Anna Wiese

July 22, 2012
Sue Eckhoff - Grundy County Heritage Museum , Reinbeck Courier

August 26, 1893 was a late summer Saturday. Anna Wiese, when she decided to socialize after her chores, had no idea this would be her last. Anna worked for Henry and Rebecca Russie on their farm, three and a half miles north of Green Mountain, Iowa. The Russie's found her to be industries and steady.

After she cooked supper and cleaned the kitchen, Anna bathed and fixed her hair. She was wearing a striped underskirt, a corset , a black sateen skirt and a red blouse. As was her usual custom, she wore no hat.

She left the Russie farm at about 7 p.m. walking south. She encountered Thomas Low and his wife who invited her to accompany them to a "sing," but Anna said she was going to the Hill farm. At the Hill farm, her mood was happy and light. When the Lows drove back past later that night on their way home they could see Anna sitting in the doorway. At 10 p.m. Anna left the Hill house to walk home. The moon was bright enough to illuminate her way.

A few minutes later Henry Russie was helping his invalid wife Rebecca into bed when they thought they heard screams. Rebecca recognized Anna's voice and insisted he go find out what was wrong. Russie and his hired hand Perry Griggs ran together toward the cries. Midway between the Russie and Hill farms they found Anna on her back in a ditch. Perry Griggs went to get Arthur Hill, and when he arrived with a light they looked closely at Anna and saw she was dead. Next to her lay a maple club, 2 inches in diameter, broken into pieces and stained with blood.

Anna's clothes were not torn, or ripped, but her blouse was soaked with blood. Her throat had been slashed and stab wounds could be seen on her chest.

Immediately Arthur Hill left to notify neighbors. One neighbor, Cyrus Bennett came to the door but would only partially open it, and would not permit his wife Emily to talk with Hill. Emily's 22 year old son Arthur Sherlock did however join the search party.

The coroner arrived at the scene at about 2 a.m. The men carried Anna's body on a shutter to Henry Russie's house. In the house they held an on the spot inquest with a 3 person coroner's jury composed at the murder scene. They declared that Anna was killed by person(s) unknown.

On Tuesday August 29, an autopsy was performed on Anna. It revealed she was stabbed approximately 10 times in both the back and breast. Her throat was slashed from right to left. She had scratches on the upper lip and chin and an abrasion on her chin.

Anna's funeral was August 30 and she was buried in the Vienna cemetery at Beaman.

Marshall county citizens were still agitated about the murder, the newspaper stating, "the whole community is searching for the murderer, bent on summary revenge."

(Next week The Investigation).



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