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An Old Case Recalled - Murder / Suicide / and Money - 1902

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An Old Case Is Recalled

Search for the Heir of John P. Stewart Estate

Mrs. Stewart Killed Him in ‘95

Afterwards Committed Suicide – Boy is Heir to Quite a Tidy Bit of Money

The appearance in Missoula yesterday of Charles L. Heitman, an attorney of Rathdrum, Idaho, whose mission was a conference with Attorneys Joyce & Mulroney relative to the disposal of property in an estate to which one John P. Stewart a minor, is sole heir, brings to attention a crime that was committed in Missoula county seven years ago, and perhaps was surrounded by as many sensational features as any crime in the history of Montana.

In 1895 John Stewart lived with his family and conducted a shingle mill near Heron. One morning he was found in his barn dead; examination showed by arsenical poisoning. The parents of Mrs. Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Allen were accused of the crime of poisoning Stewart; were tried, convicted and sentenced to serve long sentences in the Deer Lodge penitentiary. Subsequent to their confinement there they were paid a visit by the daughter, the wife of the murdered man. Upon returning to Missoula Mrs. Stewart went to the county attorney, freely confessed committing the crime for which her parents were convicted, and before leaving the office of the county attorney took poison that resulted in death. The charge against the parents was again considered, resulting in their being pardoned, following which they left the country.

A young son was left to the mercy of the world with the violent death of the father and mother. Attaining an age of self-dependence the boy wandered away, and in spite of vigorous search by officials his whereabouts could not be learned until recently, when he was located in Boise, Idaho.

It was learned that a portion of the estate left by the father was a certificate of deposit on a defunct Washington bank. Recently by favorable manipulation the affairs of the bank have been adjusted so that a large part of their liabilities are to be paid. The Stewart account aggregated several thousand dollars, but no one to claim the pro rata payment could be found. Attorneys delved into the case, and after much correspondence located the boy, and to obtain his estate the matter of a release to the bank by Missoula county officials was required for which Attorney Heitman came to Missoula.

The above article appeared in the weekly Missoula newspaper, Fruit Grower and Farmer, on Jan. 31, 1902.

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 January 2015 20:07