Sommer, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .


The Infant Child of Adolph Sommer Killed by a Half Witted Tramp for Crying.

A tramp giving his name as George Cook and hailing from near Toledo, Ohio, engaged himself to Adolph Sommer, a farmer living south of Laporte, about two weeks ago to work for his board and clothes. On last Saturday, Mrs. Sommer had occasion to come to town to do some trading, and left several small children in the care of Cook. Mr. Sommer went out into a field to plow and told Cook to take good care of the children, which was all that would be asked of him. On returning to the house about five o'clock Mr. Sommer found the doors locked and Cook gone. He gained an entrance and looked about for the children. The baby, 11 months old, lay in the cradle and was found by Mr. Sommer to be dead but yet warm. The child was placed in warm water and everything done to revive it which could be done but all to no response, life being extinct. Mr. S. immediately came to town and gave the alarm and notified the officers who immediately instituted search for Cook. Deputy Sheriff Shaffer after making a thorough search of the city telegraphed to all railroad points near here and to conductors on all trains which had passed through the city. The yard master at the Lake Shore notified the sheriff that he noticed a young man answering the description of Cook board an east-bound freight at eight o'clock, and a telegram to the officials at Elkhart had the effect of causing the train to be searched and the finding of Cook, who was immediately placed in the lock-up at that place. Sheriff Shaffer reached that city about four o'clock Sunday morning and got his prisoner. Cook was lead in to a confession by a sharp ruse of the Sheriff and acknowledged that he had killed the child but protested that it was unintentional. He said that the "baby cried which made him mad and when he giot mad he was awful mad." He said he placed his hands under the child's arms and shook it and it head dropped back and it ceased to breath. After seeing that the child was dead fear prompted him to leave and he had intended to return to the home of his uncle near Toledo. He did not seem to realize the extent of his crime and toyed with the hand cuffs on his wrists like a little boy. Yesterday Deputy Coroner Annis, in company with Mr. Shaffer, went out to the home of Sommers and held an inquest, the testimony of the Sommer family and neighbors bring out in substance the facts as stated above. The Coroner's verdict will be that the child came to its death by dislocation of the cervical vertebrea, and will recommend that an investigation be made into the mental condition of George Cook, at whose hands the injury was wrought. Cook is 18 years and is evidently half-witted. On his departure from the Sommer residence he took with him a pair of pants and vest, the property of Mr. S.

Newspaper: The Tribune
Date of Publication: May 17, 1888
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 5
Page: 1
Column(s): 6

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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