The Miami Republican, June 14, 1912


    Rollin Hudson and Wife of Paola Murdered While They Slept
    No Known Motive for the Crime and no Clue to The Murderer.

    Worst Crime In The History Of Miami County

    Thursday afternoon, June 6, 1912, this community was shocked by the discovering of the
    most fiendish murder ever committed in Miami Co. About 4 o'clock the bodies of Rollin D.
    Hudson and his wife, Anna Hudson, were found with their heads crushed in a most horrible
    manner in their bed in a five room cottage which they rented from Sid Aker, at 710 West
    Wea street, Paola. The murder was discovered by Mrs. Charles Musick, Mrs. Sherman
    Stump and Mrs. William Pryor, neighbors of the murdered couple. Not seeing either Mr.
    Hudson or his wife about the house all day, they became suspicious that something was
    wrong, and going to the house and not receiving any response to their knock at the door,
    they pushed it slightly ajar and could see the outline of the two forms lying in the bed in
    the back room. Herman J. Hintz, who is deputy marshal for the west part of town, came
    driving by in his buggy and the women told him of their suspicion. With Fred Hogan, Mr.
    Hintz went into the house and saw a ghastly sight. Turning back a coverlid and sheet that
    covered their heads, they found Mr. and Mrs. Hudson dead. Mr. Hudson was lying on his
    right side with the left side of his head and face crushed. He was evidently murdered while
    he slept, without having made a struggle. Mrs. Hudson was apparently awakened when
    her husband was killed and raised her head, when she was struck on the back of the head
    and on her face with some partially sharp instrument and inch or and inch and a half wide,
    as there were several holes in her face. It is thought both were chloroformed before the
    fatal blows were struck.

    The pillows and bed clothing were soaked with blood, which had soaked through the
    mattress and dripped on the floor under the bed. It was a horrible sight and was the work
    of a veritable fiend.

    From holes in the coverlid and other indications, the murderer had evidently thrown the
    sheet and coverlid over their heads before he struck the fatal blows, his purpose to
    prevent blood spattering on his clothing. There was no blood on a coverlid that hung over
    the head of the bed and little anywhere except on the pillows and bedding beneath them,
    on the covers over their heads and where it had soaked through and run on the floor.

    Mr. Hintz notified Sheriff Chandler and when the news of the murder became known, a
    great crowd gathered and the little house was soon the scene of an excited and expectant
    throng. Dr. J. V. Ferrell of Louisburg, the county coroner, was notified and hastened to
    Paola in an automobile. He made an examination of the bodies and premises and ordered
    the bodies taken to Johnson's undertaking rooms, which was done about dark.

    The little cottage where the crime was committed is about two blocks east of the Frisco
    depot. It contains five rooms, which were scantily furnished, but the little furniture which it
    contained was tastily arranged to make the best appearance. In the front room there was
    straw matting on the floor, a square center table, a new trunk and a few pictures on the
    wall. Back of this room was the bed on which they were murdered. Beside the bed, there
    was a box neatly covered with paper, on which were several little baskets containing
    trinkets belonging to Mrs. Hudson, and a coal oil lamp without a chimney. Mr. Hudson's
    overalls were lying on the floor at the side of the bed on which he lay and his other
    clothing and some of Mrs. Hudson's were hung on brackets on the wall. The center room
    contained a neatly blackened cook stove, two chairs and a table, on which set their supper
    dishes. In the north room, there was a wash tub and washboard. In the other room were
    a few small articles of furniture, and in the closet, neatly hung up, were Mrs. Hudson's
    wearing apparel, which had not been disturbed. The floors were clean and every thing
    indicated that Mrs. Hudson was a neat, careful housekeeper.

    Mr. Hudson came to Paola, April 9 and Mrs. Hudson came the following Monday. Mr. and
    Mrs. Geo. W. Coe, who live on the opposite side of the street, knew Mr. Hudson a year.
    They then lived at Centerville, where Hudson worked on the railroad and boarded with
    them. Mr. Hudson staid at their house when he first came to Paola, and when his wife
    came they bought a small amount of second hand furniture, rented the house where they
    were murdered and went to housekeeping. They had little acquaintance outside of the
    neighborhood where they lived, were apparently honest and industrious, paid the rent of
    their house both months in advance and were well spoken of by the neighbors.

    Since coming to Paola until May 30 Hudson had been working on the M.K.& T. section under
    Chas. Musick, the foreman. There had been some disagreement between Hudson and his
    wife on that day, and he left, going to Beagle, where he worked on the section two days.
    Returning home the following Sunday, he and his wife fixed up their disagreement and the
    neighbors say they seemed happy and contented. He went to work on the M.K. & T. coal
    chute and worked two days, when engaged to work for Sherman Stump, section foreman
    on the Frisco. He was to begin work Thursday morning, but he did not show up, and this
    fact, with the suspicion aroused among the neighbors in not seeing either of them about
    their home, led to the discovery of the murder.

    The murder was committed with some sort of blunt instrument, first thought to be a coal
    pick, but the present theory suggested is that it was a brick mason's hammer. A careful
    search has been made for it, but it has not been found. The care with which the murder
    was committed leads to the belief that it was done methodically and with extraordinary
    precaution as to details. Had it been done as a result of a hasty quarrel or a sudden
    impulse, it is evident so much precaution to guard against discovery of the murderer would
    not have been taken. It was committed either by some one who knew the Hudsons before
    they came to Paola, probably in their Ohio home, who was actuated by jealously, or by a
    mad man. No other theory is tenable. It could not have been done for the purpose of
    robbery, as they had nothing to be robbed of.

    Every clew has been followed, the only one that revealed anything worth while, and it is
    quite significant, being the fact that the day before the murder a stranger went to Peiker &
    Scheer's and Wishropp's stores and at several others places and inquired where the
    Hudsons lived. He is described as weighing about 150 or 160 pounds, rather ordinary in
    appearance, dark mustache and wearing a dark blue coat. Mr. Johnson, a wholesale
    grocery salesman who makes Paola, says such a man boarded the same train that he took
    at Paola Thursday morning, and C. W. Archer, who lives north of Paola, says a man of that
    description asked for work at his place on Thursday morning and was told to go to work,
    but he did not show up again.

    G. W. Coe relates a conversation he had with Hudson while Hudson and his wife were
    separated the last time, at which time Hudson said he would send his wife home if he
    dared. He was afraid to send her, however, he said, or to go himself, and said he would
    rather be dead than in such trouble. Then he took a letter from his pocket and said if Coe
    knew what it contained he would sympathize with him. He also told Coe that he had
    caught his wife with another man three times.

    Every effort to find the letter Hudson had has failed. Coe says he saw Hudson and wife
    wife meet near the Missouri, Kansas & Texas depot Sunday, June 2, when Mrs. Hudson
    said: "How could you go and leave me this way."

    Hudson said: "You have not treated me right, Anna."

    After this, they walked away together and were seen that evening in the garden,
    apparently happy. The husband was singing and all differences appeared to be settled.

    William Pryor, night man at the Frisco coal chutes, who lives the first house east of where
    the murder was committed, says he went home Wednesday night about 9 o'clock after his
    midnight lunch, and while he and Mrs. Pryor were standing on the porch a strange man
    went to the Hudson home, and he heard the man say to Mr. and Mrs. Hudson he wanted
    to detain them a few minutes, and stepped into their house. He was undoubtedly the
    murderer. This is the last time Mr. and Mrs. Hudson were seen alive by any one in the

    Mr. Hudson was a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Hudson, who live at North Industry, a suburb of
    Canton, Ohio, and Mrs. Hudson's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Axxe, live at Massillon, Ohio.
    They were married at Massillon on April 10, 1910, and after a time did not get along well.
    The father of Hudson arrived in Paola Saturday. He is a prominent attorney at North
    Industry and has been prominent in politics there. He knew the late President McKinley and
    Judge Day well and was counsel in cases there with them and against both of them. He is
    a man of education and refinement, and great sympathy was expressed by all who met him
    while he was in Paola, over the terrible calamity that has befallen his family. He says his
    murdered boy was not quite twenty-one years. His son was born and raised at Canton,
    had a common school education and was a member of the Christian church. He worked as
    a cone grinder in an automobile factory there, but was compelled to give up his work an
    account of the steel dust affecting his lungs. He came west and returned to his Ohio home
    last December. He remained at home until April, when he again left for the west. During his
    absence, his wife worked as a housemaid and Mr. Hudson spoke well of her.

    Dr. Ferrell called an inquest Friday morning, and after hearing all the evidence obtainable,
    an adjournment was taken until Wednesday afternoon. As nothing further had developed,
    the jury rendered its verdict on the evidence that had been submitted, as follows:

    "That Rollin Hudson and Anna Hudson came to their deaths some time during the night of
    June 5, 1912, by means of being willfully and feloneonsly killed and murdered by some
    person whose name is unknown to the jury and with a weapon supposed to be a coal pick
    or some similar instrument."

    The jury was composed of John J. Yeater, Fred W. Schmitz, Dan F. Amick, Char. M. McKoon,
    J. T. Logan and Wm. A Wilgue.

    Mr. Hudson is survived by his parents, a brother and sister, Mrs. Grace Caley, at North
    Industry and a brother, Ira Hudson, a farmer near there. Mrs. Hudson leaves her parents,
    several brothers and sisters at Massillon and other relatives at Ashland, Ohio.

    Mr. Hudson left Tuesday afternoon with the bodies for Canton where they will be buried in
    West Lawn cemetery.

    Mr. Hudson expressed himself as being well pleased with the handling of the matter by the
    officials here and is grateful to County Attorney Sheldon, Sheriff Chandler and all the
    officials for their efforts to locate the murderer. Governor Stubbs offered a reward of
    $300.00 for the apprehension and conviction of the murderer, as a result of which several
    detectives were here and were now at work on the case.

    It is earnestly hoped that the man who committed this awful crime will be speedily arrested
    and convicted. Hanging is too good for him. He should be made to live the balance of his
    days in the Kansas penitentiary, with the memory of his crime to haunt his waking and
    sleeping hours as long as he lives, and when he dies to suffer the torments of a hell that is
    made for such fiends.
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