Fred Weisner Murder

Montpelier-1867

 

By Pat Wilde

One of the very first robbery and murder occurred three years after Montpelier was founded.  This information comes from the dairy of Ann Marie Bunney later published in the Montpelier Examiner.

Fred Keisel owned a small store near where the present Jewell Cafe is located.  He peddled a variety of items consisting of fresh vegetables, eggs and buckskin items made by the Indians, such staples as ammunition, rifles, sugar, flour, lead, buttons and cloth.

Whenever Fred was away on his freighting trips he hired a friend, Fred Weisner to oversee the store.  During the summer of 1867 Keisel was in Utah obtaining items for his winter business.  It was a week before he knew of the death of his employee.

Ann Marie Bunney told her story:

"As near as I can remember it was 1867 that there was a man named Fred Weisner, who was in charge of a store owned by a man in Ogden, Fred Keisel.  The store was located just about east of the Joseph Robison residence and across the street near the creek.

Weisner was boarding at our home, but always slept at the store.  One evening he came to supper as usual and was in an extra jolly mood, laughed and talked and said he had been treating some pretty girls that afternoon.   After he had eaten his supper as usual, instead of staying and chatting as was his custom, he left, saying he would go and get a good night's rest.  He bid us good night and that was the last time anyone saw him alive.

Father was out of town that night and mother and we children were home alone.  It was in the middle of the summer and because it was so warm father had built a brush shelter back of the house for us to sleep in. After we had gone to sleep we were awakened in the middle of the night by noises and someone shouting "hold on" four or five times.

Mother jumped out of bed and looked between the brush and listened for a minute.  then the voice called "Dave Osborn!" three times. (Osborn was the Justice of the Peace and lived near the store.  Then there was a shot and a flash of light and mother rushed us into the house, saying "for God's sake, someone ahs been shot."

In a few minutes, men, women and children were gathering in the street just about where the Royal Clark home is now.  Fred Weisner lay dead, face down, his right hand over his heart and blood streaming between his fingers.  His left hand holding up his trousers as he had not time to pull his suspenders up."

Someone had broken into the store and Weisner had caught him in the act.  Instead of using the loaded gun which lay beside him, he had sought help and was shot.  The crime was never solved. No clues and no way of knowing what had been taken.

 

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