Stabbed To The Heart
John C. Lansdown Slain At 1 A.M., Friday In Covington
Friday, September 2, 1904
The most terrible pall that has shadowed this community for years
gathered Friday last when the news of the sad death of John C. Lansdowne--
at the hands of an assassin--reached here.
John was a Carter boy, a son of Geo. W. Lansdowne, a former resident of
Carter, and at one time post master at Grayson, who now resided at St.
Louis, Mo. and who, on account of illness was unable to attend the
funeral. Mrs. Lansdowne was so prostrated by the awful tragedy that she
was unable to come to the burial and remained, in a prostrate condition,
at her home in Covington.
The remains reached Grayson at 1:45 Saturday accompanied by two brothers,
Wallace Lansdowne, of Covington, and Herman Lansdowne, of St. Louis.
The casket was taken to the home of Col. Frank Powers, uncle of the
murdered man where it remained until about 8 o'clock Sunday morning,
when it was born away in the funeral car to its last resting place.
The funeral services had been rendered at the Covington home, and a last
sad rite was read at the grave, after the manner of the Episcopal creed,
Rev. G. C. Hutchinson of the M. E. Church South, officiating--with the
The last resting place is a part of the old Bayless' homestead on a
beautiful hill overlooking the Little Sandy river, in good view of the
E. K. And C. & O. Railways.
The procession spoke volumes in the history of the young man's short
life. The procession was a long line of vehicles, people on horseback,
and many others walking. It is safe to estimate that 450 were present
at the grave. John C., was the third son and was 28 years of age. He
leaves a life behind that all can point to with pride, as he was an
exemplary young man.
Preston Weedon and Mr. Tarvin, brother of Judge Tarvin, of Covington, of
Ashland, both being intimate friends to John C., came out Saturday to
pay their respects to the dead.
T. C. Bayless, an uncle of the deceased, came from Lexington and was
present at the burial.
The newly made grave is alongside that of Rev. John C. Bayless--John's
grandfather--who in his day was one of the best known preachers in
There were a number of wreaths of fine flowers sent from Covington, and
the casket and grave were literally covered with these most beautiful
and sweet selections by home friends.
Underwood Lansdowne, who resides in Houston, Tex., was unable to be
present, while another brother, Jack Lansdowne, arrived from New Orleans
fifteen minutes too late to catch the C. & O., train which bore the
funeral party up the river--to Grayson.
"Returning from a pleasant evening at Coney Island, and almost within
the shadow of his mother's house, John C. Lansdowne, twenty-eight years
of age, of 210 Garrard Street, one of the most prominent young men in
the city, was stabbed to the heart at 1 o'clock, dying in the hallway of
his home. A few scatted sentences before he died were enough to cause
the police to arrest John Lieberth, brother of Internal Revenue Collector
George Lieberth, on the charges of murder. No explanation has been
offered for the terrible tragedy. The police have no clue except the
dying words of Lansdowne. The Lansdowne family believes his death is the
result of a pitiful mistake.
Lansdowne is the son of Mrs. Helen Lansdowne, formerly librarian of
Covington Library, and brother of A. J. Lansdowne, former secretary of
the Covington water works.
Wallace Lansdowne, a brother, and a storekeeper and gauger, who had some
time before preferred charges of irregularities with the revenue
department at Washington against Collector Lieberth, said: "It is all a
horrible mistake. I am confident that the murderer meant to kill me.
John and I are much alike in build and facial expression, and have
frequently been mistaken for one another. I was in Newport Thursday
night for the purpose of seeing a number of witnesses in the investigation
as to these charges, and got on a car at Fifth and York street. I saw
Collector George Lieberth standing on York Street. My brother John was
as harmless a boy as ever lived, and there was no cause for his killing.
I never discussed these charges with him, and he knew none of the inside
facts of the investigation. I am confident that I was meant to be the
victim, and that John's slayer mistook him for me when the fatal blow
A. J. Lansdowne, the dead man's brother, a Pullman conductor, and Miss
Rosa Lansdowne, who is a nurse at the Norton Infirmary at Louisville has
arrived. The girl's grief over her brother's death was pitiful.
When seen at the jail, Lieberth was in a morose state, and would say
nothing. He is about thirty-two years of age and has been in trouble
with the Newport police before. His brother, Revenue Collector Lieberth,
wanted him locked up Thursday, and asked Detective Gaffney to place him
under arrest if he saw him, as he said his brother was not right, and
might kill someone.
The police also understood that John Lieberth had been going around with
a hatchet in his pocket, and had been acting queerly for some time. Hie
is a cigarette fiend.
It is learned that Civil Service Examiner J. J. Kemp, of Washington had
been in Covington for the past two days making an investigation into the
charges of suspicious activity against Collector Lieberth. Examiner
Kemp and Wallace Lansdowne were seen together Thursday in Latonia, where
they were examining witnesses at the Latonia Distillery.
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