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Anna McKee and Herbert Ostrander

The attached is from the Morning Republican dated 7 June 1906 of the murder
of Mrs. Anna McKee. Murder took place on the 6th in Findlay.

Submitted by: Rose Gozdowski kingjrus@aol.com


June 6, 1906

TERRIBLE TRAGEDY IN EAST FINDLAY
MRS. ANNA MCKEE SHOT TO DEATH BY HERBERT OSTRANDER WHO IN TURN TAKES HIS OWN LIFE

WANTED WOMAN TO MARRY HIM DAUGHTER WAS IN LIMA AND TWO BOYS WERE FISHING IN NEARBY CREEK AT THE TIME OF TRAGEDY.

Herbert Ostrander shot and instantly killed Mrs. Anna McKee shortly after 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. The murder and suicide at 930 Selby Street, in the McKee addition, and both must have died instantly.

The suicide is a cousin of the late husband of the murdered woman and his home is supposed to be in St. Louis, Missouri. He came here five weeks ago from St. Louis, and remained several weeks, when he left town. Whether he went back to St. Louis is not known, but he was absent for several weeks and appeared at the McKee home again Wednesday morning.

They had several walks in the neighboring streets and it was thought by the neighbors that they were having some dispute or argument. Both appeared to be very much excited, but the neighbors could hear no loud talk. Their actions only told them what they believed. In the afternoon Mrs. McKee went to the home of Mrs. Kistler, where she called up Mrs. Weimerskirth, her sister. They were engaged in conversation only a few moments when Ostrander made his appearance and remonstrated with her for doing something for which he knew nothing. She denied that she was and hung up the receiver. They both left Mrs. Kistler's home and crossed a garden patch to return to the McKee home. Just before leaving Ostrander was heard to make the remark that Mrs. McKee must give him $10 at once with which to return to St. Louis. What reply the woman made to this was not known, as she was in an undertone.

As soon as they reached the McKee home, which was only a few hundred feet away, they stopped on the back porch, where they remained several minutes in animated conversation. Ostrander is said to have had his arm in the air several times, possibly to make his remarks more emphatic, but he did not attempt to strike her. They stepped on the inside, going to the dining room, where only a few moments after the neighbors heard three shots and then all was quiet.

None of the neighbors could summon courage enough to go into the McKee home, one man saying -- that he was fearful that Ostrander had shot Mrs. McKee and then attempted to commit suicide and was not successful, and that if anyone would go in he might shoot them.

It was at this time that Harvey Kistler called up police headquarters and notified Chief Kramer of the affair, and he was quickly on the scene. He was the first one to enter the house, finding them both dead, lying close to one another. From the other position in which the bodies were lying, it is quite evident that after Ostrander had viewed his awful work, he laid down alongside the murdered woman and then drove a bullet through his own brain.

He was shot a little above the forehead and evidently died instantly, while the woman was shot in the right temple, the bullet coming out the left temple. Coroner B.A. Balsley was one of the first ones to arrive. He hastily viewed the bodies and ordered them removed in Renshler's ambulance to the undertaking rooms.

Mrs. McKee is a widow and is aged about 35 years, while Ostrander is her senior. She has three children, her husband having died about a year and a half ago. The oldest boy is Roy, aged 16, the next Helen, aged 14, and the youngest Raymond, aged 9. The girl, Helen is now at Lima, where she is visiting. The two boys, at the time of the tragedy, were at a nearby creek where they were fishing. They were at once notified.

Shortly after the death of the husband of the murdered woman, Mrs. McKee took a dose of paris green., fearing she could not properly support her children, but she soon recovered from that and was apparently getting along nicely.

It is stated that Ostrander wanted to marry Mrs. McKee and asked her to put the house she owned in his name and remove to St. Louis. This she refused to do and he asked to sell the property and go with him to St. Louis. She refused to accept either proposition and it is said he then demanded $10 with which to return to St. Louis. This request she also refused.

It is presumed that the refusal of Mrs. McKee to do the bidding of Ostrander was the cause of the awful tragedy.

Up to the late hour Wednesday night no one claimed the body of Ostrander. The undertaker in charge will hold it until he learns who to notify.

Chief Kramer stated that a sister of the dead man lived in Bellefontaine, but he did not know her name. Some reports say he was married and had a family. This could not be authenticated by any available information.