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Roosa Family Obituaries
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Arne H Trelvik
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Malinda (Brant) Roosa

Death of Mrs. Roosa

Mrs. John W. Roosa, who with her daughter, Jeannette, were the sole survivors of the famous Roosa murder, died last Saturday afternoon at her home in Morrow, aged nearly 52 years.

She had been confined to her bed for two weeks and was unconscious most of the time. Her disease was first pronounced to by typhoid fever, but was afterward changed to nervous prostration. After the funeral at Morrow, on Monday, the remains were brought here and laid in the vault of the Lebanon Cemetery.

The death of Mrs. Roosa recalls the horrible murder committed on the night of December 26, 1864, nearly twenty years ago at the residence of her husband, John W. Roosa, one mile from Deerfield. The names of those killed are giving in the Warren County History as follows:
The occupants of the Roosa house on the fatal night were Mrs. Roosa, three young daughters, an infant at the breast and an old man hired upon the farm, named Jesse Couzens. Alice Belle, aged fifteen; Francis, a younger sister; the infant by its mother’s side and Jesse Couzens were all killed with the same hatchet, and Mrs. Roosa with her head horribly gashed was left for dead by the Murderer.

Little Jeannette, aged about seven years, was the only person in the house unhurt, and to-day is the sole survivor of one of the most cold-blooded and fiendish murders ever perpetrated in any community. She escaped with her life by hiding under the bed.

Mrs. Roosa was found with many marks of the murderer’s hatchet and from her face the blood had spurted to the ceiling. Serious as were her wounds, she finally recovered.

John W. Roosa was at this time an inmate of the Asylum at Dayton, were he had voluntarily gone on account of monthly attacks of lunacy, in the intervals of which he was sane. Sometime after the execution of Samuel Coovert on the 24th of August, 1866, who was twice convicted of the murder, Mr. Roosa returned from the Asylum and lived with his wife but a short time when he drifted to the far West. He is now engaged in farming in Dakota.

Two children survive Mrs. Roosa, Jeannette and a daughter sixteen or seventeen years of age, born since the tragedy.

Some persons who have professed to believe there was a secret connected with the murder expected Mrs. Roosa to make a death bed confession in which some startling revelation would be made, but they were disappointed. She left no statement whatever, and if there ever was any secret concerning the awful affair, it will be buried with her.

Source: The Western Star 29 July 1884 [copy obtained from obituary collection at the Warren County Genealogical Society]

by
 Arne H Trelvik
2 July 2006

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This page created 2 July 2006 and last updated 24 May, 2009
© 2006 Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved