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Shawano County Journal

16 Apr 1891

ALEX BEHR, a farmer of the town of Washington, hung himself in his barn on Saturday of last week. He had quarreled with his wife a few days previous, and she had left him. This caused him to be so despondent that he finally resolved on suicide, and chose hanging perhaps because it was the easiest means at hand. He bid goodbye to his children and then went to the barn fastened a rope to one of the rafters, and hung himself, his knees nearly touching the floor. His body was found by his children about an hour after. He was about 45 years of age.

19 Apr 1891



Mrs. Behr, wife of the Washington farmer who hung himself a short time since, was arrested Monday on the charge of having poisoned the father of her husband's first wife. She was taken before Justice Isstas at Cecil, and the evidence appearing strong enough to hold her, was bound over to the circuit court for trial. Later it is understood the woman made a full confession of the crime, alleging that her husband was the instigator. The old man, Zell by name, was infirm and decrepit, and they wanted to get rid of him, so she put paris green in his soup. When he died, she said, the report was circulated among the neighbors that he had died of "stomache ache," The facts concerning the matter came out in a manner forcibly illustrating the truth of the old adage, "murder will out." Zell died about a year ago. Everything went all right until this spring, when Behr and his wife separated. Then Behr began to fear trouble, and ended by taking his life. But before hanging himself he told his children of the crime, and they told others.