Slain In His Own Home

The Gazette
June 26, 1895

MR. SIMON STEIN SHOT AND KILLED INSTANTLY

By His Brother-In-Law, Sam Blum

Saturday evening the people of this town were saddened to learn that Mr. Simon Stein, for many years a popular citizen and successful merchant of this parish, but for the past few months proprietor of the Stein Hotel in Monroe, was slain in his own house by his brother-in-law, Sam Blum, who also formerly lived in this parish. The gloomy news was conveyed to Mr. Daniel Stein in a letter from his son, Jacob Stein, who is in Monroe. The tragedy occurred on Saturday morning about half past nine o’clock, the weapon used was a 38 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, and the scene was in the dining room of Hotel Stein. The Evening News in giving the details of the killing, the testimony of witnesses and the verdict of the coroner’s jury says:

On the side gallery just outside of the dining room lay the dead body of Simon Stein weltering in his blood which was still tricking from three fatal wounds, and had formed a horrible pool beside the body. A crown of people surrounded the corpse, and gazed as if fascinated at the gruesome sight, while from a room near by came the sound of the weeping and wailing of women and children. * *

Dr. A. H. Gladden was sent for and on arriving made a careful examination of the body, cutting out two bullets, which had passed nearly through the body and lodged just beneath the skin, while on removing the clothing of the deceased another bullet dropped out having passed clear through the body, but not the clothes. The deceased had been shot three times, once just above the angle of the left jaw, the bullet passing down and coming out oat the clavicle, or collar-bone, on the right side, once between the third and fourth ribs on the left side and lodging under the skin on the right side and once between the fourth and fifth ribs taking the same course as the other. The two last bullets probably passed through the heart, and all of the wounds were fatal.

Mr. Simon Stein, the deceased, was born in Asselheim, Rhein Bavaria in 1840 and came to this country in 1860, settling at Mobile, Ala. At the beginning of hostilities between the North and South he enlisted in the Twelfth Alabama regiment and served throughout the war in the army of Northern, Virginia, making a gallant Confederate soldier, proving his loyalty to the South and his bravery upon many hotly contested battle fields.

At the close of the war he came to this parish and was employed as a sales man in the mercantile firm of D. Stein & Co., and has resided in this parish until about six months ago when he went to Monroe, where he engaged in the hotel business. In 1882 Mr. Stein was married to Miss Pauline Blum, and the same year purchased the mercantile business at Stein’s Bluff, where he did a large business and resided until 1892, when he moved to this place, conducting a small mercantile business here. He has four children, three girls and one boy as the fruits of this union with his wife. Mr. Stein has two brothers, Mr. Daniel Stein of this place, and Mr. Joe Stein, of Mobile, Ala. He also has two sisters, Mrs. Julius Arent, of our town, and Mrs. Reginna Hartman, of Mobile, Ala. He was a member of following secret orders and his life was insured in all of them: I. O. B. B., for $1,500; Knights of Pythias, $3,000; American Legions of Honor, $3,000, and Knights of Honor, $2,000. Mr. Stein was a congenial and warmhearted man. He was passionately fond of his family, and the doors of his comfortable home at Stein’s Bluff were always wide open to his friends and acquaintances, where he was lavish in the bestowal of hospitality. He has many friends in all parts of this, Lincoln and Claiborne parishes, who will be saddened to learn of his tragic death.

S. Blum, the slayer, formerly resided here. After Mr. Stein moved to Monroe, Blum went to that city and got employment as cottonseed buyer for the oil mills, and boarded at the Stein Hotel. After the killing he immediately left the hotel, and was shortly afterwards arrested and is now in  jail. Though the coroner’s jury exonerated him, Judge Richardson still holds him and he will probably be given a preliminary hearing this week. He has employed Boatner & Hudson and Garret & Munholland to defend him, while the State will be represented by District Attorney Madison and E. T. Lamkins.

The body of the dead man, accompanied by his brother, Mr. D. Stein, and a delegation of gentlemen from the I. O. B. B. and Knights of Pythias lodges of Monroe, arrived in town Monday morning and was laid to rest that evening in the Hebrew cemetery. The burial ceremony was performed according to the ritual of the I. O. B. B. lodge, the members of Pelican lodge, K. of P. accompanying the remains to the burial-place in a body. The vast throng of people at the cemetery Monday evening attested the high esteem in which the deceased was held in this community.

Below we publish the evidence as given in, by the different witnesses at the coroner’s inquest:

THE INQUEST

At the inquest held upon the body of Simon Stein, this the 22nd day of June, 1895, the following testimony was taken before the jury.

A. H. Gladden sworn: I am a practicing physician, I found 3 bullets having struck, one above the left jaw passing out of the collar-bone on the right side, the other two, one under the 4th rib on left side and lodged under the skin and taken out, one between 4th rib coming out on right side having lodged, and these two wounds passed through the heart. Either one of these wounds would cause death instantaneously. The body is of Simon Stein, and here at the hotel in the city of Monroe.

Wm. Schutze sworn: I am a resident of city of Monroe, La., I was standing at the corner of Jackson and Grammont streets. I heard shots fired in the house – Stein’s Hotel – I met Mr. Blum coming out of the house appearing to be very excited. I asked him what is the matter, he answered nothing and went on. I ran around the house and I found Mr. S. Stein laying right in this door, feet on inside of the dinning room and the greater part of his body on the gallery; was still breathing for about five minutes. I saw a negro there and Jerome Melton came after I was there. I do not know the negro’s name. I did not see any pistol, or anything like a weapon laying about him, nor stick or anything else. He never spoke. When I came in I found this room full of smoke. I only heard three shots fired in quick succession. I did not examine his pocket or his body. Dr. C. Cage and Jerome Melton turned the body over in my presence.

Jerome Milton sworn: I am 16 years old and live in the city of Monroe. This morning about 10 a.m., as I was standing on Mrs. Nelson’s back gallery across the street, I heard three shots fired in rapid succession in this house, I could see the smoke very plain. I came across and met Wm. Schulze and S. Blum at the gate. I heard Schulze ask Blum what is the matter, he (Blum) said nothing much. I came around the house and saw Mrs. Stein and children wringing their hands saying that Mr. Stein was dying and calling for a doctor. I met Dr. Cage and sent him in. I came in with him, and I, Dr. Cage, and Wm. Schulze turned Mr. Stein over and Dr. Cage said that there were three bullets in him. I saw no weapon laying about him. I saw this walking stick laying about 6 inches from his hand, (this black stick), I marked this stick with a notch on the handle. I saw several negroes on the back gallery when I came in.

Ciciley Archie sworn: I am working at the hotel. I came down with the family from Farmerville. I lived with them five years. I know Mr. S. Blum, he clerked at the store at Stein’s Bluff for Mr. S. Stein. Mr. S. Blum is a brother to Mrs. Pauline Stein. Night before last Mr. Stein, walked ten hours all night; he appeared to be drinking. This morning S. Stein seemed to be drinking. I spoke to him and he referred to the boss. I spoke to Mrs. P. Stein; she said that she was not afraid on him. Mr. S. Stein went up town, and S. Blum went up town to look for him. Mrs. Pauline told S. Blum to not go off on the boat today; she was scared to stay by herself in the hotel. Mr. Blum came back and told his sister not to come in, but to stay out. I heard Mr. Stein curse Mr. Blum and his wife, calling his wife bad names. I was standing in the kitchen door; I saw Mr. Simon Stein strike Blum with this black stick on the arm, and I then heard pistol shots. I did not see the shooting. I only heard it. I ran back into the kitchen when they commenced to fight. I did not see Mr. Blum shoot. I thought it was Stein shooting Blum. Mr. Blum was standing in the doorway with his left hand on the door facing; Mr. Stein was in front of him, inside the room; I was standing in the kitchen door; Mrs. P. Stein was in the kitchen; we ran out after the shooting and she fainted. Mr. Stein cut at me day before yesterday with a knife; he is very cross and mean while under the influence of liquor. S. Blum came here last night; I found Mr. Stein’s pistol yesterday in my room; I gave it to Mrs. Pauline to put away; whenever he is drinking we always put arms out of his way.

Dr. C. C. Cage sworn: I came into the Stein house this morning after I heard the shots and I found Mr. Stein lying on his right side; he was dead. I did see a black stick lying there. I turned him over on his back with assistance of this young man; I found three wounds on him; his forearm was black with powder burn where shot; his hand was on stick lying partially under body; I came soon after the shooting, about two minutes afterwards.

Paulo Jones sworn: I am working at this hotel as waiter. This morning as I was bringing dishes in the dining room, Mr. Stein came into the north door of the room; Mr. S. Blum was standing in south door; Mr. Stein said, did you come here to rule this house; Blum said no, Simon, I did not come here for that; Stein said that it was fight and die and go to hell for his children. He told Mr. Blum that his sister was a strumpet. Blum said, did you say that my sister was a strumpet. Simon do you mean to call my sister a strumpet. Stein said yes. Then Blum put his hand in his pocket, taking out his gun; I then ran behind the kitchen; heard the pistol fire three times; Mr. Blum was standing along side of me when he took his pistol out and I ran behind the kitchen. Mr. Stein had this stick in his hand when he came in; he was cursing Blum and calling his wife bad names, and I seen him strike Mr. Blum twice before Mr. Blum pulled out his pistol and shot him; I did not see him shoot; I ran behind the kitchen; I only heard three shots.

Mrs. Adele Hirch sworn; I am a sister to Mrs. Stein. Mr. Stein has been very ugly and very abusive; drinking this week. He has made threats to kill my sister and we had to hide his pistol from him to keep him from hurting any of the family. He said he was going to Farmerville this morning, but before he would go he would kill his wife. He asked me for his pistol; he had packed his valise. I told him I did not know where it was. I was afraid he would do some mischief. S. Blum, my brother, came here on the boat. My sister asked him not to go off again, and to stay and protect her. Meanwhile Mr. Stein was acting very strange. I did not see the fight, I was upstairs and I only heard the pistol fire. Mr. Stein and Blum were on good terms. Whenever Stein would go away he always wanted Blum to stay here. I heard only three shots fired. Mr. Stein was very good when sober, but very ugly when drunk.

Joe Ross sworn; I have been working here about four months as waiter and porter. I met Mr. Stein this morning at the post office and he commenced to tell me about a fuss he had with S. Blum, whom he claimed had meddled with his business. We came together from the post office towards the hotel when we met Mr. Blum going uptown. When Mr. Blum saw us he turned around; came back to the house; came into the dining room; placed himself in this door. I saw Mr. Stein leave the office; go into his room and I saw him stoop down as if looking for something. He came from his room to office; rushing back into the dining room with a stick. Mr. Stein’s boy came into the dining room. Blum told him to go up stairs. Afterwards Mr. Stein came in waiving his stick, saying: “Are you meddling with me and my family?” I was standing on the back gallery back of Mr. Blum. After they go through quarreling I went around the table through the front door, and when I looked back I saw Mr. Blum had a pistol in both hands pointing towards Mr. S. Stein. I heard the shots–three shots. I did not see him shoot. I saw Mr. Stein have his stick raised as if to strike Blum.

Mr. Sigmund Marx sworn: I am employed at the Southern Hardware store. Mr. S. Stein came to the store this morning, saying that there was someone at the house who wanted to buy a pistol. I was busy at the time. I told him to go behind the counter and get one out of the show case. I went to him and he said: “This thing is too small; I want a bigger one.” I put this one back and gave him a larger size; he asked me for cartridges to put in the pistol. I asked him what he wanted with them. He said: “There is a man down there; I want to show it to him.” I did not give him the cartridges; he took some out of his pocket to put in the pistol, loaded it and started to put it in his pocket. He looked nervous and excited, and as I had heard of the trouble he had I became suspicious and took the pistol away from him, throwing the cartridges out and gave him the cartridges back. He then went away.

Mrs. W. F. Frederick sworn: I have been living with Mrs. Stein – boarding – for at least three months. I know that Mr. Stein has been drinking for several days and I have heard him make threats to kill someone. I was up stairs when the shooting took place; I did not see it. I saw Mr. Stein looking for a pistol this morning.

J. (?). Hoffman sworn: I am a resident of New Orleans – commercial traveler, and I have been stopping here at Stein Hotel. I heard him make false accusations against his wife; he has been drinking.

Witness corroborate the foregoing testimony in so far as Stein’s conduct.

VERDICT OF THE JURY 

We, the jury impaneled, holding inquest upon the body of Simon Stein, laying here dead before us, in the Hotel Stein, at the city of Monroe, La., render the following verdict:

That the said Simon Stein came to his death by gun-shot wounds inflicted by one Sam Blum, on the 22nd day of June, 1895, about 10 o’clock a.m., at Stein Hotel, in the city of Monroe, La., and that the said Blum was justifies – committing a justifiable homicide – acting in self-defense.

W. M. Ethridge
Ben S. Moore
Will B. Sadd
W. H. Duff
C. W. Hunt

Signed in the presence of and before me, the undersigned, deputy coroner and justice of the peace, this 22nd day of June, 1895.

R. H. Endom
Deputy Coroner and Justice of the Peace

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