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Alonzo “Lon” Beghtel, an 81-year-old retired farmer, was beaten to death near his Guthrie Center, Iowa, home on Wednesday, January 18, 1950.
A 200-foot trail of blood led Guthrie County officials to Beghtel’s body near the one-room shack on Guthrie Center’s south side where Beghtel lived alone.
Beghtel, who got by on his pension, clutched nine dollars in his hand.
The Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Robert E. “Bob” Blair investigated the case.
After convening a coroner’s jury, Beghtel’s cause of death was ruled a felonious assault.
Despite a reward offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Beghtel’s death, the case went unsolved.
Alonzo Beghtel was born November 9, 1868, in Wabash, Indiana to William and Lydia (Rousey) Beghtel. He had two brothers, Jesse and Charlie, and four sisters: Stella, Josephine, Florence, and Effie.
He was united in marriage to Lucy Iona Halley on September 8, 1889, and the couple had eight children: sons Jesse and Clarence, and daughters Della, Myrtle, Lola, Blanch, Lena, and Hazel.
He was preceded in death by his wife, and three of his children: Della, Jesse and Myrtle.
Memorial services were held in Monteith on Friday, January 20, 1950.
Alonzo Bechtel was laid to rest in the family’s plot in the Monteith Cemetery in Guthrie County.
If you have any information about Alonzo Beghtel’s unsolved murder, please contact the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office at 641-747-2214.
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