Clara Schiele
(Courtesy Quad-City Times)

Clara E. Schiele


Clara Elizabeth Catherine Schiele
90 YOA
1416 Main Street
Davenport, IA
Scott County
Case # 78-57093
August 3, 1978




Clara Elizabeth Schiele, 90, was mugged and pushed down while climbing the front steps to her Davenport home at 1416 Main Street on Thursday, August 3, 1978.

According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated August 5, 1978, Schiele had lived at the residence since nearly the turn of the century, and was attacked by a black man wearing a nylon mask over his face.

Courtesy Quad-City Times

When Schiele returned home from a shopping trip around 2 p.m., the assailant pushed her down and ran from the scene with Schiele’s purse, which contained only $20.

After being pushed, Schiele reportedly struck her head on the concrete steps, the Quad-City Times reported on Aug. 5, 1978, but Schiele refused medical attention until 4 p.m. when her neighbor of 30 years, Martha McGinnis, watched her friend go from being very alert to becoming sick to her stomach.

McGinnis called for an ambulance. 

McGinnis rode in the ambulance with her friend to a Davenport Hospital, where Schiele died from a skull fracture and internal injuries about 10 hours after the mugging.

DCI Still Hope to Solve

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Schiele’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

About Clara Schiele
Clara Schiele gravestoneCourtesy photo Beverly Witmer,
Clara Schiele is buried in the Durant Cemetery in Muscatine County.

Clara Schiele was born January 8, 1888, in Farmington, Iowa, in Cedar County to German immigrants Charles Ludwig and Elizabeth Catherine (Bernick) Schiele.

Her father went on to run a successful cattle farm in Farmington Township in Cedar County.

The family moved into the Main Street home in Davenport at the turn of the century. Clara never married, and worked at the Rock Island Arsenal as a draftsperson during World War II.

Clara moved back to the family home in Davenport after the war ended, where she resided until her death.

Charles L. Schiele's stock farmCourtesy photo University of Iowa Libraries
Clara Schiele’s father, a Civil War Union soldier from Germany who immigrated to the US in 1854, went on to run a successful livestock shipping business in Cedar County, Iowa.

According to an Aug. 8, 1978 story published in the Quad-City Times, Ms. Schiele was a 50-year member of Davenport Chapter No. 178, OES, and was a member of the Mae Rohiff Circle at St. Paul Lutheran Church. She was also a member of the Cedar County Historical Society and the Blackhawk Hiking Club.

Survivors included many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by five brothers; Charles, Gustave, Mort, Richard, and Rudolph. 

Services were held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, and laid to rest in the Durant Cemetery in Durant, Iowa, in Muscatine County, where many of her family members had also been laid to rest.


If you have any information about Clara Schiele’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email, or contact the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-7979.



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3 Responses to Clara Schiele

  1. Melanie Wood says:

    She only had $20. Killed for $20. A 90 yr old woman. POS COWARD!

  2. Mike says:

    Sounds like she was murdered for her Social Security check.What kind of lowlife would do such a thing?

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