Pottawattamie County in Iowa
Pottawattamie County in Iowa

Oakland in Pottawattamie County

Frank J. Eckels

Homicide

Frank J. Eckels
73 YOA
Oakland Motel and Café
Oakland, IA
Pottawattamie County
Shot: Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1958
Died: Saturday, Dec. 6, 1958

Frank Johnston Eckels, 73, was shot and wounded during a holdup at his motel and café in Oakland, Iowa, on Wednesday, December 3, 1958. Eckels died three days later on Saturday, December 6, at a Council Bluffs hospital.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, Dec. 7, 1958

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, Dec. 7, 1958

According to coroner Henry Meyer, an autopsy revealed that death resulted from kidney failure due to shock caused by the gunshot wound.

Eckels had just closed his café in the small town located along the West Nishnabotna River when he was accosted by an unknown assailant who shot him through the left shoulder as he turned to flee, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported in an article dated Sunday, December 7, 1958.

The suspect robbed Eckels of between $300 and $400 and escaped, the Gazette said.

Investigators confirmed Eckels was the victim of a robbery and his death was classified as a homicide.

About Frank Eckels

Frank Johnston Eckels was born May 17, 1885 in Lake City, Iowa, to Frank Eckels and Jennie (Wadsworth) Eckels.

Frank Eckels gravestoneCourtesy photo Elizabeth Meriwether, findagrave.com
Frank Eckels was buried in the Oaklawn Cemetery next to his wife, Gertrude.

He married Gertrude Greenslade on June 29, 1915 in Allen, Ohio. She preceded him in death in 1951.

Frank was laid to rest in the Oaklawn Cemetery in Pottawattamie County.

Information Needed

Anyone with information about Frank Eckels’ unsolved murder is asked to contact the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (712) 890-2200.

Sources:
  • Investigations continue in unsolved murder cases,” by Courtney Brummer, The Daily Nonpareil, Monday, August 18, 2003
  • Frank J. Eckels (1885 – 1958) — Find a Grave Memorial
  • Gertrude G. Eckels (1889 – 1951) — Find a Grave Memorial
  • Oakland, Iowa, Wikipedia.org
  • Unsolved Iowa Murders Defy All Probe Efforts,” by Pat Curran, The Centerville Iowegian, May 26, 1965
  • Shot During Holdup, Oakland Man Dies,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, December 7, 1958
  • “United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch.org, Frank Eckles, Oakland, Belknap Township, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78-1, sheet 3B, family 57, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 1198, NARA digital publication of T627, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
  • “United States Census, 1930,” index and images, FamilySearch.org, Frank Eckels, Oakland, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0001, sheet 5B, family 155, line 85, film number 678, NARA microfilm publication T626, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002); FHL microfilm 2340413.
  • “United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch.org, Frank J Eckels Jr., Jackson, Calhoun, Iowa, United States; citing sheet 6B, family 124, NARA microfilm publication T625, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1820480.
  • “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, index and images, FamilySearch.org, Frank Johnston Eckels, 1917-1918.
  • “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997,” index and images, FamilySearch.org, Frank Johnston Eckels and Gertrude Greenslade, 29 Jun 1915; citing Allen, Ohio, United States, reference 8820 p 65; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 901422.
  • “Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1958,” index, FamilySearch.org, Frank Johnston Eckels and Gertrude Greenslade, 29 Jun 1915; citing Lima, Allen, Oh, reference 2:3PN5N4K; FHL microfilm 0901422.

 

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