Marion County in Iowa
Marion County in Iowa
Marysville in Marion CountyMarysville in Marion County

Dr. William Orson Hamilton


Dr. William Orson Hamilton
33 YOA
Liberty Township
Marysville, Iowa
Marion County
November 26, 1900
Case Summary by Jody Ewing

Dr. William Orson Hamilton, 33, was shot to death in Marysville, Iowa, on November 26, 1900.

According to a Knoxville Journal article by L.A. Gee published September 25, 1930, a Knoxville contractor building Marysville’s new school was the first to know the tragedy occurred.

K.L. Bush saw Dr. Hamilton stagger and fall at the door of the Vanskiver home, and was dead before Dr. Hughes could arrive.

Domestic trouble, the Journal reported, was said to have been brewing for some time in the Fred Ahn family and rumor had it that Dr. Hamilton was involved.

Gee wrote in his article:

Mrs. Ahn had been living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Yancey, and divorce proceedings and counter proceedings had been begun by both Mr. and Mrs. Ahn, although they had not yet culminated in a divorce. Ahn had made violent threats against Hamilton, according to trila records, and several people had seen danger and had advised Hamilton to leave. On the morning of the shooting Hamilton had gone to the barn to care for his team. He was in the act of getting a sheaf of millet from a stack in the barnlot. When he was directly opposite the southeast corner of the barn, he was hit in the right cheek by a bullet, presumably from a revolver. He had either dodged or had stopped to see what it was because the bullet had entered his cheek.

The investigation showed, Gee reported in his story, where a “picket had been removed from the fence which enclosed the barn and hen house and where a man had walked to his place of hiding.”

Ahn was arrested for Hamilton’s murder, and more than 50 witnesses examined throughout the long trial.

Courtesy photo FLH,
William Orson Hamilton is buried at the IOOF Cemetery in Indianola.

The jury deliberated from 5 p.m. Saturday evening to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, but brought back a “not guilty” verdict.

William Orson Hamilton was born June 8, 1867. He is buried at the IOOF Cemetery in Indianola in Warren County, Iowa.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Dr. William Hamilton’s unsolved murder, please contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 828-2220.

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