Ida Taylor Jeannette (1885-1905)
(Mrs. Charles Jeannette)
Copied from newspaper articles in a scrapbook owned by Richard C. Schmal, Lowell Town Historian. Unknown source. News article is undated.
Occurs at Cedar Lake Sunday Afternoon
Harry Hohman Shoots Former Sweetheart and then Kills Himself.
Another tragedy occurred at Cedar Lake Sunday afternoon when Harry Hohman half crazed with a jealous passion carried out threats against his former sweetheart, Ida (Taylor) Jeannette. After sending a bullet through her heart he turned the weapon to himself and ended his own life. Death came instantly to both. News of the tragedy reached Crown Point about four o'clock and sheriff Daugherty, accompanied by Drs. Brannon, Blackstone, Houk, and Geisel were soon at the scene, The shooting occurred a short distance west of Binyon's hotel and is the culmination of a love affair started four years ago. It is said that Hohman and Miss Ida Taylor were engaged to be married some time ago, but her love for him grew cold and the match was broken off, although Hohman persisted in showing her attentions. She was married in August to Charley Jeannette, the owner of Binyon's Point saloon and also of a place at Steger, Ill. On Sunday she had come from Steger, with her husband to Binyon's place and Hohman had come up from Lowell the evening before. He was seen about the lake during the forenoon and little was thought of it. In the afternoon, Mrs. Jeannette started to walk out from the hotel alone, and had gone but a short distance, when she met Hohman face to face. Nothing is known as to what occurred, but it is supposed that he drew a revolver and shot without a word. The first ball struck her a few inches below the heart. He then pointed the weapon at his head and fired the ball striking him at the bridge of the nose and glanced off, making a slight flesh wound. His next shot penetrated her heart, and passed entirely through her body. As she fell he pointed the gun at his own heart and fell a few feet from her. At the sound of the shots her husband rushed out of the hotel and reached his wife as Hohman fell. Life was not gone yet and Hohman attempted to point the gun at him, but his strength failed him, and death stayed the hand that would have added another victim.
Hohman's act was that of a half-crazed lover. He has recently been in Oklahoma where he was interested in a bank. While there he suffered an attack of malaria fever which left him in a weakened condition, both mentally and physically. He brooded over Mrs. Jeannette's marriage until he decided to end his own life. From letters found on his body by the coronor it is evident that he had no intention of committing a double tragedy. The first letter was addressed "To my relatives" and was as follows:
Sept. 8, 1905
To my Father, Mother, Sister, Relatives, Friends and Acquaintances
Do not misjudge me for this rash act. Think twice and forgive me. Very few know what this girl, who caused all this misery and trouble, was to me. There are somethings I can't just make clear to you. Anyway, Ida Taylor gave me the worst of it so bad I could not live it down. You can all see I loved her better than my life for reasons I do not care to discuss. Why she ever married when she did I am unable to learn. Anyway to make a long story short she was my very life and nothing ever right this wrong. I have carefully thought this all over and for her good I will put this fatal mistake to hurried end. I will not take any more of your time my dear readers, so try and think as I have.
This ends all and there is no way but this.
My kindest regards, love and friendship to all.
The second letter was addressed "To Miss Ida Taylor."
Sept. 13, 1905
To Miss Ida Taylor,
Look what you have done. This is all your own fault.
Why did you ever do such a crazy thing without at least giving me a little warning. How did I know you were unfaithful. No one told me you were and if they had I could not have believed it.
Ida a hundred times I have told you were my very life. I knew you loved me even though you were married.
Well its all over now you will never see me again. I think of the many many trips I made down to Cedar Lake, Summer and Winter. How I loved you is now plain to be seen I have given my life for you and would gladly, willingly give it again if I could. Ida get your letters from my Father. You have written me--only sixty in nearly three years.
Read them over. Read your many promises to be my wife. Read where you called me your husband. Ida this was to much and I am thankful that for me there is only one way out of it "The Only Way."
Well when you get back home and think it all over you will see your great mistake and you may some day thank me for giving you a second chance.
Ida you remember well that I told you the man that came between us was taking big chances. Did I ever tell you a single lie. No not one. Its too late now too late you have killed yout truest friend one who had more faith in you than anyone on earth.
Do you remember this Hotel well I am here again writing this last letter.
When I think of you and the time you came to Chicago I can hardly bear it. How happy we were Ida you have broken your solem oath. I forgive you though I could forgive you for anything and everything, you to me are the same.
"My Brown Eyes" I must say good bye its so hard to continue writing this letter I guess you see things more clearer now so I will close.
For the last time I will say Good bye. Wishing you luck and happiness. Ida Taylor, my promised wife. Yours till death, an Unhappy Ending, Lovingly I forgive you.
Hohman's last letter was written from Cedar Lake on Saturday evening to Doc Foster of this place. Foster and Hohman had been quite intimate for a long time and they spent Friday night together in Chicago and went to Lowell Saturday morning, Hohman got off at Cedar Lake and went to Lowell on a later train, The two were to meet at Binyon's Sunday morning but Foster was worn out for lack of sleep and missed the morning train. Hohman's last letter proves without doubt he had no intention of killing Mrs. Jeannette. The following is a copy of the letter as furnished us by Foster:--
Dear Clay, Old Pal,
Next to my family you know I think more of you than any friend on earth. I am sitting here gazing at the place where you and I spent so many happy hours together. It's awful, old pal, awful. I can't realize I have lost her. I am having another spell just as I had Friday night. I cannot get my mind together or to work properly. I told you dear chum, that I would behave myself if you would give me that gun again. I intended to at that time, perhaps if you were here now I would still be quiet, but I can't do it, Old Man. God knows how I am suffering, you know I never did a crooked thing in my life, I never harmed a soul on earth, I told you that a hundred times why I should suffer so, but for you I would have gone to Steger and ended all there, my brain was clearer then, it is clouded now, you told me this constant brooding would drive me insane, well it is doing it now, I can't live without her, you nic-named her the "Beautiful Senorita," Oh God old man she is lost to me forever so I end all today I love her to much to harm her I would sooner harm "Him" the one that came between us and poisoned her love for me but after all perhaps it will be best for me to go alone and leave them to suffer their terrible sin against me.
The balance of the letter is of a personal nature interesting to no one but Foster himself and dwells upon their happy summers at the Lake and at Lassen's pavillion and directs Foster keep several little trinkets Harry had formerly given him.
The funeral of Mrs. Jeannette was held at Creston Tuesday and it was a sad scene as the body of the beautiful young girl was laid to rest by the side of her relatives in the little burying ground at Creston. A large procession followed the remains from Binyon's hotel to the cemetery and the casket was completely covered with the many handsome floral tributes.
Hohman's funeral was held at Hammond on Wednesday, and was largely attended. The relatives of both have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community over the sad affair.
Copied from newspaper articles in a scrapbook owned by Richard C. Schmal, Lowell Town Historian. Unknown source. New article was undated. A copy of this article can also be found in the Local History Files of Lowell Public Library (LH--Vital Statistics, vol. 1, page 87):
Another Peculiar and Impressive Burial
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, 1905, was laid away in the Creston cemetery the body of Ida Taylor.
It had been placed in a rich casket at the Binyon hotel, the Binyon family having taken charge of it, and the kindred and friends assembling at their home. At about one o'clock the casket was removed to the hearse, the undertaker leading the way, followed by six young men, three abreast, bearing masses of flowers, evidently from the city of Chicago, a rich variety, including roses and japonicas; the casket preceded by the minister, was then borne out by six young men, and was followed by kindred and friends, the Taylor family and Ida's four uncles and other kindred being present.
The procession, the six bearers in their carriage leading, then preceeded to the Creston church, where the burial service was conducted by Rev. T.H. Ball, who had been intimately acquainted with the Taylor families of the different generations for sixty-seven years, and who, after referring to the account of a Cedar Lake tragedy published in the papers, stated that with only four facts he had then specially to deal. These were: that another human being had passed from the earth; that this one was known in the community as Ida Taylor; that she had but recently been married; and that she died by violence, that she had been murdered.
Some important statements were of necessity connected with these facts. Memorial:
Ida Taylor was the daughter of Alfred G. Taylor, who was born near Cedar Lake, and Mary Kubish his wife, and was nearly twenty years of age. She was married about four weeks ago to Charles Jeannette, and was shot near the lake shore on Sunday, Sept. 17th.
The church at Creston was filled almost to its utmost capacity as to sitting room and standing room, by a grieved and pitying assembly, and around the grave was such a group as in that cemetery had rarely if ever been before.
IDA TAYLOR JEANNETTE, the young wife, was left there asleep in death. One Cedar Lake girl, admired by many, has died "by violence." T.H.B.