A local newspaper reported "Another tragedy happened at Cedar Lake Sunday Afternoon" in the fall of 1905, when a youthful member of a Lake County pioneer family was murdered by her half-crazed former sweetheart.
Ida (Taylor) Jeanette was killed by Harry Hohman of Hammond, a man to whom she had been engaged for several years. The young lady broke off the engagement to marry Charles Jeanette in August of 1905. Jeanette owned the Binyon's Point Saloon (near the Cedar Creek outlet) and also a place at Steger, Ill.
On a Sunday afternoon in September, Ida traveled with her husband from Steger to Binyon's Place, while her old boyfriend had come from Lowell the evening before. He had been seen in the Cedar Lake area during the forenoon, but little was thought of it.
In the afternoon, Ida left the hotel alone and walked but a short distance when she met Harry Hohman face to face! He raised his gun and began to fire, the first ball striking her a few inches below her heart. He then aimed the gun toward his own head and fired, the ball striking him on the bridge of the nose and glancing off.
He fired again at Ida, and the shot struck her heart, going completely through her body. As she fell, he put the gun to his own heart, fired and fell a few feet from her.
Ida's husband heard the shots from the hotel, rushed out and reached his wife as Hohman fell, mortally wounded. Hohman still had strength to aim the gun at Jeanette, but death came before there was still another victim.
The following account comes from a newspaper story about the tragedy: "Hohman's act was that of a half-crazed lover. He had 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. Jeanette's marriage until he decided to end his own life. From letters found on his body by the coroner it is evident he had no intention of committing a double tragedy. One of the letters was addressed to his relatives, in which he asked for forgiveness for his 'rash act,' and wrote about how hard it was for him to understand why Ida left him to marry another man. 'This ends all and there is no other way but this' [he wrote]."
Another letter was for Ida, and Hohman wrote about their good times together, and how he was so disappointed and confused when she broke her promise to marry him. The long letter, written Sept. 13, 1905, was addressed to Miss Ida Taylor, "Brown Eyes." It closed by wishing her luck and happiness.
Another letter was to Clay "Doc" Foster of Cedar Lake, an old friend of Hohman's A few nights before the murder, the two pals spent time together in Chicago and came to Lowell on Saturday morning. In his letter to his old friend, he wrote, "I'm sitting here gazing at the place where you and I spent so many happy hours together [Lassen's pavilion]. It's awful, old pal, awful. I can't realize that I have lost her. I am having another spell just as I had Friday night." The long letter dwelled upon the happy summer at the lake at Lassen's.
This information was found in the Pioneer Kelsey scrapbook, which also included a long article about Ida's funeral which ended with the initials "T.H.B." -- Rev Timothy H. Ball, the pioneer historian to whom the area is indebted for his history work, especially in South Lake County, where he, as a Baptist circuit preacher, wrote history as he traveled.
He wrote about how the body was placed in a rich casket at the Binyon Hotel on Tues., Sept. 19, 1905, the Binyon family having taken charge: "At one o'clock the casket was removed to the hearse, the undertaker leading the way, followed by six young men bearing masses of flowers, evidently from the city of Chicago, a rich variety, including roses and japonicas [camellia, quince]. The casket was borne by six young men, 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 proceeded to the Creston Church, where the burial services were 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 earth, that this one was known in the community as Ida Taylor, that she had recently been married, and that she died by violence, that she has been murdered.
"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 Jeanette, and was shot near the lake shore on Sun., Sept. 17. The church at Creston was filled almost to 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. One Cedar Lake girl, admired by many, has died by violence."
The funeral for Harry Hohman was held at Hammond on Wed., Sept. 20, 1905, and was also well-attended.
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