August 8, 1909


Jealousy and Continual Quarreling
Alleged Cause -- Negro Witness of
Tragedy Says Woman Also
Used Revolver.

Jealousy and continual quarelling is the alleged cause of the death of Mrs. Mary Siers, 1025 Jefferson street, who was shot and instantly killed yesterday afternoon about 4:45 o'clock by her brother-in-law, Grant Siers, who then turned the pistol upon himself and sent a bullet into his head, dying before anyone reached his side. The only witness to the murder and suicide was Susie Richardson, a negro woman, who lives in a house in the rear of the Siers residence.

Siers had lived at the home of Mrs. Siers for the last two years, after being separated from his wife, who lives in Humeston, Ia. Mrs. Siers' husband is divorced and is an inmate of the Soldiers' home at Leavenworth, Kas. From boarders in the house and Chester Siers, a son of the slayer and suicide, it was learned that the couple quarreled most of the time. Jealousy on the part of both is said to have caused nearly all of the domestic trouble.


About 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon Mrs. Siers was busy showing two real estate men over the house when Grant Siers returned home and began to quarrel with his sister-in-law. She told him to leave the ho use and he entered the hall to get his suit case. The woman threw the suit case at his feet with the admonition not to return. Siers requested time to get his clothing from his room, but she again told him to leave. His son, Chester, finally induced him to leave the house, and the two men went to a saloon at Eleventh and Jefferson streets. Later in the afternoon the father left his son at Eleventh and Main streets.

The next heard of Siers he was entering the yard at the Jefferson street residence. Instead of going in the back way, as was his custom, Siers entered from the front and went around the house to the rear door. A latticed porch is just off the kitchen door, and as Siers walked upon the porch Mrs. Siers appeared in the doorway. She ordered him off and according to the theory of the police he drew a revolver and shot three times. Two bullets entered her body, one on each side of the chest. The third bullet lodged in the wall back of her. Then Siers placed the muzzle of the pistol behind the right ear and killed himself.


The version of the double killing as given by the Richardson woman differs greatly from that of the police theory. She said she was standing in the yard and saw Mrs. Siers point a revolver at Siers and fire twice. Siers, she said, turned and fell, and while on the floor of the porch took a pistol from his pocket and fired at Mrs. Siers, afterwards shooting himself. However, when the deputy coroner, Dr. Harry Czarlinsky, examined the bodies only one revolver was found and that was under Siers. the body of Mrs. Siers was slaying in the kitchen and Siers's body was on the porch.

Mrs. Richardson said that Siers was asking for his clothes and that Mrs. Siers finally ordered him away and said:

"I'll see you dead before I will give you your clothes."

"My God, please don't kill me," Siers exclaimed, she said.

Immediately after this conversation Mrs. Siers began to shoot, according to the negro woman. She was positive two revolvers were displayed. As the police could only find one pistol, and that underneath Siers's body, the discredit the negro's story.

Dr. Czarlinsky also found five shells, which were for the pistol, in the coat pocket of Siers.


Chester Siers, who is a restaurant cook, said yesterday evening that his father did not own a pistol so far as he knew, but that his aunt had one. He said his father and aunt were in love with each other, but that he had never heard them discuss the subject of marriage.

W. L. Haynes and Charles Callahan, boarders,were in the parlor during the shooting and counted four reports of shots fired. Mrs. Moyer, housekeeper, was in another part of the house. The son of Siers said that in the past when his father had left home after a quarrel with his aunt she always sent him money to come back. About a month ago she had him arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace. He was sent to the workhouse, but after serving a short sentence, Mrs. Siers paid his fine, it is said.

Siers, who was 54 years old, was a barber and had a shop at the corner of Nicholson and Monroe streets. He leaves a widow and six children. The widow and three children reside in Humeston, Ia.