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Transcribed by Dee Sardoch;
Stockton Daily Independent
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
MURDER in CONTRA COSTA COUNTY -- The following details of a brutal murder in Contra Costa county are furnished by a correspondent:
"A farmer living at Marsh Creek, about 7 miles from Antioch, by the name of EISHLER, was killed under the following circumstances: A man named Marshall MARTIN, commonly known as "Pike," and in the employ of EISHLER, alarmed the neighbors at a late hour on Saturday night, stating that he had found the dead body of EISHLER in the stable behind the horses feet.Several neighbors at once proceeded to the ranch and found the body as indicated by "Pike." The head was mangled in a shocking manner, the skull being mashed in several places. The supposition at first was that he had been kicked to death by the horse.
On the following day (Sunday) a Coroner's jury was summoned and Dr. VAN VLACK of Antioch requested to make a post mortem examination, on the completion of which he at once proclaimed that the cause of death was not from the kick of a horse, but that the wounds were caused by some blunt instrument. Suspicion being aroused, investigations at once commenced, resulting in the discovery of evidence that a murder had been committed.
Suspicion was at once fixed upon MARTIN and the wife of deceased as the guilty parties. In the course of the evening Constable Geo. SWAIN of Antioch, proceeded to the scene of the murder and arrested "Pike," who seemed much surprised that he should be suspected of the murder, but when told by SWAIN that he had got himself into an ugly scrape, and telling him it was very foolish in him to venture in such an undertaking with a woman who would be pretty sure to expose him, he at once remarked, "I thought the d--d fool would let all out," and then made the following statement to SWAIN, and which he subsequently verified under oath before the Coroner's jury at Antioch:
"EISHLER after returning from Antioch Saturday afternoon, was engaged doing a job of work at the carpenter's bench in the dooryard, when Mrs. EISHLER stole up behind him and gave him a terrible blow with the pole of an axe on the back of his head; he fell over the tongue of the wagon, face up; she passed quickly around and with the axe gave him 2 more blows, on either temple; calling to "Pike" the twain then removed the body to the stable, and on showing signs of life he was again beaten with the axe until his skull was completely mashed in. They then washed the blood from the weapon used; raked over the ground where the bloody deed was committed, and effaced as far as possible the evidence of their guilty.
On the evening of the murder "Pike" attended a meeting of the lodge of Good Templars, of which he was a member, and in putting up his horse on his return, he was supposed to have stumbled over the body of EISHLER, when he alarmed the neighbors as before stated. The woman charges the murder on Pike, but the main facts in his statement are generally credited.The verdict of the jury implicates both parties accused, and they were accordingly committed and taken to the jail at Martinez after the verdict was rendered.
EISHLER was a man 50 or 55 years of age, and his alleged murderer is about the same age. The woman is from 5 to 10 years younger. According to the man's
statement an improper intimacy had existed between him and the woman, and being anxious to get rid of her husband she had, on a previous occasion, attempted to poison him, but without effect. She had also repeatedly importuned him to the murder, and he had as often refused; when she finally said she would finish him herself and get him out of the way, which, it seems, she has most successfully accomplished.
The neighbors of the deceased, and people hereabouts, are much incensed against the accused, and, at one time, it was thought they would be lynched before leaving Antioch; better counsels, however, prevailed and the law was allowed to take its course, notwithstanding that the rope had been procured to execute summary punishment, andsave the county a heavy expense. The deceased was a well to do farmer, generally respected by his neighbors. The murderer, MARTIN, is a most unprepossessing looking wretch, and is a striking commentary on the vagaries and tastes of woman's nature.