Violent fathers taking children from their mothers in order to "punish" them for various deeds real or imagined is nothing new. This father--identified only by his last name, QUACKENBOSH--took away one of his daughters from her mother, then abandoned her. He then returned home and shot the mother in the head. Note that in the last paragraph, we find out that this man had an extensive history of violence against his wife, but (of course) he was never held criminally responsible. Note that a wife beater being released on bail who then goes on to murder STILL HAPPENS nearly 120 years later. Unexcusable.
From the New York Times, January 10, 1892
THE QUACKENBOSH TRAGEDY.
A BULLET IN THE WIFE'S BRAIN--THE MISSING CHILD FOUND.
Newark, Jan. 9.--At the St. Michael's Hospital it was said this evening that Mrs. Quackenbosh, who was shot by her husband, just before he killed himself, at their home on Warren Street last night, was still alive, but the ball which he aimed at her had buried itself in her brain and she was unconscious and her death was momentarily expected. None of the physicians have any hope of her recovery. She is a woman of slight frame, whose face shows signs of the care the brutality of her husband has brought upon her. Her neighbors say that she was quiet and unassuming and a devoted mother.
The body of her husband lies at the Morgue. The money and securities found upon him, worth in all about $15,000, are in possession of the authorities, who will hold them for delivery to the authorized representatives of the three little children of the couple. One of the children, Annie, had been taken away from the mother by the father when he started on a recent visit to Montreal. The ohter children are in the care of Mrs. Dairs Gold, who occupies one of the floors of the house in which the tragedy occurred.
There was, naturally, inquiry yesterday as to what the man had done with Annie, and suspicions were entertained that he had killed her before returning to Newark to kill his wife. Police Superintendent Brown received a dispatch from the Police Captain of the Twenty-Third Precinct, New-York, this afternoon, however, announcing that she had been found last night, and was in custody at the station house in that precinct.
Superintendent Brown's information is that her father had left her somewhere and told her to wait for him. It is thought possible that Quackenbosh went from her to Newark to get his other two little ones, that he and his wife had words over the matter, and that the attempted murder and suicide floowed.
The police have learned that Quackenbosh visited the office of ex-Assemblyman Frank M. McDermitt yesterday afternoon.
"He was a man of very mild temperament," Mr. McDermitt said yeterday, "when sober, but wild when intoxicated. In liquor he would doubt his wife's fidelity to him but when sober would repudiate his suspicions. He was afraid of himself, and determined to settle all alimony on his wife. He said he had $60,000, and under my advice he was making arrangements to settle half of that on his children, his wife to have an income from it till the children were of age. A day or two before Christmas he went to Montreal, taking one of his children with him. At that time he gave his wife $50 and bought Christmas gifts for the children. Yesterday I received a letter from him saying he would be in my office during the day. If I had been in my office when he called, tragedy might have been averted. He must have been drinking in Montreal and the suspicions of his wife's fidelity must have taken possession of him again. He served during the war in the Twenty-Third New-Jersey Regiment, and received an injury. It is believed that a bullet has been pressing in his brain ever since he was in the service."
Libbie, one of the little children of the couple, says that when her father burst unexpectedly into the room last night, "Mamma asked papa where Annie was, and he said she was dead. Then he went into the bedroom and killed mamma in the kitchen."
Detective Stainsby believes, however, that the quarrel between the couple was not over the children. The fact that the small bedroom had been thoroughly ransacked, and that Mrs. Quackenbosh's clothing at the breast had been torn open, leads to the belief that the man was searching for money.
Quackenbosh's fatal assault upon his wife is the culmination of a series of brutal attacks. He was under indictment and bail to await trial on a charge of having attempted to shoot his wife at Market Street station of the Pennsylvania Railroad some weeks ago. On another occasion he attacked her with an axe. The woman was convinced he would kill her, and only an hour before the shooting had received a dispatch from him that alarmed her so badly that she asked the police to seize him and protect her.