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Monday, October 15, 2018

The Murder of Martha J. Lawrence, 1903

The evidence resulting from the investigation of some crimes is so overwhelming that the perpetrator and motive seem rather obvious. Criminal conviction soon becomes a foregone conclusion among case observers before a trial even commences. The murder of Martha J. Lawrence, which shocked residents of Porter County in the spring of 1903, appeared to be such a case.

Martha J. Lawrence was born September 17, 1883, at Wheeler, Porter County, Indiana, the daughter of Alba "Albert" Townsley Lawrence and Martha Jane (Quinn) Lawrence. Alba would die on September 27, 1889, when his daughter Martha was six years old, leaving his wife with five children to raise between the ages of two and eight.

Little is known about Martha's early life, but her mother would remarry in Porter County on June 12, 1897, to Leroy Wilscam. The federal census of Valparaiso enumerated on June 1, 1900, reveals that this couple and Leroy's stepson, Omer, were residing at 17 West Monroe Street in Valparaiso, now the site of American Legion Post 94. Sixteen year old Martha can also be found in the 1900 census in Valparaiso living with the Henry Edgar Skinner and Belle (White) Skinner household, located at 57 West Main Street, where she was employed as the family's servant.

The Wilscam marriage ended in divorce in June 1908, and Martha would marry a third time to 53 year old local farmer William J. Carr, Junior, on November 11, 1911, in Porter County. The Carrs would move to New York and then to Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, where Martha Carr would pass away in July 1936. She was interred in Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Jacksonville in an unmarked grave.

At some point in 1900 Martha J. Lawrence, age sixteen years, and Franklin Truman Beam, age twenty-four years, began a courtship; they were engaged to marry soon after their dating began. Beam, who was commonly referred to as Truman, was a cousin of Henry Edgar Skinner, Martha's employer, and it is believed that it was through Edgar that the two met. It has been reported that Martha "made a great impression on the members of the [Beam] family, an impression that ripened into a warm regard for her as time went on."

After the engagement, Truman Beam would travel Arkansas presumably for work or perhaps to visit family members or friends there. Meanwhile, Martha had moved to Chicago. The couple's separation led to a break in the engagement in 1902. It was reported that Martha "had grown tired of her jealous lover. But he was still furiously in love."

Truman returned from the south and pursued his interest in Martha, but he was repulsed. Later, when visiting Martha's mother, now Martha Jane (Quinn) Lawrence Wilscam, he declared that "If Martha Lawrence does not marry me she shall never marry any man on earth."

During the winter of 1902-1903, Truman Beam's mother, Elnora A. (Skinner) Beam, became very ill and requested that Martha come from Chicago to care for her and keep house for her family. Living in Elnora's household at this time were her husband, Silas Zane Beam, and her three sons, Alfred, Joseph, and Truman. Martha consented to Elnora's request, which seems to suggest that a warm friendship still existed between Elnora and Martha despite Martha's failed relationship with Truman; she arrived for her duties at the Beam home on February 10.

The Beam family resided on a farm owned by John Ritter, a former treasurer of Porter County, located about three and one-half miles southwest of Valparaiso in the northeast quarter of Porter Township's Section 3 (southwest of the intersection of Division Road and County Road 100 West). The farm was more commonly referred to as the Marshall Farm after the previous owner of the property, Francis Marshall. The house on the farm was rather isolated, set well off from the county road and surrounded by heavy timber; the house no longer exists.

Plat map showing location of John Ritter property in Porter Township where the
Beam family was residing at the time of Martha J. Lawrence's murder.
Source: George A. Ogle & Company, Standard Atlas

of Porter County, Indiana, 1906. [see p. 25].

Aerial view of property showing approximate
location of the Silas Beam family residence in 1903.
Source: Google Maps, 2018.

On Tuesday, March 3, 1903, about three weeks after Martha's arrival at the Beam home, Elnora passed away in Valparaiso as a result of a strangulated abdominal hernia. Silas asked that Martha remain with his family as their housekeeper given that the home consisted of only males; namely Silas and his three sons, Truman, eighteen year old Alfred, and eight year old Joseph. Martha agreed to stay and this decision very likely played a critical role in her demise.

Note that employment of female live-in housekeepers and servants was quite prevalent during this period, especially on farms. The servant would wake early in the morning, lighting the stove for purposes of cooking and heating, and prepare breakfast for others in the home before they headed out to work on the farm. In addition to maintaining the home, the servant was usually responsible for caring of the animals that the family kept for their own source of food, such as chickens, goats, and milk cows.

Contemporary reports suggest that Silas Beam, who was partly deaf, had developed a strong lust for his nineteen year housekeeper. Martha was was said to be "strikingly" beautiful and had several men courting her after her break up with Truman. Charley Hamilton, a road construction worker who had previously resided with the Beam family, remarked that he found Silas to be clearly jealous of Truman's relationship with Martha. If Hamilton's allegation was true, and given the Martha was living under the same roof as Silas and Truman, a heightened sense of tension must have existed in this home.

Indeed, trouble was brewing in the Beam household. On Wednesday, April 22, it is known that a violent quarrel took place between Truman and Martha. Truman, in a fit of rage, reportedly threw Martha to the floor and Silas and Alfred physically intervened in the altercation in order to separate the two. Martha is said to have then dashed into the pantry with Truman in pursuit. Truman caught Martha and began slapping her until Silas again intervened. Both Silas and Alfred demanded that Truman leave the home until his temper had dissipated.

After dinner that day, Martha "went out riding" with Charles Seffens Marshall, Silas Beam's neighbor and the son of John Hylen Marshall, returning around 9:00 that evening and retiring to her bedroom. The following day, Thursday, April 23, Martha packed her belongings and informed the Beams that she would be leaving the following day to return to her home in Valparaiso. Presumably, her home was that of her mother, Mrs. Wilscam. Martha, however, would not depart the Beam home alive after announcing her intention to leave.

Three individuals were in the Beam home the night of April 23 and 24 - Silas, Truman, and Martha. Alfred Beam had gone to Sedley in Porter County's Union Township that evening to hire a girl to replace Martha, while his eight year old brother Joseph was spending the night at the home of neighbor Henry Kacher. At about 6:00 am on Friday, April 24, Truman reported that he discovered Martha dead in her bed.

Neighbors were alerted and Porter Coroner Joseph C. Carson, M.D., was sent for immediately. Upon his arrival at 9:00 am, Carson found that Martha's body was still warm to the touch. Given the appearance that Martha had been strangled to death, as well as the preliminary information he obtained at the scene, Carson had Porter County Sheriff Charles F. LaCount, who had traveled to the Beam home with the coroner, immediately arrest Truman and place him in the Porter County jail at Valparaiso.

Given the particulars of the crime, it was rapidly sensationalized in newspapers across the country. The impact of Martha's death was also felt locally. Her funeral took place on Sunday, April 26, at Valparaiso's First Christian Church two days following her death; it was perhaps the most remarkable, memorable, and largest attended funeral to have taken place in Porter County. More than 3,000 people were present at the service, representing approximately 15 percent of the county's population at that time. Such a service today [2018], with the same proportion of attendees based on the county's population, would include more than 25,000 mourners.

Postcard image of Valparaiso's First Christian Church, circa
1908, the location of Martha J. Lawrence's funeral service.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

A rather extraordinary aspect of Martha's funeral was Truman Beam's presence. Truman had pleaded with Sheriff LaCount to be permitted to go to the service, a request that was granted since the sheriff believed that Truman "would break down and confess" to the crime. Instead, Truman "stood beside the coffin" where, with "tears streaming down his cheeks" he "earnestly protested his innocence of the crime and many who stood ready to accuse him found themselves possessed of doubt."

As we will soon learn, Sheriff LaCount's strategy, and perhaps poor judgment, of allowing Beam to attend Martha's funeral service probably adversely affected the prosecution's ability to successfully obtain a conviction in the case. In an ironic twist, a member of Sheriff LaCount's family would later purchase the farm where Martha J. Lawrence was murdered.

Tombstone of Martha J. Lawrence located in Valparaiso's
Maplewood Cemetery. Note that the year of death on the
tombstone should be 1903 rather than 1904.
Source: Find A Grave Memorial No. 92635420 (George and Linda Novotny).

At the inquest conducted by the coroner on Monday, April 27, Truman testified that when Martha came home from a ride with Charles Marshall she said that "she did not want to go upstairs and sleep alone, as she was lonesome. She asked me if she might sleep on my bed in my room. She had brought her bedclothes down from upstairs with her." Truman continued by stating the he refused to let Martha sleep with him and that she eventually departed to sleep in her upstairs bedroom.

Truman said that during the night it began to rain and Martha reportedly called down to him around midnight to go outside and collect the wash that was hanging on the line to dry. He told her no and she replied "Well, let them go, then, if it is raining. You can get them in the morning." He then testified that around 2:00 am the wind blew open the front door of the house, but after that he heard nothing in the house till he awoke a few hours later.

When Truman rose at 5:00 am he said he went to the bottom of the stairwell, as usual, and called up to Martha to awaken her for the day's work. He said that he received no response and that he proceeded to the kitchen to build a fire in the stove. After lighting the stove, Truman again called up the stairwell but got no response. Hence, around 6:00 am he went upstairs to Martha's room and discovered that she was dead in her bed.

Truman testified that after finding Martha dead he immediately went downstairs to his father's bedroom and stirred his father awake and stated "Pa, get up, Martha is dead." Silas supposedly awoke frightened and unbelieving of his son's statement, and he hurriedly went upstairs to Martha's room, pulled back the covers from her face, and found that she was indeed dead.

Silas testified at the inquest that he found finger marks (bruises) on Martha's throat, as well as scratches on her cheeks. He said that he turned her head and found more marks on her throat. Martha was found to be fully dressed, too, though she was not wearing shoes. Silas said he then turned to question his son, but neither he nor Truman would state what was said between them at the inquest. Remarkably, however, Silas did state to the coroner that "I believe Truman killed the girl."

At the conclusion of the inquest, Coroner Carson found by his verdict that Martha had been killed at about 6:00 am; the published verdict was as follows:
I, the undersigned, J. C. Carson, Coroner of the County of Porter, and State of Indiana, by virtue of my office, empowered to enquire, and true presentment make, in what manner and by whom one Martha Lawrence, a white female, whose body was found at the residence of Silas Beam, in Porter township, at or about six (6) o'clock a. m., Friday, April 24th, 1903, came to her death.

After having examined the body and heard the evidence, I do find that the deceased came to her death by asphyxia, which condition, from the appearance of the body and the result of the post-mortem examination, together with the evidence submitted, was the result of violence perpetrated by the hands of one Truman Beam, by choking her in such a manner as to completely arrest respiration, at about six o'clock Friday morning April 24th, 1903.

I would therefore hold the said Truman Beam responsible as the cause of her death and would recommend that he be held a prisoner, to await action of the Grand Jury, without bail.

J. C. CARSON,
Coroner Porter County.
Immediately after rendering his verdict, Coroner Carson issued a writ for Truman Beam's arrest and commanded him to be taken before Judge Calvin Luther Dille for a preliminary examination, which took place on Wednesday, April 29 at 1:30 pm. After hearing testimony and examining evidence, the hearing was continued to Friday, May 1, with the state and defense providing their closing statements on Saturday, May 2. The case was persuasive enough that Judge Dille bound Beam over to the May term of the Superior Court without bail.

 Certificate of Death issued for Martha Lawrence.
Source: Indiana State Board of Health.

The next step in the legal process involved a presentation of evidence to a grand jury of the LaPorte-Porter Superior Court. The jurors assembled in Judge Harry Beakes Tuthill's courtroom on Monday, May 18 to investigate the murder of Martha Lawrence. Jurors included the following six men: Ernest Joseph Gardner (Center Township), Jonas Gates (Porter Township), Henry Holland (Westchester Township), Herman Heinrich "Henry" Homfeld (Center Township), Leroy M. Pierce (Center Township), and Allen W. Reynolds (Center Township); Pierce served as the jury foreman.

After hearing a week of testimony and having examined the evidence, the grand jurors indicted Truman Beam on Friday, May 22 on a charge of murder in the first degree. During his arraignment on Wednesday, May 27, Beam would enter a plea of not guilty. Truman was sent to the Porter County jail where he would remain till his trial.

Between Beam's arraignment and trial, one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution could not be found. During the last week of August, Frank A. LePell, a Valparaiso undertaker, disappeared from the area with another man's wife; he had also made an assignment of $4,000 in debts. The following news item appeared in the August 21, 1903, issue of The Chesterton Tribune:
Lepell leaves a wife and family of children penniless, and his mother is in prospect of losing everything she had. The talk of Valparaiso is to the effect that Lepell had got to dissipating both with women and whiskey, and his business became involved to such an extent that he saw he could not save it from bankruptcy, and that he began putting by every dollar he could collect, and then skipped. He had a good business, and was looked upon as a model young man until this episode. Now that he has fled it seems that he was a dead game sport, and a flier of the loftiest sort.
LePell was likely involved in handling Martha J. Lawrence's remains after her death and had knowledge of its condition. It was reported that "unless the whereabouts of LePell is discovered the State will be helpless in convicting Beam." Interestingly, no mention of LePell as a prosecution witness was ever made in any newspaper accounts covering Beam's trials. Unknown is whether LePell remained missing or simply was not used by the prosecution as a witness.

Truman Beam's trial began at the courthouse in Valparaiso on October 5. A motion for a change in venue by Beam's attorneys was granted and the case removed to Hammond. The change in venue resulted in a slight delay and the trial began on November 2 at the Lake County Superior Courthouse in Hammond. Judge Tuthill, who had sat on the grand jury case in the spring, served as judge at Truman's murder trial. The trial represented the first case ever tried at the newly constructed Lake County Superior Courthouse.

Postcard image of the Lake County Superior Courthouse
in Hammond. Truman Beam's murder trial in
November 1903 was the first case tried in this structure.
Source: Collection of Steven R. Shook.

Newspaper headline concerning the first
degree murder trial of Truman Beam.
Source: The Indianapolis Morning Star, November 3, 1903.

After dismissing nearly one hundred potential jurors, twelve men were sworn in as jurors who "were not prejudiced against capital punishment." Beam's defense team, led by Grant Crumpacker and William Daly of the Valparaiso law firm of Crumpacker & Daly, focused on the theory that Martha J. Lawrence had choked herself while experiencing an epileptic seizure, saying that Martha had experienced seizures in the past. The prosecution, led by Indiana State Senator and Valparaiso resident Nathan Lynn Agnew and assisted by Porter County Prosecutor William J. McAleer, contended that the murder was the outcome of jealous rage resulting from Martha's refusal to marry Truman.

In cross examining Mrs. Wilscam, it was determined that Martha was subject to fainting spells, though she testified that her daughter was healthy at the time of her death. Coroner Carson testified at the trial that an autopsy found all of Martha's organs in perfect health and that it was impossible that the marks found on Martha's throat were made by her own hands. 

Silas Beam, a witness for the prosecution, said that his son had quarreled with Martha the prior to Martha's death. The cause of the argument was due to the fact that Martha would not share with Truman a letter that she had recently received from one of her admirers. Silas, however, also testified that less than twelve hours before she went to bed Martha "had told him she was going to commit suicide because of her troubles."

Charles Hopkins, the proprietor of a restaurant located in the New Central Hotel in Valparaiso, testified at the trial that he had heard Truman "threaten to cut off Martha Lawrence's head because she would not go driving with him." Hopkins said that he had heard Beam make this statement several weeks prior to her murder.

Dr. David J. Loring, who had assisted Coroner Carson in the postmortem examination of Martha's body, testified at trial that Martha had been chocked to death. He said that it was impossible that she could have killed herself during an epileptic seizure. According to reporters covering the trial, Dr. Loring's testimony was considered the most damaging and credible testimony at the trial.

Evidence at trial included life-size photographs taken of Martha soon after the postmortem examination. Included in the photographs were images of the finger marks found on her throat. Closing arguments began the morning of Friday, November 13. The November 14 issue of The Indianapolis Morning Star reported that:
Senator Agnew's closing address to the jury was a masterpiece. He accused Truman Beam of ruining the girl. His denunciations of the prisoner were seething and the latter could hardly remain seated while his actions were being upbraided.

His defense of the dead girl's character was a wonderful piece of oratory and the effect of his address to the jury caused juror Kemp to ask attorney Crumpacker to keep still when the latter arose to object to a statement made during Senator Agnew's argument.
By late afternoon Judge Tuthill had instructed the jury and they were released from the courtroom to begin their deliberations. The jurors' did not quickly arrive at a verdict. For seventy hours the twelve jurors wrangled with the details of the case. At the conclusion of three days a ballot was taken and nine jurors favored conviction and three voted for acquittal. Judge Tuthill informed the jurors to continue their deliberations since he was not convinced that they could not arrive at a unanimous decision.

Despite the three-to-one ratio among the jurors deciding for conviction, Truman Beam reportedly maintained his composure. A reporter asked Truman during deliberations "Suppose the jury sends you to the gallows?" He replied:
That won't change me a particle. If the jury beings in that verdict, no one will ever hear any murmuring from me. If I have to go to the gallows I will go and go like a man, but protesting my innocence to the last. I'd rather go to the gallows anyway, than go to the penitentiary for life, but if I have a new trial, there's going to be a lot more people in that case than there have been.
Finally, after deliberating for more than ninety hours, the "haggard and unkempt jurymen" entered the courtroom and declared to Judge Tuthill that the could not agree. Eleven jurors voted for conviction. George M. Eder, a former clerk of the Lake County Circuit and Superior Courts, was the lone juror to vote for acquittal. Eder firmly believed that a case relying entirely upon circumstantial evidence could not lead to a conviction. Accordingly, Judge Tuthill declared a mistrial.

Photograph of William J. McAleer, Porter County Prosecutor, 1900-1904.
Source: The Hammond Times, December 23, 1942.

Photograph of William Daly, Truman Beam's defense attorney.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, April 11, 1940.

Prosecutors, convinced that the evidence, despite being circumstantial, clearly pointed directly to Truman's guilt, decided to retry the case and filed a formal application for a new trial immediately after the mistrial was declared by Judge Tuthill. Truman Beam, meanwhile, was taken back to the jail at Crown Point to await the second trial.

The cost of maintaining Beam in jail and trying his case rested squarely on the taxpayers of Porter County. And the costs were high; more than $2,800 had already been expended on the first trial, equivalent to more than $80,000 today [2018]. County funds dedicated to prosecutions were depleted, so on Thursday, December 10 the Porter County Council met and made an appropriation of $1,200 to cover the costs that would be associated with the second murder trial, which was expected to last about two weeks.

The second trial began at the Lake County Superior Courthouse in Hammond on January 16, 1904, in the courtroom of Judge John Barney Peterson. As one would expect, much of the testimony and evidence presented at the second trial was identical to what was presented at Beam's first trial. The opening statements took the entire day of January 17 to present.

On January 18, Martha's mother, Mrs. Wilscam, was the first person to provide testimony. Her testimony was startling and scandalous, and she provided information that was not divulged during the first trial. She testified "as to the paternity of her daughter's illegitimate child, which the State infers was a motive for the crime." Prior to her statement, there was never any mention that nineteen year old Martha J. Lawrence had ever given birth to a child. The prosecution's theory was that Truman Beam had fathered the child.

Truman's father and brother Alfred testified on January 19. Alfred said that his brother had thrown Martha Lawrence to the floor the day before she was found dead and that Truman had slapped her because she had snatched a letter from him in the presence of his father. Alfred said the quarrel "was only in fun" and not a violent action on the part of Truman as the prosecution was claiming.

However, when Truman's father Silas took the witness stand, trembling while testifying, he proclaimed that the fight between Truman and Martha was so violent that he had to get between them to diffuse the situation. Truman, he said, then "seized him by the throat to force him back" so that he could continue his physical assault of Martha.

Another individual that testified that day was Kacid Eliza "Katie" Lawrence. Katie said that it was unlikely that the finger and nail marks found on her sister's throat and cheeks could have originated from Martha choking herself since she "bit her nails to the quick."

Coroner Carson provided more damage to Beam's defense on January 20 when he testified for more than seven hours. First, he testified that it was impossible for Martha to have died from laryngeal spasm in epilepsy. His reasoning was that as one gets hypoxic enough they would lose the grip on their neck and start breathing again. He also stated that at the postmortem examination he placed Martha's hands over the hand marks found on her throat and they did not match.

Porter County Sheriff Charles F. LaCount, who did not testify at the first trial, took the stand on January 22. He stated that he found blood spots on the wall and pillow. Similarly, J. Wesley Simmons, who was a cellmate of Beam's at the jail in Crown Point, testified that he heard Beam say that he forgot about rolling up a rug covered with blood and placing it under his bed downstairs. According to Simmons, Silas Beam, who was visiting the jail on Thanksgiving Day, told Truman of discovering the rug and Truman "shook like a leaf" and remarked that he could easily be convicted if the rug were found. No blood evidence was presented during the first trial. With Simmons' testimony, the state closed its case.

Beam's attorneys presented a spirited defense. During testimony on January 25, the defense introduced six witnesses, each stating that the hand marks shown in photographic exhibits in evidence were not the same as those they saw on the remains of Martha. Frank Ross Marshall, who had rented the John Ritter home prior to the Beam family's occupation, testified that one of his children had experienced a nose bleed, which accounted for any blood found in the house. Dr. Frederick W. Sassaman, a Valparaiso physician, testified for the defense saying that he treated Martha for epilepsy. He also stated that he performed the delivery of Martha's child.

Closing arguments were made on January 28 and the case was given to the jury for deliberation. The jury debated the case for more than forty-eight hours, rendering their decision on January 29. Perhaps this second prosecution was less convincing than the first trial as seven jurors decided for conviction and five for acquittal. Another mistrial. Truman was taken to the jail in Crown Point after the decision was read in court. During jury balloting, however, all twelve jurors agreed that Lawrence was murdered and that she did not kill herself as a result of a medical condition.

The costs of prosecuting the case and maintaining Beam in jail had become overbearing. At the conclusion of the second mistrial, Porter County taxpayers had spent over $5,000 on the case [equivalent to more than $143,000 in 2018]. Without additional funds to pursue a conviction, the prosecution had no choice but to file a motion of nolle prossequi, abandoning the case. Prosecutor McAleer filed the motion on Monday, March 8, 1904, which was sustained by Special Judge John B. Peterson, and Truman was immediately released from the jail in Crown Point.

Given trial testimony, coroner's report, and multitude of newspaper accounts of the case, there appears to be at least five plausible theories to explain Martha's death. The first, and most likely cause, is that Martha was indeed murdered by Truman Beam. Testimony at the two trials indicated that Truman and Martha had a physical altercation just prior to her death. Furthermore, if Martha truly had no affections for Truman and he was insanely jealous of her actions the night before when she went riding with Charles Marshall, then there is a reasonable motive for murder.

Though not mentioned in the media coverage of the murder and consequent trials, Martha was wearing her clothes when she was found dead in her bed under the covers. Why? If she had experienced an epileptic episode, as alleged by Beam's attorneys and witnesses for the defense, she would have most likely been wearing her bedclothes. It seems more likely that Martha had awakened during the early morning hours, dressed, and was getting ready to begin her day's tasks as the Beam's household servant.

Perhaps Truman went to Martha's room during the early morning of April 24 and made an advance that she shunned? Alternatively, knowing the she was leaving the Beam home that day for Valparaiso, Truman may have asked her to stay and she refused. Either scenario could have sent Truman into a rage, which his father testified he was prone to, and led to Martha's strangulation. He could have then placed Martha in the bed under the covers.

Alternatively, Silas Beam may have murdered Martha. Charley Hamilton, a road construction worker who once resided with the Beam family is reported to have stated that he knew the Beam family well and he "would much rather think that the old man killed the girl than the boy...."

Silas reportedly had an "ugly temper," while the son did not. Hamilton said he thought Silas was jealous of Truman and that he went to Martha's room, failed to get what he wanted from her, presumably engagement in sexual relations, and therefore killed her. In addition, Martha had announced that she was leaving the Beam home to live in Valparaiso, which would have left Silas with nobody to keep his house. The fact that Silas was so readily willing to state that Truman killed Martha also played a role Hamilton's murder theory.

Hamilton also stated that Martha Lawrence was "weak minded" and that she had gotten into trouble with a married married Valparaiso man. Martha's mother, Martha Wilscam, had told Charley before the murder that the trouble cost the Valparaiso man $600 to settle. As to what was meant by "trouble" and "settle" is likely lost to history. Unfortunately, no information could be found to either identify the Valparaiso man or the trouble caused as a result of his and Martha's relationship. Perhaps Martha's former employer, Henry Edgar Skinner, is the Valparaiso man Mrs. Wilscam mentioned to Hamilton?

Was this "prominent Valparaiso man" responsible for Martha's pregnancy that Mrs. Wilscam testified to at the second trial, or was Truman the father? Perhaps the wedding engagement between Truman and Martha was called off because of Martha's pregnancy? Did Martha go to Chicago after her break up with Truman to give birth to a child? Most importantly, who was the illegitimate child? It is unknown whether this child lived to adulthood.

Also, Truman testified that a wind had blown open the front door of his home during the early morning hours just prior to Martha's death. Could this unknown man from Valparaiso have entered the Silas Beam home and killed Martha Lawrence to silence any news concerning a pregnancy or to exact revenge related to the $600 settlement?

A fourth theory, though highly unlikely, is that Martha was killed by Charles Marshall, the neighbor that went riding with her the night prior to her death. Knowing the Martha was no longer attached to Truman, perhaps Marshall made advances on her and she spurned him. He, like the unknown Valparaiso man, could have possibly entered the home at night and killed Martha. Charles had testified at the first trial that "Martha was a funny girl; she gets a fellow after her and then turns them down damned cold."

Finally, it is possible that Martha Lawrence died of natural causes. Despite evidence showing bruising and finger marks on her throat and nail marks on her cheek during a postmortem examination, these injuries may have resulted from the fight between Truman and Martha the previous day. Silas was adamant during his trial testimony that the fight between the two was quite violent.

On Martha's certificate of death, however, Coroner Carson wrote that Martha had died from asphyxia given the "presentation of oxygen gelling in the lungs." She was strangled to death. Carson, assisted by Dr. Loring, also dissected every organ in Martha's body and found her to be "unusually healthy." The probability of Martha dying of a natural cause is highly unlikely given the results of a very thorough postmortem examination.

Forensic science was at its infancy in 1903. In fact, fingerprints as a source of criminal evidence did not appear in the United States until 1906. Today's technologies, especially as it relates to trace evidence, would have very likely identified Martha's killer beyond any reasonable doubt.

What happened to Truman Beam after his release from the Crown Point jail? It is presumed that he immediately left Indiana, as he can be found in a 1905 South Dakota State Census card. The card shows Truman to be 29 years old, employed as a farm hand, and living at Egan in Moody County. The only inaccurate information on the census card is his place of birth, which is listed as Illinois rather than Indiana.

 1905 South Dakota State Census card enumerating Truman Beam.
Source:  South Dakota State Historical Society.

The next record found shows that Truman married Helen Marie "Lena" Lindner on November 9, 1908, in Codington County, South Dakota. Lena can be also found in the 1905 South Dakota State Census, where she is listed as being a single, eighteen year old housekeeper.

 Codington County, South Dakota, marriage records
showing marriage of Truman Beam to Lena Linder (Lindner).
Source:  South Dakota Marriage Records, 1905-2016,
South Dakota Department of Health.

Thirty-three year old Truman can then be found in the 1910 Federal Census, enumerated on May 3, in Codington County's Waverly Township, residing on a farm with his wife of three years and a one and one-half year old son Earl Beam. Both Lena and Earl are enumerated as having been born in South Dakota.

Truman can also be found among the the World War I draft registration records. He registered for the draft on September 12, 1918, in Codington County. His registration card indicates that he had blue eyes and brown hair and that his nearest relative was his wife, Lena M. Beam. The permanent address listed for the Beams is 121 5th Avenue Southwest in Watertown.

World War I draft registration card for Truman Beam.
Source: National Archives and Records Administration, M1509. 

Between September 1918 and December 1919, Truman Beam had moved from South Dakota back to Indiana. The 1920 Federal Census records reveal that the Beam family was residing at 353 Locust Street in Valparaiso; the family was enumerated on January 2, 1920. He is living with his wife Lena and the following children James E. [James Earl Beahm], Stella L. [Estella Lorraine (Beahm) Brown], and Clifton L.; all three children are shown to have been born in South Dakota, Clifton having been born circa 1917. The census record indicates that Truman was employed as a salesman for a grocery store.

It is believed that by 1930 that Truman had moved his family back to South Dakota. The 1930 Federal Census shows that his twelve year old son, Clifton L. Beam, was an inmate at the South Dakota Training School, a reform school for juveniles, located at Plankinton in Aurora County. Clifton is shown as working in the school's dining room. Attempts to find Truman in this census enumeration have been futile.

The 1940 Federal Census shows that Truman was living in Ormo, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, where his son James Earl Beam was living. Truman's surname is spelled as Beahm in this census and he is listed as single rather than married; it is known that Truman and Lena divorced though the date has not been found. This census enumeration shows Truman working as a farm hand on the farm of Max Loewen. Max's daughter Ethel A. Loewen would later marry James Earl Beahm, Truman's son.

Beam would eventually settle in LaPorte, LaPorte County, Indiana, at some point before January 1942. Information suggests that he changed his surname spelling to Beahm and used his first name of Frank rather than his middle name Truman; in other words, he went by the name of Frank T. Beahm. This is evidenced in the 1947 and 1949 city directories for LaPorte. Both directories indicate that Beam/Beahm was a factory worker at the Bastian Morley Company, a firm that manufactured gas fired boilers and water heaters.

City directory listing for Truman Beam appearing as Frank T. Beahm.
Source: Caron's La Porte, Indiana, City Directory, 1947.

Beam would pass away at 12:30 pm on June 17, 1959, at the age of 83 years due to congestive heart failure at Fairview Hospital in LaPorte. Truman's remains were interred at Pine Lake Cemetery in LaPorte on June 19 with a tombstone spelling his surname as Beahm. Similar to city directory information, his death certificate also spells his surname as Beahm. The death certificate reveals that he was a retiree of the Bastian Morley Company.

Medical Certificate of Death issued for Frank Truman Beahm.
Source: Indiana State Board of Health.

It is unknown whether Truman legally changed the spelling of his surname to Beahm, but in a 1942 legal notice published in The Vidette-Messenger regarding a petition to the Porter Circuit Court to have the time and place of his birth determined, his surname was spelled as Beam. He likely filed this petition in order to be able to collect social security benefits. This information suggests that if Truman had indeed changed the spelling of his surname, then it occurred after January 1942.

Petition notice to establish Franklin Truman Beam's date and place of birth.
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, January 13, 1942.

Given that Silas Beam testified against Truman at both murder trials, it is uncertain whether their relationship was forever severed. A short news item appeared in the November 22, 1916, issue of the The Porter County Vidette as follows:
WAHOB AND VICINITY.
Truman Beam of Watertown, S. D., spent Sunday and Monday with relatives and friends in this vicinity.

Mr. and Mrs. John Cuson entertained the following at dinner Sunday: Mr. and Mrs. G. M. Cook of Wahub, Mr. and Mrs. Theo. Cuson of Indiana Harbor, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Fabing of Valpo, and Truman Beam of Watertown, S. D.
Was Silas one of the relatives visited by Truman?

Silas would die on January 13, 1920, in Porter County's Westchester Township; he was buried in Liberty Township's Kimball Cemetery next to his wife.

A rather long editorial piece appeared on the the front page of the November 27, 1903, issue of The Chesterton Tribune that perhaps sums up this tragedy after the first mistrial. Though no names are provided in the column, it is abundantly clear that the editorial is about the life and death of Martha J. Lawrence. The writer, presumably editor Arthur J. Bowser, makes no hesitation as to whom he believes murdered Lawrence, but he also shows the chain of events that ultimately led to Martha's demise and, perhaps, how they may have been avoided.
Some Valparaiso Observations.
"And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Able, thy brother? And he said I know not; Am I my brother's keeper?

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

If we are the children of one father we are certainly brothers and sisters and when the question shall be asked of us, "Where is thy brother?" Shall we make answer, "I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" And shall we hear the reply, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground."

A few years ago a book written by Hardy, entitled Tess of the D'Ubervilles attracted widespread attention. Not so much on account of its literary merit as on account of the pathetic story of Tess. Tess was the daughter of a dissipated, worthless father and a weak, incompetent mother. When she is first introduced to us she is about fifteen years of age, pure and beautiful, dancing with other maidens on the green. Her foolish old father has learned that instead of being plain John Durbeyfield he is Sir John D'Uberville. But this does not add one penny to his income. The mother conceives the idea of sending Tess to visit a family of the same name living some twenty miles distant. She hopes that in some way Tess may make a brilliant marriage and the wants of the very large family be relieved. The visit is made and Tess meets Alec D'Uberville who resolves to possess her. He employs her to take care of fowls on the place. Tess knows absolutely nothing of the world or of the passions and vices of men. Alec pursues her with his lawless love and at a time when she is entirely in his power accomplishes her ruin.

When she awakens to the knowledge of her sin, she leaves him and goes to her mother's home where her babe is born. She is shunned by the people. When her babe dies it is denies christian burial. Her betrayer, unsuspected, moves in the best of society. She leaves home and finds employment where her story is not known.

She is beginning to feel a little happier, she has a good place, her employer is kind. She attracts the attention of a clergyman's son, who proposes marriage. She refuses; tells him she is not good enough and tries to tell her story. He refuses to listen and finally, through her great love for him she consents to a marriage. On the day of their marriage he tells her of his life, and she, knowing how much greater is his sin than hers, welcomes the opportunity to tell her sad story. Her confession is received not only with indignation but something akin to brutality. He informs her that she has deceived him and ruined his life. He casts her off and she, with this added humiliation, is again thrown upon the mercies of the world. She cannot be employed in the homes of the pure, godly women and is compelled to do the hardest drudgery on the farm. She is found by Alec D'Uberville, who has become a fanatical preacher. She avoids him but he seeks her and tells her she is a wicked woman and tempts him beyond his strength. He gives up preaching, follows her with persuasions and threats, tells her he has been her master once and will be her master again. She is called home by the illness of her mother. Her father dies suddenly and the family, houseless and homeless, spend the night on the street. Here D'Uberville (who has never lost sight of her) finds her. He renews his pleading, offers all the comforts of a good home for the mother and children; luxury for herself. Do you blame her that she yields?

Three years have passed. The husband driven by the stings of conscience, returns, seeks her out, asks forgiveness, pledges himself to make reparation for the past. She will not go to him. She feels that she is the most wicked woman in the world. After her interview with him she returns to her apartments. In a frenzy of grief and remorse she is taunted by D'Uberville and kills him with a carving knife.

Tess (not yet twenty) is arrested, tried convicted and executed. A sister as pure and innocent as Tess has been is left behind, whether to be received by society or cast out and made to suffer as Tess has suffered is left to conjecture. We read this story and moved by the genius of Hardy weep bitter tears over the wrongs and erros of poor Tess. We are indignant with the husband and the professed christian people and horrified with the iniquity and sin of D'Uberville. We believe with Hardy that Tess is a pure woman, but when we have an unfortunate persecuted woman in our midst, do we feel any sympathy for her or do we ostracize her?

Do we console ourselves with the thought I am not my brother's keeper.

Some fourteen years ago there lived in Valparaiso a poor widow who was mother of four children, two girls and two boys. She was a weak woman but in no sense of the word a bad woman. She heroically endeavored to make a living for her little family but the odds were against her. She was not competent to do the work that would bring her good pay but was obliged to do the hard, poorly paid labor. She did what she could get to do in the way of washing, ironing, dish washing in restaurants etc. Charitably disposed persons assisted her but not in such  way as to add to her self respect. Unfortunately for her she had a pretty face and attracted the attention of a creature who calls himself a man. This was the beginning of the end. We pass over this dark, humiliating, bitter time in her life with the statement that in her hour of greatest need the man refused to do anyting for her and when she appealed to him, struck her. He is now holding a position under the government as a reward for his lecherous life.

After this time the struggle became harder for the widow; fewer people would employ her and the charitable people left her alone. She sank lower and lower and crushed beneath the wheels. Time passed. The girls grew into strong, well developed, beautiful young women. They were both ambitious to better their condition in life and strove hard for an education. The older girl was taken care of during the formative stage by a good christian family. The younger girl -- the Tess of our story -- drifted with the current.

The period from twelve to eighteen is the critical time in a girl's life. It is the period when she changes from a child into a woman. It is the period that requires the careful thought of a sensible mother. The girl does not understand herself, still less does she understand men. She has no idea of the bae construction that may be placed upon her most innocent actions of the advantage that will be taken of her ignorance. When sorrow comes to a girl at this age she may well echo the cry of the heartbroken Tess of the D'Uberville's, "O, mother, mother! I did not know. I was but a child. Why did you not tell me what men folk be? Ladies read novels and know what to fend against but I did not know and you did not help me." The mother replied, "I was feared if I told you what his fond feelings would lead to you would be houtish with him." Unhappy mother! Unhappy child! God pity them!

This Valparaiso girl was thrown upon the world at a very early age. No one put forth the hand to help her. There was not lacking the prototype of Alec D'Uberville to take advantage of her helplessness and to lead her to ruin. At the age of seventeen she became a mother. She was then a creature to be shunned by all good people. If an unmarried woman should give birth to a child in some deep cavern there would not be lacking some Poll Pry to find it out and publish it to the world. When this girl found a place to work in a good family, she was hounded by professed christian people who said to her employer, "You must not keep her, she is not a good girl" and she was discharged. Up to this time she had kept herself in school, working morning and evening to earn a pittance to buy books and clothing. She now became discouraged and felt that there was nothing more to live for. She felt that every one's hand was against her, and like Tess she went into the country and did the rough work on the farm. She kept house for a man and his sons.

She was unkindly treated and finally one morning the community was shocked by the announcement that she was found dead in her bed. Dead, and not yet twenty! A son of the family was arrested for her murder. The strongest evidence was produced that she had been murdered. Pictures after death showing the marks of fingers upon her throat were produced in court. This young man was shown to be her lover and the author of her ruin. He was the only one who had a motive; the only one who had access to her room. The state made a strong case. The argument of counsel for the state was one of the strongest and most eloquent efforts ever heard in a court room in northern Indiana. When he described the firl quietly sleeping upon her bed and this man stealing into her room in the night, placing his murderous hands upon her neck and pressing the life out her there was scarcely a dry eye in the court room. Yet the jury disagreed and the murderer goes unpunished.

The parallel with the case of Tess of D'Uberville does not continue to the end because the justice (so called) meted out to men and that meted out to women is entirely different but in each case it is the woman who gets no sympathy. It is the woman who pays.

"Poor, wounded name my bosom as a bed shall lodge thee."

What led up to this murder? No one lives to himself alone.

In the Great Canon, when one shouts, the echo rolls on and on but suddenly returned and apparently bursts directly above the head of the shouter with an almost deafening report. An act does not stop with the originator but goes on and on and bursts above some one's head, with fearful result.

The man who led the mother astray is responsible for the chain of circumstances that led up to the murder. The mother disgraced gave the daughter less of a change in life; her ruin and death followed. Upon the head of this government official rests the ruin of this family and the blood of the murdered daughter is upon his hands and the waters of the ocean cannot wash away the stain. An innocent sister is left who has risen Phoenix like from this ruin. She is a splendid girl earning her own living and educating herself. She only asks a chance and that the world judge her upon her own merits and remember not the misfortunes of her family.

May God be with this noble woman and when the question is asked of any resident of the Vale, "Where is thy brother?" may the answer be "Here, Lord, we have done what we could."

Source Material

Books
Bumstead & Company. 1902. Bumstead's Valparaiso City and Porter County Business Directory 1902. Chicago, Illinois: Bumstead & Company. 350 p. [see p. 92]

Caron City Directory Company. 1947. Caron's La Porte City Directory 1947. Detroit, Michigan: Caron Directory Company. 608 p. [see p. 35]

Caron City Directory Company. 1949. Caron's La Porte City Directory 1949. Detroit, Michigan: Caron Directory Company. 224 p. [see p. 16]

George A. Ogle & Company. 1906. Standard Atlas of Porter County, Indiana: Including a Plat Book of the Villages, Cities and Townships of the County. Chicago, Illinois: George A. Ogle & Company. 55 p. [see p. 25]

Henry, William E. 1889. Legislative and State Manual for 1899 and 1900 Compiled From Official Records. Indianapolis, Indiana: William B. Buford. 1,254 p. [see p. 983]

The Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Volume I. Chicago, Illinois: The Lewis Publishing Company. 357 p. [see p. 340]

Newspapers (listed by date of publication)
The Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana; April 25, 1903; Volume 29, Page 4, Column 4. Column titled "Beautiful Girl Found Dead. Man Whose Hand She Twice Refused Is Arrested."

The Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Denver County, Colorado; April 26, 1903; Volume 44, Number 116, Page 15, Column 2. Column titled "Rejected Suitor Held for Girl's Murder."

The St. Paul Globe, St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota; April 26, 1903; Volume 26, Number 116, Page 11, Column 4. Column titled "Murderer Strangles a Girl. Truman Beam Accused by His Father of a Fearful Dead."

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana; April 27, 1903; Page 1, Column 1. Column titled "Coroner Carson Calls It Murder. Martha Lawrence Was Strangled To Death."

Harrisburg Star Independent, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania; April 27, 1903; Volume 53, Number 116, Page 7, Column 4. Column titled "Dramatic Scene At a Funeral."

The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California; April 27, 1903; Volume 43, Number 146, Page 2, Column 4. Column titled "Beside the Dead."

The Kentucky Post, Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky; April 28, 1903, Number 3883, Page 6, Column 8. column titled "Under Strain Is Truman Beam, Accused of the Murder of Girl Who Repulsed Him as a Lover."

The Muncie Morning Star and News, Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana; April 28, 1903; Volume 24, Number 365, Pages 4-5. Column titled "Beside the Coffin. Truman Beam Declared His Innocence."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 1, 1903; Volume 20, Number 4, Page 1, Column 3-4. Column titled "Another Murder Mystery. Truman Beam Charged With the Murder of Martha Lawrence."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 8, 1903; volume 20, Number 5, Page 1, Columns 3-4 and Page 8, Column 3. Column titled "The Story of a Mystery."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; May 22, 1903; Volume 20, Number 7, Page 5, Column 7. Column titled "Chesterton Chips."

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; May 22, 1903; Volume 34, Number 143, Page 1, Column 4. Column titled "Indicted for Murder. Truman Beam Held for Killing."

The Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Cook County, Indiana; May 28, 1903; Volume 62, Number 148, Page 14, Column 3. Column titled "Alleged Murderer Gains Time."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; August 21, 1903; Volume 20, Number 20, Page 5, Column 4. Column titled "Chesterton Chips."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; August 28, 1903; Volume 20, Number 21, Page 4, Column 3. Column titled "Chesterton Items."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; September 1, 1903; Volume 53, Number 244, Page 5, Column 3. Column titled "Witness Badly Needed. Frank Lepell Wanted in Porter County Murder Case."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; September 25, 1903; Volume 20, Number 25, Page 8, Column 4. Column titled "The Beam Case."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; October 6, 1903; Volume 1, Number 123, Page 5, Column 6. Column titled "Change of Venue Granted."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 3, 1903; Volume 1, Number 151, Page 5, Columns 2-3. Column titled "Truman Beam is Now on Trial for His Life. Charged with the Murder of Martha Lawrence, of Whom He was Enamored -- Senator Agnew Assists Prosecution."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 5, 1903; Volume 1, Number 153, Page 5, Column 3. Column titled "Will Try to Show Girl Chocked Herself. Defense in the Truman Beam Trial Works Along New Line of Argument."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 6, 1903; Volume 1, Number 154, Page 6, Column 2. Column titled "Girl Could Not Have Killed Self. Coroner Testifies for the State in the Truman Beam Murder Case."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 10, 1903; Volume 53, Number 314, Page 7, Column 3. Column titled "Testimony Against Truman Beam."

The Columbus Republican, Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana; November 12, 1903; Volume 33, Number 33, Page 1, Column 2. Column titled "The Truman Beam Trial."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; November 13, 1903; Volume 20, Number 32, Page 1, Column 3-7. Column titled "Progress of the Beam Case."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 14, 1903; Volume 53, Number 318, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "Beam Case Arguments."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 14, 1903; Volume 1, Number 162, Page 5, Column 5. Column titled "Beam's Fate in Hands of Jury."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; November 17, 1903; Volume 1, Number 165, Page 5, Column 4. Column titled "Beam Jury Out Over 72 Hours."

The Inter Ocean, Chicago, Cook County, Indiana; November 18, 1903; Volume 32, Number 239, Page 1, Column 3. Column titled "One Man Hangs Beam Jury."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; November 27, 1903; Volume 20, Number 34, Page 1, Column 3-6. Column titled "Some Valparaiso Observations."

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana; December 11, 1903; Page 2, Column 4. Column titled "Truman Beam to be Tried Again for Murder."

The Elwood Free Press, Elwood, Madison County, Indiana; December 17, 1903; Volume 25, Number 38, Page 4, Column 4. Column titled "Appropriation for Murder Trial."

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 16, 1904; Volume 35, Number 36, Page 5, Column 5. Column titled "Second Trial of Truman Beam."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 19, 1904; Volume 54, Number 19, Page 3, Column 2. Column titled "Beam Murder Trial is Progressing Slowly. Dead Girl's Mother Gives Startling Testimony Which State Holds Shows Motive."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 20, 1904. Volume 1, Number 229, Page 5, Column 1. Column titled "Father Witness Against His Son."

The Muncie Morning Star, Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana; January 20, 1904; Volume 25, Number 267, Page 5, Column 2. Column titled "Father's Story Against His Son. Unwilling Testimony Was Given in the Trial of Truman Beam, for Murder."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 21, 1904. Volume 1, Number 230, Page 2, Column 6. Column titled "Fitted His hands in Marks on Neck. Coroner of Porter County Gives Damaging Evidence -- Truman Beam at Hammond."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; January 22, 1904; Volume 40, Number 42, Page 1, Column 3. Column titled "The Beam Case."

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 22, 1904; Volume 25, Number 41, Page 15, Column 2. Column titled "Evidence in Murder Case. New Testimony In Second Trial of Truman Beam."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 23, 1904; Volume 54, Number 23, Page 3, Column 1. Column titled "Damaging Testimony Against Truman Beam. Cellmate of the Prisoner Declares the Latter Admitted His Guilt While in Jail."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 26, 1904. Volume 1, Number 235, Page 5, Column 2. Column titled "Ghastly Photo of Girl is in Court."

The Indianapolis Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 28, 1904; Volume 54, Number 28, Page 3, Column 3. Column titled "End of Beam Murder Trial Seems in Sight."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; January 29, 1904; Volume 20, Number 43, Page 4, Column 3. Column titled "The End is Near."

The Indianapolis Morning Star, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 30, 1904. Volume 1, Number 239, Page 1, Column 2. Column titled "Truman Beam Jury Unable to Agree."

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 30, 1904; Volume 25, Number 48, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "Jury Fails to Agree."

The Sunday Journal, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; January 31, 1904; Volume 54, Number 31, Part 1, Page 3, Column 1. Column titled "No Verdict Reached in the Beam Case. Jury Out Forty-Eight Hours, Seven Voting for Conviction and Five for Acquittal."

Seymour Daily Republican, Seymour, Jackson County, Indiana; February 1, 1904; Volume 29, Number 55, Page 2, Column 3. Column titled "May End the Case."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton Porter County, Indiana; February 5, 1904; Volume 20, Number 44, Page 1, Columns 3-4. Column titled "Jury Again Disagrees."

The Fairmount News, Fairmount, Grant County, Indiana; February 9, 1904; Volume 27, Number 17, Page 3, Column 3. Column titled "All Over the State."

The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana; March 8, 1904; Volume 25, Number 80, Page 1, Column 2. Column titled "Truman Beam Let Go. Twice Tried on Charge of Killing His Sweetheart."

The Chesterton Tribune, Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana; March 11, 1904; Volume 20, Number 49, Page 7, Column 5. Column titled "Chesterton Chips."

The Lake County Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; July 7, 1908; Volume 3, Number 16, Page 8, Column 2. Column titled "Asks Heavy Damages of Valpo. Attorney."

Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Madison County, Illinois; November 6, 1908; Volume 73, Page 14, Column 4. Column titled "Truman Beam Trial Begins."

The Porter County Vidette, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; November 22, 1916; Page 7, Column 7. Column titled "Wahob and Vicinity."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; June 17, 1929; Volume 2, Page 1, Column 6. Column titled "Former Local Lawyer Found Dead in Swamp. Nathan L. Agnew, Aged and Infirm, Strayed from Home of Daughter Near New Orleans."

The Lake County Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; December 21, 1931; Volume 26, Number 143, Page 1, Column 6. Column titled "Former Co. Clerk of Lake Passes Away. Was at One Time Prominent Figure in Lake Co. Politics and Finance."

Florida Times Union, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida; July 24, 1936; Page 30, Column 1. "Column titled "Mrs. Martha Jane Carr."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; April 11, 1940; Volume 13, Page 1, Columns 7-8 and Page 2, Column 8. Column titled "City Mourns Atty. William Daly. Widely Known Barrister is Heart Victim."

The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; January 13, 1942; Volume 15, Page 7, Column 6. Column titled "Notice."

The Hammond Times, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; December 23, 1942; Volume 37, Number 160, Page 1, Column 6-7. Column titled "Wm. J. M'Aleer, Attorney, Dies in Florida Home."

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