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Dec 10,1885


David Lyne and Mary Kirtz Inhumanly Murdered


We do not like to find things like the following article in our family searching, but it is a part of history and we must look at it. My great great grandmother was Cynthia Ann Neely Scott and she was part of this murder that took place in Camden County.

Last Friday morning occurred the most terrible tragedy ever enacted in Camden County

For more than two years one Hiram (nicknamed Jack) Webster, residing near Gunter has been supposed to be insane, and has been a source of constant trouble to the authorities.

On Wednesday Dec. 3 Webster was arrested on complaint of Dr. Leonard Kirtz, charged with assaulting a minor son of Kertz.
He was tried the following day before Squire Davis and acquitted. He spent the night at David Lyne’s four miles northeast of town. Miss Mary Kirtz, daughter of the Doctor,
also remained at Lyne’s over night, and on the following morning Webster, Miss Kirtz and all the family except Mr. Lyne arose about 4 O’clock, and while getting breakfast Mrs. Lyne asked her son to cut fire wood. (Cynthia Scott -remarried after the death of G. G. Scott to David Lyne)
Webster accompanied the boy, who asked him to cut up a rail for stove wood. Webster agreed to do so, and the boy re-entered the house. After waiting some time the youth looked out at the south door of the house to see whether Webster had cut the wood, and about the same time Webster entered the west door with the ax in his hand. Before any suspicions were aroused he advanced toward the Kirtz girl, who was sitting by the fire, and struck her three violent blows upon the head with the ax.
Miss Kirtz dropped forward unconscious after the first blow, and made no sign to attract notice, but Mrs. Lyne’s daughter (Alice Scott) saw her mother and made an exclamation which drew the attention of her mother and brother. (this is Frank and Alice - called Allie, Scott)

They ran from the room calling upon Lyne to rise and save himself. It is supposed that in attempting to do so he was attacked by the maniac, (if such we should call him,) as cries were heard from within.

The family fled to the residence of George Vinson, a quarter of a mile distant, to summon assistance, but Vinson refused to accompany them to the house, and the boy proceeded to the house of M. L. Lyne, brother of David’s. Lyne and Logan Cornwell started to the house where the tragedy was enacted and were joined ............vinson. Upon reaching the yard they saw Webster come from behind the house. “I did it, don’t shoot!” said the murderer, and ran toward the ax, which was between him and his pursuers. Lyne fired, but failed to check Webster’s approach to the ax. Just as he was trying to grasp the murderous weapon Vinson discharged a another shot, which brought Webster to the earth, shot through the brain.

After entering the yard a terrible sight met the gaze of the men who had dispatched the monster. The ghastly corpse of David Lyne was lying on the front door which had been torn from its hinges. His head had been crushed by blows on either side, while horrible gashes in the right side, hip and arm served to further mutilate the body.

Just outside another door lay the apparently lifeless form of Miss Kirtz. While near by was the corpse of her assailant. Inside the house were..............traces of the crimes that had been committed, and evidences of a appearent struggle between Mr. Lyne and his murder.

Upon investigation it was found that the girl was living.
S. J. David, a justice of the peace was summoned from Linn Creek, and an inquest was held, the verdict being in accordance with the facts just related. No arrest are likely to be made. Lyne’s funeral occurred on Sunday.
Webster’s body was removed by his brothers and was probably buried on the same day. Miss Kertz died the next day in the morning, probably of pros.........tion resulting from loss of blood and exposure. We have no reliable information as to whether her brain was sufficiently affected to render her wounds necessarily fatal.

Mr. Lyne was born in Loudoun Co. Virginia May 30 1831.
While a boy he removed to Ohio, and is said to have acquired considerable wealth. He had a large mercantile establishment and owned a river steamer.

Meeting with reverses, he removed to Missouri in 1871 Since which time he has been a quiet citizen and industrious ............member of society. Although poor, the friends were nearly as numerous as his acquaintances, and his terrible fate excites universal sympathy.

Of his immediate family are a widow (Cynthia Scott) three sons and two daughters. He has an aged mother, three brothers and two sisters residing in Ohio, and one brother
M. L. in this county.

It is impossible to be a prevailing impression that Webster should have been restrained by the authorities as a dangerous character.

Such occurrence so horrify the communities in which they occur that it is difficult for anyone to form a strictly impartial opinion, but to be devoutly hoped that no such horror will ever again stain a page of Camden County history.


Linn Creek, Mo., Dec. 10 1885

To Mr. Thodrick Lyne, Dear Mother, Brothrs, Sisters and Frinds, Nealeysville, Morgan County Ohio.

The above account clippd from to-days REVEILL, will partially account you with the horrible tragedy which has just been enacted in our mist.

Last Friday morning, between daylight and sunrise, Frank Scott, my brother David's step-son, came to my house and told me that a man namd Webster was at his stepfather's house, that he had attacked Mary Kertz with an ax and that he had heard his Pa calling for help, after he left the house.

When I reachd the spot, I saw my dear brother lying dead in the yard. I sprang to the side of my dad and mangld brother. The noise of my approach arousd the vagabond, who came running from the other side of the house, where he had draggd the unconscious girl. It was a matter of life and death between us, and the ax with which his horrible deeds had been committed was six feet nearer to him than to me . .............and checked his approach, but he started toward the murdrous weapon and again, and a man namd G. H. Vinson came to my rescue with a gun. I told him to kill Webster. He fired, but partially missed his aim, turned the monster around, and gave me a chance to finish loading. By this time he stoppd as though drawing a wapon taking effect in the crown of his head, and bringing him to his legs, but I lost no time in reloading, and in th excitment of the moment drew to fire again, but Vinson caught my arm, and told me he was dead.

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